Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The day of one legged crippled guys...

Ok so we went out on these series of missions that lasted almost 2 days. It started out one evening when we moved from the FOB I stay at now to another "base" thing that was right down the road from where we had this mission. We started off with about 8 hours to sleep not counting the guard shifts we had to pull during the night. We ended up sleeping in some shitty building, with almost my whole platoon crammed in this tiny room sleeping on a concrete floor. It was quite uncomfortable.

The next morning we wake up and before 0800 we roll out. We were tasked out with setting up a cordon and overwatch position for another platoon that was doing dismounted patrols through this neighboorhood across the street. In order to be safe in the building we needed to be in, we had to clear the one next to it. It was some abondonded building with no easy way to the second floor. So me, my squad leader, the other team leader in my squad and one of our grenadiers ditched our gear except for the bare essentials and had to climb up this part of the wall to squeez through this tiny hole in the floor above. The 4 of us got in there and proceeded to clear each floor of this 10 story building. Needless to say i was pretty exhausted after that and got dizzy going around and around back down the stairs.

Once that was cleared I moved to one end of the blocking position where we set up signs to stop traffic and strung some concertina wire across the roads. We had orders to stop all foot and vechicular traffic. Despite the signs and the wire, people obviously felt they could convince us that they had a good enough of a reason to get through. I volunteered to deal with these people and turn them away. Kind of funny how they ALL talk to me in arabic like i have any clue what they are saying; I only know 10 words at most. Anyways, this is where my first exprience with a one legged guy was. He wanted to come through, but I couldnt allow him. As bad as I felt I had to make him hobble way around this alley way to get to where he was going. Towards the end we began to let in foot traffic at first. Well this was the sign for all the kids to come up to us and start annoying the shit out of us. Even if you dont look at them they continue to yell "mista! Mista! MISTA MISTA!" Jesus I hear you, damn. They want everything from you by the way. Chocolate, money, soccer balls, sunglasses, watches, you name it. Well getting later in the day/early evening they all started freaking out about this one bulding where I guess a sniper from Sadr's Army likes to shoot at them from time to time. At first I thought they were saying he was in there, but no. They were just getting scared. Felt bad for them because we couldnt go do anything about it or check it out. Well just before we started letting vechicular traffic come in, some guy came up on a scooter. I stopped him a way back and told him to either go around or get off the scooter and walk. He was saying he needed to deliver some stuff and i told him to walk it then. Well apparently he only had one leg and when I looked back at him he was trying to carry his bags and use his crutches at the same time. Shit my bad. I let him get on the scooter and made an exception. Once we were all done, we walked back to the "base" we were at before, sometime in the late evening.

Well apparently someone during the day had gotten some intel that there was a safehouse for a few militia guys. So that evening around 10pm we headed out to go raid it. We were told to go hard and just bust in and ask questions later. On the walk there, we had to go into this really shitty neighboorhood, literally. It had sewage running down the middle of the street. Well its night, and we're walking with our night vision goggles, which makes it kind of hard to see where your stepping. I see this huge puddle and make my way around it. Well about 2 mins later I hear the sound like someone just jumed in a pool. I knew exactly what had happened. Someone had fallen in that shit water! HAHAH! That SUCKS! Well once to our location We decided to use a flash bang gernade before entering. Once we breached the door my squad leader throws the flash bang in. I dont quite turn around in time and when it goes off it kind of disorientates me for a few seconds. Good thing my team was second in there. We cleared the building and there was no one there or any weapons.

So we decided to seach some surrounding buildings. The next one again my squad was to be first, but my team was to be first in. I like to lead my team so I was the first guy. Not to mention this was my first raid and a night one at that, so i was quite nervous. Anyways as we are cutting the locks a guy inside hears us and comes to check out the noise. We tell him to unlock it and when he does my squad leader and another pull him out and detain him. I rush in, but i have some extra equipment on me and i get snagged in the narrow doorway. I turn my tac-light on my weapon on and point it up these stairs as I see this girl go running up the stairs. I finally get though and run up the stairs to the next level and there are 2 older guys there. We secured them and that floor and the other squads cleared the rest and found 2 younger guys on the roof. No sight of the girl though. Again we find nothing but the occupants told us there was this hotel right down the alley with a lot of suscpious people.

Again we go to breach it, but have some trouble so we finally just bust the door down and my team is again first. We run upstairs and begin to work our way into the floor when we get our first 2 detainees. We were stuck and couldnt go further until we got people to come relieve us and take the detainees. Once more people got up there to relieve us, my team with the rest of our squad ended up going down this hallway. Once in the hallway, we noticed it was long and had about 30 tiny rooms running down both ends. We started kicking in the door, taking the occupant/s into custody, checking for anything and moving on quickly. There was pretty much at least 1 person per room. But there was a trend. They were all older/old men. Hmmm... well getting near the end, I again go to kick in a door and clear that room. I lean back and put my weight (about 250+ lbs with all my gear) into the door. It only flies open half way and I hear a loud sound and an "Ughhhfff!" and the thud of someone hitting the floor. I push the door open and see this guy laying on the floor. I yell at him to get up for a minute until my squad leader comes in a says "SHIT! He only has one leg!" I looked at him for a second, and Im like, damn... umm.. fuck! At that point I go over and help the old one legged man up and escort him to someone else to take control of. We ended up clearing it all and once again finding nothing. A raid on what seemed to be a retirement home. What the fuck!

So we walked back and on the walk back I hear the sound of some other poor sucker falling into that same shit water pond. Damn, sucks to be you. Once we get back, I find out the first guy to fall in was Alpha team leader from 3rd squad and the second time it was the other Bravo team leader. Another squads team leader had as all going when he blurted out, "So wheres the 2 shitties team leaders?" I could not stop laughing. I felt bad for them though. I figure thats the 3rd worse thing that can happen to you here in Iraq, next to being shot and blown up!

We got back around 0230 in the morning and to bed by 0300. Again we had guard shits and we had to be up at 0800 to go back out and do the same cordon. Well this time it didnt last as long and we were done at around 300pm. Once we got back to the place we were staying, we loaded up and convoyed back to our FOB and we were finally done. What a exhausting 48 hours. The next day we were supposed to have off but we ended up having to go to some VBIED site and check some stuff out. Wonderful!

Digg this story! Add to! Subscribe to this feed!

1 comment:

Haole Wahine said...

I think this was the first post I read, and kept reading from then on---through the disappearance.

Still just as good.

glad you're going back and updating to have the complete picture.