Some Souvenirs From Iraq

Oldest Son (I don’t think I’ll call him Soldier Son anymore because Middle Son J is currently the only active duty soldier in this family) brought home a few things from his 10 months in Iraq.  The first thing we noticed that he brought home was the most god-awful hacking cough.  Like it was continuous and sounded like he was hacking up some lung tissue.  And it wasn’t from some recent head cold.  He said he’d been coughing like that for months.  I don’t think the frequent sandstorms over there helped.  He lost weight over there.  It’s not that the food wasn’t good.  He just didn’t always feel like walking a half-mile to chow.  Well, that’s what he says.  It could have been 10 steps away, but if he doesn’t feel like moving, he won’t.  Not even for chow.  Between the cough of death and the weight loss, I’d be worried if they hadn’t tested him for TB.  But they did.  And he tested negative.  Some others weren’t so lucky.  He knew a few that tested positive — especially those stationed near Sadr City.  His cough has subsided a bit since being home, but it’s still worse than the remnants of my Thanksgiving head cold AND the cold that is now plaguing Big Daddy.

The second present he brought home, which probably has a lot to do with the first souvenir, is a full-blown smoking habit. He used to smoke a cigarette every once in a while before his deployment, and occasionally enjoyed a cigar.  I knew the habit had increased while he was in Iraq.  He had mentioned most of the guys smoked over there and that it definitely “calmed his nerves.”  He smoked some strange foreign brands as well as good old American ciggies.  He’s an adventurous soul.  He even joined his Iraqi comrades in partaking of the hookah ~ tobacco only, of course.  He said the filtering of the tobacco through the water, or the charcoal, or something made it “refreshingly smooth — cough, cough.”

He brought home some bling that he earned for his uniform because he was such a good awesome soldier.  These will look good on his dress uniform at the dance this weekend.

He also brought back the big silk Iraqi flag that we hung outside on the day we picked him up at the airport.  I took a picture of it.  And because I’m a nerd but NOT a geek, Oldest Son helped me load the pictures onto the computer today and — none of the flag pictures appeared.  I’m so BAD at this stuff!

I did actually manage to snap a few pictures of some of the other trinkets he brought home.  Our soldiers are doing their part in helping the Iraqi economy.  Below are some cool little exotic souvenirs.  The little camels each open up for some reason.  I have no idea what you’re supposed to carry inside of them.

3 Responses to “Some Souvenirs From Iraq”

  1. 1 Laura December 7, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Hope now that the excitement of being in Iraq wears off, so will your son’s smoking habit. My exhusband was in the Israeli army, where he picked up his smoking habit, it seems to be such a soldier thing. They’re bored, anxious and cold all at the same time and those stupid cigarettes serve to calm them. Oh well. Maybe the camel’s are cigarette holders?

  2. 2 mamaneeds2rant December 7, 2008 at 11:11 am

    It IS such a soldier thing. At least he takes them out on the porch to smoke.

  3. 3 sheribear9202 December 8, 2008 at 10:26 am

    it probaby didn’t help that I supported the habit by giving him the first half of his Chrismas present early… The different flavors of hookah tobacco…=\ forgive me.

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December 2008
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