I got home to Jacksonville on the 20th and am having a blast. My buddy, Jimmy Bennett from Orlando, had been on leave and got back to Iraq right after I left. He sent me an e-mail letting me know how things are going:
Everyone....This morning at 4am was my first real duty day since being back from R and R. I was at the front gate of Justice with Sgt. Fisher , Lucky and Mencacci. Lucky went to chow at 0630 and Fish went riding around with SSG Burns. Mencacci and I were working the gate and watching the Iraqi National Guard do P.T. and Drill and ceremony when we heard a succession of explosions. BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM .....At first we thought they were early morning car bombs or roadside bombs until we heard the whistle of a Mortar bomb fly right over our heads. As soon as we heard them we took cover behind a cement barrier and covered our heads with our hands and waited for the explosions. DUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was a Dud !! The one that landed closest to us was a dud. jeez. It's a good thing all of you are praying for us because I didn't have time to do anything but cover my head and say "oh sh*t" Ya'll should have seen the Iraqi's making a beeline for their building. They were laughing as were Mencacci and I. Laughing , I guess, because we were alright. Here comes the rollercoaster analogy.........You know how when you blast out of the incredible hulk at the Islands of Adventure at Universal Studios, ya get scared and then you can't stop smiling. Well that's the feeling .....almost. My platoon has got more purple hearts and confirmed kills these past 2weeks than in the past 7 months. We are working with Iraqi National Guard and American Special Forces. We are pulling Base security and conducting combat patrols including raids non-stop. This is definitely the front lines of this war.
Bennett, thanks for the update. Don't have too much fun while I'm gone.