Well, it's confirmed.

Will you actually be going out on sorties into areas where fighting has been reported or will you just be relieving the soldiers already there and holding the position?

My unit got called up in March 2003 (a couple of weeks before we invaded Iraq). I didn’t get to go because I didn’t have all the training, but now I do and will go with my unit. In the last couple of years a lot of new equipment has come out and the Marine Corps is even using a newer weapon (the M16A4). However, with all that is going on, the gear isn’t getting to everyone right away, they are getting it to the deploying units first and then to active duty and then the reserves. Like the pack that my company is using has been around since Vietnam, but we should be getting the new ones though that came out in like 2001/2002. There has also been some recent devlopments and that stuff has only gone to the other units.

Sorties are flying missions and since I’m not a pilot, I won’t be doing any sorties. We’ll be doing security and if things go down, we’ll be there to stop it.

just thought i’d rehash that. God be with you.

Good luck, don’t do anything that seems stupid, and if you start narrating events to yourself, remember not to listen to the Doors.

Regardless of the politics that take you there, Info, I hope you and your unit comes home safely. Best wishes.

If you’re going to the Horn of Africa, I’d have to guess it’s somehow involved with the Darfur situation, whether it be maintaining refugee camps or something else UN associated.

May fate be with you.

Good luck, man. Try not to get hurt. Or die. One or the other!

Oh and watch out for parasites like malaria. To do that, make sure you avoid mosquitoes and take the required profylactic drugs (although I’d be kinda scared being in a camp full of people taking drugs that predispose them to psychotic episodes).
Furthermore, avoid bodies of water as that’s where a lot of insect vectors for drugs live. By avoid, I mean a mile at least. Some of the fuckers fly pretty far. If you see black flies or tse tse flies, consider them infected with something. Tsetse flies in that region of Africa carry a very bad version of african sleeping sickness. And if I say its very bad, believe it.
If you get a skin sore, get yourself checked for leishmania.

There are a lot of these things in Africa. A LOT. If you feel sick, don’t fuck around and think it’ll go away. See a medic. If he’s a dickwad, come here and while I can’t diagnose, I can maybe point you in the right direction and the military can take it from there.

Most importantly, if you wanna know what’s going around, look at the locals. If people have problems that are chronic (like elephantiasis - caused a parasite - ) then you’re more likely to see stuff in adults. If not, look at the children or the elderly, see what kind of stuff that they have. It’ll give you a good idea as to what you should watch out for because you are an immunologically naive individual going into this area and will thus be as prone to infections as the children.

And finally it goes without saying that you should watch the water you drink.

“They’ll be back. They’ll always come back.”

And so will you too, Nick. Having slight military experience helps understand your situation a little… but no real “situation” experience, I’m afraid. Good Luck.

The staying away from water thing might be a little hard to do since if we go on a patrol I’ll have to stay with the group and we are right by the Red Sea. If we look east, we can see it clearly (from the pictures, it looked like it’s possible to maybe even see the coast of Yemen and Saudi Arabia).

I’ll keep an eye out for those things you mentioned Sin. I might just post some symptoms here if any arise and see if it is something serious or not (the guys that went out on the volunteer mission didn’t have any problems so I’m not too worried).

984, we’re not doing anything with the UN or Darfur. In fact, I looked on a map and we’ll be over a thousand miles from Darfur. This mission is purely a part of America’s War on Terror.

Take care and stay safe, Nick.

Sorry, by bodies of water, I meant swamps, lakes, rivers, ponds, that kind of thing. I’m not aware of any vectors needing salt water to propagate. They need fresh water.

Godspeed man.

Yeah, good luck man… and don’t die!
Haha… anyway. Best wishes, and be back as soon as you can, eh?