Thornhill in Iraq — XII

Hello family and friends – Happy Easter!

Forgive me for not writing sooner or more often. Things have been busy here, my best excuse is that I just returned from a little R&R in Qatar! Because of the complications of travel, a 4 day R&R pass took up 9 days of my life. It was well worth it! A fellow JAG lawyer (Air Force) and I spent about 5 days in sunny, warm, and quiet Doha, Qatar. There is a U.S. military base there where we stayed. It was nice just to get away and I enjoyed the quiet and being able to go out in town without wearing body armor or riding in an uparmored vehicle. The highlight of the trip for me was golfing! Yes, I was able to play 9 holes at the Doha Golf Course (see photos). As you can probably tell by that putt, I didn’t play at all last year! It was nice to see grass again and the rental clubs (Pings) were a whole lot nicer than my own. We played in the moring and got out of there before it really got hot. If you are wondering how the locals can golf in the summer when it gets miserably hot, well, they play at night. That’s right, the entire course has lights! Anyway, it was a lot of fun and I hit just enough good shots to make me anxious to play when I get home. I would have played more but, unfortunately, the golf trip was offered only once during my stay.

Not that I’m counting or anything, but I have just under 6 weeks left here in Iraq. Needless to say, I am anxious to come home. With luck, I should be home by the middle of May. The extra 2 weeks is for out-processing and demobilization. I hope to be home in time to see the last flag football games for Bennett and Camden! I will be home just in time for baseball season. It’s probably a little early to start counting down but I can’t help it.

The rainy season is over. I’m glad. As I said before, when it rains here it is quite a mess. The downside of the changing seasons is that it is starting to warm up. I will be out of here before the weather gets too oppressive, but it’s already warm. Today’s forecast high is 98. Tomorrow and Tuesday it’s supposed to be 100! Hopefully I won’t be going anywhere for a while so I don’t have to put on all the gear.

I really don’t have much else to pass along. I am doing fine and still glad that I came. I am exteremely happy that my tour is only 6 months. I can’t imagine what a year or the 15 months that a lot of people are doing over here would be like. Thanks to all of you who have sent cards, e-mails, and care packages. I really appreciate it. Keep the cards and e-mails coming but there is no need for additional care packages. I am pretty well stocked on what I need and should be good for the duration. You can always keep a cold beverage in your fridge for me and invite me over when I get home so I can tell you all the stories I am unable to over e-mail!

I hope you all enjoyed your holiday. I see the forecast high for Cedar Rapids today is 37 – must be nice!!