7 February 2008 (CAMP TAJI, IRAQ)

Today is Theresa’s birthday. I wish I could be there with her.

We went through all of that shit at the ALOC yesterday, and our paperwork was all screwed up. They are telling us that the guys we captured with all of the weapons and ammunition will likely be released for lack of evidence. They were wanted for shooting at the Iraqi Army checkpoint that is just through the trees on MSR Tampa. That checkpoint had reported sniper fire on multiple occasions. We found a rifle, a scope, and plenty of ammo. The tool marks on the scope even lined up with scratches on the rifle’s rail.

It was about 2:30 P.M. when we took the detainees down to the detainee holding area. The soldiers there complained about missing paperwork. Some of the things they need will have to come from higher; it’s simply information that I don’t have. I’m just responsible for getting the bad guys. I don’t know the rest of the story.

I did what I could with the paperwork, while sitting at the D-HA (dee-haw), and waiting to get them inside and processed. It was about 9 P.M. before I ever got them into the D-HA and signed over. By then, the old man was telling us to let his son go, because all of the weapons were his. He insisted that they weren’t the bad guys, and that his son didn’t know about the guns.

When I got back to the CHUs, I checked in with AB to let him know I was back.

“You’re not going out with us tomorrow,” he said.

I explained what had happened with the paperwork, and that we would probably see those guys out again. Then I pulled out the receipts that I had been given for my prisoners, and they had the wrong name on one of them. I told AB that I would get that taken care of in the morning and went to bed.

Before I even had a chance to get up and get ready, I got a message from battalion HQ to get to the D-HA immediately because my paperwork was fucked up. I went out there, along with the NCOs from 2nd platoon, because they got the same message. Apparently, someone at the D-HA had contacted battalion to tell them that we were all jacked up yesterday, and that our paperwork was wrong. Battalion sent us out there to fix the paperwork. When we arrived, the D-HA personnel couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the paperwork. It turns out, that battalion had been contacted about our original paperwork, which I had already corrected at the D-HA the night before. I got my detainee receipt fixed, and then I went back to my CHU.

By that time, the platoon was already out on patrol, otherwise I would have just gone with them. I feel bad about being back here while they are out, but it is nice to have some down time. I had one hell of a headache anyway, so I decided to lie down for a bit.

I started thinking about my detainees, and I feel kind of sorry for them. I especially felt bad for the old man. He kept insisting that they weren’t terrorists, and he was freezing while we were waiting to get into the detention facility. The temperature was dropping quickly, and he didn’t really have anything to keep warm. Plus, he’s old. We had them tied and blindfolded for about 15 hours. They would eat or drink anything, and I know they were cold. I hope that they really are bad guys, and not an intel’ fuck up.

I just kept reminding myself that those rifles and what had once been in those warhead tubes might have been responsible for the deaths of American soldiers. Who knows?

I joked at the prison today, that they didn’t like me out there very much last night. I was giving some of the soldiers there a hard time, just teasing about MOSs (military occupational specialties) and stuff. Infantry guys like to give other MOSs a hard time.

SFC Locklear told me that a lot of people in the company don’t like me either. He went on to say, “1SG doesn’t like you at all.”

Personally, I can’t stand our 1SG, but I can’t think of anything I’ve done to give him a reason to dislike me. Now I’m wondering who “a lot of people” are, and what exactly their reasons are. I’m not a dick to these guys. I tight with my platoon, and outside of that, I don’t really even know too many people in the company very well.

I guess it doesn’t really matter, but I’m a little concerned about becoming a platoon sergeant over here, for a 1SG who doesn’t like me.

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