Wednesday, March 23, 2005

so here we are

Well I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to go about this whole web log thing. I’ve thought about doing it for a while and I guess I just figured, why not. I am certainly not an expert in English. In advance, please pardon any spelling and grammar errors you may find. Please keep in mind my commitment is to my unit and my mission. Maintaining OPSEC (operational security) is priority. Therefore I may have to be pretty vague at times. Also, my schedule tends to be somewhat irregular, so I’m not sure how often or consistent this will be updated. You’ll just have to bear with me.

I’ve been in Iraq since early November. I volunteered to come here with a friend of mine. We had to do state transfers to get over here. I spent the first few months at an ECP (enduring check point) outside of the Baghdad International Airport attached to an Armor company. I hated it. I volunteered to come here and fight a war and couldn’t believe they wouldn’t let me go out and do just that. I’m infantry…I lust for the blood of America’s enemies. Don’t get me wrong… the guys out there on ECP’s and other elements of FOB security and force protection work hard and have very important jobs. But I couldn’t take not being out there on the streets with my boots on death ground.

In February I finally got my wish. My buddy and I got moved into a new unit. A unit that goes out and does a variety of different missions. We do anything ranging from convoy escort, TCP’s (tactical check points), mounted and dismounted patrols, raven flights, OP’s (observation posts) and whatever they tell us to. Rather than attempt to catch you up on what exactly I have been doing since I got here, I’m just going to pick up right here. For everything else you’re going to have to wait and buy the book.

More recently my unit has been doing some pretty good missions. The type of missions a grunt dreams about doing in a combat zone. We’ll take Black Hawks out to sector and stay out for several days at a time. Just us and our rucks. What exactly we do out there varies. We may patrol for IED’s (improvisational explosive devices), set up OP’s, raid some houses or just patrol. Nonetheless I’m loving it. There is nothing like carrying everything you’re going to need for three days on your back, holding your rifle at the ready and walking in a wedge through fields and villages with guys you’d gladly take a bullet for. There are certainly times when I can’t help but think, “why the hell did I volunteer for this?” But laying in my sleeping bag and staring up at the stars, listening to the calls for prayer from nearby mosques echoing over distant small arms fire just has a way of taking me back. Taking me back to last summer when I was laying on the beach in St. Augustine, staring at the stars and listening to the waves… wishing I was in Iraq, defending freedom.