We went to 14th Ramadan again today. LT Schardt really didn’t want to CO to come along with us, so he was really annoyed when he was late and held us up.
Once we were rolling, the PL called over the radio, “Is the CO wearing a headset?”
AB called back, “Roger that.”
Captain Veath came over the net and said, “Just say it. What’s on your mind?”
LT Schardt responded, “I just wanted to make sure you’re squared away.”
CPT Veath made a comment about LT Schardt being annoyed that he was late and didn’t bring his own ‘terp’ along.
I started laughing when the PL called back, “We’re always happy to have you along with us. I hope you’re comfortable and have a pleasant ride.”
Today, we had a psy-ops (psychological operations) group with us. They played a recording on a loud speaker, talked with the locals, and handed out, what I guess one would call, propaganda.
We walked through the village talking with people, and we gave some of the kids a hard time. Our ‘terp’ gave some of the kids some Iraqi dinar. I traded a little boy an American dollar for one Iraqi dinar. I think I made a friend.
NOTE: At the time, 1 Iraqi dinar was worth $0.00083 American dollars, meaning that $1 was worth somewhere around 1,200 dinar.
I sat along a wall and talked with some of the other kids as best I could without an interpreter. Several little girls gathered around me, which is unusual. We don’t see the little girls very often, and when we do, they usually keep their distance.
The CO disappeared with Sheikh Thamer and one of his other guys for awhile, and then he came back and changed our patrol route.
“But, sir, that’s not what was briefed,” I said.
I think he was a little pissed when I added, “Oh, I forgot; we don’t plan here.”
As we walked, the platoon was getting a little spread out, so I halted my guys. The CO kept walking.
Just as we left the town, we heard a single shot fired, and it was close by, back toward where 3rd squad was.
I took my squad and headed back that direction, and the CO said that Thamer had told him it was one of the CLC checkpoints.
LT Schardt asked what they were shooting, and he said it was “celebratory.”
I’m called bullshit on that whole story.
The CLC checkpoint was northeast of our position. The shot came from the southeast. The CLCs were a couple of hundred yards away, and the shot was much closer. Birds near the road scattered when it went off. Plus, Thamer isn’t carrying a radio. How the hell does he know what the checkpoints are doing?
The psy-ops POGs (person other than grunt) and their interpreter looked at me funny when I yelled, “Go ahead motherfuckers. Start some shit. Send some rounds this way, and see what the fuck happens.”
Nothing happened. We headed back toward Camp Taji. Dragon Mike called us up and had us stop along the way. We were told to standby for a possible change of mission, but a few minutes later we were told to continue back to Taji.
SP is at 0800 tomorrow morning.