First off, let me say that after reading this some of you are going to laugh hysterically. While others are going to think that I and my fellow soldiers are complete douche bags. Either way, I think that this is funny so I am going to write about it.
So let me tell you a few things that are important to this story. First, the main focus of this story is a soldier we have here. We'll call him Blart. You know, after the main character in "Mall Cop" (A failed wanna be police officer, working in the mall as a security guard.) Why do I call him that? Because this loon wants to be a cop so bad he can taste it. its all he ever talks about. He actually collects little model police cars that he has custom painted with the colors of all the different towns and cities that he has applied to.
So he has a quirk there, but in addition to that he sleeps right next to me, and this wack job talks to himself. He says that he is thinking out loud. I say bullshit, you are talking to yourself.
On top of all of this he has a mild case of obsessive compulsive disorder which leads him to be annoyingly neat. I mean if you have the gall to sit on his bed he immediately busts out a baby wipe and cleans off the spot where you dared to place your ass.
He even looks like a nerd from high school, coke bottle glasses and the whole bit. So he is made fun of pretty much mercilessly and non-stop. But hey, if we didn't like you we wouldn't pay any attention to you. Besides fucking with people is just another way of passing the time for most of us.
All of that aside, I must say something about GI's. For the most part we can tolerate damn near anything. We can deal with the spartan living conditions, we can deal with assholes, we can deal with quirky people, we can deal with stupid people, we can deal with almost any kind of person with any kind of strange and/or debilitating phobia or affliction.
However, there is one characteristic that we cannot tolerate. Cowardice. That is the only thing about this guy that I hate. He is a mother fucking coward.
He pushes and shoves to get to the middle of the bunker when there is a mortar attack (instead of allowing the lower enlisted and civilians and females to go in there) He wears a plethora of protective gear that is not needed. (He wears goggles over his ballistic sunglasses). He even wears a mouthguard when riding in a vehicle. I mean, mother fucker you might need to talk while you are in there. And to cap the whole thing off...he wears a piece of equipment that just makes him look like a B movie all star. This douche actually carries a machete! What the fuck could you possibly need a machete for there Rambo? Are you serious?
Now where did this guy come from? When we were down south he bitched and complained and called congressmen or whatever the hell he did but he got a nice cushy job on the FOB being the Sergeant of the Guard for day shift. Meaning that he never once went outside the wire. The closest he ever got was unlocking the gate, watching us drive by, and the locking the gate behind us. Now though, since we needed extra people in the platoon to complete this mission up here we had to take all the people from headquarters and stick them in to slots in the line. And oh happy day, we got this schmuck.
He has been terrified from day one. You can just see it in his eyes.
So here's the next thing that happened that led to this guy's unfortunate day. The other squad went out today to their district and when they got there they found an IED. Correction, they were shown an IED that the Afghan police had found on the bridge that we drive over every day. The police, in all their brilliance, decided to cut the wires and pick up the bomb and bring it back to their police station. (You don't need to be a rocket scientist to see that this was a grand idea!) The fucking thing weighed like 100 pounds. I don't even want to think what would've happened had this thing gone off when we were on that bridge. And I am going to have a wonderful time driving over that tomorrow.
Moving on, so we see the pictures they took of this IED. And knowing full well that this piece of shit is scared half to death already we start in on him.
-Hey Blart, come look at the size of this thing. (I made it look bigger by blowing up the picture on my computer)
-How big you think that thing is?
-That's the biggest damn IED I ever saw!
-I wonder how many times we drove over that without it going off?
And on and on like that.
Then even our squad leader got in on the act.
-Hey Blart, we are going to have to have someone check that bridge before we go over tomorrow. You and (two other guys) are going to be the ones checking the bridge.
Now he is damn near in tears.
Then a chorus of protests came from all of us.
-Come on, Sarge, If we stop to check that bridge we are going to be sitting ducks.
-that shit will take forever.
-Fuck it, if it blows it blows, no big deal our trucks can take 100 pounds.
-Screw that, these haji's can't make a bomb that works anyway!
Then the squad leader caught on to what we were doing.
-You're right, it will take to long. We are just going to roll on over the bridge and take our chances. If it blows, so be it. Besides, you only got a 25% chance of it hitting your truck.
Then I chime in.
-No Sarge, 100 pounds will get two and level the bridge. I think its about 130-140 feet drop too.
-Well, we still can't waste the time.
Okay, so as soon as this exchange is done, Blart makes a B-line for our squad leader. He pleads with him for about 20 minutes to stop to check the bridge. All the while saying that he'd be willing to do it but "someone with more experience in the field should probably handle that operation." (Cowards way of saying, Oh please not me.)
But our squad leader won't budge. We are going to drive straight over that bridge tomorrow.
So now its bedtime and I am laying here in my bed watching Blart as he lays in his bed. He's talking to himself. I don't know about what, but I am pretty sure it has to do with a bridge and an IED, because every so often I can hear his voice crack, and he has been wringing his hands for about an hour now.
Probably won't be too much sleep for him tonight. I can barely keep my eyes open to finish writing this. But I can't help but smile. Sleep well, coward. There is nothing in this world lower than a coward. I would wish you a long, hard and unhappy life, but you're just not worth the time.
However, if you can provide us with a little bit of entertainment to help pass the time for these last couple weeks, so be it.
We'll see just how you handle yourself tomorrow. I already talked to the Sarge and you and I are going to check that bridge for IED's. But don't worry, I'm bringing a few guys with me. Not a one of which is what you are. They'll back me and each other up till the very end, not pull out all the stops to make sure they never leave the wire.
The tests can filter out the stupid, the infirm, the broken, the sickly, and whatever else. Too bad that there isn't a test for cowardice. Maybe we do have a sick sense of humor. Maybe I am a horrible person. But then again, maybe you deserve every bit of it. You are a coward, you should've known that and never joined.
But we're going out tomorrow. You've been in country for almost a year now and this will be your third time outside the wire. We'll see how you handle yourself. We'll probably get to see a few funny things you do because you're scared. And don't worry, I'll probably play a joke or two on you while we're checking that bridge.
But make no mistake, regardless of any of that. Attention from us does not equal respect. You do not belong here.
Alright, now I'm getting weird.
I love you Mom...