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From: Lt. Col. John “Mac” Tolar
Date: April 24, 2003
Re: Mac in Kuwait 

Finally made to Kuwait City on Sunday the 20th.  The trip was long but we had a smooth ride all the way.  We flew over on a contracted L-1011.  On the plane was a mix of Marines, Army Reservist, Air Force, and Air National Guard personnel.  After leaving Baltimore, we flew to Shannon Ireland where we had about a one hour layover.  Most of the folks on the plane tried to guzzle as much Guinness as they could hold knowing that Kuwiat is a dry country (pun intended).  From Shannon, we flew down to Cypress.  Most of us slept the entire way.  In Cypress, we were not allowed off the plane.  Spent about 45 minutes on the tarmac while the plane was turned over.  From Cypress, we flew south over the Mediterranean and hung a left into Egypt.  Over Cairo, we had a great view of the Nile and the Pyramids.  They looked like little chocolate drops on the horizon.  Leaving Egypt, we crossed the Red Sea into Saudi Arabia and hung a left up to Kuwait.

Camp Doha is about 30 minutes north of Kuwait City.  The camp has just about everything you would find on a base back home.  There's a library, a gym with everything from aerobics to yoga, movies, and a post exchange.  Our billeting (sleeping area) is inside and it is air conditioned.  I actually have a rack (bed) with sheets and a wall locker to stow my gear.  We also have cable T.V. in our billeting area so I have managed to catch a couple of episodes of Seinfeld and some Indian MTV.  As for the weather, although the heat index only hovers around 100 degrees now, the air conditioned will really come in handy when summer arrives.  It seems like there is a quick rain shower at least once a day but it never last more than 20 minutes or so. 

I am assined to C/JTF-CM (Combined Joint Task Force Consequence Management).  My primary responsibility is the Liason to the Kuwaiti's.  I have also been assigned a secondary billet of command hisotrian.  The unit is a combination of military personnel from all the services plus some soldiers from Germany, Ukraine, Romania, and the Czech Republic.  In that the war is basically over, the unit is at some what of a standstill in terms of what direction we will be taking.  With the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) basically behind us, our necessity has been minimalized.  We are expecting a visit this weekend from the commanding general and hopefully some guidance with regard to our future.  Needless to say, most everyone here is hoping that we are all sent home.

No other real news at this time.  Please extend my love and regards to all.
maassalehma,
mac

 
From: Lt. Col. John “Mac” Tolar
Date: May 12, 2003
Re: Doha Daze 

I've taken a few Yoga classes recently and it has been very interesting to say the least.  Do let me share with y'all the sights and sounds of my Yoga experience.  Twenty-two people from all walks life are stretched out on the floor in a room designed for twelve.  Some of these folks have practiced yoga for years while others like me are mere "grasshoppers".  Several are still in uniform and have just come from work.  Some have just finished working out while others just wandered over from the chow hall.  Regardless, we are all in there WITHOUT our shoes and socks on!  Needless to say, the smells wafting around in the room could not be confused with aromatherapy. In fact, it would probably violate the Geneva Convention if you were to lock a prisoner of war in that room.

After a few warm-up stretches, our instructor starts running us through the "postures".  Defining a posture is kind of like defining pornography.  I think it was Justice Stewart that said "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it" when asked to define pornography. That applies to postures also.  That being said, consider this a draft definition:  A posture is
when a theoretically normal human being tries to contort and manipulate their body into physical positions that defy the laws of gravity and nature. Postures remind me of some of the "characters" Heather and I saw at Cirq du Soleil. 

So know we've gone through the postures and it's time for the relaxation phase.  Once again we're flat on the floor, eyes closed, and the instructor is walking around, speaking in soothing tones.  I don't know what he's saying but, as with the postures, everybody seems to be doing the same thing except me.  I'm always a little behind because I need to peek out of one of my eyes to see what to do next.  I guess Yoga is kind of like attending a Latin Mass.  Nobody has a clue as to what the Priest is saying but everybody knows what to do.  So anyway, we're laying on the floor and I'm feeling very relaxed.  Then just as I am about to drift off to sleep, I get this vision of someone standing over me pouring a chutney slushy on my forehead.  And the class is over.

No news on reassignment.  Love and regards to all.

maassalehma,

Mac

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