One year in the big lie (Iraq) This is how we will be living here when the war starts. Take the tanks away and the KBR mess halls and this will be our lives during the upcoming war. Get your minds right.
We were supposed to go in from Turkey, but Rivera screwed that one up. We ended up in Kuwait prepping to go in from the south.
My computers in the 7.7 million dollar M1A2SEP tank went down and they couldn’t be fixed before we went in so I had to use a manpack radio strapped to my .50 cal mount to have commo. It only reached about one klick.
They stuck our tanks on HETTs with us in them and we headed up HWY 1 to Bagdad. 3ID went in ahead of us. We offloaded north of Bagdad and rode through with no problems. 3ID cleaned Bagdad out pretty well. We got on the North side of the city near a military base we had first contact. You don’t want to get hit with 7.62mm machine gun fire from a tank or Bradley. 50 cal. would be better because it ends you quicker.
We moved around to numerous places for several months. We slept on the tanks with our body armor in the sleeping bag and helmets next to our heads. There were no barracks or tents, etc. First mail was after 2 ½ months. Missy sent a lot of goodies. (40 boxes over the year) The solar shower she sent was the best. We had no showers. We had to stand behind the tank and have someone dump water on you. Everyone appreciated the solar shower. At this point we still hadn’t had a real hot meal. MREs and T-Rats and whatever Missy could mail. Coffee was the best. The exhaust of the tank gets extremely hot. I would hang a canteen cup over the exhaust and it would boil in about two minutes. Yes, I know it wasn’t good for me, but you make due when you have to.
My platoon got sent to the Iran Iraq border to protect a refinery. We stayed there for two months with almost no support from the troop. We lived in a bombed out building and finally got some cots after the squadron commader flew out in a kiowa and saw we were sleeping on whatever we could find. ( I did make it across the border once) Top would show up every couple of weeks and sell cigs to the troops. He bought them for 2 bucks a carton and would sell them to the guys for 10, claiming the extra was for a big party when we got back, which never happened. Bastard. We trained some Kurdish guys to take over when we left. Those guys were some tough SOBs. The had fought the Iran/Iraq war and had been fighting the Sunnis for years. They slept on the ground and ate any food they could find. Most had been shot at least once.
An Iraqi came through our checkpoint one day and when we opened his trunk we found beer and big blocks of ice. He got scared until we asked him how much for some. The best beer I ever had was at midnight in the middle of July after burying a trashbag full of beer and ice in the ground for several hours. The Iraqi guy became our logpack daily. He brought ice, beer, cokes, and a few other things. It was expensive, but top wouldn’t bring us anything, so we had to deal with it. Our squadron CSM came out once and brought a sat phone. Best phone call of my life!
The tanks were now breaking down daily. Parts were non-existent, so we didn’t use them much. The pads on my track were gone and it was metal to the road. Almost all of the tech in the tanks was down and we had to rely on old school tanking. Most of the guys had no clue how to use the old ways.
Finally, we got orders to move to Anaconda. We had heard it was like heaven there. We got there and they had a PX, barber shop, phone tent, chow hall (run by KBR) These SOBs had been getting steak, lobster, chicken, etc. What we didn’t know was that we were going to be positioned on the outer ring of Anaconda to “protect” the REMFs on the inside. We had to absorb all of the mortar and rocket attacks, then go try to find the “bad guys” to keep the POS REMFS safe. We did daily mounted patrols Hummers and tanks, when the tanks were up and lived in tents.
We all knew that we were there for BS, but once you are there, you are at the mercy of the gov., so you just do what you have to so you can go home. None of our differences mattered. Black, White, Brown Christian, atheist, redneck, city boy. We put it all aside to do what we had to do. We went home to Texas in March of 2004 to the typical hero’s welcome. Whatever. There is a lot more, but that is for me.
It got better for the guys after that year. They still got blown up, but they at least got to live in air conditioned trailers and eat good and use the internet, etc. in between.
Try to put yourself in a position similar to this and make your plans for the fight as if you were going to have this lifestyle. What would you want to purchase today if you knew you weren’t getting log pack or any outside assistance? We had unlimited ammo and fuel. We wont have that luxury in the future. If you don’t have it before, it will be tough to get after. That is what we will be going through soon. In some ways it will be worse, because our families will be with us, not safe thousands of miles away. I may be preaching to the choir here, but get your minds right now and expect it to be worse than Iraq. We will be the insurgents this time. They will be the invaders. But remember, the Iraqis were able to keep us from freely moving around their country with some RPGs, mortars and AKs.
10 thoughts on “One Year in Iraq”
In my life (turn 50 this year), I’ve experienced:
– a youth in economic comfort (upper middle class, perhaps)
– followed by homelessness at 17 in Miami when my “parents” split
– a stint in the US Army Infantry (Active) and Civil Affairs (Reserve)
– married life with a wife who would rather receive gubment benefits than get off her ass and put that $12,000 education to work, only to go hang out in the projects with her friend and her husband (who claims to be a Vet with Ranger, Infantry, Sniper, etc. training).
I believe in the saying that “what does not kill you, only makes you stronger”. I believe I’m fairly mentally prepared, somewhat physically prepared, and working on finishing my equipment preparedness. It still won’t be enough.
Stay Alert, Stay Alive.
That is the mindset to have. As long as we are ready to live in the dirt and stay that way for a long time, we will be fine. We cant be totally prepared, but we can get close.
That is the one glimmer of hope that I cling to. I know my life is not unique, there are many out there like me (us). They will rise to the occasion when necessary, and they don’t go around advertising it. Like it stated in the article, the indigenous people are able to hold off invading forces with things not much more than improvised weapons or at least the basic weaponry and tactics. And, I should have added, a little prayer doesn’t hurt either.
And the fact that they are fighting for their homes, as we will be. We were the invading force and had absolutely no desire to be there.
I have visions of the movie Red Dawn. Perhaps this will be Red White and Blue Dawn.
That is right Slug D. what doesn`t kill ya will only make ya stronger and wiser!!
If this country goes down the toilet… and when the trigger effect starts… I presume, China, Russia, Mexico and Europe will want a piece of real estate here. As Mr. Wales said… You better get mad dog mean…
“I reckon so.”
I get laughed at a lot for some of the things I use and do. Like using lever guns, single action guns and such. But like I tell the guys with the fancy ar’s and ak’s just remember what won the west. It wasn’t one of those guns but a Winchester lever and a wheel gun. Some good ol’e red neck ingenuity and the most basic stuff can sometimes overcome modern technology. I’ve spent many a night with nothing more than a blanket and a branch for a pillow. Don’t want to have to do that crap again but if that’s what it comes to then so be it. Good post Bulldog.
I know what you mean. I have ARs among other things, but they are simple weapons. I don’t get crazy and put toys all over them. We call those guys Mall Ninjas. They make a simple weapon into a 25 pound monster that needs batteries to operate. Other than night vision, I don’t think your rifle should need batteries.
The old ways are gonna win this war.