01 July 2009

7/4/05, Kind of like Family Day...without the kids

From the Soldier side: It's getting kind of funny. The more time that passes by since I have been home from Iraq, the more it seems like it wasn't really real. I took a lot of "digital images" when I was there because I knew I'd want to do something with them later. The funny thing is, some of the best photos I could have taken I couldn't because my hands were filled with some kind of weapon (M-4 Carbine or M-249 SAW.) A "Gun Cam" would have been really cool. Heck the cheap digital camera I had didn't even take video.
July 4th 2005, my second team and I were in Al Qaim Iraq....with a Marine unit. We were fixin' to roll up to the Syrian border, but we had to wait for "new orders" because the higherup's ( a polite way of saying assholes) couldn't make up their minds where my team should go.
We were an "Army" team assigned to help the Marines (who I preferred working with).
The Marines wanted us in one place and the dumbass Army leaders thought we should go somewhere else.
The "somewhere else" won out and we had to wait for a "convoy" to go there. It seems that nobody really wanted to go to the "somewhere else" because it was so dangerous to get there.
So, for July 4th, 05 we got to celebrate with the Marines at Al Qaim ( you can look it up at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Qa'im_(town

They had quiet a celebration. They had BBQ (fake hamburgers) hot dogs, chips, cold soda, ice cream, and no beer. (General Order #1--which states that no military persons in Iraq will ever have fun.) That was going to be the last cold soda and ice cream we'd have for awhile.

The Marines got out their tanks, guns, and equipment and had it all on display just like an open house or family day back in the states. Only thing missing-- the family and kids. But I got to climb on a M1 tank and get inside. (I had only been behind them when the turbine exhaust blasted my M113 several years before.) It was a nice tank, but they wouldn't let me take it for a drive. I was pretty sure I could drive it...but I didn't want to piss off the nice tanker dudes. ...what I really wanted to do was fire the 120 MM cannon at some insurgentasshole.
A few days later we rolled up the Camp Gannon. What a --it hole that was. But good people. No running water, no fresh food (canned rations) no AC (it got blown up with suicide bombers) For more on Camp Gannon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Gannon
We were so close to the Syrian border that I threw rocks over the wall just so I could tell people someday that's how close we were.
Ahh...good times.

When you go out on the 4th and sip a few cold ones, remember the men and woman in the sand box who don't have that luxury...and take a sip for them. Be safe: Mike, Joe, Don, Will, Bobby and the rest of you guys in harms way.


coffeypot said...

I will remember and drink a salute to them, too.

I bet it would be a hoot to fire that tank up and go dune-bugging.

I also believe that if we could take the decision making and combat planning away from anyone higher than a Sgt. Major, the war would be over and the country would be rid of the bad guys.

Red said...

Dude, thanks for the morning chuckle! And yes, I most definitely will remember the men and women playing in the Sandbox this 4th of July

~J said...

If I was in charge, I would have let you take the tank out for a drive...

Happy 4th!...I'll dedicate the first sip of a cold one to those in the sandbox... and one for your service too, D.

Heyyyyyy...I like the new tunes. "The Boss" sounds good on here.