Today I left for my trip to Baghdad. The way you travel in theater is quite different than you will travel in the way you would travel in the US. It is a long ever-changing process. You cannot make travel reservations more than 4 days before your intended trip, but not less than 3 days before you plan to leave. Then in order to catch your flight you have to arrive at the airport three hours before your flight. I like to be early but there is nothing to see or do in a military passenger terminal - you would think you would at least have a Starbucks. I waited my requisite three hours and got on a C130 to head to Baghdad. A C130 is a 4 engine propeller plane that holds about 75 soldiers. It does not have seats or air conditioning. As you approach the rear of the aircraft the propellers blow the hot Iraq air mixed with engine exhaust on your face. It is so hot you have to shield your face with your hands - I got a suburn like burn on my face from the heat. The aircraft was empty - only my little group got on. We flew all over the country making a few stops. At one of the stops we landed and sat on the tarmac for quite a while - after about 40 minutes an entourage of SUVs pulled alongside the C130. A personal security detail cleared the plane - then on steps General Peteraus. Wow. He stopped to talk with us for a minute. We took a picture and off he went to continue with his business. What a cool experience. The weather became bad in Baghdad so we had to divert to another base until the weather cleared. The beginning of a long journey.