In the search to find a good and high-paying job - that good job happens to be in the most
dangerous place in the world Iraq. But Iraq is not all about war, missiles, car
bombs, hostage-taking and violence. Its also about good work, camaraderie,
challenge, training ground for professional & personal growth,
.and fun. Yes, fun
in the war zone. This aint a joke. Please read on
The author posing with bunkers (not NFA rice)
Despite the risk, people are applying for dangerous duty with Houston-Based Kellog Brown
& Root (KBR). In Houston, Texas - applicants came from all over with resume' in hand,
to a job fair like no other. Some sent off their applications on-line, just to take their
chances and take up the challenge of working in a war zone in exchange to earning a
monthly salary of thousands of dollars tax free.
But for a Filipina like me working overseas for over 4 years now having given the
opportunity to work for KBR is my biggest break ever and one of the greatest blessings I
have ever received from the Lord.
I accepted the challenge of working on a whole new different kind of environment afar from
the comfort of the conventional office world for a couple of reasons. Sure, financial
consideration has a lot to do with it! But the primary reason of joining KBR is that I
feel honored to be a part of a great mission of rebuilding Iraq and be a part of history -
in general. A story that I can share with my children and grand children
When my family and friends learned that Ill be moving to Iraq as part of our
projects full blast operation, everybody couldnt believe that Ill have
the courage to go to a place always associated with violence. Of course, nobody has ever
agreed with my decision but cant do anything about it. People knew how hard-headed I
am. If I say I wanted something, they knew Ill really go for it no matter what the
With Major Trina Peterson at a baseball game
So, as stubborn as I am, with my goals in place I head off to KBRs south
camp. The place? Basrah, Iraq.
On that day when we were scheduled to head off to Basrah, I may be stubborn but deep down
inside me is the frail little ME. When I got in the car to put on my hard hat and
bullet-proof vest, I started to feel fussy but still managed to compose myself.
Ive always been told not to sleep while traveling. But a sleepy head like me will
always forget that once I get in a car and always feel like Im in a swing. But for
the first hour of travelling, I kept myself completely awake until I we had our convoy
team who will secure us till we get to the camp.
An Iraqu mosque
Knowing that we had a security team who are really tough and dependable (Thanks to the
Gurkas!), Ive fallen asleep and missed the chance to see the interesting sight of
abandoned tankers and other rotten military armaments scattered by the roadside. Yeah, I
missed that because Im a sleepy head.
Watching concert at the British Camp
But when my friend and officemate woke me up and told me about it, I immediately grabbed
my digital camera and took shots on anything I find interesting like wrecked houses,
Iraqis by the roadside, dump site of smashed vehicles, bridges, etc. But while taking
pictures, at the back of my mind remained the vigilant ME. I keep on hoping and praying
that theres nobody hidden at the base of the bridge and by the roadside who will
just shoot us or throw a grenade towards our direction. Ive been praying so hard.
God, please not now. I am not ready yet. I still havent fulfilled my mission
yet. I still have a lot of dreams. And God, listened to my prayers. We got to the
Samalamig, Iraqi version
Since the very first time I arrived at the camp, I have been to Kuwait and back to Iraq
for 2 times already. So far, thru the grace and mercy of God, Im still in
.alive and kicking!
Talking about camp life
. our life up here is pretty close to the life of people out
there in the city. Wanna bet?
We may be living in the middle of a desolate tract of Iraqs vast desert but we have
almost everything that yall have down town. But of course, its also because we
stay in a compound where the worlds strongest army subsist in,(US and UK) plus the
Posing with the Big Boss
We have a housing accommodation with complete amenities coupled with an incomparable
Moral, Welfare & Recreation facilities, 3-meals a day with menu prepared
by a par excellence Canadian chef plus..plus..plus
we have 2 PX shops where we can
buy souvenir items about Iraq war and get other cool stuff at a much lower price. Aside
from that, we also have couple of bars inside the compound for people who wants to unwind,
relax and have fun after office hours.
Pictures, pictures and pictures will boldly show how much fun we have up here working and
staying at the camp.
But of course, its not all fun in here. Its like a package deal
have to have the guts to overcome the fear of possible attack from elsewhere; a steady
will to survive and take up the challenge as it comes each day..... and eventually gets to
see your money from your ATM in 6 figures monthly!
The spoils of war
Comon, life is really fun! Its just how we take things and move on with our
journey to fulfilling our goals and mission in our lives.
The seņoritas with a seņor
Vangie M. Daton
Project Controls Department
KBR PCO Oil Program
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