I thought I would give everyone an update on 4th of July here at LSA Anaconda. Unfortunately, there aren't any holidays here in Iraq like there are back home. We can't simply close up shop at the ECPs (Entry Control Points) and JDOC (Joint Defense Operations Center) and go shoot off bottle rockets. So, it is generally a day like any other. We had a formation in the AM which is somewhat unusual. SSG Brehm got promoted to SFC (Sergeant First Class / E7) which is well deserved. He is a great guy so it is nice to see him get recognized. After that it was business as usual. It did seem a little quieter through out the day as most people were doing their best to stay under the radar. The locals made it a little bit interesting by firing at few mortars at us, but again nothing out of the ordinary there. I actually had quite a bit of work to do so the day went by quickly and I wrapped up quite a few things. The DFAC always tries to make the holidays unique with a different menu. Basically they just combine all of the good stuff throughout the month onto one day. We had ribs, bbq chicken, tbone steaks, baked beans, corn on the cob etc for lunch. Perhaps the best part was the dessert, they had apple cobbler which I haven't seen since I've been here and it was quite good. All of the staff was dressed up in patriot outfits which was funny, I felt bad for them as they looked very uncomfortable. SFC Kerchal was kind enough to let me go about an hour early so that was nice as well.
Of course, we didn't want to let the day pass without some excitement, so SSG Johnson and I had plans of our own. The base theater had a special movie playing, Superman Returns. Whenever there is a new movie in town, the lines are always crazy to get in. We decided on a little movie time 4th of July adventure, and went to the early showing of Scary Movie 4 (not too bad, about what you would have expected) at 1700 (5:00 PM for you non-military types keeping score at home). We actually were there at 1600, which proved to be an hour too early as we could have rolled in at 1700 and been fine, but we didn't want to leave anything to chance. After watching that, we hung out at the theater for 90 minutes saving our seats. Our master plan was almost destroyed when they kicked us out to clean the theater and made us get back into line, but it wasn't too bad yet and we got our same seats back. I had brought a sandwich with me from lunch and then got some popcorn and just ate dinner there. The theater was packed by 1900, and since we were saving seats for The Hammer and Birdman (who ended up not making it), we had to fend off those that were unlucky enough to not get there early. I should say didn't plan well enough actually, there was no luck involved in knowing that on the 4th of July for a summer blockbuster you couldn't just waltz in 10 minutes early and get a seat. I actually had to use my rifle to fend off some particularly zealous people that really wanted a seat. The movie was great, Kevin Spacey is awesome as Lex Luthor and the special effects were phenomenal from the opening scene to the end. The only disappointment was that the ending wasn't as exciting as I would have liked. All in all, it was a great movie and not a bad way to spend the 4th. Better than out on a convoy or guarding a gate! We ended up being in the theater for almost 7 hours, and then I was able to call Erika and check out the festivities at home. Buddy of course freaks out and won't leave the house, but everything else sounded like it was going okay. SSG Johnson took a picture of the theater which you can find here. July looks to be a good movie month, coming up we have Silent Hill, United 93, Pirates of the Caribbean, American Dreams, Click, and MI III. We can't be picky since it is free and most others don't have this benefit so we try to go to a movie or two every week.