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View Full Version : The Ben OIF Contact Info & News Update Thread



amber.hodge
02-26-2009, 03:49 PM
As we have been contacted by a few people already for Ben's mailing and/or email address, I am going to post what we have for now and then update this post as information becomes available or changes.

Ben is now at Camp Atterbury and will be there for 30-45 days and from there will depart for Arifjan, Kuwait and then Balad, Iraq.

Any veterans will already know this, but MAIL (cards/letters/etc) lifts morale more than anything else and it is also the most accessible form of communication a soldier has.

Here is his mailing address in Indiana:

Mailing address (letters)

Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center
PFC Benjamin W. Hodge
1404th Transportation Company
P.O. Box 5000
Edinburgh, Indiana 46124

Shipping address - for packages

Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center
PFC Benjamin W. Hodge
1404th Transportation Company
509C Schoolhouse Road
Edinburgh, Indiana 46124

His messenger account for MSN is theben1@live.com

His army email address is benjamin.hodge2@us.army.mil

His internet phone is 602 464 4489 ---- he hasn't figured out how to get the messages off of it yet and voicemail is full.

NEW AS OF APRIL 29TH - BEN HAS PNEUMONIA AND I AM PUTTING TOGETHER A CARE PACKAGE - WILL BE COLLECTING ITEMS UNTIL MONDAY (THE 4TH OF MAY?) - THEN SHIPPING IT OUT.
LET ME KNOW IF YOU WANT TO HELP OUT OR SEND ANYTHING.

amber.hodge
02-26-2009, 03:53 PM
Click on this link to see arial views of and read information on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/camp-arifjan-imagery.htm

Click on this link to see arial views of and read information on Balad Air Base, Iraq:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/balad-ab-imagery.htm

These are public sites - not military-only. I was surprised to find arials.

GRUNT
02-26-2009, 04:00 PM
Amber,
I talked to Ben the other night and he talked about if/when they are done in Flag but before they are shipping off to Indiana, that it may be the last time we see him until they return. He spoke of them "convoy-ing?" I assume this is when his unit is going from Papago to the airport. I know family sometimes convoy behind the buses, can we do this too?

amber.hodge
02-26-2009, 04:06 PM
The families will follow behind the busses - as will the Freedom Riders motorcycle club....I am wanting everyone to meet up there and do the same as what they do (FR). I believe the Freedom Riders get the information ahead of time, and i also believe that AZ LUGS is a member of that club. It may be a good idea for AZ Lugs to be asked to be a liaison once the time comes. And yes, that is the LAST TIME Ben will be seen by myself or anyone else until he has his 2 weeks R&R midway....he wants me to meet him in Rome for it, but I'm not sure.

My Green Jeep
02-26-2009, 04:33 PM
Its stuck Amber.. you need anything else just holler :)

FrenchChili
02-26-2009, 08:09 PM
Yahoo new: President Obama plans to have most U.S. troops out of Iraq by August 2010.


Let's hope Ben will be back soon!

amber.hodge
02-27-2009, 08:49 AM
That announcement is for the combat troops. Ben's military occupational specialty and that of his unit is support. Support troops will be the last to leave. With Ben being transportation, they will have a key role in the exodus of the troops from Iraq when it does happen. He'll be coming back as planned in May 2010. :)

arczech
02-27-2009, 10:11 AM
We will be there for the convoy, when you say when.
Dont hesitate to call if you need anything

amber.hodge
02-28-2009, 05:42 AM
Thanks. I'm up here in Flagstaff at the Radisson and Ben has left for work - I had him take the car instead of driving because I have a few projects to work on for him here (getting a surprise photo album and also a DVD put together). I really, really wish I had thought more about being stranded - a flat of water would have been a great idea!

Anyway, this first week for Ben is a class which only certain individuals in the unit are getting. (HETS driver course) Since all will not be up there, I likely will not hear an answer about where the unit's convoy to the airport will originate (could be flagstaff or phoenix) or what day (just know it will be one of the days between 7-9 April) or even what time. I still also do not know when their pre-deployment public ceremony will be. I will know in about a week though.

Henthorn
03-08-2009, 06:01 PM
...opsec...

amber.hodge
03-09-2009, 08:17 AM
...opsec...

This is the second post/pm I have seen about OPSEC. This information is public. I am not posting anything specific, and it is the same information that reporters will have access to.
March - april ish is not a specific timeline. If our intel officers came back to the commander and said: I think it is april or march and in phoenix or flagstaff - we really aren't sure - they'd get laughed out of the office - not really precise info is it?

If I had posted up something like: His unit will be at the Harbor Inn in San Diego on the evening of December 15, 1995 beginning at 1800 and then roll out to LAX to depart via delta airlines flights 66 and 67 at 0930 traveling via interstate 5 on the 16th, then that WOULD be something that could be considered an opsec threat.

I know a whole lot more specific information than what I am posting. - don't worry, MY husband's safety is of utmost importance to me, although I appreciate the concern. :)



Anyway, Ben is doing okay - he's been really sick :sick: the past week ---- I'm actually getting pretty sick myself :sick: and have had a really stressful drill weekend. I've slept on the couch for 3 nights because i've gotten home and been too exhausted to pull the clean sheets out of the dryer and put them on the bed. It (bed) feels pretty empty without Ben thrashing around and stealing my covers away!
He doesn't seem as hyped up as he did before he left - sounds pretty homesick, really. He's got his head in the game, but it is difficult to be apart. We never did end up getting pregnant before he left, so I guess we'll try again next year. :)

amber.hodge
03-27-2009, 05:51 PM
Ben is currently out by where most of us like to wheel with his unit conducting war games. Fortunately, it is about a 30 minute drive from the house, but he isn't really getting released at night. With the dust storm that happened last night, they had one of their gigantic Base-X tents blow away - these are huge tents and cost $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$, so of course they are spending time getting them secured. Here is a pic for those of you who aren't familiar
http://www.base-x.com/images/pic_505.jpg

This morning he called me coughing because he breathed in so much dust in his sleep during last night's dust storm that he was literally coughing up mud. His lips are chapped and bleeding and he is completely sun burned. I've never seen him look more exhausted. The good thing is that he is in good spirits and is getting good training. I guess he got put in charge of the grenades/launcher, but from what I had heard we are not allowed to use those in Iraq because of collateral damage.

He says hello to everyone and is looking forward to seeing all who can attend at the "family day" on the 9th. For location and time details, please PM or email me at amber.c.hodge@us.army.mil ---- or call me at 602 502 4244.

cosninocanines
03-28-2009, 09:24 AM
Convoy! Amber we will do everything we can to join the convoy and "Family" day

amber.hodge
03-31-2009, 04:45 PM
It looks like I will not know of a convoy time or even what day between 9/10 it is. Please join for the family day if you can. I would be worried about OPSEC but it is on the base, AND I ASKED IF IT WAS OKAY TO DO SO, so I'm posting it up. I'm also pretty fr***led. I just got my head absolutely bitten off for having a problem with the family readiness group not contacting me even once since they found out the information and also for asking if they had a phone tree available for the Phoenix area wives.

1300 hours at Camp Navajo in Bellemont, Arizona at the Armory on 9 April 2009. They may need to change the location at last moment since they already are expecting in excess of 800 friends and family (the unit is 160 strong)

amber.hodge
03-31-2009, 04:48 PM
Those who can make the family day, please do so - We'll know at that point when the convoy will be and if needed, (as in the unit convoys down the next day) I can get rooms for people at the Fort Tuthill (www.forttuthill.com) military recreation area for 50.00 tax free and they have 2 queens in them and are pretty nice rooms.

Most likely they will end up deciding to leave at 03:00 for no apparent reason other than to hurry up and wait. Also, do what I do and watch the Freedom Riders website, because somehow they get information on the convoys that I don't even get because the bottlenecking of freaking communication to the spouses. Sorry, as I stated - fr***led.

amber.hodge
03-31-2009, 04:56 PM
:angel:Thank you all for your support. :angel:

Also, I have 50 unread PM's - between the cars, work, sprinklers being broke, other things breaking at the house, and intermittent internet service at the house, it is really much easier for me to respond to text messages, phone calls or email.

Please, please, please use the following methods to contact me on this stuff:

amber.c.hodge@us.army.mil

602 502 4244 ------ I will answer between 0800 and 2000 hours - I have unlimited talk time and text messaging.

kinkade4life
03-31-2009, 04:58 PM
http://www.base-x.com/images/pic_505.jpg

Yup, spent my fair share of nights in one of those! Sleeping with masks on during dust storms, creating air vents with plastic bottles so you can kinda feel the air blow.

The Ben
04-01-2009, 04:33 PM
Hi everyone, well we are back up in Flagstaff now getting ready for travel. Getting all the weapons inspected, equipment packed, and a ton of CLEANING.

Everything is going well, just really tired, we have been training from 0500 till 2000 or 2200hrs. every day sence we started. I can't wait to sleep in some day soon. I'll check in again soon.



Thanks to everyone who helped Amber out with the vehicals last week I greatley appreaciate it.

don2222222
04-01-2009, 07:45 PM
Ben,

I met your Commander briefly the other day. He seems like a good guy, he was with PVT Aho, one of my former Cadets and also a good guy. You're in good company with him.

Good to know that you are doing ok, (except for tired) hope all your training was what you needed.

Take care man,



Hi everyone, well we are back up in Flagstaff now getting ready for travel. Getting all the weapons inspected, equipment packed, and a ton of CLEANING.

Everything is going well, just really tired, we have been training from 0500 till 2000 or 2200hrs. every day sence we started. I can't wait to sleep in some day soon. I'll check in again soon.



Thanks to everyone who helped Amber out with the vehicals last week I greatley appreaciate it.

My Green Jeep
04-05-2009, 04:00 AM
Who is going to family day???

WalterD and I will be in Flagstaff Wednesday night... Amber can you
please send information on where and when all this is taking place...

amber.hodge
04-05-2009, 04:20 PM
UPDATE:

Family day 1300 - 1800

Bellemont Armory
on the
Camp Navajo Military Reservation

Directions:
Take I-17 to I-40 West.
drive 6-10 miles on I-40 westbound

Take the Bellemont/ Camp Navajo exit (multi-story motel and gas station on right)
Take a left at the stop sign at the end of the exit ramp.
Proceed over a bridge.
APPROACH THE GUARD GATE TRAVELING AT NO MORE THAN 15 MPH - THEY GET REALLY MAD IF YOU ARE GOING FASTER!!
After providing your driver's license and those of all passengers to the guard, take an immediate left. The dirt/ crappy asphault road will take you to the armory which is about 1/4 mile down on the left.

There should be about 800+ people there, so try to get there at around noon.


At 1800 hours, the families have to leave and the soldiers are on lock down.

Their flight is around 3:00 AM so it could be anywhere between 2000 hrs and 2300 hours when they depart from Flag. Thus, we will likely be going to "The Place" otherwise known as "mike and rhonda's" for a huge brunch with all who are coming up that morning at around 10:00-10:30 am until we need to leave for base. THERE WILL BE NO CONVOY. It is too late at night and there will not be enough details released by the commander to organize one. We do not wish to put anyone at risk by having them drive tired. Please, instead join us for brunch/ farewell ceremony...Heck, we may end up doing sushi on wednesday night! :D

We will be staying overnight on Wednesday night so we don't have to spend all morning on Thursday driving. We will be staying at Fort Tuthill. I can check to see if they have any more cabins available if anyone wants one, otherwise, I believe Rox and WalterD are staying at the Best Western Pony Soldier Inn???????

Contact info for myself is posted throughout this thread. Ben's contact info is 602 214 1620

amber.hodge
04-07-2009, 02:44 PM
Because of this new invention http://www.virtualjeepclub.com/showthread.php?t=44063

Ben will have a phone that receives and sends calls from Iraq --- It also takes voicemail. Now, he won't always be able to answer it, but I'm sure he will love the voicemails when he gets back from missions.

His number is 602 464 4489

amber.hodge
04-10-2009, 07:51 AM
Just got off the phone with Ben. They took 2 commercial airliners and filled both of them up to get everyone flown out. They just took off. Apparently they broke 4 of the overhead compartments trying to jam bags into them. Ben has his carry-on seat belted in the seat next to him because it won't fit anywhere else!

Here are some news articles

http://www.azdailysun.com/articles/2009/04/10/news/20090410_front_194300.txt

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2009/04/10/20090410b1-talker0410.html

My Green Jeep
04-10-2009, 09:06 AM
thanks for the update Amber... remember... we are all here for you..

if you need "anything" do not hesitate to holler at us... we are your
family and we are here for you..

:::hugs:::

amber.hodge
04-10-2009, 07:31 PM
Got a call from Ben. He says Camp Atterbury is even older and worse quarters than the AZ Guard. It has been raining since he got there. They have to march in formations everywhere, and so got drenched going to and from dinner. Its cold rain. It is 10:30 PM there right now so just said goodnight to him.

He told me that it is official - he will NEVER ask me to move to Indiana! (THANK GOD)

amber.hodge
04-11-2009, 10:10 AM
Mailing addresses for Ben (mail helps morale!!)

Mailing address (letters)

Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center
PFC Benjamin W. Hodge
1404th Transportation Company
P.O. Box 5000
Edinburgh, Indiana 46124

Shipping address - for packages

Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center
PFC Benjamin W. Hodge
1404th Transportation Company
509C Schoolhouse Road
Edinburgh, Indiana 46124

amber.hodge
04-11-2009, 10:19 AM
first post updated - please check in here to get more up to date info.

The Ben
04-15-2009, 09:17 AM
Hi Everyone I got a minute to get on the internet so I thought I would see how everyone is doing, things are cold but going well , we just got word today the we will be extended atleast one month here in Indiana but no word about extenction in Iraq yet so thats good,but I expect we will be extended there too.


To all who made: it up the the send off it was great to see you.
Thanks again for all your support everyone it meens alot to me and Amber.

xjstocker
04-15-2009, 09:06 PM
good luck ben and hurry back

amber.hodge
04-17-2009, 06:42 PM
Hi Everyone I got a minute to get on the internet so I thought I would see how everyone is doing, things are cold but going well , we just got word today the we will be extended atleast one month here in Indiana but no word about extenction in Iraq yet so thats good,but I expect we will be extended there too.


To all who made: it up the the send off it was great to see you.
Thanks again for all your support everyone it meens alot to me and Amber.

you forgot to tell everyone that the reason your unit will be there for an extra 30 days is because the unit that is supposed to be doing your convoy security which is deploying with you from Nevada is so jacked up/ behind on training that they need an additional 30 days of training on top of the usual 45 to be able to deploy. :aagh::aagh::aagh::aagh::aagh::aagh::osama: that ought to be interesting. :mad:

don2222222
04-17-2009, 07:20 PM
Big surprise there, Nevada is always a step behind.


...your convoy security which is deploying with you from Nevada is so jacked up/ behind on training that they need an additional 30 days of training on top of the usual 45 to be able to deploy. :aagh::aagh::aagh::aagh::aagh::aagh::osama: that ought to be interesting. :mad:

amber.hodge
04-17-2009, 08:10 PM
Big surprise there, Nevada is always a step behind.

that's putting it very nicely, Don.

don2222222
04-17-2009, 08:20 PM
Ooops... that was my outside voice, wasn't it?

Yea, I had to deal with the same readiness stuff when I was in.
Then there was the question of their Academy personnel...

Well, never mind...



that's putting it very nicely, Don.

amber.hodge
04-17-2009, 08:44 PM
Yeah, they won't let them spend more time at home, but today Ben calls and says he's going to the subway to get on the wifi at 0800 - I ask why - he tells me that they don't have any training for half the unit today. REEEEEALLY? :rolleyes: I have less time with him before he goes so he can sit on his arse - hurry up wait. Oh well.

amber.hodge
04-22-2009, 01:51 PM
Ben said he has gotten mail from a few members (thx G/D) and it has really made his day when he's received it. Thank you guys for writing him.

He was put on quarters for being sick last week and has been really bored. They don't seem to be doing much training. There are maybe 2 days I can remember since he left that he's actively been doing training activities. I think that part of it is because they are now ahead of the other unit by a month. He is getting online here and there, but has to walk a mile to subway on post to get service on his off time. He cannot get an air card through our phone provider because they say we can only have 2 lines - and they count the internet card as a 3rd line. Sprint is stuck on stupid. Oh well, the walking is good for him.

His small pox vaccination area is bothering him. It has a pustule about the size of a fingertip that he can't touch and to even dispose of the bandage he has to double bag it in zip lock bags. If he touches his eye after, it can cause blindness and if anyone is around him until it is completely healed and is exposed then they can get the actual small pox and they were briefed that the quarantine time can be over a year.

Pretty interesting stuff - I don't envy him.

amber.hodge
04-28-2009, 08:55 PM
Ben is sick with Pneumonia right now. He is on bed-rest (quarters to we military folk) for 48 hours pending further scrutiny of the x-ray results. Apparently Camp Atterbury, Indiana has to send them out to be viewed at Fort Knox, Kentucky :confused:

I'm going to be putting together a care package on Monday afternoon, so if anyone wants to drop anything by for him (off road mags, sweets, treats, over the counter meds --hard to come by there, etc ---- or even just a letter to throw in the box) I'll be putting it together all week until then.

One of the number one requested items is snacks followed by decent toilet paper.

don2222222
04-28-2009, 09:18 PM
Ben,

Do what the Dr. orders -!!

I'll be prayin' for 'ya to get well soon.

djui5
04-28-2009, 10:17 PM
I'll try to remember to drop something off this week.

amber.hodge
05-15-2009, 11:50 PM
I thought I would share that while the rest of us are sleeping or doing some late night web wheeling, Ben is in Indiana doing night ops training. This is inclusive of learning how to react to a vehicle roll-over.
This means that he has been given instructions to roll his HMMWV (hummer) as much as possible. He flopped one so bad it rolled 4 times.

Man, I'm jealous!!! He's flopping more than Lance does!!!! (and on purpose with only a lap belt and his full gear on!!!!)

GOTMTNS
05-16-2009, 12:31 AM
I thought I would share that while the rest of us are sleeping or doing some late night web wheeling, Ben is in Indiana doing night ops training. This is inclusive of learning how to react to a vehicle roll-over.
This means that he has been given instructions to roll his HMMWV (hummer) as much as possible. He flopped one so bad it rolled 4 times.

Man, I'm jealous!!! He's flopping more than Lance does!!!! (and on purpose with only a lap belt and his full gear on!!!!)

At least he gets to do some fun training once in a while, lol:stuart:

amber.hodge
05-18-2009, 03:25 PM
Ben has really enjoyed the letters he has gotten and cards he has gotten from people on here. I equally appreciate your support of him. :)

The Ben
05-28-2009, 09:32 PM
The address that you all have is no loner valid we will have a new address as soon as we get in country and I will have Amber post it up.

Thanks Again for all the support letters and pictures I've received they are great keep em coming, I'll see you all soon and thanks again.

amber.hodge
05-28-2009, 09:34 PM
Hey, honey, did you get promoted yet??????? You are eligible so if you haven't......well, I'll be pretty pizzed off - you've earned it.

The Ben
06-27-2009, 09:29 PM
I figured I should post the new address here in the stickey:

Spc Hodge, Benjamin
1404th T.C.
LTF 6/ 1st Platoon
APO AE 09366



(note the Spc. I finally got promoted yesterday Woo Hoooo, more money and less *****ty details)

Thanks again for all of your support.

Agent Orange
06-27-2009, 09:32 PM
Good job Ben

GOTMTNS
06-27-2009, 09:35 PM
Congratulations bud.

GRUNT
06-28-2009, 12:02 AM
Congrats Ben!!! We always knew you were "special!" ;) :D

But seriously, congrats! I know you had to deal with alot to get what you deserved.

don2222222
06-28-2009, 12:24 AM
SPC (SP4) was my favorite rank...

Too much rank for details like KP and 1SG's details, but not enough rank for serious responsibility like running a section or such... not sure how it is for you...

Ben - Congratulations!


I figured I should post the new address here in the stickey:

Spc Hodge, Benjamin
1404th T.C.
LTF 6/ 1st Platoon
APO AE 09366



(note the Spc. I finally got promoted yesterday Woo Hoooo, more money and less *****ty details)

Thanks again for all of your support.

RokNRich
07-22-2009, 11:44 AM
(note the Spc. I finally got promoted yesterday Woo Hoooo, more money and less *****ty details)

Thanks again for all of your support.



Congrats dude ! So, where's the latest pic's ?

cosninocanines
07-23-2009, 08:52 AM
Just got back from an extended roadtrip so missed this earlier, Congratulations on the promotion and Thanks again for all you do.

The Ben
07-23-2009, 11:33 AM
Congrats dude ! So, where's the latest pic's ?

Thanks, Check new thread in military forum:fashizzle: