Monday, November 24, 2008 1453 hrs.
Two things happened today. First thing in the morning we had another airdrop of water and supplies. Fun for me given the fact that I just got off the towers and had to move directly into gunning for this mission. Always good to be behind a fully automatic weapon with no sleep. So it goes.
Luckily for us, this airdrop was actually on time. I have a feeling that the Air Force takes its cues from O'Hare and really doesn't concern itself that much with time and deadlines and little inconveniences like that. Miraculously, they were not only on time today, they were early.
Which threw everyone off. So we ran out there and cordoned off the area and waited for the boxes to begin falling from the sky. And it did. Only real problem was it also seemed like Afghani children were falling from the sky as well. Hundreds of them. It was amazing. I didn't know that there were that many kids in the area. I sure as hell have not seen that many people in one place around here. So trying to keep all these little ankle biters outside the perimeter was a chore to say the least. They all wanted something. Some wanted candy, some wanted water, some wanted the cardboard, some wanted the wood, but they all were after something. I think a few of them just wanted to see what these new soldiers were all about. Bikes, motorcycles, of foot, in trucks, on camelback, on horseback, pulled by carriages, any means of conveyance you could think of they used it to get out there.
You would yell at one, or one group, "Wa Za, Wa Za" which apparently means "go away" or something like that. And as soon as you turned to look and yell at them a group on the other side would try to sneak by you. The best part was is that after a few times of doing that, like all children, these little shits started to think it was a game. I am not exaggerating when I say that it was like herding ferrets.
Needless to say our commander who was watching this whole debacle was not pleased. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when we got back and he grabbed the LT's and senior NCO's and dragged them into a room and gave them a rather stern talking to. But really what the hell did he want us to do. Everyone knew that we weren't going to hurt these kids. They knew it, their parents knew it, and we knew it. So really how the hell could we have kept them back. I did think it was pretty funny when one of these kids started actually fucking with my team leader. Every time he would say in Afghani "Get back", the kid would parrot him. Then the boss man started yelling at him in English, and the kid would listen intently and whatever he said the kid would repeat it right back to him. Then the kid started to mirror everything "Wheelchair 2" did. Which if you have ever seen a kid about 8 or so, doing this to an adult and the adult trying to trip them up, its absolutely hilarious.
(Explanation: My team leader is one of the older gentlemen in my platoon. He is the second oldest guy in the platoon. So we refer to the 3 oldest guys by the call sign of Wheelchairs 1 thru 3)
I got a hell of a belly laugh out of the whole deal. Finally the ANP's started to help us get all these people into some semblance of order. How did they do that? Well they chased all these kids around the desert with their trucks. Not really trying to hit anyone, just trying to get them back away from where we were working.
The only real worry I have is that because the people know that we will not hurt these kids and what not, I just hope the Taliban pricks don't try and use that to their advantage. We'll just have to do a better job next time.
Made my day though when we were pulling security and one of these little Afghan kids goes skipping by and I tossed Wheelchair 2 a bag of cookies to give to the kid. He gave them to him and the little man started looking at them like he didn't know what they were. So I kind of made the motion of raising the bag to your mouth, biting it and ripping it open. The kid did it. Then he looked back at me for what he should do now, so I pretended to reach into a bag and pull a cookie out and eat it, so he did the same. He bit into the cookie and his face light up like Christmas tree. I couldn't help but feel bad for the kid, but I did get a warm and fuzzy inside. What a world we live in, when some have so much and others are happy as hell to get a bag of cookies. But I am not going down that depressing ass road again today.
Moving on, we brought all this stuff back and unloaded it. Yet while were unloading it we saw about 5 incoming helicopters. What could they be carrying? That’s right ladies and gentlemen they were carrying all of our bags that got left behind when we came down here. OH HAPPY DAY! I am going to get all cleaned up tonight, and yes I am going to put on clean clothes for the first time in two weeks. Socks, underwear, and uniform the whole bit.
Not to mention, now I have 5 cartons of cigarettes. So at least I can keep the nicotine fits at bay for a while. Unfortunately, not only did the birds bring all of our stuff with them, but they also brought our platoon sergeant with them as well. So now we are going to have to deal with him putting his two cents into everything we are doing. Even though we had it running smoothly for the past two weeks without him. But whatever, its the Army.
Well between the kid and his cookies, and the fact that I am staring right at about 5 pairs of clean underwear right now deciding which ones I am going to put on after my inordinately long shower, today was and continues to be a pretty damn good day. I got the day off tomorrow, unless that changes which would definitely suck the most so that is probably what is going to happen. So be it. But I got a new project in mind, and a bunch of us here are working on it.
We want to get a collection going for the kids in the area. There are like 5 villages just outside of our FOB and apparently from what we saw today there are more than a few ankle biters amongst the villagers. We are trying to get a hold of the following stuff.
3. Coloring books
7. Stuffed animals
8. Candy, and little food items
9. Anything you can think of that a kid would want or need.
So anyone that would like to help out with this just let me know and I'll email you the details and where to take it, and where to have it sent so that we can get these kids some of the stuff they need and some of the stuff they should have just because they are kids.
Anyways, I am done for now.
I love you mom...