Sammy is Home too
Just wanted to share the good news with you. Sam
arrived back at Ft. Hood early Wednesday morning (August
27th). I was able to go to Ft. Hood for his homecoming.
It was great! They had a very nice ceremony in the gym.
He is so happy to be back home on American soil and I was
happy to have him here. He is currently outprocessing
and attending briefings. He is scheduled to depart
Saturday at noon and arrive back at our house around 8:00
p.m. I can't wait...we have a lot to catch up on!
I will go for now as I have to get busy getting things
ready for his homecoming. Thanks so much for everything.
You will be hearing from Sammy soon.
Rhonda aka Lou
Brian is Home
Hi......The warrior is home. I went to Denver
and brought him home on Monday. He is in the garage as
we speak unpacking boxes. He didn't have to go to
Takrit. I will have him email you as soon as he gets
back on the computer. We are really happy to know that
Sammie will be coming home soon also. Did you know that
Brian was able to fly to Arifjan and spend a couple of
hours with Sam smoking cigars and sharing stories. The
powers of persuasion. You should be hearing from Brian
soon. Thanks for staying in touch with me all these
A note from Rhonda
Hi, there. It is great to hear from you. Guess
what! Sammy is coming home the first part of September.
He is supposed to go back to Ft. Hood for about 1 week to
outprocess and attend required adjustment briefings. He
is so ready. He said the new army is just not what is is
cracked up to be. He is planning on retiring as soon as
he can. I think the patches look great. He will love
The last I heard Brian was still on active duty, but
may have been released by now.
I hope this finds you well and kickin'. Hopefully we
can all get together soon. Thanks for everything.
Rhonda aka Lou
A note from Sam
Julie and Edd,
Thanks for taking the time to respond! I apologize for
me taking so long to do the same. We've hit the ground,
or should I say sand, running! We're flying about
everything we have every day. Temps have been topping in
the aircraft some days at +50c. The heat and grit are
playing heck with our aircraft and crews.
Today we had a weather hold, it was dusty. The
visibility was less than 1/4 of a mile, and this was just
a"small" dust storm. You should see the big ones!
I hope this finds everyone well. I have to run for
now, take care of yourselves, and I hope to see ya
Brian's coming home, a note from Kathy.
Brian has left Baghdad and is temporarily back in
Udairi, Kuwait. Within a few days will be going to Doha,
Kuwait to clean and pack equipment. He is scheduled to
take the boat home (25 days or so) on May 21st. Guess who
he was able to see yesterday? Sammy Hinch! Sam is in
Arifjan, Kuwait working in Operations and flying. Some
how Brian was able to get the bosses to let the crew fly
to Arifjan where Brian and Sam smoked a couple of Cuban
cigars while they visited at Sam's "hooch". Sam is fine
and can be reached at his military email address. Do you
have that? It is: firstname.lastname@example.org That's all for
Another letter from Sam
Just a short note to let you know that everything is
OK. We begin flying in earnest Monday. Some of the crews
flew almost 8 hours. For those of you that dont
know thats about 16 hours of time which includes
preflight, planning, refueling etc. It makes for a long
day. Yesterday was, I believe, the hottest day weve
had. OK, everybody in unison How hot was it?
I dont know. After it reached 111 I quit looking at
the temperature gauge.
A point of interest 1 pilot that flew said the area he
flew into was almost as if you entered into a time warp.
It looked like pictures straight out of the Bible. He
absolutely loved it and wants to go back.
I do have a comfortable area to sleep. Its an
air-conditioned tent. I share it with 11 other folks.
Its great compared to being in a warehouse with
1000 people stacked in and the doors open for
ventilation. B/T/W we figured it up last night, with the
12 pilots in the tent we have a total 348 years of flying
experience. Your guess is correct, none of us are in our
Ive been assigned to operations. My friend asked
me if I would help him. He wants to use my experience. I
agreed, but I did so with one caveat and that was when he
could do without me I wanted to fly.
Ive already flown and saw some of the country
while receiving my Environmental Checkout.
Camels are in herds as are the goats. Some of the goats
look really pitiful and some of the camels are
huge.Anyway, enough rambling from me, I must get to
Everybody take care.
A letter from Sam
Here I am in Beautiful Kuwait! NOT!!! Well, not
beautiful where I am. We are in a place called Camp
Arifjan. We are located about 10 miles SE of Kuwait City
and about 5 miles inland from the coast.
We left Ft. Hood Texas, Tax Day (15 APR 03), we
arrived 17 APR 03, however, it seems like months ago.
It's hot, dusty and dirty. 101 degrees in the tent as I
type this and it's only Noon.We've got our aircraft off
the boat, all put together and here at our location. Some
of us were able to move into airconditioned tents that we
share with 11 other folks. It sure beats the
non-airconditioned hangars that housed 1000 of us
We have showers but sometimes they are packed. The
"facilities" leave something to be desired. We have the
original "Fiberglass Micro-waves 1 holer" and we have
small trailer like things that have a row of 8 RV type
toilets. But it's much better than digging our own!
I feel right at home after living in the 5th wheel for
more than 6 months - and it had the same brand of potty!
:) Phones are at a premium. I've got to visit with Lou
only twice. I sure do miss my Bride!!! We did get Lou
moved into the house and the 5th wheel gone before I
left, so I'm really happy about that. Lou has a safe room
when the storms come up and I'm super happy about that. I
don't have to worry about her trying to weather out a
storm in that 5th wheel!
Anyway, enough rambling for now. I'm just fine and "I
keeps on smiling"!
Y'all take care and check on Lou for me, because if
you really know her you realize she's too stubborn to ask
for help! I love ya Baby but you know it's the truth! I
don't have a stubborn bone in MY body!
Uh-oh I gotta go I think I heard Thunder. :)
News of Sam
Good morning. How are you doing? I am doing
okay, some days better than others. I try to keep busy
and that seems to help. Anyway, I wanted to let you know
I have a mailing address for Sam. I have only been able
to talk to him twice and only for 2-5 minutes each. He
seems to be doing alright, but they (at that time) did
not have information on who they were attached, a
mission, or timeframe. He sounded a bit homesick, but
other than that, ready to do his job and get back home. I
am sure he would welcome any correspondence as you
probably remember it's great to hear from home. He said
the wait for a phone is at least 3 hours. I think email
has the same problem. The location he is currently
assigned is set up for around 3500 troops but there are
18,000 there now. I have heard some of the guys are
buying cell phones with pre-paid minutes. They are either
out of phones at the PX or Sam has not had time to go get
one. Maybe soon, I hope. Here's his mailing address. He
thinks the mail will be forwarded if they move to another
location because of the unit identification code.
CW5 Samuel T. Hinch, Jr.
Co G, 149th Avn Bn, WV71AA
Arifjan, Kuwait (KU)
Thanks so much for your concern and keeping in touch.
Have a good day.
Walker sends this note from Brian
"26 Feb 03
Excuse the dirty paper and what else comes with this
letter. The desert is not a clean place to be. Trust me
on that one.
I have been in Camp Do Ha since the 13th of Feb. We,
the Unit, is staying in a warehouse. That is about 180
Troops sleeping in an open warehouse district and with
the new Army that is man and woman, this place puts on a
new meaning to political correctness.
I am a Blackhawk pilot with the 507th Med. Co (AA)
assigned to the 3rd ID. We are at Do Ha waiting for the
war to start. Do Ha is is a post for about 1200 troops.
On any given day there are between 9000 to 10,000 troops.
Want to wait in line? Just like boot camp.
Here, the land line for computers is between 6-9 K per
second. I am allowed 30 minutes on a computer a day. It
takes about 15 minutes just to get signed on to my army
e-mail account. I have given up.
Sam [Hinch] has been activated. I saw Sam at
Fort Hood for about 6 hours. My son and I took Sam to
dinner and we talked and talked. I have no idea where Sam
is right now. I did write Rhonda a letter. Hoping she
would forward the letter to Sam. I think Sam might be
headed to Turkey. He is not a happy camper.
If you could, do me a pause. Put out the word on where
I am and my address. We will be moving when the war
starts but the Unit will put in a change of address for
CW4 Brian Holcomb
507th Medical Company (AA)
Camp Do Ha
APO AE 09304
Right now I have no idea when I/Sam are comming home.
"The needs of the Army" will dictate our stay here. I
think Iraq will be another on a long list of peace
I will keep all of you posted on what I am doing. Soon
I hope to have a satellite phone. I will be able to call
the States from the middle of nowhere. Look out
Hope to see you soon. And and by the way, we have CAV
AH-64's here. And I am only one of many Vietnam Vets. I
wear the Cav Patch with pride.
Miss you all, your Brother in Arms,
Former C Troop.1/9th WO pilot
And one from Sammy
I'm still at Hood, but we don't think for much
longer. We were part of the forces that were going into
Turkey, now all of that's been shifted. We are waitng on
the boat, with all of our equipment, to get there and
then we feel we'll be getting on an airplane shortly
after that happens.
Lou's fine and in the new house. I was able to be at
home a few days and help her move in.
Thanks for the address. They told us to stop our
incoming mail as of last Thursday. I'll let you know my
address when I know! :)
Word on Brian from Kathy
Hi Jack. Word travels fast....Yes Brian is in
Baghdad. He is at the former Saddam Int'l....been there
for about a week where he finally got a shower after 15
days. The first time he called me he was on the roof of
Iraqi Airlines. I think he will be there for awhile, but
will let you know if he changes location.
Message from Sam
I just want to clarify that Im not pissed or
unhappy about being activated! First and foremost I am a
professional aviator/soldier. I have been in the military
for over 33 years and I am damn proud of that and proud
to be of service to my country! It was the way the
activation came about.
I was given 36 hours notice. I was informed, just the
day before that I would not be activated, nor could I
volunteer to be activated. I work for a sorry Colonel in
my chain-of-command that doesn't have any ethics. He
would rather lie to you than tell you the truth. As Brian
stated most of the RLOs today are only interested
in their careers, not the soldiers. I wanted to set the
record straight. I am proud to do my job wherever I am
sent! And maybe, just maybe, Ill have the privilege
to save someones ass as this old man did 30 + years
Hell Sam, a lot of us would like to get a shot at
A note from Sam's Rhonda
Hi guys, good to hear from both of you. I am
sorry that it has taken me so long to respond to your
emails. We finally finished the house, closed, and moved
(partially). Things have been really hectic and busy at
work also. Anyway......Sam is still at Ft. Hood awaiting
deployment orders. He says the tempers are starting to
flare and bordom has set in. They have insignificant
classes daily, just to fill time. He has been able to
come home a couple of weekends to see the final stages of
the house and help with things. He is most relieved to
have me out of the "Ranchero Deluxe" before the Spring
storms are upon us. He is supposed to get a 4-day pass
this weekend. He should get to our house around 3:00 p.m.
on Friday and leave Monday a.m. Each time we see each
other, we are prepared for it to be the last for awhile.
One thing, we don't take any time that we have together
I am forwarding Kathy's recent email concerning Brian.
It sound likes he is miserable. I am sure this is not
what he had in mind for the end of his military career,
but he is making the best of it and doing his duty ---as
I will go for now, but I will keep in touch and
definitely let you know when and if Sam deploys overseas.
Thanks for your care and concern.
And one from Brian's Kathy
Hi, Rhonda.....Here I go again asking the same
question....Where is Sam? Is he still in the projects or
has he deployed and if so where? How is the new house and
more importantly how are you? Here is the latest on
Bubba. I talked to him two days ago and he was very
tired, dirty and said the food (which I think are MRE'S)
tastes like _ _ _ _! He was not a happy camper. A crew
member's wife called me last night said they were back in
Udari for a couple of days waiting out the storm. Which
is good as they at least have showers there and hopefully
there was a place for them to get some sleep. Brian said
he had not slept in 3 days. I was shocked, but I am
hearing via the news that this is common. He is doing
lots of flying. Take care and keep in touch.......Love,
And this just in from Kathy
Hi...Sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday. I
had not heard from Brian for a few days. He called at
4:30 am this morning and finally checked in.
He had gotten separated from the sat phone when they
got grounded in Udari due to the storms which turned out
to be a blessing. He was able to shower, launder some
clothes and sleep. So now instead of being really grouchy
he is now just grumpy. Back to normal. This is a
different war than he has experienced before. I hope he
will eventually look back on it with more perspective
than he has now. He says those in charge are more worried
about their OER's than their men and women. He has no
patience for that. He could not tell me where he was or
was moving to tonight. That's all I know for now. Thanks
for staying in touch...Kathy
A note from Sam.
Too much to do and not enouigh time to do it.
May be on the move to the place that going to vote for
us, not anything definite as of yet.
Hood still sucks!
Hold your breath and maybe this one will be over
More when I get more time.
A letter from Brian from Kuwait City.
Sounds like he's ready to roll. If you have any
trouble reading it let me know and I'll see if I can
decipher it. Click for Part 1
and Part 2.
CW4 Brian S. Holcomb
HHC 2/3 AVN
Attn: 507th Med. Co. AA
APO AE 09303-3914
A note from Brian
I have been talking to Sam and hope that time
permits us getting together. I will be leaving for the
desert on Tues and that doesn't give either of us much
time. Sam is pissed and I will try and calm him down. A
beer or two will do.
Shuttle parts are all over the place down here.
However we(the unit) don't have any aircraft. All the
60's are on the boat and we have NOTHING to fly. How do
you find a shuttle part with out putting someone on the
ground. There is a lot of forest out here and we need a
few good, and I mean really good scout pilots to find all
the stuff that fell to the ground.
Kathy will be sending you some pictures soon. I will
be in the desert in about a week and that is when I will
be sending pictures home. If Kathy can't figure out how
to send e-mail pictures I will have her send the CD and
that will cut out the middle man. We will get this done
one way or the other.................Brian
A note from Brian
I am still at Hood until about Tues the 11 of
Feb. I will be on the long plane ride to the "BOX" and
hope to be home some time in Sept or Oct. Will see what
the Army has in store for an old fart.
Sam should be here on Sun and he is not one happy
camper. I will try and get him drunk and change his
attutide. That may be harder that even I know. What this
e-mail is about is I gave you a wroung e-mail for Sam.
Here is the correct one: email@example.com.
Can you make all the necessary corrections. Thanks
And a note from Sam
A reprieve and a chance to catch my breath! We were
scheduled to depart Thursday, 6 February 2003, however,
we're now to depart Sunday, 9 February 2003 to beautiful
Ft. Hood, Texas. :)
So far as I can figure most of everything is packed.
What a chore, digging through stuff in storage to find
what I needed.
Anyway, I don't know if I'll be able to check the
OKARNG military email address after today so here's my
new military address. I'll be checking it when I gain
access to a computer whenever and wherever that might
My new military address is firstname.lastname@example.org
The email address that Rhonda will be checking is
Our home phone will be the same when it is hooked up
and operational in 30 to 45 days.
I'll be trying to find Brian either Sunday or Monday.
Everybody take care and I hope to see ya soon,
A note from Sam.
I was called to active duty Thursday afternoon and had
to report Saturday early. It's been very hectic and I
don't have much information. We leave Thursday, for Ft.
Hood, TX. From there who knows? So, now you know as much
as I do.
Take care and keep my Bride in your thoughts and
I was informed by Brian that Sam Hinch was called up
as well, below is Brians note.
Well Jack I have good news and bad news. Depends
on how you look at it. One I have sent Kathy some
pictures. And she will get time developed and some how
get them into the computer. I will be trying to get them
e-mailed to you, some how. I think this will be a
challange. I hope not. Now the bad news Sam Hinch has
been activated. Sam is no longer at work and therefore he
doesn't have e-mail. However Sam does have an Army
account and he will be able to get any e-mail sent to
that account. The same way I do. I/Sam needs this
information put on the web page and hopefully Sam will be
at Fort Hood soon. Isn't this just
I will keep you posted and I think that I will
be adding pictures to the site as I get them. Kathy will
be helping and I will be looking for some help and that
is where you come in. I am still learning this computer
stuff and at times think that I will break this thing. I
leave for the big sand box in about two days. I think
that this will be the trip of the life time(NOT).
Pictures will be comming.......Brian
I had heard that he was headed to the 4th Infantry and
then the 1st Cav, when I asked him I received this
Good morning, and I am not in the Cav or the 4th
ID. I ended up in a Medi-Vac unit and we are going. I am
still here at Fort Hood (home of the 1st Cav and the 4th
ID). I will stay state side for another 2-3 weeks and
them I will be east bound. Some 7500 miles to a country
that doesn't want us around. Sound familuar. Any way I
will try and keep you and the others up dated on what I
am doing and where I am going.........Brian
The first of the year Sam Hinch informed me that Brian
had been called up. This is his note to me:
I have been activated for about one year. At
least my orders say "No longer that 365 days".Yea right.
And we all know the Army and the truth telling that goes
on there. Any way I have to report to fort Benning GA
some time on Sunday, Jan 5, 2003. For the time being I
will have an Army e-mail address. So here it
is.....email@example.com ......see all of you in
about a year.......Brian