Sunday, November 21, 2004

Journal Entry During War

Tonight I was sitting here wondering what I could write about, so I picked up a small journal I kept during the war. I haven't looked at it in a long time, and I've been meaning to rewrite it in ink, since I originally wrote in it with pencil and it's beginning to fade from the paper and into distant memory. Things are infinitely more interesting when you are writing in a combat zone- intense drama, horror, chaos, comedy, and a level of general insanity not found in life back home. I hope you will oblige me and maybe forgive me for sharing with you an entry I came across this evening. It's fairly tame and sanitized compared to some. I pray I don't bore you.

Setting- A small farming community, where onions seemed to be the crop of choice. This community was located somewhere around Karballa. The previous day we had seen heavy combat during a movement to contact.

4-1-03 15:43 Zulu
Great day to relax and hangout with the guys. Still at the farming AO(area of operations). They grow onions around here. We've enjoyed some of those onions today, cooking them in canteen cups over an ammo can filled with diesel fuel from the Bradley. The man from the house, whose farm is now our temporary home, brought us some more good tea(chai) and some bread that was out of this world considering where we are. The bread was similar to pita bread, baked I guess, and warm and crispy on the outside. It was a great snack. This afternoon I had peanut butter with mine. The chaplain and his two assistants stopped by for a chat- I got a little cross to put in my pocket. They are now back and will spend the night with us. Weird- people don't seem to mind cussing around him, even his assistants. This one spot seems like a peaceful contradiction to the sounds of war in the distance. Little girls carrying water buckets on their head. Farmers picking onions out in their fields. Colors- the tan sand, broken up by the bright green splotches of crops, backdropped by the blue sky with white clouds streaming overhead. The beautiful colors of the local's garments. The silver platters with little silver spoons, carrying our tea. Small glasses that resemble shot glasses and a plastic sugar container, with a tomato shaped top. The man brought us more tea and bread with some kind of bean soup or stew to dip the bread in. Very good stuff. I ate some of my bread with some strawberry jam I had from a MRE. The man and his sons posed for some pictures with us before they left. Even this man, with a war raging around his home, took the time to fix his hair before the picture was taken. Tomorrow we are probably leaving for another mission or to continue moving north. I have no doubt that we will soon see more combat, once we leave this peaceful place we called home for a day.


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