Thu, Nov 25 2010 8:53 am |
The Bikes Over Baghdad crew is heading over to Kuwait and Iraq for their third tour next week to boost morale and bring support and holiday cheer for the U.S. troops still stationed in the desert. As a send-off we’ll be doing interviews with the B.O.B. II crew this week. Today’s Thanksgiving meal: Catfish.
If there’s one person that can get a crowd fired up watching BMX, it’s Catfish. Catfish returned for a second tour on B.O.B. II and brought nonstop humor, excitement, heartfelt sentiment, and a damn good time to the troops while on the mic. He also got naked on top of an ancient pyramid. Catfish will be on B.O.B. III next week and you can bet he’ll be bringing the noise along with holiday cheer to the soldiers.
Why did you want to be a part of Bikes Over Baghdad and do the second tour?
I knew after the first tour that I would be going back. It’s such an amazing experience to be able to change people’s lives. There are so many young people in the military and most of them relate well to action sports—every city has a skatepark, so to be able to give them a little slice of home was just awesome.
Your brother is in the military. Did this factor into your trip or mindset during the trip? Do you view things differently because of his military involvement?
My brother is a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force. He’s been to the Middle East a lot of times including Iraq. He was actually in Iraq five days before I got there. Every time he would go I was terrified, as any brother should be—he’s in freaking Iraq! I hate the war and I don’t think we should be there, but I respect and support all of our military for doing what they do. It was rad going to Iraq because my brother prepped me well on what to expect. It certainly gave me an appreciation for what he does. It was special for me because obviously, as the MC, I could tell the soldiers what I go through when my brother is deployed. I know what their families go through. Things like waiting on phone calls that don’t happen for days or him saying he’s coming home in June and it ends up being September. I could totally relate to having a relative in the military. So these shows were truly from my heart, and I can’t thank the soldiers enough.
How did the second tour compare with the first one last year?
This tour was way radder. We had an insane lineup of riders, some of us already knew what to expect, and we had a ton of new ramps.
Were you ever scared (aside from Jeremiah scaring you)?
Not really. The only time I was scared was when we went “outside the wire.” I have heard insane stories about people going outside the wire and sh-t popping off.
What kind of trouble did you get into on this trip?
I was actually well behaved on this trip. I think the lack of Rooftop made me act closer to my age. I’ll blow some sh-t up next time.
What are some good ways to amuse yourself, and others, while in the 130° Iraqi desert and in a war zone?
Anybody that knows me, knows I love to scare people. The only problem is that I’m a jumpy old man my damn self, and I scare really easily. Jeremiah scared me at least 100 times on this trip. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking for hot female soldiers, is that a game? We still play the push-up game—if you say the word “mine” you have to do ten push-ups.
What was it like riding in 120°-130° temps?
There is nothing that can prepare you for it. You have to drink water at all times—even if you aren’t thirsty. It’s even harder in the shows because you obviously breathe harder when you are riding.
Out of everything we got to see and do, what was the best/most fun/most memorable?
For me it was the Ziggurat of Ur. I had done a lot of reading about it and never in one million years would I have thought I would have a chance to stand on it. It used to be under U.S. control, but we gave it back to the Iraqis earlier this year. It would cost over a million dollars as a civilian [to go see it]. It meant a lot to me because I am a big believer in aliens. The Ziggurat has historically been associated with ancient aliens. Search it online.
It was cool meeting different riders who were over there doing their service. What was it like talking to them and learning about what it’s like for them to be over there?
It was rad meeting BMX riders because they were blown away more than anyone. They know sh-t is serious when dudes like Chad Kagy and BK [Brian Kachinsky] are showing up at their base.
Any good quotes from soldiers? Anything you’ll never forget that was said to you?
The most memorable thing that I have heard in Iraq was from a 19-year-old girl. She said to me, “I have been in Iraq for nine months, and your BMX show made me forget that I was here.”
Incorporating different military vehicles (Humvees, MRAPs, a fuel tanker, a Bradley, an ambulance, etc.) into the shows was rad. What was your favorite and why?
My favorite was the tanker because it almost took me out. [It was during the] last show and I almost died on a rocket wall slap that went really bad.
Which was your favorite show and why?
Every show was awesome. Every base was different. Our last show was bonkers for a lot of reasons, namely because Nate got to ride in a tank (Bradley) as it drove through the ramp.
What should riders/people here at home know about what’s going on over in Kuwait/Iraq?
In a nutshell, the American media twists our perception of what is going on in the world, Iraq included. The news never talks about the lives that are changed in a positive way because of our troops. We never hear about the roads being fixed, hospitals and schools being built, or the Iraqi lives that are positively affected by our troops. Our soldiers are doing something positive for themselves and other people. Every single soldier over there deserves our respect.
What was the most rewarding thing about doing this tour for you?
The entire experience. Seeing the sights, meeting the soldiers, and making people smile because of BMX.
Click on the first photo below to view the gallery…
TAGS: B.O.B. II, B.O.B.2, B.O.B.II, Bikes Over Baghdad, Bikes Over Baghdad 2, Bikes Over Baghdad II, Catfish, Iraq, Kuwait, Waka Flocka Flame, Zack Yankush