Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I am now back in the United States. Finally back on home soil and it feels GREAT. It is so nice being able to goto a public area and not have to wear a kevlar helmet or flak vest. Not only that, it is so much easier to talk to the locals. It is also good to see again all the strong support we have back in the United States. Even if many people don't agree with the war, they at least respect the guys that have to do the fighting. I can't even, and don't want to imagine what it must have been like to return from a year in a really tough fight in Vietnam just to be spat on and to be called a baby killer. That was a very sad time in our history.

It would be a lie if I said I liked Iraq. My experiences the first time were good. I lived by a good neighborhood near the green zone where the people were very friendly to American forces. This tour we were in a much tougher part of town and much poorer. So it was a big difference. I am a professional and we all did our job as professionals, but most will tell you they hated it there.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Not Going Anywhere For Awhile?

We still have not left yet. It is starting to get even warmer now. It hits about 120 degrees now, and the damn generator keeps going out and in a manner for a few seconds it instantly gets hot in our tent and the AC is really really slow at cooling the place down. It's not like the generator goes out for an hour or so. It keeps failing and start every few minutes. One minute it will be on, then the next it will be off. It's kind of amusing actually, and people jokingly yell in celebration when they see the temperature on the AC reading go up, and yell "Noooo!" when the temperature goes up instead of down.

One thing I can't wait to do when I get home is to play Paintball. It is one game I really like to play. I started playing it about 2 years ago. However, it's extremely irritating to see 14 and 15 year olds show up at the drop in games with 1000+ dollar paintball guns and I'm toting a paintball gun worth 200-300 dollars.

In our spare time, there isn't much to do except goto the MWR to use the Internet or watch movies on our portable dvd players or laptops.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The High Ground

Now that my days of Combat patrols and raids ect ect are over. I finally have time to write my personal feelings about Iraq. My first tour over here was definitely easier than this one. Of course, we were just doing raids most of the time and very little patrolling. So, I got plenty of sleep and ate pretty good. On average, we were working from 90-100 hour weeks this tour. I feel like I have aged much in my short time of being here.

I sometimes feel I know this place better than our military post back home. I have even gotten very good at talking to locals and communicating with them. It has been a good experience definitely, but I have lost some very good friends, Darren and Kurt. Especially Kurt, who I went out to clubs and joked around with. Kurt was a great guy, he always made people laugh and he was loved by all, so was Darren. After what seeing what war is really all about from the very start in March 03 to present day, I have a disgust for it. I actually hate it now. It's the worst feelings in the world having to race down a road well known for IEDs, praying that you're not the unlucky vehicle in the small convoy. We are armed with new weapons against IEDs that now, you don't have to ever worry about IEDs anymore for the most part. I wish we had that earlier, we wouldn't have lost the men we did.

I can definitely tell you from a military view, that the US and Iraqi forces are on the high ground in Iraq. The enemy has no real chance of taking power as long as we are here. They don't really ever attack us. Our Company has only seen about 3 gun fights, all of which we soundly defeated the enemy. Including the brief shoot out I was in. I am very glad to see the Iraqi Army in large numbers out patrolling the streets as well. It gives us alot more combat power and plus they gather Intel on the enemy much faster than we do. However, they constantly get attacked by small arms and such. One of the most frustrating things is when the IAs conduct a big operation, is the enemy will come out of the wood work and fight them, but it is as if the enemy wants nothing to do with fighting with Americans. They would rather plant a bomb and hide, and when we arrest them, they usually are scared shit less. A funny story one of the prison guards told us, is that our Battalion has captured more bad guys than any other battalion in our Brigade. That also, our company like many others has insignia on our trucks so they can be identified by our higher commanders. The word is, many of the prisoners mention our insignia in interrogation and say they are afraid of the Hmmwv's with that particular insignia on it.

As long as the United States continues to stay in Iraq and help the Iraqi government, the terrorists and insurgents will lose. They are only capable of killing a few of us at a time and whenever they manage do organize a co-ordinated attack they are swiftly defeated. I know of the Prison attack that happened near us where 40 soldiers got injured, at least 30 of the attackers were killed. Zarqawi is a master at sending his men on suicide missions. They never succeed, despite the good press they get. Anytime hear reports of an Al-Jazeera news truck around, you know something bad is going to happen.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Done at LAST

I was working a pretty long stretch. So, I had no chance to get on the computers and write. The reason I finally have time to write? Our tour here in Iraq is up and our replacements have taken over for us. So, now all that is left is to fly home and get on with my life. I have alot planned for when I get out of the Army. I probably won't be out of the Army till later Summer. So, I won't be going to college till probably spring classes start. I am not trying to jump through my ass in doing all this crap as soon as I get out of the Army. I want alittle time to have to myself and get my thoughts in order.

I have to go, but soon I will write again about my experiances here and what I think is going to happen to this place after I leave.

Friday, June 03, 2005


My ears are still ringing from a fire fight we just had recently. It wasn't too long lasted maybe for only 2 minutes. No Americans got hurt, I don't know if any of the enemy were killed. They were running as we were firing. The funny thing about 5.56mm, the ammo you use for m4 or m16, is I've seen many cases where a guy was shot 4 times or so and barely flinched. So, we may have wounded a few of them without knowing. This is my first fire fight I've had during my second tour.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Just As Busy

Well, not much has been going on. We are still just as busy as we have been. Recently, we found a VERY dangerous IED. Luckily, we caught it before it blew on an unlucky patrol. It would probably have really messed us up. Our area has been pretty quiet lately. Which is good, but now it seems the enemy has stopped trying to engage us in fire fights and rockets and has moved solely to using IEDs. We have been finding them alot lately. We also have other ways of countering IEDs without just looking for them, of course, for me to talk about it would be a definite OPSEC violation, so I will not go there, but it is effective.

Since I am going to be leaving Iraq soon, alot of things about home come into memory. Food, movies, beaches, clubs, friend all that stuff. It is hard to stay focused when you are anxious to get home. Where you don't have roadside bombs, RPGs and Mortars being fired at you. It is going to be more difficult transitioning back to life in America. I have definitely seen more combat this time around. After 2 deployments in just 3 years and training in between, I have come to realize I have had VERY little time on my own. So, it is time for me to move on and go out into the real world, find a job and probably eventually start a family.