Lo and behold, after 10 days of silence, I finally got a call from CPT Patti tonight.
Caught me completely off guard.
They've had a tough week...some of the casualties in Baghdad - though not in her unit - were friends of her unit. It hits home pretty hard.
I was also able to get kind of a situation update from her...and there are some things to be grateful for!
Water: The standard ration for bottled water for her unit is 3 liters per day, though often soldiers can get up to double that.
Plus, the ROWPU water is plentiful. (ROWPU is Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit). To set the record straight I asked her how the ROWPU water tastes. She said that it is pretty good! Says it has a little chlorine taste, but if you mix in the powdered drink mix, you don't notice it at all. In fact, she says...the ROWPU water actually tastes BETTER than some of the bottled water they get...which she described as having such a high mineral content that it "tastes like dirt". She described the ROWPU water as having a "crisp" taste.
I asked her about shower facilities...and she said theirs is more than adequate. "Plenty of water, 24/7...I could shower three times a day if I wanted to".
As for food, the dining facility is now preparing two hot meals per day - breakfast and dinner. But these hot meals don't yet include salad bar, which would be her mailing address if it did. So - being our girl, when I asked her "what are you eating?" she said "the ramen noodles you send me". And just to clarify, she wants us to continue to send Ramen noodles in both styles...the cellophane wrapped noodles and the ones that come in the styrofoam cup. Apparently there is a difference beyond the packaging...hey- she is the one in the war zone...if she wants it she gets it.
Their dining facility will be replaced by a contracted facility at the end of August...we'll see what, if anything that does to improve the dining.
The super-generator is in, but it is going to take most of this month to hook up to everything...so not all the troops are sleeping in AC yet. Should be by the 1st of September though.
A contract has been let for laundry...and the Iraqis are washing and folding it at no cost to the soldiers.
Unfortunately - with all the progress on these fronts, there has been no progress on communications. There are only two phone for the entire battalion to call out on...that is at least 400 people. And the internet connections just aren't happening either.
Oh yeah, and it is HOT.
Keep praying for her - and all the soldiers down there. They need their blessings.
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
CPT PATTI UPDATE!