A WINTER IN IRAQ

 

PRELUDE:

      It was the longest night, the shortest day in December 2003 as winter set-in in Iraq.  

Christmas and New years had just passed when we got our first

 

MESSAGES FROM MIKE:

IN MEMORY OF MY BELOVED NEPHEW

THESE ARE MESSAGES FROM MICHAEL PRICE

SENT FROM IRAQ.

 

FRIDAY JANUARY 2, 2004 5:30 AM

Hello to all of you,

This is the beginning of a big trip for me and all of you also, so bear with me. You are all part of my MASS email now, so expect many emails coming your way in the future. I set this up, of course, to be efficient in my writing to you all, I don't know my availability of email once I'm in Iraq, but once we're settled in it should be a little more 'standard' hopefully. Before I continue I'll give you some facts:

We will be providing security for EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) personnel.  There are 42 members of the team.  We will be in Mosul and Tikrit, Iraq (Saddams hometown).  I will be gone for 6-12 months

We are ALL well trained professionals in what we are doing.

One thing I need from everyone is your mailing address. Please send this to me ASAP ( I already have most of your addresses but send it anyway) This is my way of confirming your email existence. I hate for this to sound impersonal to everyone, but get use to how my MASS mail works. I will send ALL of you personal mails as often as I can, I promise that. I don't know when my next mass mail will be, but I will do it ASAP when I'm in a position to do so.  I will be leaving for Ft Bliss in TX 1/3/04 for my processing, and we are scheduled to be in Baghdad 1/10/04, so we're all standing by to standby.

I want all of you to know that you are a small group of family and friends that I love and care about, and I appreciate everyoneís support in what I am doing.  I will be sending with some of my emails pictures and video clips, these will be sent in a zipped/compacted format so you MUST have Winzip or another extractor to download this stuff.  My cell phone will be on while I'm processing in Tx, so if you want to give me a call, do it. My # is (925) 890-9456.  Once again, I thank you all for your support in this, and I want you all to know something....that each and every one of you are important to me, your love, friendship, and existence in my life is important to me, otherwise you would not be receiving this email!  So let's all stay in touch, I will do only my best.

Sincerely,

Michael

 

FRIDAY JANUARY 2, 2004 5:30 AM

Hello all,

Well, I'm just sitting here in Ft. Bliss TX waiting to fly out on Tuesday. We finished our out-processing on Thursday and have been just hangin out. About 15 of us are going into Mexico today to kick back and relax, I'm looking for a 'velvet Elvis' picture, and I know they got one somewhere, LOL. Anyway, hereís some new info:

We will be flying into Camp Wolfe Kuwait and we will drive up to Baghdad.  Mike drank too much yesterday, I'm getting it out of my system.  So, a good Mexican breakfast is in order...huevos rancheros, charizzo,,,mmmmm.  ce I leave here expect no mail rom me for about 3 weeks, we'll be setting up and thereís no guarantee that we'll have comms, so standby. And as soon as I get my APO mailing address, I'll let you all know, and there will be some things I need from you in the states. Well, thatís it from me, take care my friends and family. Out.

Michael

 

THURSDAY JANUARY 15, 2004 8:10 AM

Hi everyone,

I donít have much time to write, so I'll be brief. We landed in Kuwait yesterday, slept 4 hours, and then drove to Baghdad. We had 15 vehicles, no escort, but we're heavily armed. We almost shot one guy with an AK47, but it was slung on his shoulder, he's lucky we weren't army; they probably would have hosed him down. The trip took 10 hours of crappy roads mixed with highway, but was otherwise uneventful. We're all pretty tired still from the jetlag and the drive right now. Tomorrow we'll drive to Tikrit, which is the Wild West out here. I'll be in Tikrit for 6 months, so YEE HAW!  ll be in touch soon, I have to go eat, then sleep, maybe I'll shower tomorrow morning. And so you all know I'm being safe, and I'm with some of the best guys in the business out here, so donít worry too much.

Later.

Michael

 

FRIDAY JANUARY 16, 2004 12:37 PM

Hello,

Well I'm at my new home already. I was separated from the rest of the group and assigned to another unit outside Tikrit. We have a pretty nice setup here; internet, showers, 2 man rooms, pool table, chow hall, its deluxe....except for the occasional mortar round, LOL. Yeah, no kidding, I was here about 1 hour and the bad guys started lobbing mortar rounds in on us, but donít worry, they donít have a clue as to what their doing (idiots). Sorry about the garbled email I sent last, I was in a delirium from no sleep. I got a much-needed 8 hours last night. This morning we left BIAP (Baghdad international airport) around 8 am and started a very exciting 3-hour drive through the most dangerous road in the country, hwy 1 through the "Sunni triangle". This is the main road where all the IED's (improvised explosive devices) are blowing people up, about 1 per day. It went smooth for us though, but nonetheless, it was quite exciting. There were 16 vehicles in our convoy driving as fast as possible bumper to bumper, weaving through locals and military convoys, with rifles out the windows to let'em know you mean business. We had 1 suburban full of Iraqis try to get in our convoy a couple of times by cutting off vehicles, so we had to box'em in and check his intentions....fortunatly, 5 M-16's and 1 light machine gun pointed at them changed any possible bad intention they may of had, if only we could do this to some of the drivers back in the states, it works, and the look on their faces is priceless. LOL, I'm really just kidding, out here its business, and you better be "switched on" or you will end up dead, cuz I'll tell you what, out here they don't like us.  Iíll be working at a sight about 5 miles from here starting tomorrow night. So right now I have to stay up late to change my sleeping schedule. I thought it was going to be a drag working nights, but then I found out what I'll be doing....I can't say what it is exactly right now, but lets just say the hunting is very good in these parts. Iíll give out my APO mailing address as soon as I find out what it is. And so you all know, I love what I'm doing here, and this is definetly the most exciting and awesome thing I've ever done in my life (and most profitable) But I do miss you all, and expect personal emails to all of you in the immediate future. I have to go, my turn is up.

Out.

Michael

 

SATURDAY JANUARY 17, 2004 7:00 AM

Hello,

This is my current mailing address, it will be changing in March and I will notify when that change is.

Michael Price

(Civ contractor)

USA Environmental

HHC/366 AR BN

Unit#92600

APO AE 09323-2600

Talk to ya'al soon. I go on shift in 30 minutes.

Michael

 

MONDAY JANUARY 19, 2004

Hello,

Just thought I would give a rundown of my new daily routine, or I should say 'nightly' routine. First off, I'm working out of and living on an army firebase called K2 which is about 25 miles NW of Tikrit. We get chow around 430 PM, then convoy through 'Indian country' for 15 minutes to our worksite. This is where the actions at. What is at the site is classified, but we are the American advisors and core security team for this particular site. We have 300 Iraqi army personnel on our perimeter as our main security force, and trust me, it aint easy to trust these monkeys, you watch yer ass out there in the dark. But for the most part, these are the loyal ones, to explain how and why is difficult. It comes down to religious sect, language dialect, and where they were born. These people are VERY tribal. I've had chai tea with an Iraqi General and 2 Colonels each night since I've been here! They're pretty cool, and speak perfect English. This group is also of the "whirling dervish" persuasion: eat hot coals, eat razorblades, jam steel

rods through there cheeks, yeah ,they're religion is quite funky. Who needs beer when you got this freak show. So, in a nutshell. Using night vision we patrol (2 of us)the perimeter, ensuring that all fighting positions are manned, equipped, etc. I stepped out of the truck last night...whhooosh! right into a 4' deep fighting hole! We laughed our asses off. Those Iraqis like to dig. We have them pretty well equipped; heavy machine guns, AK 47's, grenades, night vision. I have an M-16 A2, 9mm pistol, an AK 47, and some grenades for now. I hopefully will be getting a Draguov sniper rifle in the next 2 days for big game hunting at a distance. After our rounds, we go off to one of our hide sites and wait for "ali baba"(the bad guy). Then at 0530 am its go home time, or I mean K2 home. So standby for more stuff soon. I have to go with my bro and get some night vision parts before we go to work.

Hope all is well.          

Michael

 

THURSDAY JANUARY 22, 2004 5:26 AM

Yeah right, LOL.

All's well here in the land of sand. Its been an interesting 24 hours so far. Last night 1 of our fighting positions with 6 Iraqi's was attacked with small arms fire, nobody was hurt in the shooting, that includes the bad guys (too bad). I was on the other side of the compound when it went down, so I just heard it. The terrorists got balls attacking a heavy machine gun emplacement, but instead of balls, I think its stupidity. There probing us to see what we're all about, and I have a feeling they're gonna find out the hard way soon. I woke up this morning to a rocket attack on base. I heard the launch (5 poofs), them whizzing over, and then the 4 impacts. Its no big deal because thereís nothing you can really do except listen and hope they donít get ya'. Crazy. 1 landed close enough that debris hit my hooch (yee haw) and1 damaged a humvee about 1/2 mile away, no injuries at all which is good. This is almost a daily occurrence here, pretty soon I wont even write about it. I am now one of the armories for are group, so working on and appropriating parts for all of our weapon systems is what I'm doing in my spare time. I'm also learning Arabic and Kurdish now. My Arabic is coming along well considering I havenít even been here a week (80 words, 20 phrases) and the Kurdish is coming along slower, but I'll get it. We have a mix of troops that we work with (Iraqi and Iraqi Kurds) and they HATE each other. We keep them separated to avoid conflict of course. Saddam really turned these people against each other, what a P.O.S. I really like the Kurds, and they love us to death, no kidding. I was dancing with them last night (a whole other story!) and they pretty much told me they would block bullets for me. Thatís some real good warm and fuzzy stuff there. So anyway, I should be quite fluent in Arabic and Kurdish by the time I leave, right now not getting them confused is the big issue, LOL.I hope all is well in the U.S. and I miss you all. I'll shoot out another sitrep (situation report) soon.

Ma Salama

Michael

REPLY TO MIKE

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the sitrep.  It's Friday morning and I'm moving pretty slow right now. Iíll write you more later - this evening when I'm not pressed for action.

Watch your ass!

Sylvan

FRIDAY JANUARY 23, 2004 6:13 AM

Mar haban, hello,

All's quiet here so far. Its raining and cold, so its all about hiding from

the weather with a watchful eye always open. And so you all know, today was a first for me in a long time....my hair went into a pony tail! YAY! I got tail, YAY! LOL. Ahh, the little things in life....I have a small request if you want to send anything over here. My peersh merdga (Kurdish soldiers), who are some of the greatest people I have ever had the privilege of working with, need to be hooked up. I want to give them all puka shell necklaces, so if anyone can find some cheap ones to give as gifts, I'll score more points than you can imagine. I would greatly appreciate it. The picture was taken last night after dinner with our Iraqi counter-parts. The Colonel is the one in desert camis, one is an interpreter, one is a religious leader, and the other is a....person that doesn't exist. I'll send more as soon as we get our photo shops up and working better.

I miss you all, take care.                  

Michael

 

TUESDAY JANUARY 27, 2004 5:22 AM

Hellos,

Everythings good over here. Nothin' really new, just staying busy. Here's a couple of pics. One of them is me and my huntin' partner Dave. The other is me and my buddies I came over here with before we were seperated. We're standing on a runway outside of Tikrit after driving up from Baghdad, from left to right: Thomas, me, Clay. Standby for more stuff soon, and thanks for the puka response. These Kurds are gonna freak out, and I'll definitely have a pic of that. Thanks for everything.

Michael

 
 
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 4, 2004 20:20:37
Cho nee marhaban ah salam ah likum,
Sorry that I've been delinquent in my emailing. I've been very busy with no time even for new pics, 
but some will be coming soon. The days seem to run together now, and I honestly couldn't even tell you what day 
of the week it is. I am definitely set into a routine. I would like to share the part of my daily/nightly routine 
that is the most exciting; the 20 minute convoy from hell. 
Its still dark early in the AM, we take off in our trucks with no lights, weapons out the windows covering all sides, 
wearing night vision goggles, driving across the flat farmland on very small 2 lane roads at speeds between 90-100mph. 
We travel that fast because it makes it more difficult for the bad guys to command detonate a roadside bomb, 
and with the lights out they cant even see us. It is very intense and it may sound crazy, but I enjoy it. 
And can you believe they even pay me to have this much fun! 

I love it! Oh, and I forgot to mention, there are no traffic laws here, so 
you can basically drive like a complete maniac at all times. 
You actually have to be a wild driver because the Iraqis are wilder than you sometimes. 
I just got off and I'm gonna go crash soon. 
I usually wake up around 2 in the afternoon and go "out on the town" at 5 for the all night show. 
I found out today that I will probably be changing to a full time convoy gunner, 
which is basically doing the above for 12 hrs a day. It reminds me of the movie "Road Warrior", 
except there's no crazy kid with a boomerang (not yet). 
So I'd be back on days driving all over Northern Iraq looking for ali-baba so I can run his ass over.... 
then reverse and do it again! AAHHHH, what fun...So anyway, the hairs getting longer, the goat-tee is huge, 
I've lost 8 lbs and I'm eating well (???), and I got a new machine gun (a M249 SAW belt fed for all you gun lovers out there) 
that makes me happy. I'm staying low and moving slow, and I'm always *AWARE*, and I am not complacent, 
so no worries. I'll have some good pics soon, promise. 
Qua ha vees, ma salama, fia mana la

Michael

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 7, 2004 12:30:44
Hey all,
Well, I have a night off so I'm relaxing and getting stuff done; laundry, cleaning mud off everything, 
you know....normal stuff. Here's a pic my buddy took last week during the Muslim Xmas, the feast/sacrifice day 
or something. 
\
They sure were amped up that day. You might recognize these guys from another picture 
taken a couple of weeks earlier, left to right Iraqi Captain, Colonel, Lt., then of course us.... 
It was raining crazy outside that night, so we hid out for awhile and took part in the festivities....
knives in the head, eating fire, eating a fluorescent light bulb! wow huh? Not us! them. 
They're officially whacked I think, (secretly I really enjoy it when they do this stuff, I think I'm gonna bring a red hot poker 
for them to....) LOL. I feel safe when they're having the "Arab mosh pit" though, I think that's because My backs 
to the tent wall and I'm heavily armed. After the freak show we had a great meal; lamb, chicken, rice, pita bread, 
and...a little of the official delicacy stuff....lamb brain and eyeball (1 each only). Nasty, did I say nasty? 
hella nasty, but you kinda don't have a choice. They consider it very offensive not to take food offered to you, 
so the quick decision kinda goes like this: "hmmm, eat the brains..or...shoot it out with 50 Iraqis who are armed 
with guns and sharp things sticking out of their bodies who are quite gay (most of them, no kidding, 
jeesh does it ever end?) 
Well, I think I made the proper decision, and when I was done I walked out backwards very slowly.....
LOL. If you think I'm embellishing any of this, all I can say is I wish I was. So, I'm sitting here giving a buddy a break 
on a radio watch and using his computer to send this. I think I'll go scrounge around for something cool, 
I need to make a table, so I'll go look for some scraps of wood or whatever, maybe I'll just snag one from somewhere....
ahhh what an adventure. See, on an Army base you cant steal anything because the Army owns everything, 
so its calledĒ appropriations", it never leaves base, so its still in the system. So around here you better glue it down 
or it'll be gone! like the case of 'swiss miss' hot chocolate I 'found' today, aahhh Mocha coffees for me for the next month, 
sweet. Maybe I'll speak of the 'plywood' incident someday.....LMAO....that sure is a nice desk and shelves you got there!  
Anywayz, I hope all is good and happy. Stay in touch got it!
I'm outa here for another adventurous evening.

Michael

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 14, 2004 10:27:35

Hey hey,
My new un-official title here in the land of sand; now its the land of the stickiest mud in the world, as its raining 
crazy right now. Nothing really new happening in the big scheme of things, but lots of little stuff. 
Hereís a crazy little ditty...We all have fears right? Of course. Some of them we know about, some we don't till it has been 
exposed to us. Well, for me I hate centipedes, they freak me out and always have (and this place is full of them!) 
but I can face it and squash it, literally. Well, I found a new fear the other day, land mines, in this particular case 2 
soviet 15-kilo anti-tank mines. Now the story that follows this experience is for another time and place while sitting 
and enjoying a tasty beverage, but let me tell you, pucker factor washigh! LOL. And if we catch the little bugger that laid 
them....well, let your imagination run....So my Arabic is coming along quite well. I have many teachers that test and 
teach me daily. Some of the annunciations are very tough as we do not have these sounds in the English language; 
ie. the hacking up sound, the guttural aaarrrhhh, and some other primitive grunting sounds. They all laugh as one of my 
favorite terms is used a lot; kabir teezy or monkey ass. I can now say "monkey ass" in 7 languages, and when I can say 
it in10 I'll hold the record. Oh yeah, this is cool.... I'll get to drive an M1 Abrams tank this week. A bunch of my Army buddies 
are gonna teach me, and I can't wait. I just need to find a couple of cars to drive over and I think my life's checklist will be 
complete....naaa...there's more stuff to do...like driving a tank through a used car lot! now were talkin'. So anyway, 
don't be worrying any extra about me. I'm working with some of the best operators in the world and feel very safe out here, 
and if I was a bad guy I would be very afraid. Hopefully I'll have some new/good pics soon. 
Fia mana la.

Michael

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 17, 2004 17:00:30

Hey hey,
Same stuff here. I just wanted to shoot out a quick mail. I started working normal human hours here doing an  abnormal 
human job, some things never change, LOL. You won't believe this...it snowed here yesterday! It started with a massive 
dust storm (massive to me) then it rained, then it snowed. It didn't stick anywhere but the mountains, but it is super cold 
out now, and very muddy. The mud here gets all over you, and there's no way you could possibly wash your clothes everyday, 
so here's what you do: hang your muddy pant up and let them dry, put on clean pair, next day you take old muddy pair and 
beat/chip the old mud off and viola! you have clean pants! So 2 pair of pants last all week, and they have to because laundry 
detergent is at a premium here, its very difficult to find, but we manage. Yeah, I know, we have internet, steak, showers, 
and no laundry detergent.....go figure. Hopefully in the future it will be easier for me to send pics. Right now I have to 
download them in a buddies computer, then he sends them to me, and then I send'em to you. I have a ton of good one's, 
so hang on.  Well its time for me to get racked up for work; clean mud off rifle, shower, breakfast, put the rack on (the rack 
is the 35 lbs. of gear I wear every day: armor,ammo,radio,med, etc.), and get ready for a cold ride. Hope all is good, and 
standby for some new pics soon.

Michael


THURSDAY FEBRUARY 26, 2004 17:53:43

Here's my new mailing address. Anything in transit after 4 March will be sent back to the states.
Michael Price
Civilian Contractor
USA Environmental
HHB Divarty
Unit# 92600
APO AE 09393-2600
Good stuff coming soon.
Michael

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 28, 2004 17:13:32

Well, go figure. The Army gave me the wrong mailing address, and of course thats the new one I gave you. 
Do not send anything to that address, just hold on to it. If you did, oh well, it'll be back in 7 weeks.  
So, don't send me ANYTHING until this new address is sorted out. Sorry about the prob.
Michael

MONDAY MARCH 1, 2004 17:45:00

Here it is, the real new one:
Michael Price
USA Environmental Inc.
HHB Divarty
APO AE 09393-2600
Its been very busy the past couple of weeks. I work in the sunlight hours now, which is still a big change from the nights 
for me. The mission is different also, but no less exciting.  One of the items in my "life checklist" was checked off the other 
day. I got to drive an M1 Abrams main battle tank! BAM!, and oh yeah, it kicked butt.  Thats one serious piece of equipment. 
We even went out to the range and shot it. Hopefully this week I'll get to go out with those Army boyz again, they got some 
cool toys, LOL.  The weather is starting to warm up fast, its in the 70-80 degree range every day. We better enjoy it while 
we can because it gets up to 140 degrees here in the summer.  My new Kurdish name is 'Hivill', pronounced 'Hevall', it means 
friend and brother....it probably means****head and their just not telling me, LOL. Na, these guys love me. We get along 
great and I do my best to make sure they get takin care of. My Kurdish is coming along slowly, but my Arabic is flying. Its 
amazing, now big sentences are being formed, and its really freakin' out the Arabs. I even had my first dream in Arabic the 
other night. Whoa.  Well, I gotsta go get breakfast and then haul booty. I'm working on my picture problem so standby 
like me.
Michael

THURSDAY MARCH 4, 2004 16:59:40

This is almost unbelievable....the Army gave us the wrong address again! If you sent something, oh well, 
we'll see what happens. Otherwise DON'T SEND ANYTHING till someone pulls their head out of their ***. 
This is some pretty bad form on someoneís part, and it has caused an uproar as I'm sure you can imagine. 
So standby. When I get the new address I'll wait for 3 days to see if they change it again, and THEN I'll give it out, ok?  
Otherwise, everythingís great....busy and crazy. Pics and video comin soon...
Michael

TUESDAY MARCH 9, 2004 18:43:45

Maybe this address will work for a week or so....
Michael Price, civilian
USA Environmental
FOB Lancer
APO AE 09392
This address thing has been a big pain in the booty. No one seems to be able to figure it out. So send it if you got it.  
Things have gotten pretty crazy here the past couple of days. I wish I could tell you more, but I can tell you that there's 
been a lot of shooting going on around here, and fortunately most of it is from us. I'll try to send some new pics and maybe 
a video clip in a zipped format later today (I keep promising this huh?) Other than that, I must get back to the grind. 
Out.
Michael


EDIT; THIS E-MAIL IS INSERTED TO BETTER UNDERSTAND MIKEíS MESSAGE, AS OUR BIRTHDAYS FALL ON MARCH 29TH.
>From: Sylvan Tyrrel <sylvan007@sbcglobal.net>
>To: Michael Price <vdmfp@hotmail.com>
>Subject: Re: maybe
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 14:49:47 -0800 (PST)
>Hi Mike,
>Nice to hear from you, always.  The 29th is coming up - I'll be 68 - did I say that!  Shit - just another day in the life of an 
old fart.  My single cylinder (Kidney) is still working good - taking medication to keep it that way, and watching my carbs 
and sugar.  If your address proves to be good I'll be sending you something that I know you'll need - no not condoms - 
more practical for the times.
Take good care of yourself.
Sylvan

WEDNESDAY MARCH 10, 2004 17:44:24  

 

Yep, we complete another trip around the sun again soon. We'll have to party it up when I come to Dallas next. 
When that is I don't know. This address should be good. It will work, we just have to drive 40k if it doesn't come to our 
camp direct.  All is well, tell everyone I said hi.
Mike

TUESDAY MARCH 16, 2004 23:11:43

Heya,
Here's 1 of 2 pics I'm sending out. Because of the picture size I had to compress it using winzip, so to view it you will 
have to 'un-compress it'.  Here's what you do if you want to see it.
1. download winzip if you don't already have it. (www.winzip.com)
2. extract it
3. viola!
Its pretty simple, and you'll need it when I start sending video clips. The picture is about 2 weeks old. 
I'm with some of our Iraqi security counterparts doing some "security" stuff. A funny story. Before we go on a convoy, 
we have what's called a convoy brief, basically going over the route, contingencies, threat assessment, etc. 
We're all standing there and the team leader says "current threat level in this AO (area of operations) is high" right at that 
EXACT moment, THOOMP THOOMP.........shhhrrrrrr...  shhrrrrrr.... BOOOMM   BOOOOOM!!!!  2 mortars rounds were fired at 
us from about 2000 meters away and flew over our heads and landed about 500 meters away, can you believe the timing? 
Nobody even flinched, we laughed our asses off! LOL. We would've chased them down, but the terrorists haul butt quickly 
after shooting because they want to live, besides, sometimes they booby trap the areas. So you just kinda blow it off.  
I know this all sounds wild, but this is such a normal thing around here, you just have to laugh. LOL. Everythingís going 
very well around here. Eating and sleeping good, working a lot, training, operating, etc, etc. I love it. I do miss everyone 
though, and wish the U.S. wasn't so far away. I'll be sending another pic in a different email after this one, so standby. 
I'll also throw in another story from the land of 'the camel's butt'.
Michael

 

 

WEDNESDAY MARCH 17, 2004 04:40:37

Here we go. choppin' photos is not my specialty, so bear with me. A buddy of mine took this picture back when 
I was workin' nights. I'm at an Iraqi position called 'Cobra' about 10 at night. The launcher in my hand is one of our 
special treats for ali baba, its called an AT4 anti tank rocket, and it is 84mm of high explosive love for any vehicle that 
warrants dismantling. Meow!  Today has been somewhat of a lazy day for me, so I'm kickin' around getting a lot of the 
little stuff done; cleaned my room, laundry, 2 hrs cleaning my guns (I know a couple of you just scoffed in dis-belief, 
as gun cleaning has never been one of my desires), and DVD watching. There really is absolutely nothing to do here 
if your not out 'in the bush', I hate sitting around. Now, if I could sit around and have a couple of beers that would be 
different.  But, alas, there is NO alcohol consumption of any kind allowed in this theatre. A good policy all things considered. 
 Well, it is time fo me to go. Thank you again for your back up.  Oh, if your mail box is too full to receive a 700kb mail, 
you might want to CLEAN THAT SHIT OUT!!!

Michael


THURSDAY MARCH 25, 2004 21:35:56

I think we moved....but my stuff is still in the same place. Yep, the address changed AGAIN. Our 2 star general didnít like 
'forward operating base Lancer' so he changed it to 'forward operating base Summerall'. UUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHGG, ok. 
So here it is:
Michael Price
USA Environmental
FOB Summerall
APO AE
09392-0000
Any mail coming to any of the old addresses' will still get here, so don't worry. I'll send a pic later.
Fia mana la
Michael

 

>From: Sylvan Tyrrel <sylvan007@sbcglobal.net>
>To: Michael Price <vdmfp@hotmail.com>
>Subject: Once A year

Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2004 20:46:41 -0800 (PST)

To My Nephew in the Land of Sand,
>My toast to you - for a happy March 29th Birthday.
Live Long and Prosper,
Uncle
Got your phone message....

SUNDAY MARCH 28, 2004 22:08:14

And to You, Uncle
Here's to another trip around the sun. Happy Birthday
I look forward to seeing you soon    
Michael

SATURDAY MARCH 29, 2004 15:58:39

Hey Uncle,
I appreciate the gesture of some fine booze, but as you know, can't have it. This environment is too hectic to drink 
anything in anyway, your just too "switched on" here. The past few days have been stressful in many ways, but Its not 
a problem for me. Most people would shit their pants if they had to do some of this stuff, LOL, but if you stay focused 
your OK.  I hope your doing well, keep that kidney happy, and let me know if you need anything. I'm all set here, so don't 
worry about sending anything....unless you can slip a fine piece of Dallas pussy in the box! I'll talk to ya' soon. Look forward 
to seeing you in Dallas soon.
Michael
 

TUESDAY MARCH 30, 2004 16:17:36

Hellos from the other side of the planet,
I have some pics going out in the next mail. They are:  My partner Dave and I with some Iraqi security force guys 
taken just the other day. And the other is me posing with a 3 lb. piece of shrapnel that had just recently gone flying by. 
Let's see... in bullet form: *My Arabic is coming along great. I regularly dream in it and have quite a few teachers now. 
Its cool now that I can actually sit with Arabs and actually figure out what their talking about. Its not an easy language 
for an English speaker to get as there are quite a few tones that we have never used in our lives. *The weather is getting 
much warmer now, and this is just the beginning. We can expect temps as high as130 degrees this summer. So now we 
enjoy the cool 85-90 degree weather. *CRITTERS. This place is full of nasty little buggers. Asps and sand vipers are bad 
news; the asps will kill you as there is no antivenin. 2 types of scorpions, both big and ugly, one of which is deadly. 
Centipedes (my favorite) and the award winning Camel spider. Get on the internet and search for the camel spider, 
it has to be the ugliest/scariest thing I've ever seen, and whoa is it huge. Flies? Only the most vicious disease carrying flies 
in the world (so it seems). They will attempt to fly into any orifice you present, so watch out!  Ah, that was an easy way to 
get some stuff out. Stand by in the next mail for the pics, with more to come. Can anyone host a 50 meg video on their own 
server for me? I have a great music video clip that we made and would like to share it. Let me know.
More to come soon.
Michael

TUESDAY MARCH 30, 2004 16:21:04

2-PICS FROM MIKE


 
 
 

TUESDAY MARCH 30, 2004 16:30:45

This is my buddy "Lucky Ducky". He lives in a pouch on my belt and is....well, my lucky duck. My friend Kelly gave 
him to me right before I left and 'Lucky' and I have been inseparable since. Some of you have met him, and some of 
you will, just remember to pet the duck.
Michael


 

 

THURSDAY APRIL 1, 2004 17:16:20

Due to overwhelming response I need to inform everyone that I'm ok. The crap that happened yesterday is a good 
example of the brutality and terrorist mindset of a lot of people here. Where in Islam does it say this is ok? 
I knew one of the 'Blackwater' security guys killed in Falluja, most of us here knew him as he used to work for us here. 
So, another day begins here, but nothing has changed. We remain vigilant, never complacent; today could be the day 
for some payback.  I'll send some more pics in a couple of days. I'm really busy right now, barely had time to write this 
mail.
Ma Salama

Michael

SUNDAY APRIL 11, 2004 17:14:33

 
Just a quick note or now. I don't have much time to write these days. As I'm sure your aware it has 'hit the fan' here, 
and this is no understatement. I'm pissed; I'm pissed at many things. Oh well.  Unfortunately, as normal, due to security 
restrictions I can't go into it. Just keep watching the news and don't take them too seriously Weíre all fine currently, 
we've had some injuries, but nothing serious. I watched the Army go to work on some Maddi Army in the open yesterday 
and it was good. I had 'ring-side' seats.  My free time is rare now, so expect a decrease in communication from me for a 
while. We're bustin' our butts on a lot of different missions, some of which keep us out all night. Stay in touch. I have some 
great pics coming soon.

Michael


MONDAY APRIL 19, 2004 17:55:51

Here's a pic my buddy took yesterday North of Tikrit.

 

TUESDAY APRIL 20, 2004 18:17:41

The Trunk Monkey.
If you didn't already know, I'm currently on the convoy team here in lovely Iraq. Our job is basically to protect the convoy 
vehicles, personnel, and certain cargos from the little nasties that plague us here. I cannot be specific as to who, what, 
when, or why, so just roll with it.  My current position is that of the "trunk monkey"
Mission: Rear security
Tools: M249 SAW (squad automatic weapon) 5.56mm belt fed love. 
1-4X  SN4 scope attached.
I'll be sending more pics of me and the other "road warriors" as were affectionately called soon. Everything here is great. 
I've never had so much fun.
Michael


 

  THIS WAS THE LAST MESSAGE I RECEIVED FROM MIKE.

 

SUNDAY APRIL 25, 2004 21;52;07

Dear all from Michaels mother,
Mike's brother has just sent you an email.  Please understand that he is very upset at this time as we all are.  
Michael has been wounded and to the extent we do not know.  I got a call from Washington, D.C. and from his captain 
saying that he was in Baghdad at a U.S. Army hospital and he is stable.  That is all they can tell us right now, except 
that he has undergone surgery.  We know nothing more.  I will be up all night for any calls that I may get on his update 
and if any more details arrive, I will let you know by email.  Pray for Mike - he needs all the love and support from his 
family and friends
God bless Mike and all of us.

MIKE, ITS KEITH PLEASE BE OK PLEASE BE OK.!!  I WANT TO BE THERE WITH YOU SO BAD!! I DON"T KNOW WHAT 
TO DO I'M GOING F_______ CRAZY CRAZY!!   I"M LIKE A CAGED WILD LION.!                                                                      
NEVER HAVE I HURT!! LIKE I DO RIGHT NOW, NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MY MIND IS RACING, MY HEART IS POUNDING, MY CHEST HURTS.THE THOUGHT 
OF YOU LAYING IN THE HOSPITAL BED AND NOT KNOWING. I CAN"T TAKE IT.             
PLEASE GOD,LORD,JESUS BRING MY LITTLE BROTHER HOME SAFE!! I PRAY,
I PRAY, 

YEAH I"M A MAN I'M STRONG! BUT I CAN"T STOP CRYING, I LOVE YOU MIKE 
I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR YOU ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!!

YOUR BROTHER, KEITH

 

MONDAY APRIL 26, 2004 01:16:28

From Michaels's mother:
Michael is in a U.S. Army hospital in Baghdad.  I have heard from his captain and he said that he was walking and 
trying to help his 2 buddies that were killed before they took him in.  He is in stable condition but was hit in the head.  
Pray for Mike - he is always the one that will watch out for all of us.  An update when I have one.
Alice Smith

 

MONDAY APRIL 26, 2004 12:39:59

FROM ALICE SMITH:
I received the following email this a.m. from Cochise.  Mike is at the U.S. Army Hospital in Baghdad.  
Please pray for him.
From: CarolLCoffey@aol.com [mailto:CarolLCoffey@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, April 26, 2004 1:33 AM
To: CochiseConsult@aol.com
Cc: cochise@qualitynet.net; RANGER2704@aol.com
Subject: Information for Mrs. Price, Tammi or Steve (and Jesse),
The neurosurgeon who operated on Mike Price is named Dr. Gulick. (sorry no first name or rank.) 
I have a DNVT phone number to the hospital, but I don't know how you can reach that kind of line from the US, 
unless she can be patched through by calling a military base. I have heard of people doing that, but I have never 
done it myself. 
George gave Jesse the latest medical update on Mike, which is critical but stable, and he will be having a CAT scan 
this afternoon, as I understand it. The Dr. believed that considering the damage to the brain and the loss of blood that 
Mike is hanging in there incredibly well and is really fighting to live. The Dr. said that due to the area of the damage 
(right side of the brain) he could have left side paralysis, but speech is controlled by the left side of the brain so he may 
be able to speak if he is able to pull through. He has some damage to the left side of the brain from particles that 
continued through from the right side, but they can't tell how much damage they made, they are hoping to know more 
after the CAT scan. We will keep you informed when we hear anything. We plan to check in twice a day. At the end of 
the week they will evaluate where and when to take Mike for further medical care, after he has healed some and 
stabilized more. 
The DNVT number is: 302-538-2802. 

If you cannot patch through a military base, my next recommendation is calling the International Red Cross, 
supposedly they can connect family members to anywhere. Not sure how, Their numbers are:  
1-877-272-7337 or their DSN number 318-438-5552 
Hope this helps,
Carol Coffey

 

 

TUESDAY APRIL 27, 2004 12;16:34

 

An update on Michael:

 

Chris was in the hospital today to see Michael and to talk his doctors.  He said the swelling had gone done on his face and that his blood pressure was better.  They are considering a hole in his skull to relieve the pressure.  He is in a sedated state so he cannot move.  Someone is with him at all times.  I was happy to learn that the Army team of doctors is from Houston.  Have learned from Michael's father in a more recent call from Chris that from the CAT scan and the MRI, there are still fragments of bone and metal in his brain and they are just waiting for the swelling to go down and then move him to Germany.  This is not the news I would like to report but I was told this morning by Chris that Michael is even lucky to still be with us - and even with metal in his head he was still trying to help his buddies.  If anyone can come through this it will Michael.  Many prayer groups throughout the country are praying for Michael - most have been in contact with me.  God bless them, God bless you and may God give a very special blessing to a very special Michael. 

(From Alice Smith)

 

TUESDAY APRIL 27, 2004 20:38:26

 

For those of you that inquired about the two of Michael's team that lost their lives - they are:

Tommy Carter - had previously been with Delta Force

Glen Foster - had previously been with Special OPS

I received this info today from Cochise.

Hopefully a great update will come tomorrow on Michael.

 

(From Alice Smith)

 

WEDNESDAY APRIL 28, 2004 21:11:47

 

Michael's dad talked with his doctor early this morning and he reported that Michael is stable enough to move to Landsthul, Germany as his blood pressure is good and the swelling is down in his face and brain.  Another CAT scan has been done but we do not have the results yet.  Michael is scheduled to be moved in the next day or so to Germany for evaluation and then be moved on to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington.  My husband and I will be leaving Friday from Dallas to Germany and Michael's dad will be leaving Friday from Los Angeles.  It is unknown at this time what his injuries may have caused or will cause for him in the future.  We will soon know and will deal with whatever it is and so will Michael.  He will need the love and support from his friends and family.  Right now he needs your prayers for his continued improvement and I know he has them.  I will update you when we learn more about his condition.

Now, you all know Michael and each of you mean something special to him or you would not be on his email list.  So, I am going to share the following with you.  When I could see that Iraq was going down hill overnight and the contractors were being brutally killed, I emailed Michael and begged him to come home.  This was his response to me:

 

Mom,

 

I understand your concern,  I really do. But you must understand that its not just the money that drives me here. I am staying safe as possible, some things as you know are just inheritly dangerous, and there is nothing I can do about that except stay strong and vigilant. I am not stupid like some people who greatly underestimate the bad guys here, they hate us. I know and understand your concern, if I was in your shoes I would feel the same way. I am sorry to put you through this stress and you know it is not my intention to worry you. I just can't help who and what I am, and as crazy as it may sound to some, there is no other place in the world I'd rather be at this moment. I will be home soon, I don't know when, but I promise I will be there.  I love you Mom.

 
Michael

***************************

FRIDAY APRIL 30, 2004 04:59:39

 

Everyone:

 

This note is the saddest one of all, Mike was unable to be evacuated from Baghdad, and he passed away at the staging area.

 

Thanks to all of you for your support.

 

Vernon Price

 

 

FRIDAY APRIL 30, 2004 08:54:39

I am sorry to tell every one of Mike's friends that he passed away in Irag at 11 PM, Irag time, on his way to be flown to Landstoul, Germany. We all know he was doing what he wanted to do and felt it was a good cause and was proud of what he was doing. We will keep everyone posted, via this email, regarding the services.

 

GOD LOVE HIM.

 

Ron Smith  (edit; for Alice Smith)