My time was short and a whirlwind of activity. Sory, I wasn't able to get into the city. Too many things to do and take care of before going back. I almost need a vacation after the vacation! It was great to have some time off, but now that I'm back it's made me realize how much this place really sucks. The summer heat is starting to kick in. No sooner had I arrived back at my place at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Speicher, the Division Rear (DREAR) Headquarters when my boss calls me back to the mother ship at FOB Danger, Division Main (DMAIN) HQ. It was back to the airport to wait for Blackhawk to take me the Palace in Tikrit where the DMAIN is located. The differences between Speicher and Danger are vast. Speicher is much like Camp Buehring, Kuwait. A camp in th middle of the desert, mostly sand and rocks. It's the main supply hub for operations in Northern Iraq. Not much to see. Danger is prime beachront property along the river. Saddam had diverted water from the Kurdish regions to his hometown in Tikrit and built his three palaces along the river banks. Lots of palm trees, ducks, lizards, foxes, flocks of doves and a strange cat-dog creature that we only get fleating glimpses of at night. The FOB is aptly named Danger. Whereas we got bombed may once every other week at Speicher, Danger gets attacked every other day. The day I flew in, a one thousand pound car bomb or Vehicle Bourn Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) was detonated at the gate a half mile from the palace at our front gate. It flew out all the windows in the G6 (IT department) shop at the top of the hill. Guys on the other side of the building thought it was a direct hit to the building! This morning I was using a port-o-potty and was just pulling up my pants when another explosion rocked the area. I jumped out still buttoning my pant to comic affect to wee what had happened. There was black smoke billowing from the other side of the West Palace. Mortar explosions sound like loud thuds. This sounded like a thunderous roar with steel trash dumpsters being dropped from a building. It was another VBIED. I hear it was detonated near the police station and 24 people had been killed. Being up on the hill, we also have to take care not to spend too much time outside. Just across the river is "injun territory" where the bad guys sometimes take potshots at us. However, their aim is pretty bad...still I don't want to tempt fate and have them get a lucky shot. I'm hoping to finish my project here and head back to Speicher soon! Thanks again for all the support. It's great to hear from folk back home!