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So it looks like I'll be leaving for awhile...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Nightcrawler, May 10, 2004.

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  1. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    I've aluded to this in other posts, but here's the score. If you all remember, back in January, High Roader Hal Romberg (hope I spelled that right) posted a thread about defense contracting opportunities in Iraq.

    It intrigued me, as I was facing a dilemma. I was halfway through my junior year at college, and my savings were about spent. I knew I could make it another semester or two, but I was sure to graduate many thousands of dollars in debt and flat broke.

    And I want to go to graduate school. With a four year political science degree, you can't do a whole lot, and I want a job that doesn't involve a nametag that says "Hi, my name is MIKE". So yeah, I want to get my master's.

    Grad school is expensive, though, and I've already got student loans to pay off.

    So I applied with a defense contractor. After a long application process, a criminal background investigation, a physical, a drug test, a pistol qualification, and a physical fitness test, I've been approved, pending my giving them a copy of my final NGB22 form (the National Guard version of the DD214) after I ETS in June (they want to make sure I'm not going AWOL; understandable...I just hope the Guard gets the form to me in a quick fashion; I know how sluggish military bureaucracy can be). I have two years in the IRR (inactive reserve) on my contract after I get out, but that's normal for anyone who's in the service (it's longer than two years for some; it's like 10 years for medics!). I'm certainly not letting the remote chance that I'd get recalled stop me from jumping on this opportunity (in any case I've been told they probably wouldn't recall me if I'm already in the middle east, working for a government defense contractor).

    So, around the end of June or so (unless something bad comes up), I'll be heading for Qatar. I'll be a security guard for a US military installation there (or "mercenary", as the European media likes to call it. Truthfully, "mercenary" sounds way cooler than "security guard"). The company is providing just about everything (the only necessity I have to provide for is my own food, and I can shop at the base commisary for that), and there're no income taxes or local taxes (still have to pay FICA, though). So, yeah, it's going to be pretty lucerative for me (as least from the perspective of a typically broke college student).

    I'm excited about this. I'm less excited about the weapons I'm going to be issued (and AR-15 or M16 rifle and a 9mm pistol of some sort), but hey, it beats harsh language. You've got to understand; Las Vegas is the farthest from home I've ever been, and Canada is the only other country I've been to. This is a big adventure for me.

    I'll be gone for one year. When I get home, I'm going to pay down my student loans, maybe buy myself a new (used) car, and go back to school. It was a big decision to do this, but I realized that I don't want to grow old and say I never had an adventure.

    I have no delusions that I'm going to love every minute of it. I imagine being on guard for eight hours a day in the 120 degree heat can get old pretty fast; but, working hard for awhile isn't going to kill me. Besides, in the villa the company's putting me up in, I not only get my own room, I get my own BATHROOM. Already my accomodations there will be nicer than my college dorm. Heh.

    My internet access will be spotty. Once I officially withdraw from my school, they'll pull the plug on my e-mail account. Once I'm in-country, I won't have a computer, and will have to rely on internet cafes (if they're to be found) for internet access. THR withdrawal is going to be hard on me. :D

    My friends are all pretty exicted. My mom is entirely unhappy with the idea, as you might imagine. She's thought up every worst-case scenario you can imagine, from me getting kidnapped and dragged through the streets to me falling love with some exotic Persian woman, getting married over there, and never coming home. I told her not to worry about that; hell, my guns are here! :D

    I'm told that I'm going to like Qatar, though, and that it's a really nice little country. I'm certainly looking forward to it. I grew up in a small whitebread town; this whole thing is pretty exotic to me, even if they have a Burger King and a Bennigan's there.

    I'm open to advice from other High Roaders that have spent time in the sandbox (especially if you've been to Doha, Qatar). I've never lived in such a desolate, desertified place before (I've been to Utah several times, but I haven't lived there :neener: ), and any advice on adapting to the climate, what to bring, what to wear, etc.; would be much appreciated it.

    What are the firearms laws in Qatar like? All I can find is that you can't import them without an appropriate government permit. I'm hoping I can find a range where I can rent guns and shoot on my own time.

    Any other tips for living in the middle east would be appreciated too, and I thank you all in advance.

    Keep you fingers crossed for me that nothing comes up before I go. This adventure means a lot to me (both internally and economically) and I'll be most upset if it doesn't pan out (espeically after I've gone through all of the application process!)

    -NC
     
  2. Sisco

    Sisco Member

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    Fingers are crossed, keep us posted when you can.
    If I were thirty years younger I might do the same thing.
     
  3. Evil_Ed

    Evil_Ed Member

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    Nightcrawler...
    Any excuse to get out of writing a new story, eh?? ;)

    Seriously, be careful we don't need to lose anymore High Roaders. I'll keep my fingers crossed. If you get internet access send us a note. If you need anything sent over contact us somehow and I'm sure we can help out. (Dri Slide, beef jerky, gun porn, etc)

    Stay Safe,
     
  4. FPrice

    FPrice Member

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    Nightcrawler...

    While I don't really know you I'll be praying for your safe return. Good luck and remember to keep aware of everything going on around you.
     
  5. outdoorman63

    outdoorman63 Member

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    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

    i wish i was 20 yrs younger.....good luck....remember trust no one...trust no object.....and dont get in too deep..our bodies are not invincible
     
  6. KMKeller

    KMKeller Member

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    Keep your head down, your wits about you, your awareness up, and your a$$ out of harms way.

    Come home safe.
     
  7. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    Thanks, guys...

    ...but don't you all worry about me. I hear that Doha, Qatar is safer than Detroit, Michigan. You know, granted, that's not really saying much. (Or as I've been known to say, "hell, at least in Iraq you can shoot back!") LOL

    What I'm doing is nothing compared to the sacrifices my fellow soldiers, as well as airman, sailors, and marines have been making in the middle east. My gig is downright cushy compared to what my fellow crunchies in Iraq are dealing with.

    Thanks for the kind words, though, folks. In any case, I'm off to the gun store. I've got to buy some .45 ammo, then it's off to the range. I'm going to practice as much as I can afford with before I go; I intend to be as proficient as possible before going in-country!
     
  8. The Undertoad

    The Undertoad Member

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    Congratulations. :D

    Good luck, bro. I remember that thread too, if I had the experience to apply for the job I would have done the exact same thing. Stay safe over there. If there's stuff you find hard to come by but that we could ship to you, feel free to ask. Shoot me an email if you want. Be happy to help out.

    I can't imagine living with that sporadic of internet access, maybe I'm just too accustomed to it. Says interesting things about our society (of course most people would care more about the TV...)
     
  9. trapshooter

    trapshooter Member

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    No experience in Doha. Outside town, the sand (fairly fine stuff) can blow around a lot. Sticks to your skin a bit. Probably gets in weapons more than one would like. It gets pretty hot. Don't know what your sun tolerance is. If it's low, come prepared. Should be safer in Doha, than, say, (pick someplace in Iraq and insert here), though.

    Internet cafes are fairly common around the ME though. Get a free hotmail account and you'll be set.

    Not much help, but I only spent one night in Qatar, and didn't move around much off base. Good luck and stay alert anyway, no matter how safe someplace seems, complacency will get you horizontal.
     
  10. Z_Infidel

    Z_Infidel Member

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    Good luck. Stay safe. Take graphite.
     
  11. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Sounds like a plan!!:)

    If it all comes together then ..... it'll be quite some experience and probably valuable at that .. even aside of the fiscal benefits. No doubt you'll let us know when it has all come together and you are departing. Good luck.
     
  12. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Member

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    Wishing you the best, Nightcrawler.

    Tell me: Is there any kind of health examination before they'll let you go over there? I'd like to get out of Shady Podunk myself... the thing is, I can't join the military because of my headaches (and some say, my eyesight). Do you already have to be a member of the forces?

    If there's anything you need, let us know. We'll band together and send you anything we can.

    Remember to check six and keep that AR clean.

    Wes
     
  13. BigG

    BigG Member

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    Make sure you browse up on the MALL NINJA threads for your new duties as security guard, N/C! :p

    Good luck!
     
  14. sturmruger

    sturmruger Member

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    Good luck, stay safe, and watch your six.
     
  15. fiVe

    fiVe Member

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    Best Wishes, NC. I hope everything goes well for you. Please try to post at least once in a while as we are gonna miss you, dude. I know nothing about Qatar, but it sounds like you are in for an adventure--which can provide interesting info for more stories (hint, hint--what are the chances of meeting up with Ling in Qatar? Hey, you gotta do something in your spare time.).

    Stay safe & God bless you.


    Peace,

    fiVe
     
  16. BluesBear

    BluesBear member

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    Best of luck to you Brother Mike. I will miss our chats and who will I find to help me torment you know who?

    You have my home address and I hope you will write. Let me know if you need anything and I'll get it sent straight away.

    You just watch you assets and come back safe and rich. Don't make us have to come over there and rescue you.
     
  17. Marshall

    Marshall Member

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    Enjoy yourself as much as possible, make the rough and tough times as good as possible. You only get to do this when you're young and the memories will be forever! Be the best at what you do!

    Best wishes and prayers.

    Marshall
     
  18. OEF_VET

    OEF_VET Member

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    Nightcrawler,

    Good luck. Buy some good goggles that will actually keep the sand out of your eyes (as much as possible). Be sure to invest in sunscreen. Drink LOTS of water. PMCS those weapons before and after every shift, as well as after any duststorms.

    Most importat of all: DON"T DO NOTHING STUPID!

    Good luck and stay safe. The year will go drearily slow at times (most of the time), and brain-spinningly fast at other times. When you get back, consider yourself invited to a TN Mafia Get-Together-Day-At-The-Range-And-BBQ (tm).

    Frank
     
  19. Harry Tuttle

    Harry Tuttle Member

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  20. buy guns

    buy guns Member

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    you should convince your mom to get you a cheap laptop as a going away present. that way you could go online whenever you need to as long as your place has access ;). good luck over there and remember, if something bad happens, blast metallica as loud as you can.
     
  21. fix

    fix Member

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    NC, feel free to PM me with the info on the outfit you're contracting with and I'll reach out to see if I can find where their logistics system is lacking. That way you wont waste time bringing things that they already provide. Every company is different and they all are weak in one area or another. The big 3 are pretty well equipped from the top down, but some of the smaller outfits struggle with certain areas.
     
  22. tcdrennen

    tcdrennen Member

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    Can't help with Qatar, but spent a year in Bahrain 30 years ago :what: -sweet jeebus, has it really been that long :what:

    I was US Navy at the time, and our work day prohibited outdoor activity between noon and 2PM - temps in the summer run 120-130 F in the shade, some humidity during the winter months but still routinely in the 90's.

    During November through January, the dust/sand storms would come off the Arabian peninsula and would etch the glass on cars; it's a fine grit that will get ino everything.

    Weekends will be Thursday-Friday (Friday sunset starts the Muslim equivalent of Sabbath) Dunno about Qatar suqs (market places) but ask around for the best exchange bank; in Bahrain the Dollars-per-Dinar rates could vary as much as +/- 10%.

    Learn the local manners/customs - don't eat with your left hand, don't point the soles of your feet at anyone while sitting, don't stare at the women, take your shoes off if you enter a mosque; DO haggle when shopping!

    Have fun, be careful, stay cool & hydrated.

    Watch your six!
     
  23. 0007

    0007 Member

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    NC - Spent a lot of time in Qatar a couple of years back. Was on the base where you will probably be located cutting open a safe for the crew that was opening the place... Qatar isn't bad. There was a really good pasta place in the food section of the mall up the street from the American Embassy. There is also a Bennigan's, TGIF's, Chilli's plus the usual - pizzahutburgerkingmcdonaldspopeyeskfcponderosa. Whatever you need in the way of junk food. I would suggest that if you want to meet people, find someone who "Hashes". Kind of like hare and hounds through the desert and then a blowout at the end of the run. Most groups get together weekly and monthly. Usually lots of good folks at these, families, single guys and girls - many nationalities. IF you have any questioins in particular drop me a PM or ask them here. The Middle East is pretty much what you make of it. It's real easy to be miserable there, but I had some of the best times of my life there. Been going since '83, living in Jordan now. If you have some questions I can't answer, I can maybe contact a friend of mine at the embassy there. Good luck. And remember to think hats, long sleeves, cotton clothes, and sunscreen...
     
  24. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    http://www.accuratereloading.com/

    Check the forums there ASAP...it's a hotbed of Middle East gunnies :). Good people; the site owners are based in...damn, I forget, might be Qatar, it's one of the smaller nations around Saudi. Don't have time to poke around right now, it's in one of the FAQs or something.
     
  25. Kaxter

    Kaxter Member

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    I was thinking about doing something like this too.

    PM SENT!:)
     
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