"World Tour 2000" - A Marine's diary of the Middle East tour;

22 Nov 2000 | Sgt. Sara Storey

Tuesday, Nov. 1410:30 p.m. Everyone is here, but our flight is delayed. We have to be back in a couple of hours.Wednesday, Nov. 1512:15 a.m. Back again. We're leaving for Andrews Air Force Base at 1:30 a.m.1:30 a.m. We're on the bus! We should be leaving soon. Everyone is really excited. I hope I can sleep on the plane.4:30 a.m. We're still at the terminal. The flight was rescheduled for tomorrow.2:00 p.m. Back at the barracks. Cross your fingers! Maybe we'll get to leave today.2:50 p.m. Boarded bus, departed for Andrews Air Force Base.5:30 p.m. They just told us our plane was ready! We're heading out to the flight line.6:15 p.m. We're headed down the runway! We're on our way to Naples, Italy.7:20 p.m. We're somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean right now. We're supposed to do an in-flight refueling. There's a lot of turbulence. 7:25 p.m. The refueling was unsuccessful, so our flight is diverted to Stephensville, Canada.9:45 p.m. We landed in Stephensville for gas.Thursday, Nov. 1612:23 a.m. We're on our way to Naples, again. Everyone's exhausted.7:23 a.m. (local time 1:23 p.m.) We're here! We finally made it to Naples! Because of all the delays, our show was cancelled. But, we have liberty tonight!9:30 p.m. We met an Italian man who'd spent about 10 years in New York and spoke English. He helped us order a real Italian feast for dinner.Friday, Nov. 175:00 a.m. Everyone is awake. We have to have all our gear staged by 5:30 a.m. Then we're headed back to the airport. 9:00 a.m. We have liftoff! We're on our way to Kuwait.2:04 p.m. (local time 5:04 p.m.) It's raining. I can't believe it. We're in the middle of the desert and it's raining. 6:30 p.m. We were bussed to the base. I was hoping to see a camel during the ride, but no such luck. Maybe tomorrow.Saturday, Nov. 186:00 a.m. Time to get our uniforms ready! We have a show at 11:00 a.m. 7:02 a.m. It?s not raining anymore, and it's starting to get really hot. This is the kind of weather I expected. Still no camels.12:07 p.m. The show was great! There were about 1,000 troops there. They really seemed to appreciate it. None of the troops get to go home for Thanksgiving, so we tried to make it a really special show. Sunday, Nov. 197:00 a.m. Back on the bus.8:30 a.m. I saw my first camel from the bus windows! I wish I'd been able to get closer. The camels here have one hump and they are taller than I expected. 9:12 a.m. We made it to the flight line. Seven hour flight from Kuwait to Oman. Everyone is really tired of flying.7:00 p.m. Arrived in Oman, we're headed to rehearsal.9:30 p.m. We're behind the stadium, waiting for our part in the performance. We're talking to the Omani troops. The police have Arabian horses and one of the bands plays while riding camels. The Omanis are very friendly and interested in Americans. Especially the blondes.Monday, Nov. 2012:30 a.m. We're headed back to the hotel after rehearsal. 6:30 a.m. Wide awake, ready to shop! We're headed to the marketplace. They call it a "suk." There's an ocean right outside our hotel. Beautiful city - truly a desert oasis.3:30 p.m. Headed back to stadium for show.9:18 p.m. Terrific show! We played in the grand finale with about 2,000 other troops. The fireworks were fantastic.Tuesday, Nov. 2112:34 p.m. We're going back to the hotel for a couple hours sleep before getting on another plane. 7:00 a.m. Back on the bus, headed to airport. We're taking off at 9:30 a.m.1:00 p.m. We're back in Naples for a few hours while our plane refuels. 3:00 p.m. Takeoff! We're spending the night in Ramstein, Germany. We're going home tomorrow!10:30 p.m. Landed in Ramstein.Wednesday, Nov. 227:00 a.m. Loaded airplane. Everyone is anxious to get home.9:50 a.m. Finally headed back to Washington, D.C. 12:40 p.m. (local time) Home again, home again!