Saturday, December 04, 2004

Another War Journal Entry

Someone left a comment asking me if I had thought of posting another journal entry from the war. I don't know if people want to read these or not, and I'm not sure of how much to actually say, as some of them are intimately personal and somewhat graphic. Please pardon me if you find these boring, but until I return to Iraq, where interesting stories abound, there isn't a whole hell of lot to write about.

So here goes another one from our initial push north to Baghdad.

3-24-03 Iraq 5:22 Zulu

Cold overcast morning, dirty and unshaven. I now look as well as feel like I'm at war. If it didn't seem real the other day, with the constant presence of six charred bodies, it definitely seemed real after hearing mortar rounds hit dangerously close yesterday. The night before last we slept behind the Bradley next to a canal. The sleep was much needed and appreciated. Two hours before day light myself and three other guys had roving guard. We walked up and down the same street with the burned out truck and charred bodies. Walking past this sight time and time again was tolerable but by no means enjoyable. To add to this already gruesome sight and smell was the presence of two dogs that were busy feasting on the chargrilled corpses already in a state of rot. I will never forget the smell of a charred body. It almost smells too similar to a barbecue grill cooking an evening meal. These same dogs were earlier walking around their owners and children. These same people seemingly unaware of the stench of the dead less than fifty feet from where they were playing with their children and some baby sheep.

Yesterday was an interesting day. It seemed like we were in the back of the Bradley for an eternity trying to minimize our discomfort. We were slowly making our way to hook up with a Cav unit to give them support, since they were taking heavy fire. We were alll uncomfortably hot, crowded, hungry, and thirsty, which made us think not of the fact that we're at war. We stopped at an AA where we were finally able to get out and grab some MRE's and take a much needed piss. We were all hungry so having food brightened our day, and we bagan a half hour of joking and laughing deliriously at our predicament. This somewhat festive mood ended abruptly when mortar rounds began hitting dangerously close. Thump, thump, thump and we were quickly brought back to the reality that is war. It was about ten minutes of controlled chaos filled with cursing, fear, and radio chatter. Nobody seemed to know initially whether it was friendly fire or not, although it turned out to be definitely enemy. Just minutes earlier we'd seen about 15 choppers patrolling the area around us, making us feel safe. The LT. was unsure of what to do. His voice sounded nervous and indecisive over the radio blaring from the speaker in the back of the Bradley. Sgt. H and others were trying, without results, to get some kind of direction as to what to do. Elements of the whole battalion were amassed in one area, and we desperately needed to disperse. Finally Sgt. H said fuck it, and told the driver to hall ass to get us out of the area. During this the LT. finally came over the radio and told our track to go in a direction that ended up being the wrong direction. During all of this chaos I continued to finish my MRE(Chicken Tetrazzini sp?). Jacob, who was sitting directly across from me, remarked in amazement at how I could just sit there casually eating my meal at a time like this. I just smiled, shook my head, and asked him what the hell else was I supposed to do, it was out of my control. Inside, my heartbeat did begin to speed up at the sounds of the impacts getting closer and closer. I just said a little prayer during the moment of indecision and continued my feast. We finally made our way to a bombed out area in the vicinity of our prior location. We stayed hear for the night, which is on the outskirts of a nearby city. We are supposedly going to escort some bridging assets into the city tonight. We could be in for a fight whenever they actually decide to do this. Our job is to secure the area so those guys can do their thing. We were instructed to shoot anything that tries to get through or anyone with a weapon. So that's where we are now, just waiting. This wasn't supposed to be our mission, but I've quickly learned that missions come and go in an instant.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's your blog, so please feel free to post what you want to say. Thank God for people like you and my Dad and uncles who have done their duty so that we are free to write what we want.

But if you want to know if I want to read stories like this, then yes I sure do. I've been on teams of faculty and in casts of stage plays, and the laughing and grousing are the same. The danger and exertion are unique to the soldier, though, and that's something civilians like me need to understand by reading about it.

I pray that you come home safe and sound. I'll be back to read whatever you want to post.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The war diary is great, post more :)

Martin

3:19 PM  
Blogger Lara93 said...

What a different world your in. I was never in combat perse but a medic for five years in the army. I wish I could be in your shoes. I am out the military because of a medical discharge.Stay motivated, do whats right. I would greatly appreciate an e-mail from you.My e-mail address in Lara93@AOL.com.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Whiteknighthorse said...

Please keep posting things from your journal. It's interesting and I would rather read this from a soldier than from a journalist.
Can you do them in, more or less, chronological order? It makes more sense to us that way.
Thanks so much for doing this.
Julie

2:59 PM  
Blogger Mandie Jean said...

I don’t know who you are. You don’t know who I am. But yet, you are fighting over in the war, for my freedom, and for the freedom of so many others that you do not know and I thank you for that. :) thank you. If it was not for you and the other brave men and women overseas fighting for us, we wouldn’t know the meaning of freedom or anything like that. Thank you. Seriously, thank you. You didn’t have to enlist but you did and I am happy that you did : ) God Bless and I hope that you continue doing that you do. And I hope that you continue writing in your blog so that we can all read about what is happening. Keep in Touch. ~ Mandie Jean

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May God Curse Bush with a Horrible sickness.

Satan Bush said he found a nuclear weapon in iraq actaually the coward has that nuclear weapon while his fathre was sleeping he entered the father bushes's room and found that neclear weapon in between his fathers legs.

May god curse G.W Bush with horrible disease where he cannot talk his words bigger than his size.

may god curse all bloody Americans with a great disease where the world has never experienced befor for those who obeys satan bush .

7:04 AM  

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