Sunday, April 16, 2006

It's Only Rock n Roll, but I like it....

Friday Night was a wonderful night!!!! I played my first show back with Rob Russell and The Sore Losers and it kicked ass! We played a 55 minute opening set for our good buddies The Tim Lee Band for their CD Release Party at Patrick Sullivans in Knoxville. The place was full of folks ready to rock out and I believe we gave them their moneys worth, haha It was cool that my parents, Aunt Deb and Jeff, Emily, Susan and Clint, and some other family members and friends got to come hang out as well. The best part was when Rob introduced the band, He gave me the coolest intro ever and then had the crowd give me a standing ovation. I was very flattered and honored! I had about 6 drinks bought for me by people I had never even met before. It was an awesome feeling. plus I got hit on by some ladies, which hasn't happened in a while either, haha Even though their was one pretty lady who caught my eye! That's all I will say about that, lol We have this next week end off, cause that is when my Welcome Home Party is, but the weekend following that, we will be rocking again in JC and in Charlotte. Take care and hope to see you out there!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Feeling Guilty

Last night I had a wonderful time, drinking wine, playing guitar, eating a great steak, enjoying a few pints of Guinness, watching a live band, and flirting with the pretty ladies, but today as I nurse my third hangover (I must be getting old!) I have an excess quantity of guilt hanging over me.

Don't get me wrong, I am happy as hell to be home. Safe from all the dangers and quirks of Mosul, Iraq, but part of me is still back there in the form of my friends and team mates! I was part of a group of Lucky Nine, who got to come home about a month earlier than the rest, I should be happy about that, but I can't help thinking about them still being there. I feel as if I left a job unfinished and they are having to pick up my slack and pull the rest of my load.

I feel I should be out on patrol right now or supporting some operation with the boys from Charlie Company or the kick ass 3rd Platoon of Alpha, reconning some future or possible project site or going house to house doing community relations. I feel I have let them down by not being there.

As I sit in this Extenda Stay Hotel Room with my wireless internet, cable TV, A/C, and cold beverages, I know they are still looking over their shoulders at every turn, scanning the roads for possible bombs, and hoping a sniper hasn't picked them as today's target, I should be there, I should be finishing the job, but yet I am not!!!! I am here.

Take care Brothers and Sisters, and know you are in my thoughts, keep your heads down and your asses safe and get back to the Land of Milk and Honey, get back and tell me I am a jack ass for feeling this way and that I worried for nothing, cause everything is alright. Get back and lets nurse a hangover together. Most importantly, Just Get Back!!!

Love,

TS

Friday, April 07, 2006

So Close but yet so far away....

Still at Fort Bragg in NC just going thru out processing or demobilization. We should already be finished and at home, but these folks drag things out so bad. They gave us 5 day process, which could be cut to 2, and of course the weekend doesn't count and we got here a day early. So hopefully I'll be able to fly out of here on Tuesday night or sometime Wednesday!!!! If it's any later than that, I am just going to walk. These people are killing me, lol

I guess I shouldn't complain too much, most of our guys are still stuck over there, haha sorry fella's, just keep your heads down and stay safe.

We (the other guys and me) have been having a good time just readapting back to civilization. To protect the innocent I won't use their names, but we have done our best to keep the local eateries and watering holes in business. I am having a hard time typing with a hangover right now, lol

We stayed out pretty late last night and paid for it today when we had to goto our medical screenings. I can truthfully say it is no fun getting shots and blood drawn while you are still half cocked, haha and I hate needles to begin with. I almost went down, haha

Well stay tuned, their may be a party coming up soon :-)

Travis

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I am not in Iraq anymore....

Hey folks, you'll be glad to hear I am making my first post on American soil!!!!!! After 2 days of traveling to include 18 hours in the air and 3 on a bus, and numerous other hours loading equipment and baggage, I am finally in New Jersey!!!!! Who ever thought I'd be happy to be in New Jersey, lol, but I am.

We will stay the night here and make our way to North Carolina sometime tomorrow. I just can't wait to get to a place I can take a shower, change clothes, and get a good sleep. I am going on over 2 days in the current pair of boxers and uniform and you should be glad you are not in close proximity of my and my crew, haha We are a ragged bunch, but who cares, we are in America, and soon too see our families, loved ones, and friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well I just wanted to update you and I hope you folks are still tuning in. I have not seen posts from a lot you lately and it worries me that I have lost your attention, hahaha Love Me Damnit!!!! :-)

Travis

Friday, March 31, 2006

Last Night in Mosul

Oh how the anticipation builds.... This is to be my last night in the great city of Mosul. Tomorrow I fly out for the final time, hopefully to never return, but I am wise enough in my years to never say never!

I hope all is well back at my former location and that Bob and Tim are doing well. Poor Timmy has about a month left, but I know he'll make it thru, I just hope he doesn't choke anyone before time is up, haha With the replacements soon to be coming, he should have enough to keep him busy so the time will pass by quicker, plus he now has the room to himself, so me leaving was not all bad!

Me and the other lucky leavers have been busy getting last minute supplies for the trip, checking our baggage, mailing home anything possible, and dreaming of that first cold beer we'll soon be enjoying, haha Gotta love us, we have our priorities!!!

We have actually spent a lot of time watching movies and just being stupid! What else can you do when you have nothing but time. I wish I had easy access to a phone, I have a few folks who I need to call, but I don't my cell or sat phone any longer, and I have no ideal where the phone center is on this base!!! I have spent quite a bit of time on my lap top, but no one has popped up on my messenger lists like I thought they would!!! Where you folks at??

I saw a great quote on my friend Todds Myspace Page the other day, it's actually a line from a song, but it just seems to fit for me, so I am going to close with that,

"Not Forever, just for now.... Not Forever..Just... For now.."

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Alot Going on

Sorry for the week off, but our internet access was not that good, plus, I was getting ready to leave Courage and begin my trip back home. Hooray!!

First off, yesterdays lottery scratch off did not produce any winnings, so I will not be talking any further about that!!!

I am currently at another base waiting to catch a flight down to Kuwait, where I will catch another flight to the good ole US of A. It's not a quick process, but I am hoping to be in North Carolina by Tuesday. Then if the stars are all in align, I hope to only be at Fort Bragg for Seven days and then it's home for good. Good bye Mosul, Good by Iraq!!!

I am going to miss a lot of the guys I have had the pleasure of working with, some more than others, and some not at all, haha, that's just the truth of things. I will really miss my interpreter Bob, he was the coolest and I owe him a lot. He just got married, so I want to wish him the best, hopefully he'll get out of the Interpreter business and do something a little less dangerous so he can spend more time with his new wife and get a family started.

I have had a tremendous experience in Iraq, some you have read about on this blog, some only a select few have heard from me in person, and some I'll probably never speak of again, but that is how things go in this business. I feel I have grown a lot as a person and have a better perspective on life, especially on just how precious it is. I have learned we have it made in America. Our only problem is we like to bitch and moan and cry a lot!!! Myself included, but after seeing what I have seen, I think I will cut down on most of that. I have realized when our biggest dissappointment of the day is when the drive thru at McDonalds screws up our order or the waitress doesn't fill up our drink exactly when we would have liked for her too, then things really aren't that bad.

I have many plans for when I return, to include, where I live, work, what I do, and things along those lines. I'll fill you in more as I figure them out! Get ready for some rock n roll though, those plans are already in motion!!

Quite a few of you have asked me what I am going to do with my blog once this is over. Will I keep it going with the regular day to day happenings of my life or will I shut it down? I have decided that after the coming home party my Mom throws me that I am going to discontinue updating "Travis in Iraq", cause that book will be complete. I am not going to delete it, I will leave it up for anyone who wants to go back and read or re-read my tales or look at the various pics I have posted over the last ten months. Don't worry though, I plan on starting a new blog chronicling the next adventure of my life and you will all be invited to visit there as well.

Well I have to get going and pack up some boxes I want to mail home so I don't have to drag them around with me. Take care and keep reading, the next few weeks should be quite interesting.

Peace to All,

Travis C. Stuart

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wednesday Scratch Off Bonanza

Hey Folks,
I did not post yesterdays scratch off, well cause I forgot, and it doesn't matter, cause I didn't win a dang thing anyway. I am such a Sore Loser!!! SO, I decided today to use that extra ticket, cause I woke up feeling lucky!!! Let's see if it was a true premonition or just gas?

I am scratching now, Come on Lucky Diamond Game, ........................DAMN............ Guess it was just Gas, That's two tickets in a row and I didn't win JACK!!!!

Hope all is well, Things are running smooth here,

Travis

I am soaked

Last night we were out on a mission, well first let me give you some background. Yesterday was a beautiful day, the sun was out all day, not a cloud in the sky, the temp was around 80 degrees, it was just a beautiful day. Then 10pm comes around, it's time to go out and do what I do and guess what?

If you said rain, you are correct, and unluckily for me, I have already packed up all my wet weather and snivel (that's warm clothes) gear. So for the next 4 hours I am out in this stinky city, standing out the hatch freezing my ass off. Imagine being wet and then going 30-40 miles per hour down the road with half your body exposed!!! It sucks, haha

Well the good news is there are no injuries or bombs or stuff like that to add to this story. It's just me bitching about being cold. The weird part is, I think I actually like this shit??????? I need to get home, haha