Monday, February 28, 2005

Close only counts...

Well....we are in Iraq.

I won't tell you the base location because of OPSEC. We arrived and were put up nice as it gets. But- let me back up and cover our trip up into country.

Last you read we were in Doha getting our gear- or not getting it. That night we were told no flight until at least Friday. At 23.00 we get alerted we have a bird that morning and we leave at 0400.

We hop a C130 north and do a fast drop onto the runway. Top and the Old Man meet us at the tarmac and pick up our gear while we wait for a chopper ride.

Holy shit...Back on the green line waiting for the go sign...We wait....and wait....waiting still....

The private security companies have got some serious hardware and have mod'd the f*ck out of some F150s...

We wait...and wait...the sun goes down...CPT J wanders off to take a piss and BAM!!! Manifest and get on the shithook! We grab CPT J's gear and watch him run from the porta-john trying to button his fly.

The bird lifts and we are out cold. What is it about choppers that put combat troops to sleep in about five seconds?

We land at our FOB (Forward Operating Base) and get shown to our billets. It's 01.30 hrs.

0600 I am up and smoking a cigarette. I wash and shave and go lay down until breakfast. CPT J walks out to burn one and watch the sun rise when a 107mm Chinese rocket slams into the ground about 100 mtrs away. It failure to fully explode and the fact CPT J is standing around the corner of a blast barrier keeps him from being smoking little piles.

Welcome to Iraq.

For the next few days we inprocess and get our gear. We start scrounging what we really need. Friday we get the word that we will have four men going out on the next morning cordon and search in Baghdad.

Myself, SFC B, CPTs J and B- are rolling out with a tank reinforced Mech Battalion to set three Traffic Control Points.

We roll out the gates and set our positions. We watch the sun come up and the people begin moving around. The kids come out to talk to use and we begin a pick-up game of soccer. Of course we are still in Body Armor and carrying weapons, but we are kicking the ball as best we can.

One of our interps tells an old man that the future of Iraq is this. The old ways are gone. When was the last time American soldiers, Iraqi soldiers and little children played soccer in the streets?

More when I have the time.

dutch- out


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