Its late in the afternoon and we are heading out on a convoy to an outpost. Its hotter and humid that usual and you feel the sweat building in the seat like you have been riding in a car for 19 hours but you only have been in there 10 minutes.  We hold at a security halt as other hummers are linking up with us and we talk about the day and how its been going. How hot it is bitch and moan a bit then the young driver tell me a joke or two. It breaks up the monotony.  As we move out I continue to scan the road as I did last deployment at all of the trash on the sides and piles of dirt thinking hmmm that could be an IED, so could that, and that but you continue on.

As we drive past a Iraqi Army check point, we throw a couple bottles of water out to them as they are uncomfortable as us but manning their post and doing great. Professional and squared away. They were surprised to see us give them some water and thanks us in Iraqi. These guys really appreciate things like that. When yousee them walk down to the

Euphrates

river and fill up an empty water bottle and drink it, it will make you barf. The river is nasty. We fished bodies out of last deployment, dead donkeys, medical waste you name it. The convoy continues as we see what could become a bad situation on the road ahead but because of our presence and another oncoming coalition force convoy, the situation dissipates. (That’s all I can say about that—in the Forest Gump voice)

My calves are touching my thighs it’s so damn cramped in this hummer. I didn’t grow that much in a year. Sweat begins to flow down you face and we aren’t even in the hot months yet. Traffic on the roads is medium but none wil pass us as they have been taught to saty away from our convoys. We pass an Iraqi Police station and drop off more water to them, they are very grateful.  So grateful you wish the idiot 18 year old that lives in your neighborhood could see how much they appreciate clean water then kick him in the ass to get a job and make a contribution to society so he can see just how good he has it in the states. We get to our destination. Its good to get the armor off as the fresh air ruses in between you and the body armor. We do our business and before you know it, we are heading back to it all over again. Its not as bad as last deployment, you say to yourself,but don’t fool yourself, it is. Somewhere there are scumbags out there trying to kill you. Semper Fi-time for a cigar.

Comments

  1. Major P…. It’s great to have you back and giving us the straight stuff. We have all missed your voice!!!!
    I know you’re with a great bunch of Marines but what’s more important they are with a great Major..
    Take care and stay safe..
    BTW… a bucket of water will take care of your little roommates!!

  2. I am just a new reader and I just want you to know that I appreciate what you guys do not only for us but for the Iraqis too. Stay safe and God bless

  3. Great post friend. Sorry to hear the heat is already causing the discomfort. Maybe you need to take Kitty along for a ride sometime and send us pics! LOL!

  4. Maj.,
    You are the kind of man this country needs more of. You take care of yourself and your men.
    Thank you for doing what I am too old to do.
    Richard

  5. A note from a proud father of a Green Beret …I had to share:
    Thoughts of a Soldier to us and Dawn
    Ya know I got to my new job and the boss man asks me and the other new guy why we came. The other guy replied right away with patriotism and 9/11. He got shot down right away and much that was said about why his reasons weren’t good … weren’t true…. and I could see the bosses point.
    I was rushin around today and a country song came on named “Where were you?” about 9/11. I remembered that although this man was right about many things it was a pessimistic way of looking at things. I listened to the entire song, remembering where I was when that happened.
    I remember the way I felt going to church and seeing pictures of buddies of mine from grade school in uniform with their names in the back of church. I remembered the way I felt that Pete (brother-in-law 8 years USMC then in the Army National Guard, now back in USMCR even though it cost him a stripe) had a family and was sacrificing his time to help out and I remembered that I’m doing this because I am able to do this and I need to do this and it’s a job that chooses you, you don’t choose it. I’ve come to that determination.
    I can’t answer that question of why I did this. I can’t explain, I can’t put into words and even if I attempt anything I say can and will be questioned, shot down, or just sound crazy.
    (note … Son to this day, I cannot answer the question, “Why did you join the Marines?” Yes I was asked many times. All the answers were and are phony. They will just not understand. It was my destiny, it is yours. No answer is good enough. It’s like that line in Blackhawk Down … “Hoot, why do you do it man, are you some kinda war junky?” You remember his answer, “Know what I tell them? …. Nothing. They wouldn’t understand anyway.”)
    I hear when you’re out there the patriotism goes away under fire and it’s about you and the guys your with. but if you ask me that IS patriotism. I’m there to protect my country and as far as I’m concerned my country was established with soldiers blood, soldiers own the country and fighting to keep the guys next to you safe is fighting for your country.
    I know very few will understand. I know that among civilians I’ll have to laugh at what they understand it to be. (with the wrong ideas of what we do and why we do it) “it’s not for everyone” I’ve heard that nearly every day for two years. Fact is …it’s not. Because not everyone will understand. I feel a bit sad for those who won’t understand. they are missing out on a great thing. I don’t think some of the closest people to me will understand everything. They try though and that’s awesome so I try to help them.
    I’d have to say it all comes down to it’s in my blood, that’s the only words I can use to explain my occupation. It’s not easy, some days I’m scared shitless, other days I’m excited as hell, EVERY night I go to sleep proud and no matter what the next day brings I know pain is temporary, the easiest day is yesterday, and I got the coolest job in the world.
    (’some days I’m as scared as shit.’ … Son .. Courage doesn’t mean you are not scared. It means you go anyway.)
    Just some random thoughts,
    Dude

  6. yeah! I totally agree with their comments. Your job is significant in many ways and your life as well.
    Just stay safe under God’s guidance and thank you for your unconditional love for the country. I truly salute soldiers like you. Godspeed!

  7. It’s heating up already? Just back in Feb, when the Marine!Goth came home, he told me that it actually SNOWED in Fallujah just before they left – and that a couple of his Marines (from CA and LA Gulf Coast) had never seen snow before. They were as bad as the local kids – standing around catching snowflakes on their toungues and such. LOL
    You and your stay safe, sir.

  8. It’s heating up already? Just back in Feb, when the Marine!Goth came home, he told me that it actually SNOWED in Fallujah just before they left – and that a couple of his Marines (from CA and LA Gulf Coast) had never seen snow before. They were as bad as the local kids – standing around catching snowflakes on their toungues and such. LOL
    You and your stay safe, sir.

  9. As close as I have been to a Military Action was getting mobalised to Homestead AFB,during grenada!!You gentlemen are doinga great service to this great country,you should be very proud,you all are making history.They will use what you are doing as training guides for the future do’s and don’ts under fire.OOOOrrraaaahhh..My nephew did two tours in fallujah.When they sent marines home before they went in,and told them to square their shit away.Their commanders knew some would not make it home.I flew home to say my good luck.We got drunk and ate bbq steak talking about what our soldiers were about to do.I could only say You are the best trained attack force in the world.We are the best because we fight for each other,your first mission is to make sure you all come back.That also makes you a human being!Our soldiers will put their life on the line for their brothers.You guys make me proud to be an AMERICAN..God Bless the USMC and all our brothers in harms way,a special prayer for their families. SemperFi

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