Deployments to Iraq by the Marine Corps began as early as the end of the year, 2002 and continue today. Through the years, the amenities and services available to our Marines have changed and improved greatly. However there are still areas the Marines deploy to that are without chow halls, hooches, showers, or shopping facilities.
The living conditions vary widely from location to location, and whether or not the unit is located outside the wire. Many areas have "inside the wire" facilities for down time, but missions are carried out throughout the country, outside the wire.
To assure operations security (OpSEC), your Marine should not share his/her exact location with you and you should not ask. If you know his/her camp name, you should not share it with others in written, verbal, or online communication.
Instead of asking the name of the camp or location, ask your Marine what amenties s/he has available. This will help you determine what types of items to send in care packages and what type of calling cards can be used. Some basic information about the country follows:
Iraq - Middle East
Capital - Baghdad
Bordered by - Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and The Persian Gulf
Language - Arabic, Kurdish, Assyrian, Armenian
Climate - Mostly desert, mild to cold winters with dry, hot cloudless summers
Natural disasters - Flooding in the Spring and sand storms
Religion - 97% Muslim and 3% Christian
Population - 25,499,683 (2007)
Government - Parliamentary Democracy. Constitution: Oct, 3, 1932, Iraq gained independence from the League of Nations Mandate under British Administration. Several coups after 1958 resulted in dictatorship. The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was established in 2003 under Multi-National Force - Iraq protections. On June 28, 2004, the CPA transferred sovereignty to the Iraqi Interim Government. A new four-year, constitutionally based government took office in March 2006, and a new cabinet was installed in May 2006. The President elect is also the Prime minister and the Head Chair of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) who makes Legislative decisions.
Natural Resources -Oil, natural gas, phosphates, sulfur
Agriculture - Products--wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, cotton, dates, cattle, sheep