January 11, 2008 (CAMP TAJI, IRAQ)

Squad leaders are required to check our soldiers’ sensitive items and report our status no later than 4:30 A.M. each day. So, like every morning, I got up around 4:10 and threw some clothes on to go and knock on all my soldier’s doors to make sure everyone still has all of their weapons and equipment.

When I opened my door to walk outside it was cold and raining. As I stepped down from the metal stairs my feet sunk into soggy muck. My boots made slurping noises and grew heavier with each step. This place is a sloppy mess.

As usual, I checked all of my squad’s equipment, and as usual, it was all there. I reported my status to SFC AB and went back to bed for a couple more hours.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lt. Schardt (Snowing in Iraq)

At around 8:30 A.M., when I left my room to shower and shave, the rain had changed to snow. We are just north of Baghdad, and it’s snowing. What the hell is going on here? The ground, of course, is slop, so the snow didn’t stick, but there were big flakes coming down steadily.

I was sent to the ammunition point today to get some demo. SFC AB came up to me and said, “You know how to use demo, right?”

I took the demo certification and the urban breacher courses at Schofield Barracks, but the classes weren’t very good.  Most of what I know about demo, I learned as a PFC at Ft. Drum. We took engineers out on almost every field problem. They taught us how to make all sorts of different breech charges, for blowing holes in doors, walls, etc. Every private in that unit was expected to know how to blow his way into a building. At Schofield, it seemed like no one had ever even considered using explosives.

I told AB, “Yeah, I know how to use demo. What’s up?”

He just told me that he wanted me to get some demo for the platoon, in case we needed it.

When I got to the ammo point, the guy in charge told me that he wasn’t really familiar with demolitions, so I could just take what I needed. I was like a kid in a candy shop. I got detonating cord, shock tubes and blasting caps, initiators, trip flares, and about 10 pounds of C4 (plastic explosive).

Now, I want to blow some shit up.

Theresa tried to call me on the cell phone and couldn’t get through. She’s upset that I haven’t called for awhile. I’m learning that my Iraqi cell phone doesn’t really get signal here.

 

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