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    January 12, 2005

    Be All You Can Be on Tylenol & Fishticks!

    I spoke with Brian yesterday morning. After he got back from his weekend training expedition, he and his tentmates woke up to find water dripping on them and several inches of water inside the tent. Lovely! Now he seems to be coming down with the Flu. Apparently the only solution for the Flu around there is Tylenol. Whats that? You have the Flu? Nooo problem! Here's a Tylenol, now go load that truck!
    The more I learn about the military, the less impressed I become. It has been shocking to find out that our government doesn't take better care of its military personnel! These men and women give up so much to serve their country, put their lives on the line and all they get is fucking TYLENOL for the FLU??? Even during his two month stay at Ft. Dix, I was stunned to hear that they were served baked fish for lunch AND dinner EVERY fucking day until he left for Kuwait. I mean what the fuck? I find it difficult to believe that we cannot do better than this for people who have put their lives on hold and are about to walk smack dab into the middle of a war zone! I can't help but wonder about the quality of treatment he might receive should GOD FORBID, Brian ever become seriously injured. It amazes me that most of us have been unaware of things like this and I'm even more amazed that we haven't heard [at least I haven't] complaints from military personnel regarding these issues. I don't suppose we'll be seeing any segments about this on any future edition of 60 Minutes.
    Brian will be leaving for a 1 day mission this weekend and then he and his company will be headed to the base in Iraq. The good news about this is that they won't have to risk life and limb just to get there. They will be flying!
    Conditions at Anaconda should be much better. From what Brian tells me and from all the research I've been doing, they will be living in air conditioned 12x35 foot trailers that are separated into 3 rooms and 2 people are assigned to each room.
    Four cafeteria-style dining facilities are on the post, run by civilian contractors. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and midnight dinner are served. A variety of food is served including hot meals, fresh fruit, and beverages. There is also a PX where soldiers can buy canned goods, snacks and other various items.

    In June 2004, a health clinic opened on the post where most illnesses can be treated and they also provide dental and eye services.

    For entertainment, there are two swimming pools, which were built by the Iraqis before the war. Also, a first-run movie theater and fitness gym are operated on base. Religious services are provided regularly by military chaplains, and there are smaller events run by individual units. I have also been told that mini versions of Burger King and Pizza Hut opened there in mid-October, 2004. Other amenities include wireless internet and telephone banks.
    Apparently Anaconda is the largest support base in Iraq, and has been nicknamed "Mortaritaville" because of the frequency of mortar/rocket attacks on the base. As of mid-October 2004, an article in the Seattle Times reported the facility, home to roughly 22,500 US troops and an additional 2,500 contractors, had been on the receiving end of roughly two attacks per day since July. [EEEEEK!!]
    Now don't get me wrong here. Mortar attacks aside, I am thrilled that Brian will have all this to make the next year a bit more bearable for him. I'm just trying to understand how a camp in the middle of the Iraqi desert, under mortar attack, can provide so much, yet here at home all we can feed them is fish sticks!

    Jack LaLanne Juicer

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