Thursday, March 31, 2005

Bad Ideas

Not much has been going on for me. I have been doing pretty good. However, having to stand out in full battle rattle for 4 hours at a time checking ID cards and searching Hajjis all day in 90+ degree heat sucks. Since we are an Infantryman, I don't get to work with women very often. Almost never, so this job has it's own perks. You get to see some of the hot officers and sometimes a few good looking female interpreters. Can't really say anything to them... SEXUAL HARASSMENT. There aren't very many attractive women in the Army, so sometimes you gotta look hard. Some guys get bored and just count the number of attractive service women they see. It also makes me laugh when I remember the saying Colonel Nathan Jessup from A Few Good Men says "There is nothing on this earth sexier, than a woman that you have to salute in the morning." It was a funny quote, but I don't really believe it.

A Bradley fighting vehicle caught on fire a few mornings ago while inside the camp. I don't know much about it. The crew had to run from the vehicle because the ammunition started to cook off. I was sleeping during the time, but I remember when an explosion shook my room.

The heat is coming. It touched 91 degrees yesterday, and feels just as hot today. The sad thing is..... THIS ISN'T EVEN HOT. Before we leave sometime this summer, we can expect it to reach 120 degrees maybe even 130 degrees. In the body armor, it seems like it is 10 degrees hotter inside than outside of the body armor. I can see wearing body armor and full battle rattle outside of the camp. Inside? a secured zone where it is pretty safe. I hate this crap where the brass makes up all these stupid rules so they can just cover their own ass. That way if something goes wrong, they just say "Well, it's not our fault." It's easy for them because they are in an air conditioned room the whole day and it probably even seems cold for them. Except for us who are in a rediculous uniform for being inside the camp when no one else is in that uniform inside the camp except the guards of the different facilities. They must want to have some heat casualties. I am in the Army, so obviously no one is surprised, because if you've been in the military for more than 2 days, you know of all the stupid rules that don't make sense that these guys sit around and come up with.

Monday, March 28, 2005


Not much has been going on for me lately. I am now doing this detail where I get to check people's ID cards. Yay, I get to be an Infantryman/Military Police. I can't complain though, it's way better than having rockets and mortars being fired at you. I haven't even been here long and I've earned my Combat Infantryman's Badge numerous times already in just the few weeks we have been doing patrols. Like it really matters, since I earned it plenty of times during the war when I was here the first time. It's funny getting questions from guys just coming in from units that have never been here before. We even get cherry(new guy)-type questions from Navy SEALs and all that. I've lost alot of respect for them after having worked with them a few times in Iraq. They didn't seem a whole lot better trained then the regular Infantryman. I guess alot of the Special Operations units are hyped up too. I've seen more combat in my few weeks of being back here than probably most SEALs, SF, and other units have seen. I can't deny they get all the coolest toys though. If I was to make the Army a career, I would definitely go Special Forces. A few of my friends have successfully made it through and got their Green beret and encourage me to do it. Though, I got plans to get out and continue going to school and start a family.

Having been in the Army for 3 years, a few months past the time I was supposed to be out. I have accomplished what I've always wanted to. Which foolishly at the time was to goto war and fight. I've learned the hard way about wishing for that non-sense. I've got the coveted CIB, which isn't so prestigious anymore, almost everyone in 11 series has one of those damn things. The last thing is the EIB (Expert Infantryman's Badge). I should have gotten that during this summer. I was SOOOO close. One testing station left I would have had it. If not for the damn pocket protector testers making sure I did everyone in the EXACT order it had to be done, even if I did the task right.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy Easter!

I get to have some involuntary R&R for about a week. I have been picked to be put on a detail that will prevent me from going outside the wire. Which is good and is also bad. I wish I could be out there with the guys, but I also am glad for a week I wont be getting shot at or mortars landing close by. I have earned my Combat Infantryman Badge several occasions already and I haven't even been here that long. We recently had a guy get hurt, but he'll be okay. He has to go home though.
Perhaps, it is getting better in other places in Iraq. Just like the news has been saying, however, in our area, things have actually been getting worse. It's funny how back home in America, politics are a big thing. Everyone back home talks about what they see on the news and add their two cents on what needs to be done. However, over here, politics are non-existent. I don't even think of all the political arguments and debate over here. It all seems strangely so far away.
Happy Easter everyone. I hope everyone back home is having a good Sunday. I know if it was me, I would be probably doing some drinking and watching some kind of sports on TV. I think NASCAR is on, so I would probably watch that with my Dad.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Off the Grid

A quick update. The power grid seems to be getting better here and more public works projects seems to be getting underway. Hopefully they're now starting to realize that if they can improve their living conditions, it may help stop some of the fighting.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Situation Report

Things are getting alittle interesting over here. Not in a good way either. While out in our area of operations in Baghdad. Nearby, a Bradley and a few other armored vehicles got ambushed yesterday. It was first hit with an IED and a fire fight broke out for about a minute. I only saw the puff of smoke from the IED from a distance, the rest, I could only hear the sound of small arms and the sound of the loud Coax gun on the Bradley firing away. About an hour or 2, the vehicles that got ambushed rolled past our spot where we were in the city and the only visible damage the IED caused was a black mark on the side of the Bradley that scorched the paint alittle bit. I don't know if any insurgents were killed, but I do know no Americans were hurt. Just from hearing the heavy guns from the armored vehicles and the 25mm from the Coax on the Bradley leaves me to assume they probably killed some of the enemy. The only thing that matters is none of our guys were hurt in that incident. Other than that, not much else happened in our area.

It has been starting to get pretty hot over here. Even if it is only around 80 degrees. Though, yesterday it wasn't too bad at all. I had to put sunscreen on though. Right now I have a tan on my face with an outline of from the sunglasses we were around my eyes, plus the white spot around my chin from the chin strap. However, today it has been pretty nice, thought it is very windy. Hopefully a sandstorm isn't coming.

Sorry I haven't wrote in a few days. I have been swamped lately with working out in the city. Plus, the internet has gone down a few times and the line has been really long to use the computers. Sleep is paramount, and sometimes I have to pick that over blogging.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Ali Baba Strikes Again

A few days ago was pretty exciting. Alot of activity in our area where we operate. Not much I can really say, but the whole day seemed awefully quiet. Until, we had an RPG or some kind of rocket launched at us. Luckily, it missed us, it was too close to sit around and try to figure out where it came from. So, we didn't bother sticking around. So, now the whole squad, which has many new guys in it, have earned their CIBs. One of the guys was really pissed off about whoever shot that, getting away. There was other stuff that went on that was pretty crazy, but no attacks on troops.

Me and my friends joked around about how we are basically beat Cops with big guns. The only thing we are missing are Sirens and the flashing lights on top. Also, all we need to do is start giving out traffic tickets.

Despite the attack, it's been overall quiet in our area. It is possible that the insurgents and terrorists are waiting for the whole congressional thing to go on that is supposed to happen soon. Then, they will start to hit us alot during that time.

Also, Ali Baba is a term used in Iraq and maybe other Arab countries that describes someone as a theive or criminal. If someone is a Ali Baba, they are a bad guy.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Hot Hot Hot

We have been pretty busy lately. That is why I have not been able to really update this site. I have a hard enough time as it is just writing letters to my family.

The weather is pretty nice now. About a high 60 low 70 average. That will change once April comes around. Then it will start to warm up alot more. I dread the thought of wearing body armor and everything else during the hot months. When it will be at a 120-130 average. ALOT of water will have to be consumed in order to not get dehydrated or sun stroke during that time.

The other day, we had detonations by EOD to blow up weapons caches they found. Wouldn't you know it? pretty close to the road, and by the way, no one warned us of that like they're supposed to. So while we were by the area, KA-BOOM!, KA-BOOM!, KA-BOOM!, KA-BOOM. It must have been a huge find in order to use that much explosives. We thought a nearby unit was getting hit with IEDs. It was very loud and we could definitely feel the concussion even though we were about 300-400 meters away and saw smoke plumes quickly rise from where they exploded it all. A few Bradley's drove by right when this happened. They must not have gotten the word either because they were scanning all around for someone to shoot. Then, a minute later after trying to figure out what happened, they finally told us after the fact that EOD was blowing shit up.

Not much has been going on. Just the usual we have been doing. Which I am not really allowed to say what that is. The crackdown on military blogs is thanks for that.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Crazy and Boring

Lately, not much has been going on for us. However, recently we had mortars land about 300-400 meters from us. We weren't the target, it was an American base that was nearby. No one got hurt luckily. Later on that day, we took sniper fire from a building. No one got hurt either. We immediately moved and started searching nearby houses to see if we could catch the bastard. Too bad he got away, because everyone was pretty pissed off about someone shooting at us.

Not much else has been going on. Just relaxing on a day off. Waiting for my damn care package that STILL has not arrived yet. I hope my parents didn't screw up on the mailing address. It is probably just being slow with my package though. The mail is a hell of alot better than it was last time I was here. Sometimes it could take 8 days to 2 to 3 weeks before it gets to your hands. Now, the average is 8 days and sometimes 10 to 12 days.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Singing in the Rain

Not much has been going on that is really worth reporting about lately. I've been enjoying my short time off. It shouldn't be as crazy as a work schedule as it was before.

It has been raining like crazy over here for the past 3-4 days. It has rained more here than I think I've seen it rain in such a short period of time back in the states. The streets are flooded all over and it's impossible not to track mud into buildings. Yesterday and today were the worst. It was raining cats and dogs on and off all day and in between it was still raining. Luckily, I have several sets of boots and socks, because my one pair is SOAKED. It finally stopped tonight. Last time I was here, I never saw anything like this. It must be REALLY shitty out in the actual city where they really don't much much to drain this stuff out. We had to take our Machine guns we mount on our vehicles and coat them with alot of lubricant to take off any rust from the missions they were using them during the rainy days. That is very important, nothing worse than the sound of "ka-chunk" from a 240 in a fire fight. Luckily they are very reliable.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Tribute to the American People

I would just like to write a quick tribute to the American people in my short time off. It is really amazing to me how much support we are getting. I don't think in any time in history maybe in WWII that the American people cared so much for it's soldiers. It's intolerable for Americans to think of their soldiers riding around unprotected. I'm really proud of all you guys. It is really nice to know that many people may not support the war, but at least they support us. I was reading alot about people in factories all across America, thousands of companies fitting armor onto Hmmwv's and working 6 days a week 12 hours a day and not complaining because they say they feel they are making a difference and the ammount of care they put into it. It is a really nice thought. So, I just wanted to dedicate this post to the American people for all their support. We all in the military services thank you very much.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Very Busy

We have been very very busy going out and conducting patrols through our area in Iraq. The kid still wave at us and give us thumps up. They even put on sunglasses that were handed to them previously by US Soldiers to look cool in front of us.

A few nights ago was my first time since being here a second time we were attacked. We stopped in a neighborhood asking people if they've been hearing and loud booms or saw anything. Next thing you know, about 15 minutes later while we were still there, a mortar lands about 100 meters from our position. A very lucky shot or a good one. It was way too close for comfort. It just exploded in the alley in next to us. I ducked immediately, my heart was pounding really hard. We finally took off, and my nervousness went away and became anger. I wanted to find out whoever did that. A few guys have already hit some IEDs and been shot at, but no one has been hurt.

It is very sad to go around in neighborhoods and talk to Iraqis that are terrified of helping us because they have Sunnis in their neighborhood watching what everyone does. Some people do help us, but it is kept really discreet, and they are always really nervous. This could be a great country if it weren't for these bastards. For their safety I wont get much into that. We've had alot of co-operating though.

When I got to be a driver on one of the recent patrols. I was scaring everyone in my vehicle because they kept thinking we were gonna hit everyone. I felt like I was in completely control the whole time, however, I can't blame them. I was flying through traffic and clogged up streets with cars. From my last deployment, I've learned speed is life.