They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...


These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Mar 25, 2009

Shame On You...

So today, for the first time, I am truly ashamed of being in this company. They, and by they I mean anyone of any consequence who can make real decisions that affect the day to day operations of this FOB, and the way that business is conducted here. So basically, I mean the commander and the first sergeant. Both names are purposely in lower case. These fucks don’t deserve to have their titles capitalized.

What did they do? Well, let me tell you. Now I realize that in the grand scheme of things what I am about to tell you doesn’t matter much but it just shows exactly what my chain of command thinks of the people here, and an extension of that is how they treat us and how they deal with everything else that comes their way on this deployment.

Here’s what has happened. Remember a little bit ago, when I told you about the RCP. Well they got here and then they left. On their way out of here 3rd platoon was tasked to go with them for a while to make sure that they made it safely into the next unit’s area of operations. Well on the way to or from I don’t know which, they went boom. Totally destroyed a truck. Luckily for us, no one was seriously hurt.

So we had to figure out a way to get this truck back to the FOB, otherwise we would’ve been stuck out there guarding this thing until the Army figured out a way for us to recover this thing. Which basically means that we would’ve been out there for a couple of weeks waiting ever so patiently for the Army to get off its ass and do something. However, someone was thinking fast and they pulled one of the civilian flat bed trucks out of the RCP. Now this guy who was driving was operating under the assumption that he was still under American protection and was still working for the Americans. So he was expecting those two things. He was expecting to be protected by American soldiers, which all the truckers who haul our shit for us are. He was also expecting to be paid by the American Army for his trouble.

If you ask me these are two valid assumptions. Well he didn’t get either one.

So we loaded his truck up with what was left of the humvee that had exploded, and he drove it back to the FOB for us. To add insult to injury, on the way a piece of the humvee fell off his truck and smashed into one of the side wheels and jacked up his truck, but he got it back.

We brought him inside the FOB to offload this truck and once that was done...we sent him away.

No food, no money, just get the fuck out of here!

I can’t even use the word “we” because most if not all of the people here who are not in positions that make the majority of the decisions would have been more than happy to help this guy out.

Now this guy is just sitting outside the gate waiting for the RCP to come back in like three weeks or so. Fun for him. Why is he just sitting there? Because he lives about 40 miles north of here, right through the heart of Taliban Land, and there is no way he could make that trip with any hopes of getting there alive without our help.

So now this guy is stuck between a rock and a hard place. We forced him to come back here with our truck and we apparently are refusing to pay the guy for his trouble. Now we cut him loose right into the middle of the Afghan countryside which should probably be renamed Taliban Central, and we won’t even help this guy get back home.

What a bunch of dickbags!
Now let’s get one thing clear. This guy, if he were to try to drive home would run into one of two things. An IED meant for us, and given that the Taliban are making these things big enough to destroy armored vehicles his little truck with its paper thin exterior will not have a prayer. Or he will be stopped by the Taliban in one of the myriad of mountain passes between here and his home, they will remove him from his vehicle, ascertain that he has been working for us, and promptly cut his head off.

Or he can sit right outside our front door, not get paid, and not get paid for the load he brought down here originally because they pay you when you return and given that he did not return with all the other trucks they will probably not pay him, not be able to get any word to his family of what happened to him, so they will naturally assume that he’s dead, given what he was doing, and on top of all that, he has to figure out a way to survive through the next few weeks while he waits for the RCP, but he has no food, no water, maybe a little bit of fuel, and since he didn’t get back to get paid, he has no money.

Well don’t worry, we have been sneaking food out to him during the day so at least he won’t die. But can you believe this shit?

We are supposed to be winning hearts and minds here! So we find some locals that will help us with the monumental task of moving material from one place to another in this hole, which makes them bigger targets than we are by the way, Taliban figures that we are just infidels we don’t know any better, but these guys who help us are people of the faith that are actively helping the infidels, they don’t stand a chance without us. But we find these guys, they help us, expecting money and protection, and we give them a resounding “thanks for the help, now fuck off.”

Everyone knows that the guy is not a terrorist, and he is definitely not Taliban. Usually when they come to work for us something explodes shortly thereafter. They don’t usually want to volunteer to do extra work for us. So how hard would it be to search the guy, make sure he doesn’t have any weapons or bomb making material, search his truck, then let the guy park the truck on the FOB, and let him sleep in the same area as the terps? Let the guy go to chow everyday, let him wash his ass, let him send a message to his family, let him sleep someplace warm, and wait for the RCP to get back. We let locals on the FOB everyday so obviously we don’t mind everyone knowing how many guys we got here, how many trucks we’ve got and the layout of the FOB. If we cared about that we wouldn’t have all these workers here doing our laundry and all the other shit that we don’t want to do.

So to whomever made this decision, first of all fuck you, and second I hope that someday you help someone out of a jam and they promptly tell you to “get lost.”

Shame on you!

I am done now.

Later,

I love you mom...

2 comments:

  1. Yes, that sucks all the way around. I think these kind of stories are the ones that create the bulk of the frustration that soldiers feel and experience while they are deployed. It seems that common sense goes out the window and is replaced with a variety of inferior solutions that pass for answers to problems. I am sorry you have to feel this way about your command, but, it is more than understandable. It is hard to imagine that this kind of stuff goes on and if you didn't tell us about it, we wouldn't know. I am glad that some of you are helping the guy out, it is just unfortunate that this is how things have to do down. Take care Mud Puppy. Don't let the bullsh*t get you down.

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  2. MudPuppy...Unnecessary BS is my #1 pet peeve in this world. Sadly, it's everywhere!
    Stay Strong!
    Pray Hard!
    ~AM

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