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Minnesota National Guard Troop Visit – Blog Entry No. 17

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on December 13, 2009 – 3:33 pm

Vikings Entertainment Network’s Bryan Harper and KFAN’s Mike Morris, the former Vikings longsnapper and current host of “The Power Trip Morning Show,” will be traveling to Iraq to visit Minnesota National Guard Troops over the next week or so.  Both men will be updating fans via the vikings.com Blog on their trip about the experience.

Below is the duo’s 17th entry, sent via BlackBerry from Kuwait.

Morris/Harper: the game on AFN on the big screen here in Basra was amazing… it was a lot more like being at the game than you would think. They played Skol Vikings after each score and the reaction/noise was great. A fun time was had by all… it was great to hear that the Mall of America Field production took several shots of the fans here as well as at least a half dozen looks on the CBS broadcast… when it works out like that – it feels good to be a part of it. There was some emotion here tonight… you could see the feelings of “home” first-hand. The troops will be home soon and we cant wait to greet them when they arrive back home. A few more blogs to come, we leave Iraq soon for the long trip home.


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Minnesota National Guard Troop Visit – Blog Entry No. 16

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on December 13, 2009 – 9:53 am

Vikings Entertainment Network’s Bryan Harper and KFAN’s Mike Morris, the former Vikings longsnapper and current host of “The Power Trip Morning Show,” will be traveling to Iraq to visit Minnesota National Guard Troops over the next week or so.  Both men will be updating fans via the vikings.com Blog on their trip about the experience.

Below is the duo’s 16th entry, sent via BlackBerry from Kuwait.

Morris/ Harper: Had the opportunity to go thru rollover training which is a classroom setting on what to do if your ground convoy overturns at either 90 degrees or 180 degrees. Then went to the demo unit and went through an actual rollover at both angles. Phenomenal… you think its going to be no big deal but you become completely disoriented as to where you are in the vehicle.

They have a golf driving range on base…not your typical visit to a golf range either… you have green astroturf pads to hit off of and you are standing on plywood and hitting towards a big area of dirt (essentially what everything is). But it was nice to hit a few golf balls and to be able to say that we have hit golf balls in Iraq.


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Minnesota National Guard Troop Visit – Blog Entry No. 14

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on December 13, 2009 – 9:51 am

Vikings Entertainment Network’s Bryan Harper and KFAN’s Mike Morris, the former Vikings longsnapper and current host of “The Power Trip Morning Show,” will be traveling to Iraq to visit Minnesota National Guard Troops over the next week or so.  Both men will be updating fans via the vikings.com Blog on their trip about the experience.

Below is the duo’s 14th entry, sent via BlackBerry from Kuwait.

Morris: This experience has been so humbling, so eye-opening. We’ll talk about it live and field questions on The Power Trip Morning Show Wednesday morning provided I make it back with no travel delays.


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Minnesota National Guard Troop Visit – Blog Entry No. 13

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on December 13, 2009 – 9:48 am

Vikings Entertainment Network’s Bryan Harper and KFAN’s Mike Morris, the former Vikings longsnapper and current host of “The Power Trip Morning Show,” will be traveling to Iraq to visit Minnesota National Guard Troops over the next week or so.  Both men will be updating fans via the vikings.com Blog on their trip about the experience.

Below is the duo’s 13th entry, sent via BlackBerry from Kuwait.

Morris / Harper:  The Serving Our Troops Steak Dinner held here in Basra and with National Guard families at Roy Wilkins auditorium was awesome. We have been with their group since we got here and were able to help grill and serve Mancini steaks. Some of the soldiers were able to eat 2-3 steaks each… most selected temperature was medium rare followed closely by rare. The meat here is boiled and is always way overdone. The smells were great, Brian Leighton of GB Leighton played great music and many said it was the most fun they have had since they have been here… and they all said it was the best meal since they have been here. Nice to see the smiles. Lots of credit goes to the Serving Our Troops group from St. Paul – they headed out of base this morning. Safe travels to you Pat, Ted, Joe, JB, Dave, Johnny, Pete, Dan and anyone else I may have forgotten.


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Minnesota National Guard Troop Visit – Blog Entry No. 12

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on December 13, 2009 – 9:48 am

Vikings Entertainment Network’s Bryan Harper and KFAN’s Mike Morris, the former Vikings longsnapper and current host of “The Power Trip Morning Show,” will be traveling to Iraq to visit Minnesota National Guard Troops over the next week or so.  Both men will be updating fans via the vikings.com Blog on their trip about the experience.

Below is the duo’s 12th entry, sent via BlackBerry from Kuwait.

Morris / Harper:  T-walls might be a new term for you… this base is filled with them. They are large vertical concrete walls that form barriers/barricades/guardrails etc… they are everywhere… its a world of concrete and mud. We are hoping to find a way to paint one purple prior to the Vikings game… lots of interest… just trying to track down the paint.


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Minnesota National Guard Troop Visit – Blog Entry No. 11

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on December 13, 2009 – 9:47 am

Vikings Entertainment Network’s Bryan Harper and KFAN’s Mike Morris, the former Vikings longsnapper and current host of “The Power Trip Morning Show,” will be traveling to Iraq to visit Minnesota National Guard Troops over the next week or so.  Both men will be updating fans via the vikings.com Blog on their trip about the experience.

Below is the duo’s 11th entry, sent via BlackBerry from Kuwait.

Morris / Harper: Kudos goes out to Sergeant First Class Tain Anderson who has been hauling the two of us around all weekend. He’s a great guy and a bad ass. A few more months and he’ll get to be hanging out on the sofa back home in Minnesota.


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Minnesota National Guard Troop Visit – Blog Entry No. 10

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on December 12, 2009 – 10:40 am

Vikings Entertainment Network’s Bryan Harper and KFAN’s Mike Morris, the former Vikings longsnapper and current host of “The Power Trip Morning Show,” will be traveling to Iraq to visit Minnesota National Guard Troops over the next week or so.  Both men will be updating fans via the vikings.com Blog on their trip about the experience.

Below is the duo’s 10th entry, sent via BlackBerry from Kuwait.

Morris on Saturday: Blackhawk Mission this AM scrapped due to low visibility (fog). You need to be able to see 3 miles and could only see 1.75 miles. Nice backup plan was the gun range. A handful of us had the opportunity to experience some real military weaponry. I of course am a sharpshooter and dominated the Mt Dew can at 100 feet. Been a whirlwind of a day. Just judged a weightlifting competition… well attended I might add. Some real talented guys in that group. We took video and some photos for the site… keep an eye out for those. Next up is the Serving Our Troops steak dinner. Not only are we serving to the 1200 Minnesota National Guard troops here but to the entire base… a crowd of 5000+. After dinner the troops will be entertained by Brian Leighton of GB Leighton… should be a good evening. You can feel the excitement. Met several Vikings fans today – they love to talk football… so do I… it’s a nice fit. Went to some authentic Iraqi shops today… got a few souvenirs. I’m ready to grill some steaks. I’m so glad I got to make this trip. Many thanks to the Vikings and KFAN as well as the MN National Guard.

Morris’ Top 3 tips on what NOT to do when in Iraq:

3. Don’t drink the water. Don’t brush your teeth with the water. Don’t bathe.
2. Don’t make jokes about Tiger Woods… you’re in Iraq… nobody cares.
1. If it tastes like crap and smells like crap… it’s probably crap.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the trip.


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Minnesota National Guard Troop Visit – Blog Entry No. 9 (including photos)

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on December 11, 2009 – 1:00 pm

Vikings Entertainment Network’s Bryan Harper and KFAN’s Mike Morris, the former Vikings longsnapper and current host of “The Power Trip Morning Show,” will be traveling to Iraq to visit Minnesota National Guard Troops over the next week or so.  Both men will be updating fans via the vikings.com Blog on their trip about the experience.

Below is the duo’s 9th entries, sent via BlackBerry from Kuwait.

6:10 Iraq time: Morris: Now that was a fun radio show. A live listening audience from Basra Iraq and the phone lines jammed full of well-wishers. The delay wasn’t long enough that it couldn’t be dealt with… and let me tell you Minnesota… the live audience was so appreciative of all the good wishes. Reaching out and supporting them is the best thing we can do as we enter the holiday season. Its going to be a great few days with a lot of support coming on both sides. Headed over to Iraqi military headquarters for a joint dinner with top level US military staff. Iraqi food… should be interesting. I’m taking the suggested pill prior to eating the dinner… right… now. Done, now I can eat like the horse I am.

Updated note: Morris: The meaty mixture of goat and camel isn’t too bad. I’m glad I took that pill.

Click the below images below to view larger versions.

Methane burn-off in the Iraq oil-fields

Mike Morris: I never would have thought we would have run into our huge bookend offensive tackles in the Netherlands.

Looking out the back window as we crossed the border into Iraq.

Looking out the window inside a massive military vehicle.

Serving Our Troops is the St. Paul based-group that is here serving 6500 “cooked-to-order” steaks to MN National Guard members on Saturday. Morris and Harper’s trip coincides with their trip and have been traveling together since arriving in Kuwait. Members of Serving Our Troops include, but are not limited to, Pat Harris (St. Paul City Council), Brian Leighton (lead singer of GB Leighton), Ted Marty (Grain Belt), John Mancini (Mancini’s Steakhouse), Dan O’Gara (O’Gara’s) and several others.

A photo of a portion of the Minnesota National Guard’s viewing audience for The Power Trip Morning Show LIVE from Basra, Iraq on Friday morning.

Mike Morris thinks that standing in front of a Christmas tree with red lights counts as a visit to Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District.

Mike Morris sporting the Kevlar vest

Methane burn-off in the Iraq oil-fields

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Minnesota National Guard Troop Visit – Blog Entry No. 7/8

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on December 11, 2009 – 9:02 am

Vikings Entertainment Network’s Bryan Harper and KFAN’s Mike Morris, the former Vikings longsnapper and current host of “The Power Trip Morning Show,” will be traveling to Iraq to visit Minnesota National Guard Troops over the next week or so.  Both men will be updating fans via the vikings.com Blog on their trip about the experience.

Below is the duo’s 7th and 8th entries, sent via BlackBerry from Kuwait.

Bathroom break 1 hour in. Amazing that the Verizon phone still has service. Only things we can see right now are sand, camels and biffy’s. Its not the most comfortable ride but its certainly different. The vehicles weigh 75000 lbs. We have radio communications and its interesting to listen in.

Had some bumps along the ride here. Made it safely to Basra. Took a shower – the first one since Wednesday. Radio show starting in a bit. The base has a lot of Iraqi’s and Ugandan’s working here. Also we went through a “what to do if under attack” overview. Living in trailers while here – being treated very well. And witnessing our Minnesota National Guard members hard at work. Weather still nice at 75 degrees and sunny.


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Minnesota National Guard Troop Visit – Blog Entry No. 5/6

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on December 10, 2009 – 10:52 pm

Vikings Entertainment Network’s Bryan Harper and KFAN’s Mike Morris, the former Vikings longsnapper and current host of “The Power Trip Morning Show,” will be traveling to Iraq to visit Minnesota National Guard Troops over the next week or so.  Both men will be updating fans via the vikings.com Blog on their trip about the experience.

Below is the duo’s fifth and sixth entries, sent via BlackBerry from Kuwait.

Preparing for the trip in. Watching the Steelers losing to the Browns 13-3 in the 4th quarter while eating breakfast. Rained hard last night but quality tents kept us dry. Brushed teeth and washed face this morning – feel so much better. I’m sure it will be short lived.

Morris: where’s my gun?

Harper/Morris: on our way into Iraq. In full kevlar strapped into what has to be the safest vehicle out there. Went thru IED training. Our troops are very thorough and do their jobs well. Over the next few days, we just hope we can give you a glimpse of what they do for us. Tons of photos coming. Its early AM here. Sleep well tonight Minnesota. Tune into Power Trip morning show on KFAN tomorrow 6-9 am as Mike Morris will be Live from Camp Basra with a listening audience of our Minnesota National Guard troops.


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