Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wax and Wane

Camp Ramadi Logistics Operation Center in a Sea of Mud

Mail Run Off-load at Hurricane Point, Ramadi

I'm back at Camp Fallujah after 10 days in Ar Ramadi, the provincial capitol of Al Anbar Province. I departed Fallujah in the wee hours of the 10th and arrived at Camp Ramadi after a chilly 2 hour hop under a waxing moon. We deplaned that evening with long moonshadows following us across a mud flat to awaiting HUMVEEs, our boots making "shtick,shtick" sounds in the cold thick goo. Over the hum of idling vehicles could be heard the thud of boot heels banging against bumpers, doors and tires in vain efforts to shake the best of Mesopotamia off of Alley Oop'ed feet. We were wisked to the transient tent only to be awakened around 0700 to the blare of sirens and a disembodied voice entoning "INCOMING,INCOMING". Three distant impacts were followed by the all clear signal. Thanks to a healthy dose of adrenaline and a growling stomach, I made my way to the chow hall with a little less than 3 hours sleep under my belt. I hooked up with my point of contact and made arrangements to go out to Hurricane Point and then on to Observaton Point(OP)Horea with the afternoon mail run. The unit I spent time with in Ramadi was Kilo Company of the 3rd Battalion of the 7th Marine Regiment. This, their third Iraqi deployment, has found them in Ramadi since last August. Ramadi, the seat of Al Anbar politics, has placed F/3/7 in continuous contact with insurgents and terrorists from day one. I'll post more particulars, artwork and photos from my time in Ramadi in following entries. My flight home last night was under a waning and equally cold moon. The double shadows of the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters flowed across the moon lit landscape below me. Fortunately, the mud, though still hiding at the margins of roads and paths, is now more the consitancy of kneaded bread, rather than potter's slurry or an infant's....well you get the picture.


Samantha West said...

Were you with LtCol Covert? I think a drawing of the two Ch-46's in the moon would go well with his latest post of the valiant Marines of the 3/7.

Your work is amazing as always!



Your blog is mentioned on the Books For Soldiers website ( by one of the BFS volunteers. Your work is awesome and especially meaningful for those of us in contact with our beloved troops. Thank you for what you are doing. The Library of Congress is archiving the more spectacular of the war-related blogsites; are they aware of yours?

Bob said...

Glad you're safe.

Are there other USMC artists-in-residence?


Beth* A. said...

Glad you're back!, (it seems bizarre to a say that about Fallujah, but you know what's meant :-)), and that the ground isn't slipping and sliding quite as much beneath your boots.

The 3rd deployment to Iraq for the 3/7- that's...shocking, awe-inspiring,-'how d'they do it!?!'. It commands the highest respect.

GunnNutt said...

beth*a is right - "welcome back" sounds bizarre but your fan base is glad to see a new post!

Maggie45 said...

I'm with Beth and Gunnutt...I clicked on your site every day...praying, praying...and here you are today! You guys are really something. My admiration and gratitude know no bounds.

Chris said...

Your artwork is amazing!

jihadgene said...

I would love to be able to buy a lithograph of some of your works. Gonna have any for sale? God bless our troops and their families!!!

Lil Toni said...

Well done Michael, both prose and sketches.

a Texas Mom said...

My son is a LanceCorporal with First Platoon in Kilo Company (his first tour in the Sandbox, though as you noted, many are on their second and third tours in the 3/7.)

Your artwork is awesome, it's great to be able to connect with your drawings.

Looking forward to more,
Stay Safe,