13 July 2009

The Wiiilllddd Night in Husabia, Iraq....


From the Soldier side: One of my fondest memories from Iraq took place one dark and hot night in July 05. The Marine dudes we were staying with invited my "terp" and I to go out with them on a night "job."
They told us that morning, so we rested the day...well as much as we could rest in 116 F heat with few places to cool off. At that time I'd given 50 bucks for an ice cold bottle of water. To this day, my friends and family still don't understand why I really want my cold drinks as cold as I can get them--- frosty is good. If water freezes at 0 Centigrade, then give me a glass that's at 1 Centigrade and I'll be happy.
Anyway, back to the mission. We were to go out after it got good and dark. For this job, we'd ride out in the Marine Am Traks. They were a giant beast, but they gave me a lot of comfort from small arms fire and things that blow up. I really don't like getting shot at or blown up.
We'd have a platoon of Marines for cover, whilst we made contact with some local citizens (in regards to "mess kit repairs"). I asked if my team could go along for the experience, but the Marine Staff Sergeant I was working with thought my team was too young....I explained they'd never get old and crusty until they did some crazy shit. He still didn't want them to come...for some reason he felt I would be OK.
Our only "drag factor" was my "terp". He was 55 years old and not the brightest guy in the world. He spoke Arabic and English very well, and this contractor job paid a hell of a lot more than the donut shop he'd worked at for the last 20 years. But, he was slow to move and not very observant when he really needed to be. He thought he'd only be working in an "office" for his job...little did he know he might actually have to go out side a camp or FOB and earn his pay.
In my "rest and prep" time, I made sure my weapons were ready to go...which they always were...but I checked them over again anyway...just because.
At about 2200 hours, (10 PM for some of you) we loaded the Am Traks. Our "cover" mission was that we were delivering water to some of the locals. The water pipe feeding most of the town had been broken for weeks...so dropping off cases of water was a good gesture. (hell, we didn't even have running water on our shitty little camp).
To be cont.....
Note: Update: It appears that some readers are not able to figure out what "Mess Kit Repair" is. It is a special MOS in the US Army. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

8 comments:

coffeypot said...

I'm thinking the Marine SSgt. wanted you along because you have the experience. But it's probably because you were the cutest of the bunch.

CI-Roller Dude said...

Coffey Pot, that might be true, we didn't have a lot to work with at the time. I think it was more because I could shoot.

coffeypot said...

That, too.

Anonymous said...

I agree Coffeepot.

...he's cute, experienced, and he can shoot. I'd vote him in. ;)

Nice pic Roller Dude...
hmm...except for the blackout.

CI-Roller Dude said...

I just hope "Anonymous" isn't a dude.
Coffey Pot: I've avoiding using any jokes about the Navy or Marines...because I've worked with them both and in my opinion, when they're on the "dirt" they are better than most Army grunts.
You can keep the ships...I get worried when I can't see land. If I'm being shot at, I like the earth.

coffeypot said...

There is always earth when you are on a ship...it's just a couple of miles straight down. Rivalry between the services with jokes are just for the humor. The respect comes from their actions. There aren’t many braver than the Navy Corpsman’s assigned to a Marine unit. Medics from the Army are also right up there among my heroes. The AF, with their aerial evacs to Germany or other places deserve the respect, too.

All the branches have their bad times. The Army marching, eating and sleeping in all kinds of weather, the Marines hitting the beaches under heavy fire, the Navy having to ride out Typhoons , hurricanes, or sever storms, and the AF having the chow hall close a half hour early. All the veterans had to face hard times.

CI-Roller Dude said...

Coffey Pot...I can't swim for shit. When we did water ops in "school" many years ago, I cheated and took a plastic trash bag with me...hid it under my "roll" of gear to keep my stuff dry and help me float. I made it through and all my shit was dry... and the instructors thought I did a great job.

Anonymous said...

Nope,I'm definately not a dude. :)