« April 2006 | Main | June 2006 »

May 29, 2006

National *GUARD* Bear

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm frequently assigned to guard duty given my natural polar bear abilities in intimidation. That was the case as early as when we first got here a few months ago. Here's a photo of me guarding the soldiers' luggage in Kuwait while we were all waiting for the bus:

kuwait

May 28, 2006

What I Do

I've had a variety of jobs since I got to Iraq. I guess the Army just isn't sure where to put a polar bear. One of my main jobs has been convoy escort. I think they put me there because if a truck breaks down, I can usually just pull it to the next US base. Luckily, the Army has issued some pretty heavy body armor for me so I'm not overly worried about IEDs. Also, I've found it useful to take slabs of armor off of wrecked Iraqi tanks and use those as armor when we end up traveling to really risky areas.

My biggest complaints about convoy duty are the sandstorms and the heat. During sandstorms, the sand gets all into my fur and as you may know, we polar bears are very clean and tidy animals. I hate being all sandy. Yuck. Luckily, since the weather has gotten hotter, they try to keep me closer to base now and in the air conditioning. This exposes me to less heat and less sand.

I got in trouble a couple weeks ago. Out on a security patrol, I was just trying to be friendly and gave some dude a bear hug and then realized that the guy was wearing a suicide vest. So I had to stand there squeezing the guy until EOD came. It took a while. The guy ended up with a few broken ribs, but I did what I had to do to make sure the guy couldn't reach the detonator.

I guess that's about all for now. Today, they have me on guard tower duty. I think they like to put me there because really, I AM the guard tower. Just having a grumpy polar bear guarding things can be a great deterrent. Things are pretty quiet most of the time and I haven’t had to maul anyone yet.

Hmm...I wonder if they'll be serving seal sandwiches today at the chow hall...I suppose I'd better go find out...

May 27, 2006

The Wife and Cubs

I know that all you ladies out there will be disappointed to know that I'm married. My wife is named Milkshake. We have five cubs who were born after I was mobilized. It's rare that polar bears have more than 3 cubs in the wild, but given that living conditions and access to food is slightly better in Saint Paul, Minnesota, we ended up with five cubs. They keep Milkshake busy, but luckily Josh's wife Kelly helps her out.

Anyway, here are some photos of my wife and me. These were taken before the cubs came along. I am still waiting to get some photos of them from my wife, but when I do, I will share them as well.

Milkshake and I enjoyed the first snow storm this past winter. This was a few weeks before I was mobilized:
wife.JPG

There are no seals, walruses, or beluga whales to eat in Minnesota, so we had to see about catching some squirrels for dinner. We tried to whack them out of the tree with little success:
winter1.JPG

Here is Milkshake sending me an email after I left for Camp Shelby:
wife2.jpg

May 26, 2006

Camp Shelby Photos

While I am in the mood to share old photos, here are some that were taken of me back at Camp Shelby from a couple months ago:

Taken shortly after I arrived - I'm wondering if the place is as bad as it looks:
Stone Cold Shelby 1

My arrival at Camp Shelby:
Stone Cold Shelby 2

First things first - I had to draw my weapon from the arms room:
Stone Cold Shelby 3

Here I am trying on my new assault pack:
Stone Cold Shelby 4

I had to establish which bunk was mine and take a test nap. Yeah, this WAS Josh's bunk but he's smart enough not to argue with a polar bear:
Stone Cold Shelby 5

I am cleaning my weapon:
Stone Cold Shelby 6

I had to try out my new Camel-bak (after all, we polar bears can get dehydrated rather quickly in hot weather):
Stone Cold Shelby 7

I'm packing my duffle bag to go to Kuwait:
Stone Cold Shelby 8

I'm calling my wife (her name is Milkshake) to let her know I'm doing okay:
Stone Cold Shelby 9

Josh bought some Girl Scout cookies - but forgot to tell me that they were supposed to be for the long plane ride overseas. He was a little annoyed that I ate them all before we even left Camp Shelby. Oops:
Stone Cold Shelby 10

And last but not least, here I am with my luggage, waiting for the bus to leave Camp Shelby at the end of February:
Stone Cold Shelby 11

May 25, 2006

Newly Declassified: Photos of POLARCOM

I thought I'd go ahead and share some photos of POLARCOM (Polar Command), located up in the Arctic. This is where I report on occasion when I'm not deployed:

Here is the sign at our command post:
base3.jpg

We import penguins from the South Pole to help deliver small packages to other bases. We also have SeALs and ORCAs (Operationally Ready Counterterrorism Agents) help us with security:
base2.jpg

We have a small ship that helps with patrols:
base4.jpg

An overhead view of the entire post:
base5.jpg

May 24, 2006

Living Conditions

Some of you may be wondering where I live while serving over here in Iraq. Luckily, I share an air conditioned trailer with my buddy, Josh. It's kinda crowded in here, but we manage okay. (Thank goodness for the AC!)

The other day, Josh got his digital camera and took some photos of me around the place. Check 'em out:


When things get too hot, at least I have this fridge/freezer where I can rest and cool off.

livingquarters.jpg


I'm helping Josh unpack his footlocker. Humans sure do require lots of stuff to survive. Sheesh.

footlocker.jpg


Here I am reading a recent issue of National Geographic. It made me homesick. *sigh*

homesick.jpg

May 18, 2006

My Favorite Race Car Driverrrrrrs

I am a big fan of auto racing. Here are some of my favorites:

FORMULA ONE
Drivers:
4. Mark Wegerrrrrr
3. Gerrrrrrnando Alonso
2. Kimi Grrrrrraikkonnen
1. Michael Schumagerrrrrrrrrrrr
Favorite manufacturer: Gerrrrrrari

NASCAR
Drivers:
5 Jamie McGurrrrrrray
4 Michael Walgrrrrrrrrip
3. Grrrrrrrling Marlin
2. Carl Edgrrrrrrrds
1. Dale Grrrrrrrnhardt Jungrrrrrrrrr

Favorite manufacturer: Chevgrrrrrrolet