Army personnel are allowed to take 14 days R&R leave while on deployment. They can go home or anywhere in the world. The Army will fly them to any destination they chose. I chose, however, to not take R&R leave because I did not want to go home only to have to go through the leaving process again. For my family and I the parting is very painful. Moreover, I wanted to have the 14 days leave as separation leave thereby lengthening the time I can stay at home before I have to go back to work. My Commander agreed only on the condition that I would take a four day pass. I am finally on that four day pass
They fly us to the country of Qatar for pass. Qatar is a small country south of Kuwait. The base is small but, compared to FOB Hunter where I live it is very clean and quite nice.
It took almost a week to actually get a flight down here. We arrived after midnight and had about 2 and half hours of process to go through before we were finally allowed to go to bed. Most of the guys just stayed up. I went to sleep on the bare mattress using the mattress cover and blanket to keep me warm in the 62 degree room. It was awesome.
This morning I went shopping for civilian clothes. A pair of Levis that my wife will have to hem when I get home and two plain polo shirts. I thought to bring civilian shoes. Had breakfast at somewhat normal restaurant. Still no decent coffee but I think I should be able to fix that at some point while I’m here.
There are a variety of tours that we can sign up for. I’ll find out more about that this afternoon. I think it would be great to go wonder a mall and see what Qatari society looks like. I’d like to find a new power power supply for my Mac. The one I have has some breaks developing in the connector to the computer and needs to be replaced. I’d also like to find a Starbucks here in Qatar so that I can get a Starbucks Qatar cup to go with my Kuwait and Hawaii cups.
And, there’s free, fast Internet pretty much all over the place. Everywhere except in our room which is a bit of a bummer but, that will at least motivate me to get up and out of bed each morning. Probably a good thing.