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Where are the Iraq People at? (english)
21 May 2003
Where are the Iraq people at regarding the war?
Where are the Iraq people at regarding the war?
from the war
Another day in the rag. The place where the fun never stops and the circus
is always in town. Sorry its been awhile, just have not had the time.
Always going somewhere and doing something. And honestly it takes a lot out
of me emotionally. Anyways, very motivating to get mail here even though it
makes one think of home....wherever that is. The sun is coming up now over
Baghdad. Yesterday was too hot and the sky was covered with this rolling
brown sand that reminded one of the trailer to "The Mummy". We're at a
military compound near the Tigris surrounded by tall palm tree orchards.
Most of their complexes have palms around them. The sky is dark and the
wind is whistling through the leaves. Almost reminds me of my sweet San
Clemente. Except for the fires burning and the constant view of burnt out
enemy tanks, trucks and anti aircraft guns. Wild dogs roaming everywhere,
sniffing through the garbage for breakfast. They are everywhere! and what a
racket they make at night. NO Peace! It's especially a pain in the ass when
your doing a night patrol to a village or in a suspected enemy holdout area
and they start yappin'.
Our compound is surrrounded by high walls and machine gun nests for
protection. Since we hit Baghdad it's been a rolling life of a viking. We
chase down the republican guard and the fedaim saddam group. My unit hit
military complexes. Clearing them by infiltration and night attacks. Then
we move in and set up like we own the place! Well at that point we do own
There was this kinda wealthy part of Bagdad where we found tons of ammo
trucks and anti air guns, etc. So we went in, took a few houses and set up
the battalion there. Living in houses with roofs. Yowza. Hello, good
evening we're the US Marines. Need to commandeer your home. Now get the F'
out...and have a good evening. : ) Here's the kicker. A few days later the
guy comes home. He probably bugged out with everyone else from Bagdad when
he heard the Marines were coming. He is so HAPPY to see us. He tells us to
stay as long as we like. Well Thanks! He comes back every so often to bring
us food and cigarettes. Then brings his friends by. He's so proud the
Marines are guests in his home.
So, is the war over? No one tells me shit. There is the constant rumble of
gun fire all around us and explosions. Every day and especially at night.
you really just get so used to it you don't even notice anymore. it's
funny, when we mount up on the trucks to go somewhere it's difficult now
because since the people know Saddam is gone all the Bagdad traffic has
returned. the most complex problem traveling from block to block is the
massive parades of people that line up to cheer us on, wave, and give us
cigarettes and gifts. All the little kids run over with thumbs up yelling
"good good" "Hey meeshta. what is your name"? It seems that once you tell
them your name. you are friends. they LOVE us here. I have not got this
much adoration since i was in Mr. Hyde. Honestly!
we have been guarding schools a lot lately. funny. i would spend so much
time in school again. you see the Iraqi army, systematically, kicked
everyone out of the Bagdad schools put heavy guns in the front yard and
loaded them up with ammo. These schools are full of Ammo! I've never seen
so much even in the Corps, on live fire ranges. We let the head school
mistress come through a school for girls i was guarding and when she saw
artillery stacked to the ceiling she just started crying. Funny, me in a
girls school. : )
A guy came up to me at another school/Iraqi ammo depot. He asked if i
needed anything? Jokingly i said a pepsi. So the guy comes back in half an
hour with a pepsi, an orange drink and a pack of smokes. Well right on
dude. I try to give him some cash and he refuses to take it. I said Dude
I'm an American, a few bucks aint nothin to me. He starts to cry and tells
me he is too ashamed to take my money. He wants to repay me because "your
friends are dying for what my people cant do for ourselves".
Our doc is seeing people at the gate for all sorts of illnesses. Good thing
cos saddam closed the main hospital for the military. So doc fixes up this
kids infected knee and makes a cast for his broken hand. The guy tries to
pay him with....get this. The gold medal he won in soccer at the Pan Asian
games!they walk up to me with a full pack of smokes. what's this for dude.
"thank you for my friend, no more saddam" Shit bro. don't cha kno ass
kickin is my job. Killing rep guard is like christmas for me. Its been a
good war so far. Some fallen friends and my million dollar wound. Hopefully
it'll leave a cool scar.
An nahzaria was a bitch, al kajf, al fajr, al gharaf. when we were making
our way up "the highway to hell" in the beginning it was nonstop. One
day-three firefights-three cities. Im tellin ya. like rockstars on tour. Im
going to come back here in a year and live like a king. I kicked a soccer
ball around with some kids yesterday it was a defining moment in my life.
Kids in bare feet and with rifle and full combat gear. On the one hand
these people are kind and gracious, genuine. If this is the cradle of
civilization I am an alien from Mars.
Funny thing is with all this oil riches allegedly here I don't see any
signs of it outside of Saddams palaces. Everything here is soooo dirt poor
from Ba'ath party oppression.
Today is still cool and overcast. I have a few minutes to myself and to
find a somewhat alone place to think of better days. I'm craving cereal for
some reason. Haven't had milk since the U.S. I dream of standing in a
shower for an hour and wearing clean underwear.I am so F'in filthy it's
hilarious! We have to take malaria pills every day. Flies every where.
Worse than haiti or gtmo bay.
I think I'm becoming more of a philosopher while here. i think a lot about
life, it's possibilities and how stupid i was to take so much for granted.
Freedom for one. Freedom of choice, speech, etc. toilets, abundant food,
clean water, showers, mattresses, washing machines. People back home are
often whiny babies in my eyes. Hard work is good for the spirit i believe.
I've lost so much weight now. I've given away more food than i've eaten.
Even when we were on one MRE a day. You just cant walk by a starving kid
digging in the trash and walk away. Here you cant get SSI or Food stamps or
welfare just because you're lazy and weak. Sorry if its harsh but my father
was a real man who fought and sacrificed for freedom in the 40's and
instilled one with a strong mind. the meek will not inherit the earth. they
will become food for the fast and the strong. Im torn between hating this
harsh life, being eaten alive by mosquitoes, etc and loving giving
something back to the world.
When i come off the plane in San Diego I'm gonna be holding a sign that
says "thank you vietnam vets". If I march in a parade it'll only be behind
a Vietnam Vet. So many hypocrite software company execs with mansions in
atherton turned their backs on men who returned from southeast asia. i
wonder how it must feel to protest in the streets and spray pain on their
people's walls and have to accept that it makes no difference. ha ha Sucks
to be you i guess. Not all men have big enough balls to go out and really
do something. ok enough of that anger re-direction crap. I really an happy
and still have my kooky sense of humor.
We're told we'll be aggressing south in about a week and in the states
around the beginning of may.
i hear talk of the war being over. is that what they say in the news. I
dunno. we dont get much new here. Just op orders and warning orders. Break
the deal; face the wheel. I sleep good at night though. Like a wee baebee.
I'll be home sooner than expected. Leaving Bagdad in a few days and flying
out of Kuwait a week or 2 after.
Tell your folks i said hi and a big Semper Fi. See you in early may
Sgt - US Marine