Well, after almost 6 months (sorry I'm not exactly sure of the last day this happened) a miraculous event has happened, it finally "rained" again. Now, I wouldn't quite call it a rain, but there were definately water droplets falling from the sky. Everyone was excited to finally see some rain again. After the months of dry, dusty weather; suffering through 120+ degree days, this rain on top of the cooler weather is the final sign that we have survived the brutal summer here. Fall is quickly approaching and along with it, beautiful weather. Unfortunately I will be back in the US during most of the great weather, but thats ok, I'll be enjoying myself there. By the time I get back here to Iraq, the weather will probably still be good, but will be on its way towards something I hate even more than 120 degree days; COLD! And in Iraq, the rainy season takes place during the winter, so it will be quite miserable for me. Fortunately the winter shouldn't last near as long as the summer, so it will be a short lived torture.
One thing with the last patrol that I went on is that we ended up having to swing by the Green Zone for something, but this time we headed to a different area that we hadn't been before. As we were driving along, all of a sudden off in the distance we saw the famous Crossed Swords statues from Sadaams war with Iran. We had no clue they were actually this close and after we did what we did, we ended up swinging on by to snap a few pictures. Man, if theres one thing about American soldiers, we sure love to take our pictures, even during times when the last thing you would think someone would do is take a picture! I put up a funny one of me as my new picture on the left side of this page, and I'll throw up one more of me and my team standing beneath the swords.
So this last rotation to our combat outpost was not the most pleasant. One thing that is pretty noteworthy is the fact that the one bad area that I always talk about, which has been erily quiet for the past couple months, has erupted during the end of Ramadan. Almost every day or night that we were out at the outpost, we could hear firefights raging in that wasteland of a neighborhood, including one which unfortunately involved guys from our company. I know in my previous posting I didn't give much detail, but just know that everyone is alive, and those injuried are recovering well, at least from the progress reports I've received from other people.
The sad thing about all of this is that I was actually starting to believe that maybe the whole peace process that had been going on in that area was working. Apparently I was wrong, although during the early stages of this process, I had felt it was a waste of time and that these people did not want peace. I should of stayed with that initial intuition, because that is obviously how these people feel. And now, not only are they full of hate and religious preachings to compel them to martyrdom, but they seem to be freshly stocked up on everything they need to make our lives a living hell. The most worrisom of these are the seemingly endless supply of gernades they have available. The other night guys from our company were in there they were "throwing gernades like rice at a wedding" as one of my buddies was telling me. Even another night, when another firefight broke out that didn't involve any Coalition Forces, you could hear the explosions from the gernades one after another after another. All I can hope is that we find a good way to rid these people of their hate or to get rid of the ones that hate. I, as well as others, have our suggestions, but unfortunately our solutions wouldn't be quite the "politically correct" answers that for some god forsaken reason our Army is forced to obide by.
On another note, the Ramadan season has seemed to bring mortars and rocket attacks against our base with it. Just about every day they have been launching attacks. I really hate the rocket attacks because there is such a terrifying screech that comes just as the rocket is about to impact. So now, not only are you running for your life to try to find some cover, but your doing it with heavy shit filled pants. OK not really, but it definately is a scary sound. As far as I'm aware, there have not been any injuries due to any of these attacks. Lets hope the trend continues.
Well Ramadan, thank god, should be just about over here shortly. The 13th of October is the last day of Ramadan, and fortunately for me, I have no more patrols left to go on before I go on leave. Today, is actually the single worst day to be in Iraq because it is the 27th day of Ramadan. If you don't remeber me explaining this before, basically it is the day that most Iraqi's celebrate as being the holiest of holy days, the day that anything they do is magnified 10,000 times in Gods eyes. I technically could of gone out on patrol today since my flight for leave still isnt for a couple days, but that wasn't going to happen. There was no way that the last patrol I would go on before I was to go home on leave would be on the WORST day to go out. Fuck that. So here I am, chilling out, relaxing and trying to enjoy my time off, getting all of my stuff ready so I can come back to the good old US of A!