Journey of a National Guard Soldier going Active

Sunday, January 30, 2005

A day off, finally

So today was my first "legitimate" day off. Absolutely NO army stuff. I seriously didn't know what to do. It ended up being a lazy day. It was nice. Woke up at 0700 for accountability, but then went back to sleep till 1 in the afternoon. Woke up feelin like a million bucks. Watched "Greg the Bunny" episodes on DVD and went to work out. Got a mission tomorrow, so its nice. NO PT cuz its weekend. lol.

Our last mission was frickin insanely problematic in a retardedly funny kinda way. newly promoted "SPC. B" drove his damn humvee into a fucking ditch at 65mph, my boy SPC M was in the gun and his M16 went flying off the turret into the ditch below. End result; steering column got fucked up. Had to tow the was hiliarious. The feeling that everyone had was that no one wanted to go back down to kuwait. We all wanted to stretch out this mission for as long as possible because we thought that once we got back, we'd have to stay back because there were "rumors" that roads were gonna get shut down in Iraq and we wouldn't leave base for a while, and since we hate stayin at base...we didn't wanna go back. We stretched out our mission from a typical 4 day to a 7 day was awesome. It rained a couple days there...rain sucks, especially here. I'm a lazy bastard, and rain makes weapons rust; ergo...more When we were at scannia, vehicles got stuck, I stepped in a frickin Black hole of mud. it was funny.

So ya, I bet 500$ on the Superbowl. Pats -7 and Over 47.5...PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE...don't blow it PATS

so I just bought my mom a 635$ Spa Package at the Four Seasons for her birthday gift. hope she likes its. It was kinda funny that I'm calling from Iraq to book a SPA reservation. The guy on the phone was asking me. "SO..what kind of massage would you like to select" I'm thinkin "huh?" Isn't the whole point of a PACKAGE so that you would'nt have to pick? what the hell do I know about massages? So I just told the guy..umm...ya...I'll let you pick, I'll trust your choices..cuz if I pick..I'll probably blow it.

I am now officially, a Movie-aholic. That's all I do now, On the road, back at base. Movies Movies Movies, I'm not complaining though. I like it. The Haji's sell movies for cheap here. I watched "The Notebook" last night..good movie..kinda sad ending though. I also watched "Little Black Book". Not a big fan of. Ya, it was funny, but didn't turn out as I expected.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Re-asses my life

I'm starting to doubt if the military really is for me. I mean all the actual Army skills and combat things, I excell at. That's not a problem at all. It's more of the fact that I question too much, and in the military that's a big NO-GO. I'm a damn private, it sucks. but everyone has been there, gone through it and moved on, but the "almost" 2 years of me being in the service, I never realized how much BULLSHIT there was in teh military, how much unneccesary crap you had to deal with, but then again that's how the real world is right?

Read an article just now about how there's intel sayin that there's 150-200 suicide attacks planned from now through the end of the month. It's not a surprise that attacks will step up; the elections are coming up. But to actually put a figure up, there's something to actually look at, a hard fact, that's kinda unnerving.

here's the link, it's from CNN:

I talked with my pretty much best friend here "SPC C" we talked about the 2 IED's and shot the shit going from jokes about to a more serious conversation about. I told him how I was in a sick way, laughing, excited. and he brought up an interesting point of view. Could it be because I didn't want to show that I was really scared shitless. because in reality, in the back of my mind, I was. I didn't feel scared when it happened but when things calmed down, and I had time to think about it, it did freak me out, but of course it's natural for that to happen.

on lighter note. my mom's birthday is in 4 days. And for the life of me I'm having the hardest time buying her the SPA Package that I want to get her. They all say that I need to call to make reservations, but I can't call. I wanna buy over the internet but they don't offer it..aAgggh. fuckin frustrating. anyways. Same thing with the gift I got for cassie. I placed the order over the internet but now they want me to call them to verify stuff. AND I CAN'T CALL 800 numbers FUUCK. her bday's on the 25th (OK..CASS..I FIXED IT..)..this is pissin me off.

smoking is bad for you. I promise only to smoke 1-2 cigarettes a day. We PT'd two days ago I was suckin wind BAD. I've never felt so outta breath in my life.

anyways, i'm tired, think Imma early out tonight. I've been tired the last 2 days. they've for some reason been pretty bad 2 days. I got pissed off easily and had odd mood swings, ugh..send me on the road already. I hate staying here. lol. it's funny though. before we got to country we all thought that we couldn't wait to get back to base, that it's the missions that we would dread. in reality its the total opposite.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Welcome To Iraq


nudge nudge, wake up rotten, it's 0130. Uhhh, man...just when I was getting some quality sleep. I force myself to open my eyes, I look around, everything's blurry; I need to put my contacts in. I can see that I'm the only one still in my sleeping bag, everyone else was gone. "Where is everyone?" "The trucker's had to be on their trucks by 0130, we got till 0200." "Oh..ok." (hehe...suckers) I got dressed, putting on my same set of clothes since the day before, I put on my contacts. "Damn it's frickin cold in here, hey, what's the thermostat say?" "68" "DAaAMMn" I went to Joe's Cafe, the MWR tent that has coffee and to go food for the transients. I grab 4 Strawberry milks, put it in my cargo pocket and head out to the Humvee. I'm walkin down the line...walkin....where the hell did they park the frickin humvee...ok..i've gone too far..I walk back...There they are. Load up, help set the .50 cal. Hey rotten, it's 0200, gotta go to the briefing. put on your full battle rattle. damn man....fine....throw on my iba, bring my kevlar, my pro-mask, weapon and walk over to the briefing."

"All right, same old story, we're gonna SP outta here at 0300 (Yawn..still groggy) We're gonna take MSR Sword in force. Shit's been pretty hot lately, reports say that there's been 4 incidents in the last hour, they're also starting to try and hijack the vehicles. Guntrucks, If you see ANY civilian vehile move into our convoy, take out their tires, it's dark and we're not taking any any chances...hooah?" Every one of the gun truck soldiers face lit up. "Hell ya"

I'm thinkin, ooooh man, this is it. Finally. I just remembered..SWEET..I'm gunner too..whoo hoo. lets get it on. Escort NCOIC comes up to us and tells us that we're gonna the 3rd GT/Middle. YES!!


on the road...doing bout 55mph. "HEEY ROT, we're bout to get on Sword, be ready." "I'm always ready!" I yell back to Koff.

come on come on....10, 20, 30 min go by. Nothing much. a string of vehicles parked on the side of the road, lining up to get gasoline for their cars, alotta bonfires on the side, "TCP's coming up" "Ooookkkaayy!!" we roll up, take over for GT 2, blockin the north bound lane, our convoy had to cross over to the southbound because there were to many iraqi vehicles in front of us. I'm on the Gun, facing the traffic, which were mostly stopped about 30 yds back, except for this one pickup truck, which was about 20 ft from us. I noticed that on the bed of truck was a frickin assload of propane tanks...whoa man..that don't look to safe. My battle and I seemed to think that the same time cuz he ran up to the pickup and told him to move back.

We start rolling again and things start to die down, *yawn* another boring day coming to an end, man I'm tired..wait..I see the lights to the ECP into the base, YES! day is done, gone the sun.


1/17/2005 the next day.

SP 2000 from Taji to Scannia.

1900 - Convoy Briefing
The CC tells us the usual, watch out on the on ramps, shit been hot as usual, we're gonna SP to scannia and RON (rest overnight) We did our group prayer. "lord please protect our convoy and watch over our troops and enemies and show them the light of your love......and more of that good stuff...AMEN"

I'm driving, my boy "SPC C" is Gunner tonight. (we paper,rock, scissored...he won, he was whining cuz i got to hog gunner all the way up here). So it's nighttime out, and already I'm a little tired. It blows, I slept all day and I'm tired...I can't help it, my brain is not accepting the fact that just cuz it's night it don't mean It's time to sleep. anyways, I popped a Hydroxycut pill to keep me up. I bought the damn thing to work out and I've yet to be able to use it for that reason, I've been using it as a frickin no works though.

So we leave scannia, headin down MSR Sword (where the shit always hits the fan). but as any other night, things look dead. so we're rollin down the MSR, no moon out, on a straigaway 6 lane highway, I'm in the "Back-middle" of the convoy.

Sooo boring....

all of a sudden a fireball 3 stories high lit up the black sky. CONTACT LEFT!!!! BOOOOOM (the sound of the explosion and the shockwave came as soon as I yelled contact left.

"WHAT'S U WANT ME TO DO SGT. K?" (He's the TC of my truck)

"What the situation!!!!"

"KEEP ROLLING...HAUL ASS!!!!" he says.



(MAN OH MAN...that fucking fireball was SWEEET....big ass fuck...)

(Don't look like any vehicles got taken out..everyone's still rollin)



this one was two trucks in front of us, right on the on ramp, my gunner "C" started yellin,

"C"!! U OK?"



"ya, I'm fucking ears are ringing, I got shit in my eyes from the blast"

"IED IN THE REAR..CONTACT IN THE REAR" yells SGT K on the comms.

The blast was alot smaller, thank god, didn't hurt any of the vehicles at all, but this one was truly too close for comfort.

we rallied up..adrenaline pumping. I was laughing the whole time, Too excited to notice if I was scared or not.

I was cursing at the air the whole time, "you ain't shit Hajji, just show me where you're at..come me those green tracer's...I'll send you straight to fuckin allah" stupid...but the adrenaline was pumping. They got their shot...where's mine? still..not a single shot since I've been in country.

Turns out on of the "White trucks" (Civilian trucks interlace with our military trucks) blew out a front left tire, and another truck was just pouring fluid outta the engine block, we had to ditch the latter one; got the driver out and radioed out for the MSR Patrol guys to secure the truck we left behind.

When my adrenaline settled and things got rolling again, SGT K and I started making fun of "SPC C", sayin how it's his fault that all this shit happened because he's the one bragging "I've never been hit before" Stupid "C" and u're bad Juju (or mojo).

So now I'm at Scannia, talking to my ever sooooo amazing friend Cassie. Words cannot even begin to describe a girl like her. Hmm..Vegas for a week Cass? I'll be waiting for you :)

time's up, gotta get to sleep...damn..its 3am...I'm outtie

Just saw on CNN some crap about maybe a war with IRAN??? God I hope not.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Bombs go boom

I have to put this down. This happened on the mission before last, our battalio Sgt Major rode with us up to Anaconda. One of our PVT's got into a little argument with the SGM. FOR THE RECORD. NEVER ARGUE WITH SGM. Pretty much PVT J was falling asleep at the wheel, SGM saw this and was "Dammit, J!! You sleeping!?!?!" "NO, SGM.....I'm just dozing off!!! HAHAHA...What in the HELL??!! that was some serious funny shit, but he got in trouble because they argue a little bit more about the whole situation. But

Got back from Anaconda yesterday, nothing worth mentioning really happened, I got front row seats to watch EOD blow a couple of IED's off. It's really cool in a "OHhhhh...AAhhh'' kinda way. First you see the bigass mushroom cloud, you don't hear the sound till about a second later. Being a mile away from the blast, the BOOM still shook my whole body. It's frightening to think that those fucking bombs go off next to convoys and the poor souls in the vehicles.

We got to run with our parent unit that we came from. It was their first solo mission. For the most part they weren't so bad, but some things were just ate the HELL up. Like box formation on a two lane road, WHICH BY THE WAY, is a NEW ROUTE so we have no idea about IED's on the side of the road...dumbasses. Plus doing the box formation ended up blocknig 2 other military convoys behind us from passing; which ended up to be a big ole gaggle fuck.

My old Platoon Leader shot at a vehicle on the way back. A round hit the driver in the shoulder. I would've done the same. Our convoy missed an on ramp to an MSR, so half of our convoy took the MSR onramp while the other one took another route and would meet up a few miles down the road. Whenthe first half of the convoy reached the rally point, the closed off the back and front (as usual). Now, being that we're on the highay (oh it was nighttime by the darkness) there's gonna be civilian traffic. So as protocol would have it, his truck stopped the traffic a safe distance back. The Iraqi's are pretty familiar with the way we do things so they all stay far back. Well, what happened I guess, is that one vehicle was hauling ass down the lane, and passed all the cars that were stopped, (kinda like a DO NOT CROSS imaginary line) so LT point his M-16 at the vehicle and it still didn't stop, so He fired at the vehicle, hiting the hood and round round struck the guy. In the end the wound wasnt so bad, they figured it to be a ricochet, cuz the guy just drove off afterwards. The same situation happened to me also on the same highway when we were stopped that night, but the civilian car that was coming at us saw our weapon's beaded on him and he slammed on those brakes like there was no tomorrow. My selector switch went from safe to semi, I was ready. lol.

It is SOOOOO frickin cold up in that turret...I seriously think I go tempoarirly insane up there sometimes. I'm all by myself, it's boring as hell. Last night on the way back to camp, I sang songs to keep me awake. I sang from Usher to Metallica to Britney Spears to Friggin the Barbie Girl song. I even did the YMCA and the fucking Macarena....The good thing too is that we're going so fast and the wind is soo loud that no one in the humvee can hear me. So sing away!!!

Lunch break is about up, gotta go back maintanancing our Vehicles, and I gotta clean my .50 and Layla (M16)

Leave with this quote:

"If you have an aggressive posture, which the .50-cal provides, insurgents are less likely to target you," "For every one round they fire at us, we send back a thousand."
---My old Gun Truck Commander, the founder of my current unit, How different it has become.....

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity to accept the
things I cannot change; courage to change
the things I can;and wisdom to know the difference.

My platoon sgt told me that quote today in the motor when He and I were having a conversation about HOW DICKED UP OUR CURRENT UNIT HAS BECOME. In less than 2 weeks time, our platoon morale (probably company too) has gone from High flying in the sky, to shit down below bad. The "new" commander and 1SG has passed down new ROE and Engagement Guidelines that pretty much turn us from an Aggressive Unit WHO HAS NOT LOST A SINGLE LIFE to a pussified "pretty - won't risk having bad publicity so we'll just put out guidelines to cover OUR OWN ASSES but risk soldier's lives" If I start writing about the utter ridiculousness of the new "rules" I won't stop and I might risk getting in trouble, let's just say that a bunch of us yesterday were about to just say "Fuck it, send me back to my unit, this shit is bullshit." no joke. How the FUCK can we protect convoys from "Possible Threats" (Cuz it's everyone and everything around me) if we have our hands tied behind our backs, HORSESHIT. In reality from what people are saying, it's supposedly not the Commander and 1SG's doings, it's come from the Battalion that we fall under, but the way the 2 put it out to us, the way they told us, it felt like they were the ones that suggested the changes, They Bad mouth the Old commander and 1SG that CREATED this unit, calling them ate up, saying that the soldiers that were with them (old GT guys) were cowboys, undisciplined. Ya, well if they were SOooOO ate up, then how come NO ONE HAS DIED??!?!? Could it be because it's WAR???? and you need to be Aggressive??? HOLY SHIT!!! There's an idea. That's what happens when "leaders" who have no Combat time, sit behind a desk and hatch up these Regulations. Anyways. Here's something that I'm going to say here and now, I hope to god I will end up bring wrong, BUT, because of the changes put out; soldiers will die. I pray to god I'm wrong, but our chances just went up tenfolds because of the changes.


I've got a mission tomorrow going up North. SP is pretty early so I gotta get some sleep.

"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in. "
---George McGovern

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

"Another Day, Another KD"

That's what one of the TCN's (Third Country National) at the chow hall said to me tonight when I said what's up to him. I'm pretty friendly with some of the guys there. KD is kuwaiti dollars. Got back Today from LSA Anaconda. THAT PLACE IS FRICKIN HUGE, it's not no puny fob or camp, it's the size of a frickin college campus. It was my first trip up. The ride up there was pretty uneventful, I got to finally drive through downtown bagdhad, pretty cool to me. I was gunner for most of the mission, I LOVE BEING GUNNER, at first I wasn't that big a fan of it, but now it's my true love. Once we got to Anaconda it was prtty much off for the day after cleaning our weapons. Heard they have a frickin full size theater there, guess anaconda's suppose to have like 30,000 people there or sumthing, I dunno if that's a stretch, probably is but, it's believable.
But for the record, there is no such thing as a good night's sleep there, Mortars, Mortars and more Mortars, followed by annoying ass alarms that does nothing but let the enemy know that they hit something, WE ALL HEAR THE IMPACTS...HOW THE HELL DOES SOUNDING THE ALARM "AFTER" THE IMPACTS HELP AT ALL. It was real disconcerting, but then you got used to the sound and can kinda gauge how close it was. It ranged about one every half hour or so. None really hit close to my tent.

We had a CNN cameraman riding with us on this mission, well, with the trans co. that we were protecting. I wonder if I'll be on ma...look..look. On the way back we knda drove through a firefight, we were on the highay headin back (it was still dark) and we were passing an MP check point, when all of a sudden we saw green tracers (AK rounds) come our way, the mic lit up with everyone's chatter CONTACT RIGHT CONTACT RIGHT, I was TC (shotgun) and so I was facing where the fire was coming from, I was ready to rock. Well, about 60 yds ahead of me I saw some of our guys fire 50. cal back at the enemy. When we were told to roll on through, and we all got situated, we realize that no one form our convoy fired anything, it was the MP's that were there that fire at em, we stopped (dunno why..i'm juss a private) and kinda just watched the 5 second exchange of fire. I originally thought it was the lead gun truck (I was middle) that fired at the enemy, cuz in our convoy only the GT had 50. cals. I dunno, other than that another boring day, which is a good day I guess.

The whole situation with "B" sooooo did not go the way I planned. Being raised by a single mom, I got kind of a chic flick persona when it comes to romance (umm..ya...AAARRGGH...GO PATRIOTS; me re-assuring myself of my "mahn-lee-ness")

I was planning on doin my whole shindig that I planned out in my head, but boy did that plan backfire, I didn't even get to set it in motion, I don't wanna get into details cuz it's juss lame, but let's just say it didn't pan out as I planned. Oh well, but really though, the whole situation would've made a really good romatic comedy scene of what seems like a sure fire plan....go horribly wrong...

I bought a bunch of Haji "Illegal" DVD's at Camp Scannia the other day...sooo much cheap shit. I bought Garden State..umm...Napolean Dynamite...and I forgot the 3rd one. I saw half of Garden State before the Battery on the DVD player died, and I love that movie. Natalie Portman is awesome, great actress, and she has to be pretty damn smart too; she's studyin Psychology at Harvard (don't ask me how I know...cuz I don't remember..Read it somewhere)

my list for top 5 would be

1. Natalie Portman
2. Mandy Moore
3. Charlize Theron (especially from Sweet November)
4. Ashley Judd
5. Adriana Lima (solely for looks)

Just bought my Canon EOS 20D, the final price with the warranty and other hoopla came to about 2100$...HOLLLYYY SHIIT!!!! I JUST SPEND 2100$, WHAT THE HELL AM I THINKING...BRRREEEAAATHH WHOO WHOO HEE WHHOOO WHHOO HEE...ok I'm better now....just kidding, I think this is gonna be something that I'll be doing for a long long time, maybe minor in it. who knows.

'I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it."
~Author Unknown