And according to her, things are going really smoothly right now. They have really gotten their rhythm and are getting their missions done in downtown Baghdad.
She says she attends the brigade meetings where the customer units (the Infantry and Armor line units) all brief their status, and these days when they brief their supply status they are all "green" in all classes of supply.
That means that CPT Patti and her supply folks are doing well.
Of course, I had to ask her about the bomb at the Police HQ. Here is what she had to say:
I was in my office with the XO and the 1SG when all of a sudden it just goes KA-BOOM (this she says over the poor phone line connection from Baghdad...and the force of her bomb impression overloads the telephone circuit and reduces the transmission to mere static for a moment, giving one pause to consider that perhaps an unkind coincidence was taking place...but gladly it was merely a phone glitch). It shattered glass in our area, because it was right across the street from our portion of the Brigade Support Area. Our fuel tankers were parked, separated from the blast by the 12 foot tall perimeter wall of our compound, and the width of the street outside the wall.
Well, of course we had to get everyone into full battle-rattle and to their posts - actually, we got the tankers moved before we could get everyone into full uniform...because we didn't want one of those tankers going up. Of course, the first thing you do is go outside to see what you can see, but the wall is in the way, so I run to the roof where I see this large black mushroom cloud. Once everyone was properly at their posts, I went into the company command post to monitor the radio, and pace back and forth.
It was a really significant blast.
I am amazed at her retelling of that story. I said to her that I know a lot about her, but I've never been with her when a bomb went off. I asked her how she reacted. She began to tell me again about putting on her helmet...."No, I know you did that...what I mean is, did you scream, did you run in circles?"
"Why no, silly", she replied.
Funny...I think I would have.
Since her birthday is within a week, I asked her if she had received the present I sent. Turns out she has already opened it...not because she couldn't wait, but because the package was obviously in distress.
Well, so you know, I sent her a small rice-cooker for her birthday (check the photo...get it?) so she can prepare her favorite comfort food. But along with it I sent a five pound bag of rice and a pint of soy sauce. Except the glass soy sauce bottle didn't survive the trip...so the packages were soaked in soy.
Busted soy sauce notwithstanding, she declared this birthday present to be the "best idea ever" (check the web site subtitle...get it?) She then went on to say some unkind things about the quality of the rice in the dining facility.
She also mentioned that she has received other birthday presents and cards from (off the top of her head, she never seems to make a list) from K3, Dan & Amy, Jerry, Pastor Paul and Sue, as well as several cards from folks she doesn't know but who are members of Pastor Paul's congregation.
And you know what? She is delighted at all the cards.
She was telling me about one of the single soldiers who have been adopted by some of you generous folks. She told me about one soldier in particular - CPT Patti just happened to be standing by this soldier as the soldier was opening a box. The soldier said, out loud that "these folks who adopted me, Dan and Amy, sure are the sweetest people."
What the soldier didn't know, and many of you don't know, is that Dan and Amy are CPT Patti's brother and sister-in-law.
CPT Patti tells me she did backflips at hearing their names...which surprised the soldier...until CPT Patti explained. Seems Dan and Amy had never mentioned it, thinking they didn't want to put some poor soldier on the spot of being adopted by the Commander's kin. But with CPT Patti, there is no holding back...she just got so overwhelmed by the nice things said about those two...
She also mentioned one of her soldiers just gushing about "these folks back in Iowa" who adopted me, just marveling at their generosity.
I'm told there is more news to be shared once I get a letter that is en route. Of course, I'll share that with you too.
Thank you for caring.