Saturday, April 29, 2006

Back in Tallil

Just about every job in the Army has its perks, but public affairs has more than normal. Without a doubt, one of the biggest perks is the ability to escape a bad situation by fleeing to another base to cover units. That's what I did yesterday.

After spending only a week at Camp Anaconda, the largest and most anal base in the Middle East, I hopped on a sherpa with my duffle bag, camera and laptop to seek refuge in Tallil, that oasis of sanity in southern Iraq.

My reasons for leaving were manifold. First, there are simply no stories to cover without resorting to such desparate page-fillers as "DFAC employee strives for excellence" and "What you didn't know about uniform regulations (and, in all likelihood, don't care to know)."

Then there is the fact that the public affairs office in Anaconda is currently under renovation. We spent an hour one morning playing Tetris with the large, oddly-shaped desks in the Q-room so that the Turkish workers had access to the walls to work on the wiring. Everyone who once worked in that room had been displaced into other makeshift offices. The writers were working in what used to be the broadcast room and the broadcasters are working in the conference room. Getting a phonecall to the right person over the noise of the construction machinery was a headache.

If that wasn't enough, the personal noises eminating from the adjacent trailor were making sleep difficult. Even my headphones could not conceal all the moaning and grunting. I was surprised to find the trailor in the same place the next morning.

Suffice it to say, here I am.

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