Training Begins —

On September 30th, I arrived at the Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington, DC with five other newly hired reservists destined for deployment to Iraq. Two of us will go to Baghdad, two will go to Balad, and two (including me) will go to Tikrit. We hail from NY, PA, TN, NV, NY, OR and MN. There is one alternate among us and three instructors, who were brought in from Ft. Drum, NY; Ft. Bragg, NC; and Headquarters.

We will train here for three weeks, after which we will be joined by six other experienced staff. In total, twelve of us will fly from here to Ft. Benning, GA for a week of “processing” before taking flights to Kuwait and then Iraq. At Ft. Benning, we will be given everything an American servicemember is issued, except the weapon. Can’t wait to see myself in camouflage. This will be a first.