17 November 2009
Wow...that water is COLD!
From the Soldier side: I know some of you have been sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the rest of the "bomb" story. If you are one of those people....you really need to get a job or something.
So, remember my Team Leader in Bosnia had sent the team and me out to pick up a "bomb" or a mine. We really were not sure what it was. He was trying to impress somebody. We had some tools, but picking up shit like this was not really our job. The nice folks in Bosnia didn't know that...they were under the impression that if we rolled up in a Humvee, we could do anything.
We drove out of the camp and up to the Bosnia xxx xxx office and met up with some good people. They explained the following:
Some local kids had been playing along the River Drina (that's how they talked, not the Drina River, but the River Drina).
The kids found some kind of bombs. The kids went home and their parents called the police. (I wanted to ask later if they had 911, but I don't think so.)
So, since the bombs were found in the river, that was under the area of the XXXX police. They had an officer sitting near the bombs for the last 24 hours. We followed the Nice Bosnian cop to the river and we got out and took a look.
Now, since I had been an 11C (mortars) in the regular Army and a Combat Engineer for about 12 years in the National Guard, I knew a bit about things that go "boom!"
The cop pointed into the water and I could almost see something. But, somebody would have to get into the Drina to see what the items were.
I wouldn't send my guys to do something like that because none of them would have known what to do.... but if I had asked, any of them would have done it. They were good troops.
I could see that the Drina was moving very, very fast. But I couldn't tell how deep the water was.
I only had my regular combat boots, BDUs and a Gortex jacket. I tied a rope around me, took a hook pole, and waded into the Drina.
DAMN. That was cold. So cold, my **** shriveled up and went inside. I could see that there was what looked like an 82MM mortar round and a smaller device, maybe about 60MM.
I could not tell if the rounds had fired and not gone of ---which would have made them very unsafe to move. I tried to grab them with the hook pole, but the water was moving so fast...it almost took me away.
I was pretty sure if I got closer to the rounds, my problem would not have been blowing up, but getting dragged away by the river.
I'm not the best swimmer and I guessed hypothermia would have killed me in a few minutes.
Screw it... mission canceled.
We told the local cops we were sorry...they thought I had some kind of super uniform that kept me warm...I was freezing my --- off.
We called in a EOD mission (like the dumb ass team leader should have done).
When we got back, the team leader was mad that we hadn't recovered the bombs. I told him we'd be happy to drive his ass back out and he could jump in the Drina and give it a try.
But, I reminded him: "If you die, we're splitting up your gear."
He chilled out and dropped the idea.