Journey of a National Guard Soldier going Active

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Kickass Pics

a closer look Posted by Hello

the sun just emblazens the sky Posted by Hello

Shithouse literature numero dos Posted by Hello

Shithouse literature Posted by Hello

An amazing view Posted by Hello

Check out the baby camelPosted by Hello

Ziggurat Ur (where Abraham was born) Posted by Hello

Iraq girl we gave some food to when we RP'd Posted by Hello

My first Picture taken. I call it Safwan Sunrise

Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Is it Raining??

So we get to anaconda, mission complete. Boring one indeed, despite the fact that for some reason, I felt that something was gonna happen; this was not to be so. If anything, this was one of the most boring trips I’ve ever been on to anaconda. We got stuck behind 2 convoys; ergo, every damn time they decided to stop or whenever they came upon a pontoon bridge, our convoy and the three behind us pretty much stopped behind them. It pretty much looked like a 6 mile long convoy, no joke. At that point…that feeling was gone.

When we got to anaconda we(as in guntruck guys); as we always do, switched our SINGCARS channel to our own freq, that way we can talk casually without bothering the other soldiers on our mission.

So I tell my boy SPC D. to switch over, he does, and then I do.

“Yo D, you there?”
“ya man, I’m here. Yo check this out, you wont believe this”
“dude, J pissed on SGT D!!!”
“Waa?? What the hell you talking bout?”
“Ya man, all..over..him. Not like sprinkle, I mean on his face, on his DCU’s…everywhere!!!”


So here’s the story:

So J’s in the turret, D is TC’ing and SGT D is the driver. Well, J has to piss, but he had no bottles to piss in, so he just figured; “Hey, I’ll just turned around and piss off the back” (his guntruck was last truck in convoy) So he starts on his merry way of drainin the main vein.

SGT. D on the other hand, is all of a sudden feeling liquid hitting his face, and his hands. He’s thinking it’s probably liquid from a Gatorade or MRE; because on the last mission D spilt some shit on him. So SGT D looks up at J and he’s thinking. “ooookay, no Gatorade bottle….no MRE….huh? J’s hands are by his crotch…SONOFA..”

“Uhhh…NO SGT!”
“uhhh..yes sgt?”

Turns out that even though he was facing the back….the wind blew the piss ALL over SGT D.


So they get the CLS bag (combat lifesaver AKA army first aid kit) and they get out a wetnap or something of the sort.


“uhh…no SGT..I don’t think it is”

Sooo..ya…that’s the story, I’m telling ya, when I heard that story, I laughed so hard, I seriously almost passed out. I can just picture all that going on in my head and it’s just too much.

So now I’m in the KBR “chicken coops” typing this one my laptop; which BTW to me, is a monumental thing because this is the first entry via my laptop. This means I can pretty much post an entry whenever I want.

I’m out

*melody to R. Kelly’s Ignition*

“This is the remix the song about pissin” hehe

Friday, March 25, 2005

I've been everywhere man...

So on the road again, which is a good thing....I think. I always hate staying back at camp..back in garrison, but in reality, I'm getting really exhausted, mentally...physically...emotionally. And now that my AO (my bunk area) is starting to become a place I don't mind hiding in all day; and with PT only bein 3 days a week, I don't think it's that bad stayin back so much. My AO is like a lil enclave in the corner of the tent, I have my new laptop that I watch movies on (1st season of O.C. , Deadwood and OZ), my new PS2 on which I nerd out on playin Madden 2005 (Seahawks baby). I don't know...I've been back at base a total of only 2.5 days out of the last 2 or 3 weeks; been on the road so much, I've lost track.

So now that the dust has settled on the ambush on the convoy my unit was escorting there's so many different point of views and new tidbits on what happened and stuff, the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE stuff.

I took some pictures of the gun trucks and some of em got fucked up really good, most of the trucks had to get tires replaced, one had to have the windshield replaced, one of our soldiers managed to video tape the event, I haven't seen it yet, but I'm sure I will soon enough.

Turns out some artillery guys rolling in humvees showed up and joined the firefight too, and I guess they got fucked up more than our guys did, which for an update "OUR" guy who got hit apperantly got hit in the leg and was bad enough that he's getting sent to Walter Reed for rehab. Sucks to hear that, Hope he recovers fully.

So ya, here's the vain part of me showing up, but I'm kinda pissed that the AP and the rest of the news networks gave the credits to just the Arty guys and the MP's (who BTW showed up when the fight was over, all they pretty much did was count bodies and confiscate shit and make arrests)


I'm out, gotta take the humvee to HSC again, the piece of shit couldn't even make it to 55 today..had to get towed...lame.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

too tired for a title

So I've been planning on writing here, talkin bout my last mission, and whatnot, bout me fallin asleep to Mandy Moore while I was driving, it was funny. But right now, I'm on a mission, at the mid point in Scannia. Got back, cleaned our weapons, got the night off, back on the road today. Before we left we got word that one of our Gun Trucks got hit, one of the soldiers were hurt, "not serious, but he got medivac'd".

We heard when we were waiting for the convoy we were escorting to get to our base. We all just thought; from the lil info they gave us, that it was most likely an IED.

Faaarr from it. lol

When we got here to scannia, we got parked, did our normal routine of setting up our cots and whatnot, when one of our guys came rushing back talking about how our platoon SGT; who was riding with another platoon in our company, killed a shitload of insurgents.

So after we got all the details down, it turns out that the convoy was rolling through an Iraqi Police checkpoint, and when the convoy was goin through the IP's turned out to be Insurgents and started attacking, first was an RPG that missed the cab of a civilian truck but hit the trailer. pretty nice size hole (saw a picture) then from what I'm told IED's went off followed by SAF and RPK fire. It was a good quarter mile ambush. Saw pictures of the indentation of the rounds off the armor to windows being blown out..some intense shit. Which is kinda eerie cuz we're supposed to be rollin on that route. who knows now though. what with the incident.

It's expected though. It's getting close to easter. a big christian holiday. so it's extra inticing for the insurgents to attack us.

On the lighter side of things I'm an O.C. whore. I'm absolutely addicted to the T.V. Show "The O.C." I got 2 of my buddies hooked on it too. I bought the first season on DVD off Amazon and have been hooked ever since. Summer and Seth...funny couple. Ryan and Marissa...odd mix..but hey, if it works. I finished watching the first 6 discs and got only 1 disc left but I don't wanna watch it cuz then that would mean it'd be over. and that's not good. Anna was an angel. It's too bad she's not in the second season. I can't wait for the second season to be on DVD.

Oh well. gotta get some shut eye. Gonna hopefully be an exciting day tomorrow. It's odd. Right now we're somewhat jealous that it wasn't our crew in that firefight. But I think it's in solely because we knew that none of our guys died or got hurt to seriously, so the fear of death was taken away, and all we focused on was how LUCKY those guys were to get into the shit. I've been here 4 months and I've just shot my weapon on the last mission. but only as a warning shot. Oh that reminds me, I felt like such an asshole on the last mission. It's our SOP to push oncoming cars off the road when its a 2 lane, well we're rolling through a city I dunno the name of, and the whole town was celebrating Ashoura, and we're just pushing cars of the road which we know are not a threat, but we still have to cuz you never know. But I remember when we had to bully off a bus full of people. I was gunning. When my truck passed the bus, I locked eyes with the Iraqi bus driver and he gave me this look like "what are you doing, you KNOW I'm not a threat...why?" and I just felt like a complete dick. It's shit like this that makes us look bad in the eyes of these good people, but it has to be done.

I wish that there was some way I could explain to them, but there isn't.

I dunno....

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

IPOD is back


I've gone without it the whole time I've been here, due to the fact that one of my dumbass battles accidentally erased my whole music collection. But fear not. I got all my music back now plus some more. So now. I got 508 songs on my IPOD and "we be jammin"

We ain't supposed to be listenin to any music on the road. But man, on these long ass convoy, you need something to keep you awake, so I gotta break the rules a lil and rock out.

Anyways. Middle of mission. Tomorrow's gonna be a llooooonng day.

I'm outtie

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Rut and a hard place

So here we are about to leave Anaconda to go back south. We already had to take Route Golden up here because Sword was closed. Golden is a longer route; thus, none of the soldiers are really big fans of taking Golden. We're the first convoy out that night to take Golden back down. To me that means that the likelyhood of shit happening just went up, we're the cherry convoy of the night.

So we start rollin down the road, light annoying ass drizzle, no moon, I'm in the middle gun truck, with a new crew. This new crew I'm with is testing my skills as patient man, and patience, is not a virtue that I have. But that's a whole different story.

About 20 minutes in our convoy makes a stop. We stop with a field of mud and wheat on the left and some houses on the right. Not exactly the best spot to stop. We find out that there's a problem with the rear gun truck; something with the engine. So while they're figuring out what exactly the problem is, the convoy commander gets on the radio. "All Wolfpack and "Gun Truck" element, listen up, There's an MTS message (kinda like an Army IM System) saying that "Route Golden is closed, due to VBIED and other activities, in the vicinity of....where we are at right now."

I'm like waa? lol..greeat.

So after we lolly gagged for another 10 min, MSR patrol came up on our rear and we asked em of any update, but they told us it'll be closed for a while and that we oughta head back. So we did. We turned the convoy around and just towed the busted down humvee with us back to Anaconda.

So I'm totally screwed cuz I just drank a Frappucino and a Double Shot with 4 Hydroxycut pills. I'm sooo wired, I havent been this hyper since I was a 5 yr old kid goin crazy with Pixie Sticks. So we go back to our billet, everyone's all "Yawn..I'm tired as shit" and here I am hating life cuz I wanna go to sleep...but I can't. So I just watched Dazed and Confused (WHICH BTW ROCKS).

Half way through the movie though I started feeling nauseous, really bad. So here I was not being able to sleep, but in my boxers, so I didn't wanna get dressed and go outside in the rain so that I can hurl up the caffeine overload that's totally screwin with my body...uuggh....hatin life.
I ended up dozin off somewhere around 4-5. Glad that night was over with.

We left again that night but this time Sword was re-opened, so we were glad cuz that cut down road time. So we left Anaconda...again. Tonight however decided to pour alot harder, and that just blew ass, AND to add to the fact, the motor on our windshield wiper went to shit. No kidding. It works this whole time, and when we need it the craps out. So now, it's gotta be turned on n off real quick to get wipers across once..then when it gets to point of zero it again. lol.

I was in the turret and for the record I HATE RAIN. I had the wet weather gear for my top...but now the my pants were soaked. Not fun. We got to our RON with minor hitches. Headed back to base with the same rain. Not fun. The lightning was plain and simply AWESOME. Saw 4 lightnight bolts ignite the sky next to each other..awesome.

Now I'm enjoyin my day off, getting ready to go on a mission tomorrow.

I'm in a rut right now. Tryin to get out of it, but it's hard. I've managed to make a bad name for myself, as the pvt who likes to argue, put his 2 cents in. Ya, that's true, but I despise it when people in charge do stupid shit. But hey, I should've expected that when I signed that paper. lol.

But I'm tellin ya, like from Godfather. I try n get out, they pull me back in. I try and do good, which I have been doin. but the moment I have an honest mistake, I get fucked with, It sucks. but hey, I dug my own whole, oh well. 7 more months till leave...only a blink

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

An interesting link about the Aformentioned topic

A friend of mine sent me this link. It talks about a conversation the writer had with the woman who got kidnapped in Iraq, while they were on the plane going to Iraq.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Italian news reporter "tragedy"

I don't know where to start about this whole fiasco. So this is gonna sound pretty much like a buncha rambling. I've intended on talking about this for some time now but didn't really know too much of this situation.

The escalation of force. What those soldiers did is the exact same SOP that we are told to do. I have yet to shoot at a vehicle, but I know alot of the guys in my platoon have. Different units have different SOP's on how close they let vehicle's get. Some it's 150 meters. Other's it's 50 meters. For me, it all depends on the vehicle. During the day visibility is obviously pretty good. So depending on certain aspects of the vehicles, I will decide how close I'll let it get before I open up. Like if it's a van with a whole family inside, I'm obviously not going to fire on them. But if it's just one or two men in a sedan that's sittin pretty close to the ground; I'll be pretty paranoid on how close it gets to me. If I have rear security and we're not letting any cars go past us, I normally show my hand as a signal to stop when the vehicle gets about 150 meters. If they persist. The I turn the 50. cal MG pointed at their direction about their head. If they still come at me; I lower the 50. cal, pointing at the vehicle. IF they still come at me (normally they slow down with the .50 cal drawin a bead on em) then I take the sixteen and fix my iron sights on em. Then if for some asinine, hard-to-believe reason that they DON'T stop. THEN I fire what the Army calls "Disabling Shots". A couple rounds into the engine block. Now here's the thing. I've always kinda thought about this situation. The roads in Iraq aren't the best paved. What if I was shooting at the engine block but I hit a bump and it strikes the driver?

But ya. THAT situation listed above is ONLY during daytime. When it's night, it's a whole different ball game. You wanna be freaked out? Come over here and have a vehicle drive towards you. I understand TOTALLY how the soldier who fired on the Italian reporter's vehicle feels. HERE IS SOMETHING THAT YOU NEED TO KNOW. When Iraqi civilians drive toward U.S. Soldier's or Checkpoints THEY KNOW that they are supposed to TURN OFF their headlights and PUT ON THEIR FOUR WAYS. Now I don't know if that's the SOP or what not, but it's just what they do and HAVE been doing for a long time. So when a suspicious looking vehicle is coming towards the soldiers and it doesnt stop, WITH lights on, what the fuck do you expect us to think.

The United States has said soldiers at a Baghdad checkpoint "attempted to warn the driver to stop by hand and arm signals, flashing white lights, and firing warning shots in front of the car. When the driver didn't stop, the soldiers shot into the engine block which stopped the vehicle, killing one and wounding two others."
But Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini told his parliament Tuesday that the car was not speeding and was not ordered to stop by U.S. troops at a checkpoint.

I'm surprised that they even fired warning shots at the vehicle. I would've gone straight for the engine block. Sorry. What REALLY grinds my bones is that EVERYONE says that the car wasn't speeding.

AND?!?!!? SO FUCKING WHAT!!! WHAT? Just because it's not speeding automaically rules out the fact that it could be a VBIED?!!?! HOW THE FUCK do you know that it wasn't just a terrorist slowin down so that his buddy in the back can get the bomb prepped for explosion ?!?!

25 MPH is what they said. I don't know about you. BUT IN THE DARK, with a vehicle coming at your with headlights on, 25 MPH or 40 MPH, will all be the same because all you have is a matter of seconds to react. LIGHTS BLARING. the Night Vision Goggles won't work cuz. No one can get a visual of the occupants inside.

The soldier's thinkin:

"This is ODD"
"Why is he no slowing down?"
"Why the FUCK are the lights still on?"
"This don't feel right man...he aint stoppin."
"SHIT!!! The warning shots DIDNT STOP HIM. WHAT THE FUCK???"

then he fires into the engine block.

the rest is all over CNN and Foxnews,

the rest is painted as left-wing propaganda.

Al-jazeera I bet had a field day about this.

I would proudly consider myself a semi-liberal. I vote for kerry. (in retrospect, I should've voted for Pres. Bush) I even had Nader fever for like a week. But THIS is too much. Not too be a dickhead or anything, but the woman that got kidnapped was an from a news company that was staunchly ANTI-WAR. Her views are expressed publicy as ANTI-WAR. I don't know.

I hope to GOD that nothing happens to the soldiers that were involved in that incident. THEY DID NOTHING WRONG.

If anyone is to blame it should be the people responsible for setting up the pickup for her release. I mean, such a big thingm you'd expect escort, as well as notification for the U.S. soldiers.

But no. Now the news media; because of fucking ratings, are going to crucify the U.S. Army and the soldiers involved.

I'll tell you one thing though. If the soldiers out at that checkpoint didn't follow SOP and do what they "said" they did, then they should be punished. but if they did follow guidelines, then nothing should happen to them.

But who knows. You got the Italian PM harping the fucking U.S. to pretty much "find someone to blame" no matter who it is. Understandable when it comes to politics. You need to have something to blame for this "tragedy" and if no one is to blame, shit will turn from bad to worse. His country already is ANTI-WAR and this whole situation could cause political death for him.

Let's hope that the scapegoat aren't the soldiers in that checkpoint. Because if it is, then that day will be a sad day for america, which of course will soon be forgotten because no one really cares now do they?

Saturday, March 05, 2005

This is a MUST READ.

you want a glimpse of what our mighty U.S. Military has become...this is it.

this is a site created by Douglas Adam's who wrote a book we should all know called "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

been pretty lazy...

So things have been going good for me, haven't been getting in that much trouble. In the middle of a mission right now, was supposed to SP a few hours back but ended up canceling it because the area around BIAP was getting pretty hot. My last mission lasted about a week, loong mission. Supposed to be a 4 day'er, but some shit happened with the TCN's with the handling of them at the gate security at our destination point. It was cool though. I rode with a new crew, so I got to know "SPC P" real well. Helluva guy. He spent his 21st birthday here. lol. Sucks for him lol.

So on day for we went to where all the trucks were staged, getting ready to go, nothin special, but then we hear that we can't leave till the TCN (third country nationals AKA civ. contractors) shit gets resolved, so we're like..grreeaat. so we just hang out. shoot the shit. waiting for more info. I went and layed down on the hood of my humvee...pulled my beanie cap over my eyes....powernap a lil bit....then I heard a BIGASS boom...then another BOOM! The base was gettin mortared. I sat straight up on the humvee, barely enough time to catch the bright flash of the explosion. Can't really tell how far it was but the boom was the loudest ones I've ever heard since bein here. The alarm went off almost instantly, we rushed to get on our IBA's, laughing the whole time, about how over here the alarm actually goes off immediately unlike LSA Anaconda's lame ass "alarm-goes-off-20 min-after the fact" it's funny.

Moment later we noticed something from that vicinity that looked like SAF, red tracers (us) goin off, and we're is right on that shit. Marine's gotta give it to em. They're good at what they do. Not as much BULLSHIT as the shit that the ARMY seems to have. em..but damn, they shoot at everything...including us army guys...bastards. I remember tonight when we thought were gonna go, in the pre-convoy brief one of the guys we were escorting said somethin like "Now, we gonna be driving around them marines, stay in the middle of the road, cuz you know them boys be crazy motherfuckers...shootin at everythin and shit."

So I got my camera about 2 weeks ago, but been afraid as shit to even touch it. But I decided to take it with me on this trip. MAN does my shit ROCK!! I took a picture of the sunset that is by far Magazine worthy, I'm gonna try and post some on here once I get my laptop. I bought a laptop off my buddy. It's a Dell XPS, he got it all hooked up, bought it for 3700$ but doesn't even use it, so I offered to take it off his hands for 2500$, good deal I'd say. lol...I do need to start saving money though..gotta have enough to put down payment for my house and car..eeekkk...

So ya...found out my Ex "Nicole" is getting married..or at least she accepted a proposal from her current boyfriend. same thing. the first one sounds worse. I really shouldn't give a flying fuck, but for some reason it hurts. She still "wants to be good friends". What ever.

In the backof my mind I always thought that "maybe" if it was meant to be (and I thought in my mind it was) that it would all work itself out when I got back. I told her that. she said "I know" and somethin bout "timing". I feel weak, for still having feelings for an ex, *Note: not a good idea to have an Ex as one of your best friends. -CONFLICT OF INTEREST-

I emailed Najma a little over a week ago, kinda in response to one of her blogs about U.S. Soldiers. She never answered. I was kinda hopin that she would. It wasn't a rude email or anything, on the contrary, it was a respectable, optimistic letter. I was just tryin to give her a glimpse of life from a soldier's eye:

(I "had" posted the email, but I decided to take it off.) A really cool blog. An Iraqi girl that lives in Mosul. Interesting stuff she writes, kinda like a view from the other side. English is surprisingly well.

So now I'm done, bought my contacts online, read up on current geo-politics (syria-lebanon situation is quite interesting), opened a savings account finally. Done and Done.

"A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. "
----James Madison

"The government of an exclusive company of merchants is, perhaps, the worst of all governments for any country whatsoever. "
----Adam Smith, from The Wealth of Nations