Monday, May 10, 2004

Back to the 'Raq

I and many others have been busting our asses for 6 days straight, working about 13 hours a day running training lanes. These lanes have different weapons systems and tasks soldiers must complete. Such as, the AT-4, or Hand Grenades, demolitions, M249 SAW, m240 Bravo, .50 Cal Machine gun, Mark-19 automatic grenade launcher, call for indirect fire, and a bunch others. Each station has it's own specialty. The lane I run is for the Javelin missile system, there I give classes to groups of people who stop by to learn how to use this very effective tank buster. I teach them all about how to fire it, and that it can pretty much shoot anything you can think of. It's a smart bomb that will follow it's target and it can kill any tank on the face of the Earth. During the classes we even joke around with the soldiers saying you can even shoot Mosques with it. There is about 30 or so classes all that every single soldier must go to and master before leaving for Iraq. The commander of the group going wants even the pencil pushers to go through all of these lanes, because maybe they might have to use these skills in order to survive or save their buddies. Again, I cannot say the size of the group going to Iraq, but it is a pretty big group. For a whole month straight, I and the other lane cadre will be working from 9am to 8pm to train the task force going into Iraq. All of the cadre are the groups of us who just returned from Iraq. The commander wanted guys with experience training these classes, and plus the rest of the force will be training for a WHOLE month straight, not a single day off. They will be doing a TON of live fires, close-quarter combat training, and just going to ranges to improve on marksmen ship. Once they ghetto Iraq and our group has been here long enough with our families, we will be sent back to Iraq to meet up with the task force. This task force is not military police, or any non-combatant forces. It is a force of probably 85% Infantryman. Our mission and purpose the commander said, is to kill the enemy. So, we all know we are going to be doing ALOT of raids and ALOT of combat patrols.

I have had an interesting e-mail from a woman asking me why I sound so okay with going back to Iraq. She wanted to know if I had some kind of death wish. She made clear this was not an insult to me. I know others must be thinking the same questions, so I will just answer it here. I know when I go to Iraq, I will be coming home alive. I know this because of the men and woman to my left and my right. I know they will not let me down, and I will not let them down. I am extremely confident in our training. So, no, when I think of Iraq, I am not worried about returning. I survived the war, and for a whole year of raids and combat patrols, I got out without a scratch. I will go back to Iraq and I will later return to my family again when my tour is up.