Saturday, March 31, 2007

Stupid donkey!

Quick termonolgy... Overwatch = Watching Over

Yeah leave it up to the Army to over simplify things. Another drastic over simplification is when we do radio checks. Someone somewhere some time ago came up with the phrase "Lima Charlie" meaning Loud and Clear. But to say Lima Charlie, it takes 4 syllables and Loud and Clear is only 3. But yet, everyone always has to say Lima Charlie. Stupid.

Anywho, yesterday was yet another day of boeringness, which is all it seems to be lately. We went to this one place to watch over this other place. Nothing exciting to report, sorry. Just lots of watching and a little bit of being cold.

The only thing note worthy was when we were heading back from the place, we were going around in some of the back alleys. The way out was really jacked up and took us way out of the way because we dont want to be seen going to our place of choosing. Well on the way back we decided to try to find a shorter route. We did, but it involved climbing this big nasty mountain of trash and then hopping down from it off this wall. The wall was about 7 feet high. Doesn't seem very high, but considering the amount of gear we have on (probably 60 pounds or so) its a long fall. Well as I make my way up this mountain of trash, Im just getting ready to hop down when I hear this loud sound, that sounded like a fog horn going off. I immediatly stopped in my tracks thinking it was some kind of warning horn that Americans were in the area!! Oh shit, here we go. Then after about 10 seconds the sound started changing and thats when we realized that is was a donkey in this dudes backyard! What the hell! Scarred the ever living piss out of me.
Hahaha! So I proceed to hop down and totally eat shit like everyone before me. I had more gear than usual too because only a few of us went to this place and so I took one of team members automatic rifle with me, plus all his ammo. It hurt landing, and I dont think me knees have quite forgave me yet!

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

No Iraqi should be allowed a weapon WHAT SO EVER!

So yeah, thats pretty much how I feel after last nights "adventure". I've pretty much felt this way before, but now I am a firm believer is this! I think in the long run it would save more lives, Iraqi and American, if no Iraqi was allowed to have a weapon, and only the Army had them.

[Removed for screening]

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Saturday, March 24, 2007


Well today started off like any other day. Just a bit of normal patrol stuff. Our first stop was to check out this market area where a month or so ago 2 massive car bombs went off and killed like 100 people. The market is back up and running and we basically check in with the Iraqi Army who runs check points at the entrances to prevent such problems from reoccuring.

So we were talking with the IA down at one end of the market when all of a sudden one of the IA pickup trucks comes flying by with this Iraqi soldiers hand that was almost shot off. We asked what happened and found out that it was a sniper. Then we started hearing sniper fire over and over down at the other check point.

[Removed for screening]

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Things that make you go boom

Well today was quite the uneventful day for me. I went out on a normal patrol, and just before lunch they had to pick up some more people but didnt have room, so they dropped me, the other team leader from my squad and another guy at this one place. We were supposed to only be there 2 hours tops and they'd come back for us. Well while we were there we heard a huge long firefight going on just outside the place we were out. Come to find out another platoon from my company was rolling through the bad area and they got in a huge hour long firefight. They estimated 12-15 guys and they were lobbing gernades at them too. They managed to damage 2 of their trucks, but thank god noone got hurt. Well anyways my platoon rolled out to help them out. They got there after everything was over but were out there FOREVER! The whole time we're just stuck chilling at this place. How fun!? So finally they come back and get us like 11 hours later and we rolled out to do some raid with Iraqi Army.

After that was all said and done, I got back in the truck and come to hear how my squad leader and everyone in my truck had noticed and IED made from an artillery round right next to their truck. They freaked out and moved away. We ended up securing the area and calling EOD (the bomb guys). They showed up and had their little robot thing check it out and sure enough it was an IED; a 120mm artillery shell (big if you dont know). They ended up placing a charge on it and blowing it in place which was pretty awesome. I got a decent video of the detonation. Wow was it big. That would really suck to drive by that and have it go off next to your truck. Shit. But everyone is safe and good, and thanks to a good eye, thats one less IED to worry about.

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Monday, March 19, 2007


So yeah today was a pretty uneventful day with the exception to one single event that scared the ever living piss out of me! We had to do some kind of security for this important Iraqi Police guy and anyways we were chilling in this one part of Baghdad. We were just sitting there in the trucks and where my truck was the only thing I had to do was to look at a wall 4 feet away from me. Yeah I know, how exciting. Well I was pretty exhausted because we had been up since like 2am and well, I decided to catch a little powernap.

[Removed for screening]

It all started to hit me as my sleepiness wore off, and I realized they had played the worst practical joke. There was no grenade. They just decided that it would be hilarious to wake me up in such a manner, and if I was on their side, it probably would of been funny as hell. I finally made my way back to the truck, with them still laughing hysterically. "OK I can see how that is funny from your perspective, but yall are still bastards!" I said when I got back in. At the time my hand was still shaking a little. I seriously thought it was real, but in heinsight I can totally see how funny it is and I laugh about it when I tell the story. But my was I seriously scared at the time! LOL

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Staring death in the face...

Well today was one hell of a day let me tell you! It all started out as just another normal day, as usual. Nothing special really planned. We left really early in the morning, while it was still dark and our first thing to do was to do a little dismounted patrol/recon through the back alleys in the bad area that we got into the firefight the other day.

As we're rolling out of the FOB we get a call over the radio saying they have reports of a mob of 20-25 men armed with AK's preparing to attack this IP station just right up the road from where we are going. Another platoon from our company was there already but hadn't seen anything. So we roll up and relieve them and they head back to base. We dont see anything so we continue on and dismount for our patrol. I was a dismount today.

We had a preplanned route through the alleyways that we were to take and so we headed out. It was dark and we had our night vision on and were moving quietly. Pretty early on we passed this side alleyway just as this guy walked out of his house with an AK. The guy practically walked right into us without even seeing us. So of course we stop him, have him drop his weapon and detain him, because its illegal to carry an AK-47 on the street if your not ISF (Iraqi Security Forces, ie IA, IP, etc). As we are detaining him someone just up the alley see's us and takes off running, but we didnt catch him. Just after detaining the AK guy we continued to move down the alley, one of our guys spots a dude with a pistol. As soon as he shines his light on the guy, he tries to ditch it and run, but we caught him, and of course detained him too. In the pistol and on his person he had magazines containg armour piercing rounds. At this point, we're really starting to wonder whats up with all these guys on the street at this hour and everyone having guns out. The second guy had a cellphone and it started ringing so we had him answer it and our interperator listened in. I guess the guy on the other line said "Hey the Americans are in your area!". Ok this definatly is not good.

Apparently at this same time the guys still in the trucks driving around see 2 sets of 6 guys run across the road in the direction towards us. After that first phone call we had the one guy answer all the phones we had with us just all at once started going off like crazy. We tried to do what we could to turn them off, when all of a sudden a guy in front of us in the alley way comes out, takes a look at us and books it. Just as he turns the corner someone spotted an AK on him. Ok, something is definatly going down thats for sure. We have our interperator yell for him to come out, but nothing. Someone thought they saw a barrel poke out from the side so they fired a couple warning shots. Still nothing. At this point I was in the very back pulling rear security and I remeber thinking to myself, "Damn this sucks. All the action is up front and Im stuck back here!" Well literally a minute after thinking that I hear the squad leader call for my team to push up front and find that guy. Oh shit, alright! I wasnt the team leader but the other team leader from my normal squad was in charge which was cool with me. I was basically just another guy in the team.

We came up to the corner the guy ran around and my team leader another guy go around it and see the alley forks in 2. We started moving with them going left. I push around with another guy and start moving towards the right fork. Probably no more than 5-10 meters down the alley we hear noises coming from my alley. We all stop, shine our lasers and look to see if we see anything. Nobody could see anything but we continued to scan for a couple seconds. Thats where out of nowhere this motherfucker opens up with a good burst from his AK. I see the muzzle flash no problem because well the guy cant be any more than 25 meters in front of me!! With the bullets popping and whizzing all around me, I immediatly open up. Not many people had a good shot, but I was the front guy on that alley closest to the bastard. Everytime Id duck behind this curve in the wall I was using for cover, Id think to myself "I'm so going to get shot," right before Id pop back out. But non the less training kicked in and I did what I was supposed to popped out and layed more lead down towards him. When Id come out and he's start shooting again, I could hear rounds hitting the metal door right behind us and could see the rounds impacting the wall right in front of my face, turning it to dust. Holy fuck thats close!!!

After about 3 or 4 mins the guy stopped shooting just as we were starting to manuever on him. The area we were in provided NO cover and it was a very tight alley. We also still had the 2 guys with us we had detained. It was deemed best to just get out of there while we were ahead so we did just that. Makes me wonder wheter we killed the guy or if he just ran off. Im pretty sure we shot him because there was so much lead being thrown at him. When he was shooting he's shoot in long bursts from his AK, but the very last burst before the firing stopped was only 2-3 rounds. Oh well, guess I'll never know.

So anticipating more people we quickly began moving back in ways that prepared us for possible enemy contact again. We ran in to no more guys on the way back. When we got back to the main road, we waited there for the trucks when all of a sudden I hear, "Whats that flashing light?" Im in the very front and I look 5 feet directly to my left and see flashing green and red lights next to some dark object in the middle of the alley. It kind of looked like those fancy cellphone antennas that light up when you get a call or talk on it. Immediatly Im thinking this is an IED, just as everyone else does and you just hear everyone yelling RUN!! IED!! GET THE FUCK BACK!! I've never ran so fast in my life! We called up the bomb guys and it ended up not being an IED, but that still just didnt sit right with me. Seeing that in an trash pile was way out of the norm here in Baghdad. Better safe than sorry.

Well the rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Some patrolling around and some crappy intel raids. You know the usual! We ended up having to take the detainees to the holding facility after everything and by the time we got back, yet again another 24hour + day. What made it worse is I had only got 2 hours of sleep the night before along with over 1/2 the guys. Damn, I feel like a zombie!

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

That's TOP SECRET...

Yeah so twice in one day today I was inquiring about something, and both things we're totally seperate of each other and I was simply told, "I can't really talk about it because, well, its top secert!"

Hahah never heard that once in my life and now twice in one day! LMAO! :)

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Monday, March 12, 2007

We fucked them up!!

Well today was the first of many things. It was a crazy, long day, but it was exciting at the same time. It all started with us heading out on our normal patrols like always. I ended up driving for my grenadier so he could have a break from driving and be a dismount. Worst day to do that I later found out!!

Anyways, we got reports of a group of militia that attacked an IA (Iraqi Army) checkpoint so we headed out to go see if it was still going down. Of course when we got there everyone was gone and nothing was happening. We decided to poke our noses around to see what we could stir up and we started hearing from the locals that there was a sniper and they knew where he was so we went to go get his ass. We sent our dismounts out to go check things out while those of us in the trucks rolled around with them for support. They never found the sniper, or a weapon but did find a bunch of sniper sized expended rounds. While they were still looking for this guy we heard a shot from one of the buildings. Well about 10 mins later a HUGE crowd of people come towards us with this guy that has been shot in the leg. They wanted us to help and I dismounted to help control the crowd. A little scary since this dude had just been sniped. It was a nasty wound that tore open the back of his calf and we helped patch him up and sent him on his way to go to a hospital. At this point we were really on the look out for this sniper.

Our dismounted patrol headed down this alley to try to find him. My vechicle was at the opening of the alley for support. About 25 meters down it T-interescted and went off 2 ways. Our dismounts we're right at the T intersection and started going one way when all of a sudden I hear a LOUD explosion. I look to my left down the alley and instead of seeing all the dismounts, I only see 3 and this huge dirt cloud. OH FUCK! I knew this was about to get real bad and that someone had to of been hurt bad if not dead. Immediately after I see our guys come running out of the cloud, one by one until all were back. No one was seriously hurt thank god! One guy caught a tiny piece of shrapnel in his leg, but everyone just got knocked down and dazed, to include my grenadier who was the closest one to the IED when it went off. Me and him now joke around saying that he offically got "Blown the Fuck Up!" haha :) Kind of crazy that would of been me if I wasnt driving for him.

Bullet holes everywhere!After trying to find out who set it off we decided to roll out of there. We headed to a local IP (Iraqi Police) station and there was a guy there talking of an ambush that was being setup right now to attack US troops back in the same area. We headed out to find these bastards. The streets of Iraq are usually very crowded with people. When we rolled up to the street the ambush was being setup on, it was like a ghost town. Yeah definatly not good. Not to mention that this part of town has a million bullet holes on almost every building! We sent our dismounts out and rolled down the street with them. As we go we see people here and there running back and forth across the streets and we hear the occassional gun shot. Very creepy. Just before this intersection, the Hajji fucks trying to "ambush" us open up on us. The lead truck had a 50 cal machine gun and he starts rocking away with it, laying a heavy steam of massive bullets at the bulding the fire came from, just laying waste to it. We begin to manuever the trucks as the dismounts are shooting and moving to get in a better spot to shoot from. At this point it totally sounds like heaven! There's the 50 cal firing, 240 machine guns rocking, dismounts fireing like crazy, shit being called up over the radios. Its just amazing how it all came together. The dismounts got into a building and kept firing on those guys, and my grenadier even launched a few High Explosive gernade rounds from his gernade launcher! HELL YEAH!

Well about 10 minutes into the fight, I begin to hear some trucks fire very heavy, not like how we normally fire with small bursts. I wondered what was going on and then everyone starts going CRAZY shooting. Im like what the fuck?! I was in the last truck on the right side of the road and all of a sudden I see every truck in front of me haul ass either left or right and all of a sudden there is the red suburban hauling ass straight at my truck! Oh Jesus! After the IED earlier and a VBIED that blew up earlier in our sector that day, I knew this guy had to be wired to blow and he was coming right at us fast. I immediatly threw the truck into reverse as my squad leader is screaming to get the hell out of there. I had nowhere to go but backwards so I floor it. Humvees don't react like normal cars and initially it was sluggish and I remeber thinking there's no way this truck is going to go backwards fast enough and this is it. This is how I'm going to die. As we start hualing ass backwards both me and my squad leader are yelling at our gunner who is pulling rear security. We yelled things like "GET THE FUCK DOWN!" "HOLY SHIT SHOOT HIM!" "OOOHHH MY GGOOOD!!" There was literally no time for anything and I can only imagine what was going through his head. Well as the suburbn passed the other trucks they all layed into it with their machine guns. Because of the angle some of them were basically shooting at us since we were right behind the truck trying to escape! Oh well, so long as you kill the guy and not me, I won't be pissed!

The now stopped charging suburbanEventually the suburban stopped, windows shot to hell and a couple flat tires. I knew whoever was inside was dead, but then a minute later, somehow the passenger door flings open and a guy jumps out. As soon as his feet hit the ground the gunner closest to him dropped him with a burst from his gun. He slumped back and to his knees bleeding bad. He continued to move for a little bit but eventully stopped as his life slipped away. This took place about 20 meters in front of me too. We all yelled with excitement at this. "You stupid fuck! Fuck yeah! You're such a fucking idiot!" I remeber yelling. For seeing a man lose his life right in front of me, it was quite an exciting moment. Afterwords the whole thing was exciting to talk about, yet at the time it was probably the scariest moment of my life, Im not even going to lie.

We didnt know if the truck was going to blow or what so we kept our distance from it until it, and the dead guy got taken away by the IA. After about 30 mins of shooting, everything quited down and the dismounts went on the chase of these guys. There had to have been at least 4 from everyone's count. There were 2 in the building to our front and 2 attacking the trucks from the left side. We ended up finding one guy and tested his hands for gunpowder and it came up positive so we detaineed him. No weapons or any other guys tho. I guess we'll have to face them and kill them another day.

We ended up taking that guy to the detainee facility and by the time everything was all said and done we had been out for almost 26 hours! Wow, what a day though. IED's, snipers, ambushes oh my!

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

It doesn't get much better than this!

Alright well yesterday was quite the day. Things went very well and very shitty all at the same time. We ended up being out just shy of 24 hours straight, but in a way it was worth it.

We started off our day with just normal patrols as usual. We stopped by some mosque to listen to a sermon, since it was a friday which is the holy day for muslims. While there some old fat dude with no pants on way laying by one of the trucks. I dont know why but at some point he rolled over and began playing with his asshole, right in front of all of us! WTF!! It was so disgusting. We also ened up in this neighborhood with a million kids. We dismounted and they just would not leave us alone. My experiences here in Iraq are really making me not want to ever have kids!

Later in the day we were just checking things out and heard about this University that the day prior some MPs had been chased out of by protestors. We headed down there and loaded our shotguns full of the non-lethal rounds we carry. We dismounted and headed up the road. I dont know how or why, but we got sidetracked to go check out the
Ministry of something. While we were there we came across several people working there to include one guy that was an IP. He had an expired IP identification card so we asked him his name and it rung a bell. We called up to check up on it and they said he was on our wanted list so we detaineed him. More on this guy in a bit.

Well about the time this was all said and done, we had a scheduled raid back at this one location where we had nabbed this other guy before. There were a couple more people we were looking for and had intel that they were there for us to get. After the sun went down we got ready to head on over there. My squad was in charge of taking down this one building that we had been in before which was good, because well we knew the layout of the whole thing. We walked on over and rolled right up to our building. Just as we are about to go in, we hear some gunshots that sound like they are coming from our building or very close. My squad leader and the other team pull back to see whats going on, and right as they pull away we hear guys inside our building coming towards the door. My team starts yelling for them to stop and to come here, but once they see us they immediately take off running back into the building. Fuck no you dont! We busted in and chased after them, with my team leading in.

Once in we ran into the lobby of the hotel and found 3 guys waiting in there who we immediatly detaineed. On the second floor we saw some people run into a room and would not come out when we were yelling at them. Also there was a hallway we bypassed on the way to detain the initial 3 guys and down there was a room with another guy who wouldnt come out. The other team went after him and detained him. Once the 1st floor was good we headed up to the second floor and immediatly rushed to the room the people were hiding in. In there we found another man and 2 women who we again detaineed. We proceeded to clear all 7 floors of the building and began our search of the place. We didnt find a whole lot, not that it mattered because we had plenty of evidence from our intel. We did find an AK-47 with 2 mags. They were lucky they didnt go for it when we came in because then they would of had to die that night.

I could go on with a lot of boering details, but Ill save yall. We transported all the guys throughout the day we had detained to another base that handels detainees. I ened up having to write a statement on how we apprehended a couple of the guys. Fun stuff, and we didnt get done with all that until about 430am. Along the way there though, one of the trucks in our convoy hit a barrier and the front right tire completely came off the vechicle, about 400m from the gate of the base. I remeber sitting there thinking, "Oh my God, you have got to be kidding me, we are this close!" Yeah well the person that was driving ended up being my good buddy Brandon! Haha good job bro!

During the turn in of the guys I learned what the origional guy was wanted for. His name, physical profile and general information about him all lined up with who we were looking for. I cant really go into exactly who it was, but let me say this guy was big, and has killed alot of Americans. Wow! He totally just fell into our lap. But we got him and he's probably going to spend the rest of his life in an Iraqi prision (which wont be long because they're prisions are horrible) or possibly even be executed! Good fucker! Wish I could have "shown" him a little of how I felt about him.

Anyways, we had to wait for something before we left and so we all passed out in our trucks waiting. Well about 545 or 600 we wake up to everyone leaving so we get ready and head out. Well just as we get back my squad leader said, "Oh in case you guys didnt know, everyone left for the gate without us. When they got there they realized we werent with them and came back to get us!" HAHAHA!! Once we were back one of the guys was telling the story of how when they came back we were all still just passed out and had no clue. They were honking their horn and even rammed our vechicle a couple times but we still didnt wake up. It took them coming up and opening the door and yelling at us! I thought that was pretty funny.

We made it back safely, somehow, since all of us were zombies at this point. Got back, downloaded the truck and passed the fuck out!!

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Monday, March 5, 2007

Pre-Mission Playlist

For the longest time I went here in Iraq without any kind of music. Well one day I gave in and bought an IPOD Nano and got a bunch of songs from all the guys in my platoon. I put together several playlists, but I figured I would share my "Pre-Mission" playlist. Its what I listen to before Im about to head out on patrol or on a mission, and it really gets me pumped up and in the mood to go out.

"Dem Boyz" - Boyz N Da Hood
"Break Stuff" - Limp Bizkit
"America, Fuck Yeah!" - Team America Soundtrack
"Freedom Isn't Free" - Team America Soundtrack
"Voodoo" - Godsmack
"Jesus Walks" - Kanye West
"Gotta Stay Fly" - Three 6 Mafia
"Bang Bang" - Ramstein"Du Hast" - Ramstein
"Stomp (Remix)" - Young Buck
"Another One Bites the Dust" - Queen
"Chop Suey" - System of a Down
"Fuck the System" - System of a Down
"Wake Me Up When September Ends" - Green Day
"Let The Bodies Hit The Floor" - Drowning Pool
"Im Already There (Messages from Home)" - Lonestar
"Down" - 311
"Killing in the Name Of" - Rage Against the Machine
"Symphony of Destruction" - Megadeath

So there ya go. That is the music that gets this soldier going before he leaves the wire.

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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Can we stop the convoy? I have a slight electrical fire...

So today we went out and did our normal patrols and whatnot. I again was a TC, but nothing really special or noteworthy. Just the typical driving around and checking stuff out. Pretty uneventful until the drive back home...

We were about 2-3 miles away from our base when all of a sudden I smell burning plastic. I didnt think much of it, because well Iraq just smells likes all sorts of nasty stuff, but then all of a sudden I looked down and saw that there was a crap ton of smoke around me! Oh shit, I thought and began to try to figure out what it was. Thats when it dawned on me that it was this piece of equipment we have on our truck

Little backbrief. This same piece of equipment we've had some trouble with and on another previous patrol when my squad leader was TC the thing started smoking. He turned it off and it was fine. We had it check out, supposedly "fixed" and then back on our way.

Anyways, once I figured it was probably that, I turned off the equipment, had everyone open the windows, and we proceeded to laugh about the incident. It was quite funny I thought as I was fanning the smoke out of my truck. Well anyways a few minutes go by and I happen to look down at this piece of equipment and I notice a light coming from down there. Theres only a few places that have lights in the truck and this definatly was NOT one of them. I look a little closer and notice that the light is flickering like a flame. OH MY GOD! You have GOT to be kidding me. I attempt to blow the flame out without any luck, since it was somewhere behind this panel in my truck. Wow, you have got to be kidding me.

At this point, I radio the convoy leader and say "Can we stop the convoy? I have a slight electrical fire that I need to put out!" In my head I totally thought I said something else along the lines of, I need to pull over, but apparently I asked, as people later pointed out to me. Anyways everyone pulls over and stops and as soon as my truck stops everyone jumps out and immediatly take action. My driver runs over with the fire extinguisher and hands it off to another team leader who was in the back seat and he gives the area of the fire a few good spurts, shooting this chalk powder in and smothering the fire. Great fire out, but now in my truck, and especially the seat and area I sit, is literally covered in this purplish chalk crap. Great. We all load back up and continue on back to base.

Once I got back I couldn't wait to hear what people had to say about it. Most people thought it was hilarious, as did I. What an exciting day ya know. How many people can say their truck caught on fire! haha But I think the greatest thing was hearing how everyone said that was one of the calmest radio transmissions they've ever heard, especially considering it was to say that I was on fire! LMAO! Good times good time! :)

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