Unnamed Airbase, Kuwait - I've been waiting for a flight to Baghdad with two reporters for the Fayetteville Observer, and CPT Mark Lappegaard, my personal escort from the 34th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office. Mark is Minneapolis native who currently lives in Duluth with his wife Edel, a native of Norway.
Flying standby is a game of wishful thinking followed by dashed hopes with any airline, and the US Air Force is no different. We were originally hoping to manifest on a flight at 10:30 am, but our names weren't called (hopes dashed). At 3:00 pm we gathered again with guarded optimism that this time it would be our turn. As they went down the list they called out one of the Fayetteville reporters names and then my name, but CPT Laapegaard and the other Fayetteville reporter were not called (confusion). They had managed to break up both of our parties, which didn't do any of us any good.
We discussed the situation, and I volunteered to give up my seat to the second Fayetteville reporter so they could stay together, and CPT Lappegaard and I would standby for the next flight at 7:00 pm. The Fayetteville guys were surprised and very grateful that I would do this. I explained "Minnesota Nice", and started getting my gear together to go to the internet cafe for a few hours. Fortunately, before I could leave they announced that there were more open seats on the 3:00 pm flight. CPT Lappegaard and I both made to revised list, and all four of us were on the plane.
Ah, the power of good kharma!
(Still waiting for the "3:00 pm" flight that apparently really leaves at 5:20 pm...)
Day by Day, by Chris Muir (updated daily)
Chris Muir is the cartoonist that I met in Kuwait. He spent two weeks in Iraq at the same time I was there in February 2007, and so thought it would relevant to showcase his work on my site. Here is a link to Chris' humorous travelogue of this Iraq trip: http://billroggio.com/archives/2007/03/arrival_alignright_v.php