So where were we? Oh right, I’m in Jalibah. Land of exploding turds and an eventual Martian dust storm. Read on …
24 March 03
Still here at the airfield. We were only supposed to be here 15-20 hours, and it’s quickly approaching 72. The novelty’s beginning to wear off. Apparently, the ground war isn’t going as swiftly as predicted. But it is making progress. There’s “heavy mortar fire” at our next stop, Objective Rams, which is just south of the Karbala Gap. It’s kind of the staging area for whatever is going to happen in Baghdad, I guess. The command is there & it sounds like it’s still a little too hot for the birds. The medevacs have been up and down the whole time. Can you believe we’re also pulling out EPWs [enemy prisoners of war]? War is crazy like that.
Not too crazy here. I’ve covered a handful of stories and read a lot. Even found the time to tan a little bit yesterday. Ain’t war hell? I feel guilty, knowing the guys up front are seeing a lot of shit, and I’m just chilling away back here. Hopefully we’ll get moving soon so I can see it before it’s over.
Talked to mom and dad a 2 nights ago. I never thought I’d hear their voices all the way up here. Now to find Josh, I guess his birthday’s 2 days away and he’s ion the middle of a firefight somewhere. Hopefully it won’t be the same for me. Mine’s in 2 weeks, and it [the war] would be 3 weeks old if the guns are still going. We’ll have to wait and see, I guess.
I took a piece of the runway and put it in my bag.* I hope it reminds me in the future that no matter how bad things get, I’ve seen worse. I just wanted a physical piece of this place, something I can grab later and think about all this crazy shit.
I’m sitting on a bombed-out runway that hasn’t been used since the 1st Gulf War. I sling bags of my own shit out into a minefield because there’s now way to bury them. Snipers walk by like it’s no big deal. Every kind of helicopter I’ve ever seen constantly flies overhead. I bullshit with pilots, and fearfully await word of any casualties. I haven’t had a shower in four days, and I just changed socks this morning. I see mines blow up and think “Gee, now I can walk out a little farther.” Sounds miserable, doesn’t it?
I’m having the time of my life.
To Be Continued …
* I carried that damn rock through the rest of my tour, and got told it couldn’t home with me when we got through customs in Kuwait. Lame.