Below is a link to a story about Bob Delaney. Some of you (probably the men) will know who he is. Bob is a former New Jersey State Trooper, and author of Covert: My Years Infiltrating the Mob; he is currently a referee in the NBA.
In July 2009, he made a trip to Iraq where he spent time with our troops and spoke about his own experiences with post traumatic stress disorder.
I found this story interesting for many reason; one being he visited many of the places that Pat had been during his time in Iraq. I also found it extremely interesting, because he talks of Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, and states the base is a “city unto itself.” He talks about there even being a Starbuck’s there. He mentions that after dinner he goes to a gym where there is a basketball tournament going on. Then, he writes that after the game they go back to the dorm for the evening.
This is all in his first day in Kuwait; July 11, 2009.
Then the next day, he talks about driving through a sandstorm that essentially looks like a blizzard in intensity. (Those sandstorms block out the light of the sun.)
When they arrive at the Ali Al Salem Air Force base, he mentions the soldiers reclining in black easy chairs while watching TV. He speaks of everybody wearing body armor and helmets, and about the intensity of the heat. (This was an Air Force Base, they had air conditioning.)
He talks about trying to sleep while bombs are exploding. He mentions being in a General’s office and hearing the words “Incoming, incoming”; he and the General proceed to a bunker where they stay for about 45 minutes. Then he writes “Since this was our last night, I thank Gen. Brown for making sure we received the full experience on the frontline.”
I could go on and on – but I will let you read the article.
Camp Arifjan, Kuwait was essentially base camp for Pat’s unit. They were just outside Arifjan, and they called it Truckville, and it was a tent city at that time. There was no Starbucks. There was no air conditioning. They didn’t have ice; they certainly didn’t have a gymnasium to play basketball in. There were no dorms, they lived in tents. They had outhouses. There were no easy chairs, and certainly no televisions. During the intense heat, the soldiers wore full body armor and traveled in vehicles that had no air conditioning, and the heat in the cabs of those vehicles would soar near 150 degrees. That is not a typo – 150 degrees. At 9:30 in the morning it would be 136 degrees in the shade; again, they had no A/C, no ice, no dorms, they lived in tents. They did their missions using “strip maps”; there was no GPS either. They did not get flown from destination to destination. They drove, and they were constantly in danger.
Then Bob Delaney writes: “JULY 18-20 After spending the night in a Kuwait hotel, it's time for the next leg of the journey — a flight to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. We arrive Saturday night and on Sunday, we spend a day in Heidelburg and I make the comment to Ron Barr that we've lived a compressed version of what real soldiers experience: we've been to war, and now we're on R&R.”
He was there for one week.
Those of you who have come to know me – can imagine my reaction to this article.
Below is the link.