Journey of a National Guard Soldier going Active

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Yay. I love Article 15's

So great, my commander has launched an investigation on this blog, saying I violated OPSEC and showed disrespect towards my chain of command and others. Fuckin wonderful. I get brought in by my 1SG 2 months ago and get yelled at for it, told to watch out for OPSEC, and then a month ago, the Commander HIMSELF, tells me "Keep writing, you have nothing to be afraid of." So I did, I mean, the fact he talked to me about it, and telling me to keep posting was a shock, out of anyone, I would've thought he would be the first to tell me to stop the blog. I guess maybe he just wanted me to post more stuff, so he could have more dirt to use against me? Who knows

So I talked to my investigating officer, a platoon leader in our unit, and I signed my privacy act and told him that I don't want to continue this further without legal counsel. So got a monday appointment at 1130.

UPDATE - They tried to get me for a Field Grade Article 15. I talked to a LTC at JAG and he pretty much said to me "You didn't Violate Opsec, and everything else is protected 1st Amendment" But just so in my opinion some people can save face. I got a Summarized Article 15 for Disrespect towards a commisioned officer for my bronze star opinion. Summarized isn't about the level of cleaning chalkboard erasers, not even detention. At least I know I'm not violating OPSEC, the rest are just details

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Heavenly poop, A Close Call, and "You're so money

So here we are, on ASR Long Island, rolling at night, this roads probably one of the shittiest, bumpiest roads around. It's a 2 lane road, and you definitely don't wanna stray into the dirt, because of those pesky IED's. I'm driving, trying to avoid the bumps and potholes as much as possible, but that ain't happening. I've had a stomach ache from hell for the last 20 minutes, it sucks. Finally this one HUGE friggin bump comes out of nowhere, and..oh shit...I gotta crap.

So the convoy comes to a stop because we ended up catching up to another convoy ahead of us. We all turn off our lights; standard SOP, and I get on the mike and radio up to the Convoy Commander.

"Rebel 1, this is Rebel 3"
"Rebel 3, Go"
"Roger, you think we can stop for about 5 mikes? I gotta take a huge fucking shit"
"Ya, go...hurry up"
" you have and TP?"

Rebel 1 said something that I thought resembled a yes, so I hurried up there, about a good 50 yds, clenching my cheeks. I get to him, and ask him.

"You got the TP?"
"I told you I don't got none"
"WHAT?!?! FUCK!! you had some earlier!"
"Well I used it all the other day"

So I'm desperately holding on right now, so now I'm starting to run back and start asking each Rebel element if they had TP or Baby Wipes, and Thank GOD, Rebel 2 had wipes.

So I rush back to my truck, grab a plastic AAFES bag (Cause I don't wanna shit on the asphalt, that's just nasty) ,consider a good crapping area, which ended up being under the trailer, using the landing gear as support. I whip off my kevlar, IBA (Yes, I know that's a no-go, but good god I was in pure agony) squatted, pulled the bag around my THAT'S what dreams are made of.

So the radio goes off, calling me on the net, my radio is on my IBA which is out of reach, so I'm thinking to myself, "Ya..I'm done" Speed wipe, toss the plastic bag, and rush to the radio with my pants still at my ankles (Thank god there was Zero visibility that night) and answer "Gimme 3 mikes".

Just when I got done saying that. Ohhhh..shit...I ain't done. SONOFABITCH, I have no bag. Well I don't have time to find another, this second assault is not waiting, so I improvise, grab the two rear truck tires, squat, leaned back; so that I cleared my pants, and ooooooooohhhh ya...oh man..I can't believe I'm taking a crap like this. I get done, wipe, and trouse back up. Yup. I'm done. I took a quick glance at the aftermath, and ooh man, full on Melted Chocolate style poop. Everyone knows those kinds, like thick paint. That's what I get for switching to a healthy diet.

I get my gear back on, yell on the radio :

"Rebel 3 has dropped it's load and is good to go"
"Roger, Rolling up front"

I get back on the mike:

"All Rebel elements, watch out for the fat crap I took on the left side of the road."

:) Fini

So we offloaded at TQ and rolled out of there to BIAP; that's where our backload was, so we get there, wait all damn day to find out what the hell is going on.

So we start loading our shit; it's Rolling stock, which means Humvees and any other wheeled vehicles, we're working our asses off, it's hot, sandy, not the most enjoyable moment of our line of work. So I'm about 3 hrs into it, working on helping a TCN chain his laod down when all of a sudden I heard a LOUD ass BOOOM from behind me!!

I look back and see something fly a good 100 ft in the air, I'm thinking what the hell is that? Can't be a controlled detonation. We're too far in the camp. So we all just stand around, wondering what the hell the explosion was. Mortar? Can't be, it was only one round, normally when the insurgents fire mortars, they lob from 3-5 at one time and then bolt, but just one?
So at that point I see a Civilian Vehicle roll my way, this vehicle was behind me past where the explosion was, and so I walk up to the car, and a SGM and a MAJ jump out, at that point I was too exhausted and on edge to get to the whole formal 'at ease' crap. So they hop out I start talking to the SGM, confirming that they were the ones that were one the other side of the explosion. It was them, so at that point they started walking up to the metal that was flying up 100 ft in the air, so I thought, eh? what the hell, so I walked with them, "So SGM, other than this, how's your day going?" He laughs, we shot a little bit more shit.

We walk up to it and yup, it was a mortar, the piece was the all blown apart like a banana peel (I got a picture of it, I'll try and post later) it ended up being a 120mm Round, according to EOD who rolled up a little later, he said that the round malfunctioned and detonated before it hit the ground, that's why we couldn't find an impact crater.

So all's said and done, the round exploded about 75-85 meters from me. So lucky me? It was windy that day, so in a scale of luck, that round coulda came right on top of us. But pretty much same shit, different day.

So we ended up staying the night at BIAP which was a great thing, because there was a Screening of the movie "Wedding Crashers" with Vince Vaughn there to talk to us and take pictures and what not.

So we go there, it was packed, but me and my boy managed to get pretty good seats. Vince came out, talked a little bit, we cheered him on like there was no tomorrow, and we watched the movie. That movie was AWESOME, go watch it if you haven't seen it. "Highest grossing Rated R comedy ever"

Well afterwards he came out to a standing ovation, he answered some questions and then we lined up for a picture and autograph. I happened to have bought the Soundtrack to the movie a week ago, so I had him sign the cover, took the picture, shook his hand, and wished him luck.

Good times....

Friday, September 02, 2005

We lost WHAT???

So Got back Yesterday, and going back out tomorrow. Got some new right seat riders, all is pretty well.

The last mission went pretty smoothly until we left LSAA to go back south. We ended up losing three white civilian drivers. They were Fijian drivers. First time in Iraq. We were rolling down Vernon when we stopped real quick. When we started rolling again, the white truck in front of me didn't roll. So I jump out of my truck to find out what the hell the problem was, because the area that we stopped is one of the worst places to be at. It was right before the Vernon/Sword on-ramp. So come to find out the guy's got a trailer air hose leak, and the trailer won't roll. So because of that the convoy got split. When they finally stopped after radioing them, it was about 3 miles up. We didn't have a visual on eachother; not good. So the internal Guntruck rolled up and told me to go ahead, which I was gonna do anyways. So I start rolling, I see if the whites were following me and it looked like they were. So I hauled ass. They love planting IED's on these on-ramps. And I sure as hell ain't driving miss daisy. So I'm halfway on the ramp when I look in my mirror, and I don't see any whites following me, nice. I look ahead, talking on the radio to the front element, and I don't see em. So here I am turning on to Sword, alone. I'm thinking and laughing to myself, "Great, of all the fucking places, I gotta roll by myself here?" Once I got onto Sword I started to see the lights of the whites way far off behind me.

I reached the front element got into a box formation. Hopped out and guide the whites into our box. The rear element stayed back there for about 10 min before they came up on us. We didn't know we lost our whites yet. So once we got situated we rolled on. We wanted to get the fuck outta there ASAP.

So about 4 hours later, we got to Scannia. Our Convoy commander did a truck count at the gate and realized we had 18 trucks. 3 Short. Oh shit.

So we pulled off to the side, recounted; still 18. 2 flatbeds and 1 bobtail were gone. How the hell did we lose them? After asking the white drivers, and the rest of us. We came to the assumption that somehow the 3 didn't make the turn onto Sword, but instead kept going straight onto Vernon. That road would take them to Ramadi. Not good.

So at this point, we are all thinking that they're dead. No military escort, first time drivers. Definitely not good.

So the CC and NCOIC, all day, are trying to find out if they got picked up, or if they're still missing, but nothing yet. We're all thinking that they're gonna end up on CNN.

But in the end, they got picked up, I don't know the details but we're told they're ok. Which is good.

Other than that, the convoy went good.

Going back out tomorrow...bleh