Janet Jackson
A few things going on in this picture:

This is taken right outside of Abu Ghraib Prison. We were doing a cordon mission there, before we went up to Fallujah and got into all that trouble.
I'm wearing my fancy new Wiley X safety glasses, with the interchangeable lens. I prefer the orange; I think it makes me look sexy. Second, I'm wearing my "Janet Jackson" headset, which is attached to the radios in our truck. That way I can keep my hands free for shooting, and still use the radios. Also, I can talk to the other members of my team inside the truck, using the internal comms. Very cool - but the headset gives you a headache if you wear it too long. This was actually taken on Thanksgiving Day. Our Battalion commander came out later that night to wish us a Happy Thanksgiving, which was cool. He didn't have to come outside the wire on patrol to do that - I was very impressed.

The third thing going on in this picture is the side shield on the turret.
This may be the first clear image I have sent of them. They are a much-needed layer of steel between the "boom" and me. Unfortunately, they are only good for small arms fire (bullets from a hand held weapon like an
AK-47) and light shrapnel. Shrapnel from a big blast - like what a 155mm artillery shell would make, which is the explosive of choice for IED makers - tends to cut through the steel like it wasn't even there. That's why I've added another layer of Kevlar to my shields, to help with that issue. Most of the gunners here have made some kind of modification to their armor, to give them added protection, and a little piece of mind.

Friday, January 21, 2005
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