28 May 2012

How about we give it a face, or 2...

From the Soldiers side
OK, somebody said I was a little hard on some people with my “dumbass” comment.  Yeah, I was.  Today is Memorial Day.  I guess I can understand how some folks can get it mixed up with Veteran’s day…

So, instead of me acting like a jerk, I thought I’d help give Memorial Day something to help folks better remember. Like a couple of faces.  Yeah, I know there’s lots of little Photo Shop pictures on the internet with somebody looking at the grave of a Soldier, but let me give a few faces.

Mike was a very good Sergeant First Class (E7) who I first worked with many years ago when our National Guard Engineer unit got activated for another flood by the State.  I had worked the night shift at my cop job when I got called….so I had no sleep.  Mike and I were supposed to take a Humvee up the where the flood was and meet up with those already there.  I told Mike I hadn’t had any sleep so, even though he out ranked me (I was just a buck sergeant at the time) he said he’d drive and let me sleep. 

I was shocked that a senior NCO would do that.  But I was even more impressed when we got to the Marysville, CA flood.  Mike worked 2 days straight- 24 hours a day directing the repairs on the broken levee.  How could we complain about being tired when this guy went non-stop.  But that’s how he was.

A terrorist, coward got Mike with an IED in Iraq in Nov 2004. 

I met Roberto in Baghdad in early 2005.  He was assigned to a “team” that went into Baghdad 6 days a week.  I had been on other jobs that had sent me all over Iraq, so I hadn’t worked with Roberto.  One day we were in the “shop” talking and we found out we were both in law enforcement and were range masters.  So, we talked guns and how to shoot.  Roberto had a son and we talked about kids (mine were much older, so I warned him what they could be like). 

I liked Roberto a lot, and we were going to go shooting at the range in Baghdad one day. 
I got sent off on another job in Fallujah, and Roberto kept at his job in Baghdad.  Roberto’s group got there 6 months before we did, so they were due to leave 6 months before us. 

2 weeks before Roberto was due to go home, he took out his replacement team – on a last minute job the CO thought they should do.  No planning or route checks.  (to put it politely, they shouldn’t have gone out that late.)

Again another terrorist, coward bastard had planted an IED…and it got Roberto and wounded 3 others in the humvee.  (the gunner who got wounded is worth a story on his own) in June 2005.

So, here’s the faces.  I know I’ll never forget them or what today is for.      




Old NFO said...

Thanks for the memories you're willing to share, now we too will remember them, along with our own!

Coffeypot said...

You wrote about them last year...yet I feel your loss today.

CI-Roller Dude said...

I'll write about them every year until I stop blogging or die.

Momma Fargo said...

Great memories. Hats off to those that served and lost their lives fighting for freedom.