HAPPY NEW YEARS FROM IRAQ!
BANG…..BANG BANG BANG!!...........Its 0001 Jan 1st 2006!!!! (eastern standadrd time + 8hrs)
Plan “B” - Things have been very busy here as we have been continuing to take the fight to Haji. You can’t stop the clock not even on New Years and so time continues to tick away at our fun filled adventure here in Iraq.
0530, alarm clock from HELL goes off, I use my panther like reflexes (not) to find the snooze button as wish I could sleep for another eight hours. Dash two alarm clock goes off and Im voicing some very colorful verbiage about this time and right out of a wake up scene from Bruce Almighty Im kicking, flipping trying to go back to sleep and ignore the clock. Morning chow is a nice cup of joe and a strawberry pop tart (not only wrapped in foil but good for you too!), a couple vitamins and viola the day is under way. Alarm clock number one returns for a second butt kicking but Im ready and mash the Chinese made plastic. Scratch one alarm clock…toast!
Mission for the day is to take some VIPs to another base to show them some great things Coalition forces are doing. No problemo. We roll out to an undisclosed landing zone (LZ) where they will land at. We make our way through the city and its smells ok but here comes that dang short of breath again but I see a lot of little Iraqi ankle bitters (kids) out and about which is always a great sign and they are waving vise doing the IED detonator motion with their hands…also another good sign. We motor down the major highway past a couple M1 Tanks (checkpoints) that have black soot all over them from previous IEDs, RPGs and gas bombs….not so much a good sign Watching out in the distance and gutters for threats things look good and we seem to motoring well. We get to our LZ and are all set up but where we are the sniper threat is moderate to high so we want to keep our VIPs protected and get them in the truck as soon as possible. The aircraft come in and drop off our passengers (PAX) and we load them up to take them to another location for their visit. Things are great and going smoothly and now we have to transport them to yet another location for more information and now we are going to go through the FUN part of town. We begin to load up and one of the civilian passengers turns to me and says, this isn’t like a downtown city in the states; you guys are pretty serious here. I said, Yes Sir these Assholes are trying to kill us so we kill them first. Oh man he wasn’t ready for that answer as I helped him put on his body armor. He was then briefed to stay put in the hummer as the crew got out of the hummers to go to condition one and load all of our weapons. Here are these civilians sitting there in a beat up, shrapnel spotted hummer watching a crap load of Marine loading multiple weapons like we were about to fight it out at OK coral……..wait a second that’s exactly what we were getting prepared to do. We headed down our prescribed route and black smoke began to rise off the road a ways. Usually nothing, sometimes a signal to let scumbags know good guys are on the road near by We approached a bridge and the scout vehicle called back that “the bridge is blocked” as I saw a sheep truck crossways in the road with no driver which meant we would go to plan “B”. One of the PAX that heard the conversation over the cab speaker asked what that all meant. I looked back at them and said “nothing good, hang on” and we turned to another street. We approached another trouble spot and new something was not right with the blocked bridge and lead truck spotted an IED. We were headed into a freaking ambush bigger than monkey shit and the three Hajis scrunched down in their Mercedes confirmed it as they were probably the maneuver element of the IED ambush. With some good training and quick actions we called an audible and turned yet again almost back tracking. An Army patrol was on the scumbags and had them cuffed on the road as we passed. Our PAX’s weren’t to sure and weren’t saying a whole lot when they saw the detainees in the dirt. The best compliment Ive heard since Ive been here I think was when all was calm when we got on the next base. When we walked in and one PAX stopped me and said, Im really impressed, Im not sure what all happened on our way over here in the convoy but thanks, that was awesome. Holding back a smile of being proud of the guys, I said, you’re welcome the men did good today and left to check on our trucks status.
As we hear a small arms attack unfolding in the distance, tracers in the sky and New Years approaches here in Iraq, I only hope they very best for you and yours this New Year. A new start a new beginning, and time to move on and a time to remember the past year and to plan for the next year approaching. Be smart, be safe and have a plan “B”.
FOR OUR FALLEN:
(you may recognize the words to this bagpipe backed song as its taken from the movie “We were Soldiers Once and Young” )
Lay me down in the cold cold ground Where before many more have gone Lay me down in the cold cold ground Where before many more have gone When they come I will stand my ground Stand my ground I'll not be afraid Thoughts of home take away my fear Sweat and blood hide my veil of tears Once a year say a prayer for me Close your eyes and remember me Never more shall I see the sun For I fell to a Germans gun Lay me down in the cold cold ground Where before many more have gone Lay me down in the cold cold ground Where before many more have gone Where before many more have gone In memory of Sgt. Charles Stuart MacKenzie Seaforth Highlanders Who along with many others gave up his life So that we can live free We will remember them all.
Some of you may also read some posts from a buddy of mine. Major B aka “Taco”. (click here to read some of his stuff) Well you see he is over here with me but not at the same base. We both have been getting a lot of encouragement to write a book. Well were gonna do it. We are going to combine our stuff and let er loose! HERE is where you can help. We need a name for the book. Got an idea?? Email me with it. If we use it you’ll probably get mentioned in the book. The book will be one of many ways for us to give back to all of you who have supported us and help other service members to get the same support that we got. Get of yer butts and shoot us a title!
Capt B sends………………………I gotta go blow something up and bring in the New Year right!!!!