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

May 2, 2009

Had To Think Long And Hard About This One...

Which is probably why this one took me forever and a day to write. I have been thinking about this little fight we got into and trying to figure out what I should say about it. In some ways its a story that I didn’t ever want to tell, but I have to. For several reasons. One, what fun is a war without the battles. Secondly, my complete and utter inability to take even the most life threatening of experiences seriously. Third, my ability to make fun of the aforementioned situations. Forth, I want people to see what combat here is like. At least the general idea. Its not like any of the shit you see in the movies. It lasts all of 5 minutes and then its over...

So let’s begin.

Here is how the last 56 or so hours of my life has gone. We are supposed to leave Waza Khwa in southeastern Afghanistan sometime in the next 72 hours. We are headed to Khost and Paktya provinces which are in central Afghanistan, on the eastern edge of the country. At least that is what they have told us so far. Now in order for us to leave this place we have to wait for this thing called the RCP. RCP means, Route Clearing Package. Basically, a whole shit ton of really large trucks with a lot of fancy bells and whistles geared at finding IED’s, or if they can’t find them they are big enough to hit them without anyone dying. Which is always a good thing. Because we all know that government equipment ALWAYS does exactly what it is supposed to do! (Sarcasm intended)

So they were coming down to Waza Khwa on the 23rd, I am writing this at 2300 hrs on the 25th. I left the FOB at 0600 on the 23rd. Needless to say, I was out there for a while.

We were supposed to overwatch a route that the RCP was taking. You know, make sure that the Taliban don’t litter the damn thing with IED’s, and make sure that they can’t set up those fucking mortar tubes that we all love so much, and keep them from setting up in nice little nooks in the mountains where they can rain a few hundred bullets down on our heads. You know, the usual.

So we are sitting around this route waiting for the RCP to come down. Now the only way I can really explain this is to give you a few numbers. The military uses meters to measure distance, so 1000 meters is one “click”. The military also numbers these clicks, in both directions, east and west, and north and south. The RCP was north of us, we were at click number 80 and the RCP was at 96. The RCP is supposed to move at about 5 clicks per hour. Not real fast, but given the loads that they haul its understandable. Even us, given our humvees and lack of anything else to pull, we can only move at about 15 to 20 clicks per hour. And here that is hauling ass. Its funny because when I get home and we get on the road and someone starts driving like 30 miles per hour I am going to shit myself and start yelling, “slow down, what the hell is wrong with you.” But whatever. Our FOB is at 62. So we hauled our asses up to 80 and found some hilltops and started waiting. Now its like 0800 in the morning.

And we waited and waited and waited. Then we finally got word that the RCP was moving. I don’t remember what time it was because its all basically just one big blur of suck. Then it came over the radio that the RCP had hit an IED. Always a good time. Especially when someone other than me hits an IED. And yes I do know that Karma is going to get back at me for saying shit like that.

Not usually a huge cause for concern though. The RCP rolls out with enough trucks and assets to recover themselves. I mean they can put together a vehicle from scratch and get rolling again. Right out in the middle of all this shit. So we just figured that we would be waiting for a while. No big deal. We have done this shit before. I mean the only constant in the military is the suck of it all. So bring it on.

Then we find out that they are moving again. Literally, about 5 minutes after they told us they were moving again, they hit another IED. Alright, so basically they got moving, moved about 10 feet and hit another one. Holy shit! Isn’t the RCP supposed to have all these neat toys that are designed to detect IED’s and keep them from hitting them?

In any case, they dealt with that IED, and they got moving again...and hit another IED. Now I can be cavalier about this whole situation because no one got hurt, and every IED they hit is one less for me to drive over! So everything is working out famously for me so far. Now the funny part of the last one is that apparently the RCP got a new toy. I don’t know what the hell the thing is, but it is supposed to be the new hotness in country for IED detection. It is like some underground radar thingy. It is supposed to be able to detect any IED that the Taliban can throw at us (or bury underneath us). Now some big wig officer somewhere ordered them to use this thing. I mean it can find anything. Why wouldn’t you use it?

So what happens the first fucking time they use this thing? (which probably cost about $10,000,000) It rolls right over an IED, doesn’t detect it, and the damn thing blows it all to hell. Really? Ladies and gentlemen, this is your military. Give us something really expensive and we blow it up!

So now the RCP is shredded, they have more trucks broken, or blown up than they can put back together again. So we sit there and wait, to see if they can figure out a way to get up and moving again. I mean there is nothing we can do for them. We have about 10 trucks, none of which is anywhere near able to pull these big ass trucks they have. Not to mention our mission was to secure this section of the route so it wouldn’t make much sense to go up there and help them and let the Taliban set all their little exploding toys down here, now would it? So we sit, and wait. For about 26 hours. Then we find out that two other RCP’s are coming from different parts of the country to help these dickbags out.

Why do they need so much help? Because they are the new guys and they don’t know what the hell they are doing! Really? Why wouldn’t they send the new guys down the worst route in the entire country? I’m not kidding, these guys had probably been in country no more than 2 months and this was like their second time out. You would think that they could start them off with the baby routes and work them up to ours, but no we have to throw their asses right in the fire from the jump. It sucks but its true. The route that leads to our FOB is the most heavily IED laden route in the whole damn country. Throw into the mix the fact that the Taliban pricks control most of the countryside between here and where the RCP’s come from and you have a recipe for a lot of fun for me!

So now we have to wait for these other RCP’s to get to the one that has been shredded. Except they are coming from Bum Fuck Egypt and this is going to take a while. I got intimately acquainted with that hilltop. I dropped my first deuce outside the FOB. Which I have to say sucks. I mean our missions have always been either 8-16 hours or a two day mission at the longest. Now we were out there so long that nature called and I had to drop a bomb right on top of an Afghani mountain. I hope one of the Taliban shepherds comes by and steps in it!

Now the powers that be are trying to figure out what to do. Anyone who has ever been in, or has any knowledge of the military at all, knows that when officers get together to make a decision...the results are really something to see. (Sarcasm intended)

Finally, at long last, they all get there. There are now three RCP’s all in one place. I could only imagine what this looked like. Probably a combat zone truck stop sort of thing. I mean the RCP convoy stretches for miles, literally. Now there are three of them there!

Anyway, we went through like 6 different plans. They are going to pass all the trucks off to one of the other RCP’s and they are coming down, then the other RCP’s are going to get the shredded one back on its feet and send it down, then two of them are coming together, then they are going to take trucks from all three and come down, and blah, blah, blah. Each time, we were supposed to set up and do something different and bring them on down. So we are running around doing all sorts of goofy shit, driving this way and that, setting up here, setting up there. If anyone was watching us, and undoubtedly the Taliban were, they must’ve thought that our element was being run by the Marx brothers. But I digress.

Either way, everything we did was for nothing because finally they figured out what they were going to do and we were supposed to clear an area so that the RCP could stay off its intended route. We came to find out later that in addition to the IED’s they had already hit, they had found twice as many. They found 6, hit 3, and bear in mind they had only moved 2 clicks by this time. 2000 meters! And they had found (one way or the other) 9 IED’s. Mr. Taliban Man is getting ambitious. Apparently, there must’ve been a sale on homemade explosives at the terrorist Wal-Mart.

So here’s what we have to do, the danger zone is considered to be from 90 down to 72. 18 clicks of danger area. 18 clicks where the RCP doesn’t want to drive on the route that they are supposed to. 18 clicks that we have to recon and clear for them ahead of time. By the way we only have 2 hours of daylight left to go at the time. And so this debacle begins.

My group got assigned the first 6 clicks. No problem, we got a platoon daddy that knows his shit so we get our 6 clicks done pretty quick. We found them a route, we secured it, and we took up positions on the hilltops to make sure nobody fucked with it while we were waiting for them.

The second 6 clicks were being secured by an element run by a lieutenant. Anyone remember what I think of officers? They are dumbasses! And this one is dumber than most. So bear that in mind, because later on you will understand. Suffice it to say he “told” us that his 6 clicks was secured and a route was found. So we went with that.

The last 6 clicks were being secured by another company, so we didn’t really give a shit what happened down there. So we waited until just after dark for the RCP, finally they showed up. However, they didn’t want to move at night. I can’t really blame them for that. Moving around this country during the day is a big enough pain in the ass. Moving at night, is damn near suicidal. But I want to get back to a hot meal, a cold shower, a good shit, and my cot! (I can’t believe that a cot is something that I would want to get back to) But I want to go back so fuck you guys, get in your trucks and lets get moving.

However, I have no where near the rank to say that, but some guy who did came over the radio and told the RCP to get their asses in gear and get to Waza Khwa by daybreak. Well thank God for small miracles. So we started moving, us in our 10 trucks, and the RCP which stretched as far as the eye could see. It looked like a line of traffic on the 290 at 7 o’clock on Monday morning!

So, believe it or not, our 6 clicks went without incident. We picked them up, drove them down, and passed them off the lieutenant’s group. For any of you who have read my blog for a while know that this is no small accomplishment. No explosions, no bullets, no nothing. Just a nice leisurely drive through the Afghan countryside. I couldn’t stop thinking, “Yep, this is just the calm before the storm!” God do I hate it when I’m right.

We passed them off, then the other group started leading them. We tried to get past them, but given the size of this convoy we couldn’t get that far ahead of them. So we basically just drove inside the convoy for this leg of the trip.

Now bear in mind, the whole idea of what we were doing was to keep this big ass convoy off the route they were originally taking. Mr. Taliban Man decided to put all his bombs in one place, and he chose this road. So keep them the hell off the road. That was the cardinal directive in this little mission. Whatever you do, keep them off the road.

So half way through their 6 clicks what do these pricks do? They take them on the road! Assholes! Now what happens about 8 seconds after the RCP jumps on the road? Another damn IED blows the shit out of the lead truck. (Once again, nobody got hurt) Wonderful, now we are stopped until we can recover this truck. Now the entire convoy is stopped and stretched across a swath of land probably covering 4 miles. Oh, really, the Taliban won’t think that this is a tempting target now will they?

So we pull up next to this truck that has just been introduced to the effects of homemade haji (haji: a demeaning term used by American GI’s as a name for the local nationals of this country. Literally, a haji is a person who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca in their life. From Muslims, haji is a very complimentary term, from us it is paramount to the “C” word) explosives. We can’t really do anything to help, the RCP is handling this, we would just get in the way. Then from somewhere behind me I hear it, another large explosion, I turn to observe a rather bright fire burning somewhere off in the distance right between two sets of headlights. What is this? Well, its called a command detonation. IED’s can be set off several different ways. We drive over them, and they go boom. Which is basically like a land mine sort of thing. Sometimes they are on a timer. But they usually only use those exclusively for mortars. This one that went off was possibly command detonated, either by a cell phone, or by a really long wire running from the bomb to the Taliban asshole with the trigger. (Or maybe the asshole driving the truck just decided to drive outside the tracks made by the trucks ahead of him that did not explode.) He waits for something or someone to get close to this thing and then he hits the button and boom! Fun for all.

Like I have said before though, I have gotten so used to these damn explosions that I just watch with a kind of bemused indifference and wait to hear if everyone is okay. What made this one funny is the radio traffic after the boom.

1st guy: What was that?
2nd guy: An IED, what are you new?
1st guy: What truck did it hit?
2nd guy: One of the RCP trucks
1st guy: Is everyone okay?
2nd guy: Yeah, everyone is out but...
1st guy: But what?
2nd guy: The truck is on fire
1st guy: But you said everyone is out!
2nd guy: Yeah, they are.
1st guy: So they are okay!
2nd guy: Yeah, I think so.
1st guy: What do you mean you think so, they either are okay or they aren’t?
2nd guy: Well I think they might have some brain damage!
1st guy: What?
2nd guy: Yeah, the truck is burning and these dipshits are trying to pull all their gear out.
1st guy: Really?
2nd guy: Yeah, and they are making multiple trips!

Now I don’t care who you are that is some funny shit. You see the Army drills into its young soldiers that their gear is the difference between life and death. Well, I have been in the Army long enough to know that the difference between life and death is the guy next to you. Not your gear. Fuck the gear. The truck is on fire. Don’t run into the burning truck. I mean how would you like to have your mom get that letter? Yes, ma’am your son is a hero, he saved a bag full of underwear prior to being burned to death! Oh and bear in mind this truck that is now engulfed in flames is full of ammunition, frag grenades, incendiary grenades and a million other little knick knacks that are designed to end lives, all of which do not get along well with fire. And these dipshits are running back and forth trying to save all this crap! My personal opinion would be, to hell with that stuff, its the governments shit, and besides now that it got all burnt up, its less shit I have to carry!

Moving on, so now since our second element couldn’t manage to find a way around the road, we are now stuck here for another few hours while we recover these two trucks. Oh, what a clusterfuck. Thanks a lot Murphy! You and your stupid law.

So we sit there, and the sun comes up. I imagine that the leaders of this little convoy caught a lot of shit from their bosses for us not being into Waza Khwa by daybreak. I am not saying that I didn’t want to have them move throughout the night, but it was a stupid idea to try and move all this shit in the middle of the night anyway. I mean there isn’t a paved road for probably 100 miles in any direction. And the RCP is driving huge trucks, some of which make semi’s look like VW Bugs. Then on top of that you have all the civilian trucks that are along for the ride. Ladies and Gents, this was a bad idea.

Now the sun is out. Afghanistan is different than most other wars. IED’s are a constant threat. But the rest of the shit, mortars, small arms fire all that shit, at least down here, goes on during the day. You see the Taliban know that they don’t have a prayer against us at night. They can hardly see and we have our night vision shit and a million other gadgets that allow us to fuck their world up when its dark. The only time that they can effectively engage us is during the day. So your guard never comes down, but during the day its a bit higher than normal.

We finally get this whole debacle moving again. Now we run into the guys who are supposed to run us the last 6 clicks and get us out of the danger zone and then we can fly back into the FOB because we don’t have to stay with this big ass convoy anymore.

Everyone is up and running, things are going well, we wrangle all the locals back into their trucks and we get moving again. Five minutes after we start, Murphy decided to fuck with us again, and a rather large tanker truck got stuck in the sand. Of course, why wouldn’t that happen? Karma hates us, she is such a bitch!

So here’s what happens. The RCP keeps moving, they have certain trucks designated to pull the other ones out. We get ordered to stay here and secure this truck because the fuel is too important to be left out there. If a truck full of twinkies had gotten stuck we could’ve gone home. But no, it had to be fuel.

So we are sitting there trying to get this truck out. Finally, a big enough truck comes by and we yank this bitch out. Then what happens? The dumbass in the truck behind the recently unstuck one, drives right into the hole that we had just yanked him out of! Yeah, he did just that.

Oh dear Lord, give me the strength not to shoot this guy! So now we are sitting there again, while they pull this oxygen thief out of the muck. Now we are all sitting around the trucks, no one has a helmet on, we are just smoking and bullshitting while they work on this truck.

What are we bullshitting about? Boredom, which runs a close second to suck as the most common states of being for soldiers in Afghanistan. Even when we are doing something everyone is bored. Then the Friendly Ghost says, and I quote, “I am so fucking bored, why won’t someone just shoot at us so that we have something to do.”

BOOM...(first mortar round impacts about 150-200 meters from us. Taliban can’t shoot for shit anyway.)

But the part that disturbed me was the fact that the first one didn’t get anyone to even flinch. Everyone just kind of turned around and waited for the next one. Its not so much that we are shitbags or anything. Its just that we have done this a few times and we were waiting to find out whether or not this was going to be an actual attack...


Holy shit, we are under attack. A few rounds of small arms fire land within 10 meters of us. I run my big ass back to my truck, launch myself from the ground onto the hood, and jump into the turret. You’d be amazed at just how fast you can haul your ass, when someone starts shooting at it.

“Motherfuckers, let’s go” My driver and my platoon daddy jump into the truck.

Where’s it coming from? Over there on the ridge line! What do you see? I don’t see shit, wait, 4 of them, shooting at us! What are they shooting at us? Fucking bullets retard. Wait, and RPG’s. Gotta love them things, a grenade on a stick. Kind of like a really big bottle rocket.

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM...they kept coming. Falling from the sky like so much rain. Oh yeah, I forgot about the mortars. Shit, I hate those damn things. You never know where they are going to land. Each one a little closer than the last one. Hey, lets get the fuck away from here. A few more rounds and maybe they get one of us.

We tear ass in the truck over to the other units in the vicinity who are already lighting up this mountainside. Where do you need us? Over there, you should be able to get them from there! Alright let’s go.

We get there.
I look up at the mountains.
See two guys.
What the fuck are they doing.
Looking right at me, or at least my truck.
Then their arms move.
Then I see the flash.
I hear the crack.
I see the rounds hit the ground near the truck.
“Motherfuckers are shooting at me! (How dare they)”
I reach down.
Flip my weapon from safe to fire
Press my cheek to the butt stock.
Take aim.
Ratatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatatataatattatatatattat (I don’t know how else to spell the sound a machine gun makes.)
Shit, there’s two more of them 100 meters down the hill. get the idea.

I see the rounds flying out at them, I see the tracers lighting up the side of the mountains, I see these guys damn near shit themselves and run down the back side. I don’t know if it was my fire, or the hail of grenades coming at them from another truck. Probably the other guy, but whatever, it all works out in the end.

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM...more of this shit. Where the hell is it coming from? Behind the mountain. Oh fun, that means we have to get back there. No biggie, just have to drive across a field that they already have zeroed and covered with small arms fire. Lets get moving. Alright here we go. No don’t go through the field asshole, its all wet and we are going to get...stuck. Yep we did, right there in the middle of a firefight we got fucking stuck. Like I said, this was turning into one big, rather dangerous Marx Brothers movie.

Then it was over. Just like that. The world fell silent. The guns stopped barking. The bombs stopped dropping. And for one split second all was quiet. Creepy quiet. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long.

Then the screaming started. Oh, great. Who the hell is screaming? Better yet, why are they screaming?

What is it? Some guy.

One of ours? Nope.

What happened to him? Got shot.

By who? Nobody knows, probably the Taliban. Hopefully, the Taliban shot him!

Where did he get shot? In the ass.

Too bad for him that all the weapons are so damn powerful that any bullet that hits you will probably go right through you and blow a whole 3 times as big out the other end. Gotta love the human race baby. We can’t manage to feed or educate all the people of the world, but we can damn sure make a machine that will blow your nuts off! (Apologies, hippy moment)

So here’s this guy minus his balls and a good chunk of his upper thigh laying there screaming and bleeding. I mean what else can you do when you get shot?

Why did he get shot? Really, are you fucking kidding me? He got shot because he was standing between us and the Taliban. The Taliban started shooting at us, and we started shooting back. He was in the middle of this. You do the math!

We drop the medic off and he starts to patch him up. Is he going to be okay? Sure if we get him to a hospital. Where’s the hospital? Oh, about 90 clicks north of here. How do we get him there? Call a helicopter. Okay, hey commander, can we get a bird down here? Maybe, is the wound life threatening. Yes sir, he is missing his balls (which would be enough for me) and he is bleeding out, you know there is an artery in your upper thigh. Commander asks us three times to make sure it is life threatening before he calls the bird. Really? This isn’t one of those situations where time is of the essence or anything. Apparently, he doesn’t want to believe the medics. Fucking asshole!

Finally the bird comes and takes this guy away. Then there is more screaming. Aunts, brothers, wife, kids, everyone is running around screaming and crying. Oh, do I ever love to hear this shit. That stuff doesn’t stick in your mind or anything. Probably going to wake up to that sound a few times between here and the grave. Then again, I am not all that deep of a person, I may forget all about it by Tuesday.

I wish I knew what to say about all that had just happened. I wish there was some cosmic secret that had been revealed by all that had just took place. You see, all the combat that we have seen so far has seen me as a minor bit player. I was in the area when the rounds came in, but they were never directed at me. I was always around, just never directly involved. I can say that thus far on this deployment God was looking out for me. But this one I was right in the middle of it, not as close to the middle as the guy with the extra hole in his ass, but close. I just wished that something clicked on, and I learned something from the whole experience. At least if that were the case the whole thing wouldn’t seem so God damned useless. I wish that there was a reason for all that had just occurred. But what the fuck does it all amount to? Yeah, Jack and shit, too bad that Jack just left town. We shot up the side of a mountain, we are all going to get our Combat Action Badges. Woopty fucking do!

Did we take any ground? I didn’t know we had lost it, I am not even sure if we ever had it. What was accomplished? Um, I am going to have to go with...not a damn thing. Well, we proved that our weapons work. Yep, if you put bullets in them and pull the trigger, they will go off. Alright, at least that’s one thing in the win column for us. Did we kill any of the Taliban? If we did, we sure couldn’t find them. Which would lead me to believe that we didn’t kill a one of them. Dead guys would be fairly easy to find, don’t you think?

Except now for whatever reason, some poor sap who was probably just trying to tend to his field in this God forsaken piece of shit country got blessed with a rather small hole in his ass, and a considerably larger one out the front end.

So back to this whole “combat” thing. What the fuck is the point? A whole lot of really loud noises, a whole lot of adrenaline, a whole lot of yelling, a whole lot of taxpayer dollars well spent. And then its over. Just as quickly as it started, its done. Combat and premature ejaculation have a lot in common. But nothing has changed. I don’t mind sacrifice, I don’t mind hard work (even though I do avoid it as much as possible), I don’t mind violence, I don’t mind...much of anything really. However, I do mind a lot of things when I cannot see the point. I mean the point of what I did out there was simple self preservation. These guys were shooting at me, so I shot back. Not so much because I hated them, or I had any particular goal (other than getting them to stop shooting) but because I like being alive. What’s the best way to get someone to stop shooting at you? Shoot at them more! Simple math, the military calls it fire superiority. I call it having bigger guns that can fire more bullets, and having more of them.

But we just went through a pretty damn intense situation. We just tried to kill several people who we already trying to kill us. Why did we do that? So they would stop trying to kill us. But hey, at least a few of these guys who have combat hard ons can go home and tell their moms and girlfriends what badasses they are. The younger guys got pretty jazzed up by the whole thing, said some stupid shit, which was promptly ignored, and we reconsolidated and moved on.

Is it possible that I am over-thinking this? Its not possible, its probable, okay its a certainty. But that was, is, and will always be my curse. I am entirely too fucking smart for my own good. But I can’t help it. So might as well run with it.

You know the part that worried me the most? It was how calm I was afterwards. I was scared when I started thinking about it. I have been skydiving, I have been bungee jumping, I have been in fights, hell I’ve been to Detroit, and in all of those situations my hands shook. I guess its my tell. You want to know if I am scared, check my hands. If they are shaking then I am scared.

But my hands weren’t shaking. They were set, still as stone, right on top of my weapon as I looked around for anything else going on. I pulled out a cigarette, placed it between my lips, lit it up, and sat and leisurely smoked it. Calm as a fucking hindu cow.

Don’t really know what that means. Don’t particularly care to know. All I really know now is that for the life of me, and I have been racking my brain, I can’t come up with anything even remotely resembling a point. A reason, purpose, goal, objective, explanation, defense, justification, vindication, or excuse for what we did and for what was done to us. I get the whole party line justification that we are trying to fight terrorism and keep them from having a safe haven here in AssCrackIstan, and to give the Afghani people a country of their own and la di da dee da.

I guess this is just another battle in that epic war that has been raging in my head since I was three. One half against the other. One part of me knows that the Taliban and al Qaeda are bad. Knows that these dickbags are a threat to America, Americans, and our way of life. Knows they need to be killed. Knows that we need to be here to accomplish whatever the fuck it is they sent us here to do. Knows that whether I see it or not there is a point to what we are doing here. Knows that in my small part, I am helping this big ass play unfold as it should.

Then there is the other side of me, that just doesn’t give a shit, and hasn’t quite decided whether or not this is worth it.

But at least the day didn’t end on a sour note. We found two RPG rounds that hadn’t detonated and had landed on the ground. Fun for all, I got a picture. Two high explosive rounds that had just been used in an attempt to stop us from stealing any more oxygen, and what are we going to do with them? Why, play with them, of course.

Now we have been stuck out here for going on three full days now. We are tired, hungry, dirty, thirsty, and just a little riled up after what had just happened. Put all that together and people’s judgement suffers. If we call up two unexploded ordnance situations, we are just going to be stuck out there longer waiting for the “explosive ordnance disposal” team to arrive. Then they are going to take 8 hours to do something that should take 20 minutes and I am going to be pissed. Along with everyone else.

So the platoon daddy came up with a fun little plan. He is going to set the high explosive weapon of dune coon death on its side and shoot the shit out of it with his rifle. Oh, nothing could go wrong here, could it?

Well, luckily it didn’t. First round tore that bitch into a million little pieces. One RPG round down, one to go.

This one didn’t want to go quietly into that good night. This one wanted to rage.

So he proceeded to shoot this one up. About 4 times. Nothing, the thing didn’t explode, it didn’t shatter, it didn’t do anything. The round would hit, go right through, and pop out the other end.

Now we still have to get rid of this thing. If we don’t the Taliban will come by and make an IED out of it. Resourceful little pricks. So what to do? Isn’t that a frag grenade I see on your vest there big Sarge? Why yes it is. Well why don’t you strap that to the round, throw it into a hole, and watch the fireworks.

You know, that isn’t a half bad idea. Take an already unstable explosive and add to it another explosive. Good call! Always nice to see that people are thinking.

Alright hole is dug. Grenade is attached to the round. Ready? Yeah we’re ready. Okay, here goes. Pull the pin, throw the bomb into the hole, and run like all hell while pushing both your index fingers into your ears so that you don’t blow an eardrum. And may I say that a grown man, running as fast as he can, with about 60 pounds of gear on his back, over uneven ground, with his fingers in his absolutely hilarious.

BOOM...oh fucking wonderful. Its bad enough I have to hear this shit from the Taliban, now I have to hear it from you too. This is the kind of shit that gives the National Guard a bad name!

Anyway, I am done for now.


I love you Mom...


  1. Hey Mud Puppy: Glad you are alive with all of your fingers to tell the tale.. God I hate it when I'm right too. Why are the "right's" never in charge enough to make the big difference? Good story though - there has got to be a better way to fight wars. Wish I had the answer and yes the curse of the examined life - there is no cure - except maybe when (God forbid) dementia sets in. Keep posting - even if it dull to you - those of us out here who have been following since the train up - love every word that drips from your fingers. Take care and keep shooting straight. Love Lorraine

  2. MudPuppy...I'm so relieved you are typing of this nightmare. It sucks, there is not doubt.
    I hope your mom is ok.
    You are in my constant prayers.
    Please know you and your comrades have my love, gratitude and respect.
    Stay Strong!
    Pray Hard!

  3. Hey Mud Puppy:

    Glad to see you are ok and still reaching out :)

  4. Well, starting to read this was only a little less freaky than getting the phone call that starts out with "I'm ok". I'm happy that you and everyone else is ok. Tell the Friendly Ghost to be careful what he wishes for next time.

  5. Hey Dan - glad you're OK. Missed T.J.'s birthday yesterday. Out riding with Jill.

    Let me know if you want me to write about what's going on at the Post.


  6. Mud Puppy,
    Hang in there! You are all in my prayers. Stay safe.

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