TRACY TALK BLOG

Pray for SPC Joel DuBois – US Army

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As our brave men and women of the armed forces continue to serve sacrificially and bravely in all parts of the world, let us not forget to uphold them in prayer, especially those who have allegiance to two military forces:  The Forces of the United States, and the Army of the Lord God.

Joel Dubois is just one of thousand of Christian servicemen who need your prayer today.  He is a soldier in the U.S. Army. He is our friend, a Christian, a husband, and a father of four.  Join us in praying for his safety and for his family while he is gone until January, 2010.  May God protect him and bring him home safely when his duties have been fulfilled.

The following letter was written by Joel on March 14, 2009:

Dear Family and Friends,
14 March 2009
Dusty days here at Camp Liberty in Iraq. We had a thunder/lightning storm last night which turned everything into mud and you would think that the rain would keep the dust down for a few days at least. But sure enough, today was another hazy, dusty day. We’ve had several big dust storms. Imagine a very foggy day, but instead of moisture in the air it is dust. Dust gets everywhere, and after walks to work or chow it ends up in your mouth, nose and eyes. After the storms there is a fine layer of dust on everything at work and it takes several days just to clear it out of our building.

Camp Liberty is in western Baghdad. My area of operations on the post is approximately ½ mile square. I eat, work, sleep, go to the gym, go to chapel, and go to the store in an area surrounding Signal Hill, which is a man-made teardrop-shaped hill that Saddam built for some reason. This part of Baghdad used to be Saddam’s hunting grounds. It is now filled with housing barracks and T-walls (large concrete barriers used for protection against mortars and rockets). From where I live one can occasionally hear Muslim calls to prayer, otherwise this location could be some dusty corner of Phoenix. I live in what is called a “containerized housing unit” or CHU. It’s a 10×13 foot trailer that I share with another Soldier in the band – a trumpet player from Kansas City. We have a window and air-conditioning, and the latrines and bathhouse are within a short walk.

Regarding safety here, there is more likelihood of getting hit crossing the street than by mortars or rocket attacks on our post. Those things have happened in the past, but in the two months I have been here only one mortar attack has occurred. It happened while I was eating at the chow hall. The alarm sounded “incoming, incoming” and everyone got under the tables. After a few moments the “all clear” signal sounded and everyone got up and finished their dinner. In many respects it was more of an inconvenience than a safety hazard. But we do have a long year ahead of us and the bad guys are still out there, so I would appreciate your prayers. Signal Hill has a CRAM (counter rocket and mortar) weapon installed on it. It’s basically a large Gatling gun synced with a radar unit that detects incoming rockets and mortar and fires off molten copper at the incoming round.

All Soldiers wear either our army combat uniform or our physical training uniform. No civilian clothes are allowed. All Soldiers carry their weapons and 30 rounds of ammunition with them at all times. There are checkpoints at most of the facilities here on post, and no bags are allowed into the dining facility, recreation areas, or chapel.

The Chapel here is good, but I miss the fellowship that I enjoyed at Killeen Bible Church. I filled my ipod up with sermons before I left and have enjoyed listening to a sermon almost every night before falling asleep.
The 1st Cav Band performed for the Transfer of Authority from 4th Infantry Division to the 1st Cavalry Division as well as for my battalion’s Combat Patch Ceremony. The tuba group I’m in has done a couple of gigs also, but for the most part it has been a slow start musically. I practice with the tuba group three times a week and with the ceremonial band once a week. The show band performs usually every weekend but I am not in that ensemble. The band is scheduled to move into a new facility soon and that will bring some variety to the routine here while we get set up in our new facility. In addition to my musical duties I work in a gym twice a week. My duties are to clean it and monitor its usage. This is actually a good detail because it allows me time to work out and it is indoors and air-conditioned. I’d like to be doing music all the time, but it could be a lot worse.

Some things are very different about this environment. For instance – no children. I have not seen a child since I left Fort Hood two months ago. You don’t think about things like that until they’re gone. I miss my wife and kids.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Jeanine is the real hero in this situation. She is “holding down the fort” at home while I am here and I would appreciate your prayers for her and Chloe, Will, Lauren, and Emma. This is a 12-month tour and I should be returning no later than January 2010.

My address here is:
SPC JOEL DUBOIS
1CD BAND, DSTB, 1CD
CAMP LIBERTY
APO, AE 09344

Best wishes,
Joel

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