Friday, July 27, 2007

Look at the worlds greatest Army NOW!

Well, the meat and potatoes of this post are going to be on what I call, 82nd Airborne Greatest Bloopers. I couldn't believe what had happened and in the end, it ended up being quite hilarious. We were headed out to this one place early in the morning, before sunrise. We were driving through this one neighborhood and we ended up missing our turn. Well we went to loop around to come back to the road that we needed to take, but it wasn't a route that we normally take. It is now, a road we will probably NEVER take.

As soon as we turned on to this road I knew it was going to be trouble. I was driving and happened to be in the 2nd vechicle in the convoy. Even thought it was nighttime and I had my night vision on, I could easily see what we were about to drive through. Instead of a road, there existed a pathway of shit/mud/water combination. I slowed down on a spot that I found to be solid and waited for the 1st vechicle to get through and to give some room between our vechicles. I knew with our heavy ass uparmored Humvee's that there was the possibility of getting stuck in this mud because, well, it was thick. Once there was enough room, I told everyone to hold on and I hit the gas, making sure I had enough speed to get through any potentially soft spots. Well, along the way there was this big bump, and yeah, I hit it pretty hard. But I figured hit the bump hard or get stuck.... and well considering that I didn't want to have to get out and walk around in this shit mud, the choice was simple; I kept the accelerator down. We hit it hard and it was bigger than I expected. It tossed our gunner around like a ragdoll, and I feel bad because he hurt his back. Nothing serious, but he was in pain for a couple minutes. Our LT hit and hurt his elbow. Damn, my bad. Well, at least we made it through.

Unfortunatly one of the trucks was not so lucky. They ended up getting stuck, and pretty good too. Another truck attempted to go back to them and to hook up a tow-bar and pull them out, but they ended up getting stuck. Oh great, this is not looking good. A third truck pulled up and attempted to pull the newly stuck truck out. They wern't having any luck. I saw the other team leader from my squad out there sloshing through this shit mud, just covered. OMG, you are truely a trooper, I mean that. He ended up having our truck pull up and along with the other truck, we both attempted to pull one of the trucks free. The more we pulled the more the other truck seemed to get stuck. Nothing seemed to be working, and I can only imagine how funny this must have been to the locals in the area. The sun was coming up now and they were waking up to the worlds greatest Army bogged down in the mud. We were in the process of calling for a wrecker to come out when somehow we ended up pulling the right way and getting the one truck out. I guess another truck was helping the initial truck that got stuck, and finally we had both of them free.

In the end, I think we spent almost 2 hours in that shitty street. 3 trucks were coated in this mud, and one Humvee door had been damaged when it was pulled open by another Humvee. The funny, although its not really funny, part of this is that the other team leader who was working so hard at getting the trucks unstuck; the one who was gallantly trudging through this mud, ended up getting hit by this door flying open. All of a sudden we just see him come flying out of seemingly nowhere in the air, feet at his waist and he comes crashing down on his back, yup, directly in the mud. We all couldn't help it and we just started busting up laughing. It truely was hilarious to see, especially considering that he didn't get hurt. Once we got everyone safely away from that street we continue on our way.

The next day we were chilling at our outpost. Me and a couple other guys were in the middle of playing an intense game of Axis and Allies, when we started hearing a bunch of gunfire. We went outside to check it out and it sounded like the whole city was shooting at once. I've never heard that much gunfire here. Apparently, in a celebratory fashion like a couple days ago, the locals were celebrating another victory by the Iraqi soccer team by shooting thousands upon thousands of rounds in to the air. I even heard a couple machine guns shooting. Wow, you have got to be an idiot. Do they not know these bullets come down somewhere and as our interperator pointed out sadly, "A lot of people are going to die today." He was referring to the bullets coming back to earth and I guess, its pretty well know that this kills a lot of people. Could you imagine something like that in the US? I know people do that kind of stuff on New Years, but it doesnt even come close to comparing to the volume of fire over here.

The whole time, we just sat outside listening to it, and in a way hoping that some dumb moron would get the balls to shoot at us during this, but it never happened. The next night, some guys drove by an Iraqi Police (IP) checkpoint, just a block over from our outpost and began shooting at the IPs. There was a short little gunbattle, but it was very load because of how close it is. Man, things going on just right around us, yet our lives continue to exist and boredom. Its so crazy how this war can be. Just have to maintain the train of through to ensure that we are ready 100% of the time, for that once chance when things do hit the fan.

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Bag Blog said...

That is a great story - it sounds like the story of my life. We recently got stuck driving through Ft. Sill here in OK. I know the hole well - you guys should practice pulling each other out as part of basic training.
Last weekend I took my daughter to the stock car races (first time ever). They apparently wet the track and then let the drivers roar around slinging mud and sliding everywhere - they call it "packing the track". My daughter said, "That is nothing. I do that every morning just driving down our driveway." Such is life in OK.

Anonymous said...

Let us shoot in the air here in america, it would be in the news within minutes.. then people would have another issue to take side's on. Some would want it and others wouldnt just like everything else... Seeing people covered in mud trying to get there Humvee's out of the mud i think id laugh if i was an innocent bystander. welp glad your safe!
take care

Anonymous said...

Confusious say: Man who live in place that rains bullets should carry steel umbrella. Yep it's all over the Iraqi blogs about winning the football games(they beat S. Korea and the Saudis). It's been very good for them, except they really need to quit that gunfire, or at least shoot into the ground. If y'all have any way of carrying some 2x6 pieces of lumber with you, they are sure a help in muddy situations. Here's mud in yer eye!(raises coffe cup in a toast) : )

David M said...

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A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Anonymous said...

Great story! Reminds me of a time I got the ration truck stuck in the mud in North Dakota. In the spring, the temperature suddenly shoots up and all the ground that has had snow on it since October suddenly has 6 inches of greasy mud on top of frozen ground. By the time it was over, we had the ration truck, 2 pickups and two 15-ton wreckers stuck in the mud. Since all this equipment had to come from the base 70 miles away,(First one wrecker. Then another wrecker. And so on) we were stuck for over 24 hours. Finally we got smart, went into the nearest little town, bought a case of beer and went looking for a farmer who wasn't in Florida for the winter. We found one such farmer and he came out with his monster John Deere and got us all out of there in about 30 minutes. Since I was only on my second site out of five when I got stuck, I had to finish the rest of my run. Another 200 miles. . .

Unknown said...

Flight home from Nam
I served time as RTO for the great Tom Furgeson.
Alpha Company 2n Bn/327/101st Airborne (June 1966 -1967)
And was the 7th man out the door of the 1st Plane during Operation Junction City Feb. 22nd 1967 {NO SLACK}!

Here are a few notes from my diary on coming home from the Nam.

I was flying back to safety in some rear area airfield to catch my ride home. The long nightmare was over. Or so I thought. How could I have known that when I got back to America, It wouldn't be there?
Soon I was standing with hundreds of other service personal waiting to be processed at a huge airbase near Saigon. The shock of going home was so overpowering, I really can't recall just what my reactions were at that time except that I was not at all that sure that I wouldn't be pulled out of this process and sent back into the Hell I just escaped.
I remember that it was a long wait however, because nothing in the military moves along swiftly, combat situations being the exception. Even waiting to board the civilian Continental 707 seamed to be a mind-numbingly slow event. Anticipation mixed with apprehension, hope with prospect, fused together into unwelcome feelings of not making it off the runway, overpowering the reality that I was in fact finally homeward bound. The line finally started moving, and we waddled aboard in a promenade like hot penguins heading for a refrigerated flying refuge.
I was fortunate enough to find a window seat. Even though the most popular saying in the NAM at that time besides "Sorry About That," was, "Don't Look Back." Nothing was going to stop me from watching this little corner of Hell disappear from my field of vision. We settled in and waited for takeoff. And waited and waited and waited. Gazing out my window, I recall thinking, “oh, this is great.” Come on, come on! Let's go! I can't, breath! Why aren't we moving? I was beginning to hallucinate and I wasn't even on any drugs.
There's probably VC on the runway! I'll never get out of here. What if I'm here the rest of my life? Maybe I'm dead. And this is my Hell! Stranded in Vietnam! I envisioned lifting the plane off the damned ground with my bare hands, flinging it into the air, and jumping back on board as it gained altitude. Anything to get this fucking aircraft into the air and out of this place! We were all frozen in our seats with anticipation and all silently pondering the same thing. When the Hell were we going to move? Knowing we're not out of here yet and still smelling and tasting this place. Jesus Christ, I'm leaving Vietnam, but it's not leaving me.
A lifetime or two passed before we began to move and taxied into position for takeoff. Everyone on board seemed simultaneously to take a deep breath. The air was thick with tension, all of the passengers willing the plane into the air. We were moving faster and faster, but we were still on the ground and still holding our breath. There was a deathly calm in the cabin now. I started to move up and down in my seat, pulling on my hand rest to help lift us into the air. Maybe if I yelled for everyone to do the same, we could help get this bird airborne. Then came that exhilarating feeling of takeoff. Still, we were paralyzed in our seats. Sweat was now running down my forehead; my eyes felt as though they were popping out of their sockets as I peered out my window. Yes! Everyone is getting smaller. I'm screaming on the inside to those little Asian people wearing those black pajamas. Good-bye you slope-headed, slant-eyed, rice eating, fish-breathed GOOKS! Fuck every one of you! Do hear me? (I really didn’t feel that way but had to say it anyway)
Shortly after we were airborne, the captain made an announcement over the intercom I. "We are now leaving Vietnam air space and heading for home." An explosion of cheers cut through the plane like nothing I've experienced before or since. Pandemonium broke loose for a time. Then I only remember sinking back into my seat and drifting off to incredible daydreams of Disney girls in Disney worlds. And thoughts of HIM, the warrior in Vietnam who had made me rethink my life, my actions, and my future.
It was in June of 1967 when that 707 touched down on American soil. Even as the plane came to a stop and the men were disembarking, even then I couldn't accept the fact that I had made it home from Vietnam, that place of unspeakable horror, sorrow and regret. My experience wouldn't let me forget the carnage I had left behind.
As my foot touched the tarmac, I fell to my knees and kissed the very soil I had been propagandized into believing I had been protecting. Mind you, it wasn't a peck-on-the-cheek kind of kiss either; I laid a big wet juicy one on her. I had given up all hope of ever seeing her again, and I had missed her so much. She never did forsake me; it was my country's leadership that fell from her grace.
Even though I was surrounded by hundreds of soldiers, I felt all alone, for I knew not a single face, much the same as my flight into Vietnam had been. What a long, strange trip it had been; however there was nothing about that war that wasn't strange.
As significant as my homecoming was, I really can’t recollect much of it. I do recall holding my duffel bag and standing in lines, waiting once again on orders, this time for my 45-day leave. Hurry up and wait. Standing in line was by definition synonymous with life in the military.
There was no homecoming party for us; none was expected. We were, however treated kindly by the military personnel, which at least made an effort to make this process go smoothly. They had set up a 24-hour mess hall, fixing us whatever we wanted. Steak and eggs, hamburgers and fries, milkshakes and coffee were the most requested, I recall. The food looked and smelled wonderful and I was running on empty, but I couldn't eat anything. How was that possible? Many times not so long ago while I had been walking patrol in the boonies of Nam had I dreamed of French fries and all of the other tempting food now surrounding me in abundance. I had promised myself that if I made it home I would never take anything in the real world for granted weather it be toilet paper or a glass of clean tap water