The countdown has been on, and it’s down to three days…Tom leaves this Wednesday. Plans have changed slightly, however. Instead of heading straight to Iraq, he will be spending a month in California. He’s not quite sure exactly WHY, but it has something to do with additional training. Conversely, on the route home, he will be spending the last month of his nine-month deployment in California again. So, the government is spending $10,000 for him to stay in California those two months (food and lodging).
How big is Iraq, really? See the comparison in the first map. Once he gets to Iraq, he will be stationed in Ar Ramadi (or Ramadiyah), situated about 70 miles west of Baghdad on the Euphrates River (second map).