31 December 2011
Happy New Year...Call for Fire...Flares...in the open
From the Soldier side: Here it is New Years Eve and I am all relaxed and comfortable in my home. I was thinking about the last 30 plus years and how many New Years Eves I’ve worked as cop…some just working DUI check points, some just “routine patrol” or the supervisor. I guess the most unusual one’s I’ve had were the 2003-04 one in Bosnia. That was pretty un-eventful.
Each round would go up into the sky, explode, the let out a giant flare…the flares had parachutes on them to slow the fall…and they provide a heck of a lot of light until they hit the ground and went out. It was one of the best fireworks displays I’ve ever seen on New Year’s Eve.
However, the 2004-05 New Year’s we spent in Fallujah, Iraq with the First Marine Division was the most unusual of all. It was after the Second Battle of Fallujah That was the time the US military was allowing the “good” citizens of Fallujah to return to their homes…or what was left of them. It was estimated during the “battle” that about 75% of that city was destroyed. (I got to go back a few months after that and get out and look around. It looked like a real friggen’ war zone.)
(read about the battle here: Second Battle of Fallujah
On New Years Eve 2004, there was no electricity or lights in the City of Fallujah…so, the Marines had the US Army artillery units firing flares into the sky to provide light. There is nothing like the sound of a 155 howitzer firing round after round.
See here - M109 howitzer
I think they stopped around midnight, then we all went to sleep….but it was about the most different thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
I keep saying, as long as nobody is shooting mortars and AKs at me, it's a good day.
Did all the body armor and crap make my ass look fat?
Happy new year.