Thursday, February 28, 2008

I'm going CRAZZZZZYY!!!

Ok so this is just going to be a quick update post since I am getting ready to head out and probably will be away from the computers for a little bit. But know that the next time I am able to get on and post, that I will most likely be on my journey out of this country already! :)

The past couple days have brought some big changes. There were a few incidents around here, that have cause our upper level chain of command to get all Nazified with some stupid rules. They probably wouldn't be so bad if it wern't for the fact that I stay back for a few days from going to the outpost with my platoon as a part of an agreement with my Plt Sgt since I'm doing the 'left seat right seat rides' I talked about in the last post. Well now this origionally seemed like a good idea to me. A few days back, all by myself, do whatever I want. Sounded good. Now because of these new rules I can't do anything. The big one is that you have to walk around in groups of 3 or more. Seeing as how there is only me and one other guy here, that kind of screws us. We have to either be sneaky or find someone to go with us, neither being an easy task. In fact I even missed out on a meal yesterday because I didn't have anyone to go with me. Its got me quite pissed.

The other thing is that since I'm basically on house arrest, along with the rest of our battalion, for some bullshit that I had no part of, I have been limited on what I can do. Pretty much I have been relying on watching movies, but after the 4th or 5th movie of the day I'm going fucking crazy. Everything is packed, so I don't have crap to do and no one around and I'm loosing it. I'm actually looking forward to leaving here soon and getting out there with my guys and away from all the stupid crap around here.

Well that is about all that I have for now, I will keep yall post the best I can here in the coming weeks, but know that I'm almost done!!!!!

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008

One last bit of excitment? I think not...

The last patrol that I went on was one exhausting patrol. We ended up dismounting quite a bit. It wasn't so much that over the course of the day we walked a whole lot, but it wasn't a short walk or anything like that either. Pretty much it was just not stop, continious dismounting that just seemed as if thats all I did all day. I don't recall spending too much time inside the truck. Fortunatly the wheater was just about perfect for the amount of walking we ended up doing and I even had to shed the little bit of 'snivel' gear that i had one once the afternoon hit.

So for the dismounts we really didn't do much that was really noteworthy. At one point we were out walking around looking for some random donkey cart pulling a bunch of propane tanks. Now, we wernt looking for a specific one, or it wasnt because one was rigged to blow up, but because they needed to talk with someone who sold propane. OK.... not sure what for really, but we never ended up finding one. We did end up finding out that it was a holiday, and if I am correct I believe this is the same holiday that was going on when we first got here last year. The significance of this holiday to me, is that at the end of the month long holiday, the very next day one of our platoons came in contact for the first time. The day after the next platoon that went out came in contact, and finally the day after that when we finally went out we got in our first firefight as well. Now this year will probably be different seeing as how I hopefully shouldnt come to see the end of this holiday, but who knows.

There was a little bit of 'excitment' towards the end of the day. While taking a break at the outpost, we got a call that there was shooting going on in one of the neighborhoods in our sector. We all got ready, loaded up and headed out. The adrenneline was going slightly and I was anxious to get there in hopes that maybe one last time, I might finally be able to perform my real job as an Infantryman. But as expected by the time we got there, it was quiet. We dismounted and walked around and talked to some people and I did notice that the neighborhood was DEAD! This is usually a good sign that something just happened or is about to happen, so apparently we just missed out. Some people think I'm too 'huah' for wanting to get in to it this close to going home, but whatever. I always loved being in contact with the enemy and Im sorry but I miss it. Oh well.

That night we got a little more excitment when we were told that we were going to be setting up an ambush. This was a little odd considering that we've NEVER done one before. We almost did one to ambush some mortar team that mortared our outpost, but nothing came of that. Now Im not sure if this ambush was to be a shoot'em up amush or just wait for them to get somewhere and detain them, but either way it ended up getting canceled and once again we were let down.

The nice thing about this patrol and the cancellation of that night ambush is that there was nothing else for us to do and so the we ended up heading back in to base about 2 1/2 hours earlier that expected. That was a nice treat, and although the day really wasn't all that bad, it was good to be back and to be done. Time is nearing very soon in which the day will be here, when my coming back to base will be the last time and I cannot wait!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Some GREAT News!!!

Ok well it has definatly been a little bit since I posted last. Theres several factors that have played in to this. Part of it is from my time spent out at the outpost where once again Blogger is blocked. No suprise there tho. Also as I'm sure many of you all have probably heard, there was some communications cable that was cut in the Mediterranian Sea (I believe?) that has severly affected our communications. The internet at the cafes have been ridiculously slow and the phones have had a horrible connection. Also the internet has been down in my building for several weeks and with our re-deployment nearing, I decided to not worry about it and just wont have internet in my room for the rest of my time here. This means I am forced to use the SLOW internet cafes. I have been to the computers a LOT in the last week, but I've been primarily dealing with one thing; Bringing Charlie (our dog)home!

Well again if you check my other site dedicated to Charlie I will have more in depth details, but basically as of right now, Charlie has been picked up from the outpost, transported to BIAP, flown to Kuwait and has been on his 13 hour non-stop flight to America for almost 12 hours now. So here very shortly, he should be finally landing in the good old USA!! I can't believe that it has finally happened and I'm so excited that he's about to be back and I can't wait to see him again back home. Pretty cool to think his little paws will touch American soil for the first time on Valentines day!!

So with that said, there has been much going on around here lately. Not so much mission wise and out in sector, but with our re-deployment. We are VERY VERY close to getting out of here and so things are being taken care of and preped and getting ready to go home. It almost doesn't feel real. After 14 months of being here, the time to go home is SO close, but it still doesn't feel like its happening, despite all the work that we are doing to get ready to go. I wish I could tell yall when, but for the sake of OPSEC you'll just have to wait to find out. :)

One thing that was notable that happened about a week or so ago was that in one of the markets in our sector a female suicide bomber was blown up killing dozens of people. It has been very rare to have an incident take place in the markets anymore and I hope it does not shake the Iraqi people feeling of security and their resolve to go about their lives. From what I had heard of it, the lady was mentally handicapped and that she was unknowingly strapped with explosives and then detonated by someone else. How cowardly and pathetic is that, for them to exploit someone who has no clue whats going on. It sickens me to think they would do something like that, and I feel for that woman and her family, as well as those who were killed in the blast. I can only hope that this is a very isolate incident and that this does not turn in to a trend.

Lately we have been doing a lot of work with the CLC (Concerned Local Citizens) group with getting them prepared to handle things on their own. I don't think we've officially told them that we're going, but they all know. All the IP (Iraqi Police) and IA (Iraqi Army) know and I'm sure most people out there know. We've been here for a while and I'm sure they catch the news about 15 months and all that, so I'm sure it's no suprise that we are going to be going. But like I said, we've been working very closely with the CLC to help train them. We have had them come to the outpost and we give them clases on basic stuff like searching vechicles and the very basics of patrolling. Not to mention that we have done a whole slew of combined dismounted patrols with them. I think they have the potential to go good things for the area and I hope that after we leave that they continue to work with the new unit and the IP and IAs to ensure that this little slice of Baghdad stays safe. They have been a big help and I hope they help to ease the transition to the Iraqi security control.

Well that is about all for now. I am going to try and update more often, considering the last couple posts have been spread out, but if I can't as often as I like, know that I am doing good, and probably busy getting ready to finally leave this country and return the good and wonderful USA!!

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