29 April 2010
Small things can be so important....
From the Soldier side: For those who’ve read my Blog for awhile, you know there were a few “exciting” moments on my year tour in Iraq from Dec 2004 to 2005. Yep, good times had by some. Like the time we went into the big mess hall in Baghdad and they were out of tomatoes at the salad bar. Wow that was rough. Or the time I got to the mess hall and they had run out of the Baskin Robins Rocky Road ice cream. Wow, that was rough. You wouldn’t believe how some of the REMFs were complaining. “How can you have a salad without tomatoes?” “What, no Rocky Road! This is an outrage!”
Or the one night I went to take shower after returning from a mission and all the water had been used up. Man I had to go to bed all stinky.
But what really got exciting was the dozen or so times I was on a camp or FOB that got hit with mortars or rockets (we couldn’t tell the difference until some bomb tech went and looked at the blast site—and to be honest, at the time the shit was hitting, we didn’t even stop to think “oh, that sounds like an 82 MM mortar” because the explosions all sounded about the same.)
When the bombs hit, and you were not in a fortified building or bunker, I often thought about the stories I read from past wars where the soldier said they tried to crawl inside their helmet. Yep! I had the same thought a few times. But I was too big and my new Kevelar Helmet was too small for me to get my entire body underneath it.
Other silly thoughts. When my team went to FOB Kalsu and help out for a few weeks. That crappy little FOB was getting hit everyday after lunch. Since we were “visitors” my team and I got to stay in a big tent. When we first moved into the tent, my Corporal looked at the roof and said: “Man, look at all those holes. I wonder what caused those.”
We found out. When the “shit” hit the camp, the fragments flew up in the air, over the blast barriers and landed on the tents…tearing lots of holes in the tents. We were lucky they never hit us at night, but it did rain at night when we were there….and we got wet.
Yep, war sucks. But I loved my helmet and I kept “her”. My dog thinks it smells funny. ...and when I think back to some of the times we got hit with mortars, we'd here two rounds hit "BOOM BOOM!!!" and I actually got to where I thought:"Wow, they mised again," then walk to the bunker and hang out for awhile.
Note: When I told the complaining REMFs the reason there were no tomatoes or Rocky Road ice cream was because a supply convoy had gotten hit with IEDs and some drivers were killed…they calmed down a bit.
F.O.B= Forward Operting Base
R.E.M.F.= Ask a Vet what that means.