Journey of a National Guard Soldier going Active

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

"Pop that thing"

I’m on my first trip with home unit. They put me in the Maintenance 915 bobtail, I’m with one of the Maintenance SPC from Vegas. He’s a good guy to run with.

I’t’s been so long since I’ve driven a 915. Last time was at AT. It’s been so long that the first time I hopped into the 915 I thought: “Damn, this is high.”

I then noticed the ridiculously thin windows and windshield, pretty much the standard civilian type windshield. That kinda irked me a little bit, actually, a lot. The humvee windows were a good Inch and a half thick, nothing short of a direct IED hit coulda fucked with that window, the 915 ones are worthless, a good shot out of an AK will go right through that.

I’m on the eighth day of my trip, alotta shits happened, not all bad. It’s quite funny actually.

When we first started to roll out of Arifjan; not even 2 minutes outta the motor pool, my dumbass gets stuck in the sand. Lol. Great. The highlight of my mission. Not even outta base camp and got stuck already, could there be a better sign that I don’t belong in a 915?

We got scannia after RON’ing at Navistar, and come to find out, the door on the passenger side won’t open. Great. We screwed with the side panel and manage to open it directly through the panel.

SPC R and I joke around about what else can go wrong?

We took the long way up to LSA Anaconda, taking the Bismarck route, all went well a couple of mishap’s vehicle wise, nothing much. I got my Ipod going, one headphone in my ear, the other in SPC R’s.

Our destination was FOB Speicher, a lil drive past Anaconda. I’ve never been to Speicher before so R drove, I took some good pictures, I got a shot of where Saddam’s mother lived; Speicher is right outside of Tikrit, Saddam’s birthplace. The people there are still pretty loyal to the old regime, so the area there is pretty unsafe. We drove on the outside of the city, I got some good shots.

We got to Speicher without any hitches, offloaded our stuff and spent the night there. I watched a Kingdom of Heaven on a Haji DVD, I give it a thumbs up.

The next day we left to go back to Anaconda to pick up a backload. R was driving again I was TC’ing/Sightseeing.

We’re halfway to Anaconda, R and I are jamming to the Ipod everything is as usual, people on the road, traffice rolling normally.

I’m sittin comfortably, starting to get a little tired, got the whole, sllooow blinking of the eye going on, when


OH Fuck.

Holy shit.

An IED just went off about 20 meters to our left on the median, throwing a big mushroom cloud of sand and dust in the air. It went off 3 bobtails in front of us.

The explosion wasn’t as loud as I would’ve expected but a good piece of shrapnel seemed to ricochet and hit my side of the windshield, got a good spider crack on it, the side of a fist.

Being the maintenance truck we’re most of time; like this time, in the back of the convoy. I grab the Mic and I yell “CONTACT LEFT, IED IED,” I think I said some stuff after that but I don’t remember, it was all a blur.

I remember seeing the truck in front of me start braking and kinda moving off to the right side of the road and I’m thinking, “Aw fuck we’re going to stop, someone’s hurt. But then the truck turns back on the road and keeps going, I get a view of the trucks in front of me and they all look to be up and running, at that point someone asked on the mic on the SITREP on the trucks, I answered back “It was on the median 3 trucks up, all trucks are running good, we’re all rolling.

At that point I realized that the headphones were still on, but the funny thing was the song that was playing. It was Chrtina Milian’s Dip it low, and it was at the part where she was singing, “Pop, pop, pop that thing.”

I say to SPC R, “Kind of an ironic song playin huh?” “No shit”

At that point we both simultaneously took off the headphones.

He was pissed as fuck, yelling about what pussies they are, but here I am again, like the last time and IED hit, Smiling. I don’t know what it is, every time something like this happens, I get a smile on my face. One of the SGT’s I told this to said that it was cuz I was glad I was alive. Who knows

When we finally got to Anaconda and surveyed the damage, only a couple windshields got messed up, nothing big. I got some pictures of the worst of the damage which was to a TCN white truck; the windshield got a good dozen shrapnel hits.

The IED was buried too deep. Which was good of course, but you can tell. It was a pretty small one to, compared to other one’s I’ve seen.

Right after the bomb went off everything and everyone looked suspect. Some people said they saw tow guys on a motorcycle following us for a while. Some others said that they saw a kid with something in his hand and a guy by him with his back to us who looked like he might be counting trucks or something. It’s unfortunate for the locals, most of them are innocent but the fact that we can’t tell who the enemy is, they ALL look like the enemy.


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