22 February 2008 (ON PATROL)

We didn’t do too much yesterday.

Today, is the final day of the Sergeant First Class selection board. I really hope I’m selected for promotion, but it still won’t be enough to make me reenlist.

SFC Locklear was cracking me up at the PL/PSG meeting last night. Something came up about Major Woodruff, and he said, “Major Woodruff don’t patrol shit but a Bose headset.” He made several other funny remarks too; something about stepping on an IED and “boom bitch, get the fuck out the way.”

I was acting platoon sergeant when we went out on patrol again today. I forgot a few points on the ramp briefing, but the guys have it memorized anyway.

There is some sort of drama between Leo and SGT Capelli. I’m not sure what is going on, but I suppose it’s really not all that unusual.

We rolled up to Al Thayer Village today, and CPT Veath went along with us to have lunch with some local Sheikh. On the way, we passed a large group of Iraqis walking along MSR Tampa. It was some sort of scheduled protest thing.

While they were having lunch, I had the gunners and drivers move the Strykers to a pick up point. On the way, Stuard and Willy P, in 3-vic, side-swiped a pole. The attached power lines fell, and one of them broke, showering sparks all over the top of their truck.

After we picked the platoon up, we headed over to Colonel Wahlid’s place. I’m amazed at how his men treat him. He holds up his two fingers, and someone will place a lit cigarette in between them. He puckers his lips, and someone will lift a glass to his mouth. It’s unreal.

CPT Veath and COL Wahlid talked intel stuff for awhile, then they stroked each others’ egos. Then he pulled out a bunch of photos and a coin collection to show us. He described the attack in which he was wounded, and said that it was fate.

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This photo is from Jan. 2008, but this is CPT Veath and “Colonel” Wahlid.

“Allah wants me to be alive,” he said.

I leaned over and whispered to Leo, “I wonder who has more power in this room over his life or death; us or Allah?”

Leo just kind of chuckled.

Apparently Bobby Gene drank from a water hose in Al Thayer today. I hope he doesn’t get sick. The water here isn’t exactly spring fresh. Most of it comes from the Tigris and is carried through garbage filled canals from town to town.

At least the water I drank today, in the chai, was boiled before I drank it. Although, it doesn’t seem like they wash dishes. They serve the chai, and if you want more, they gather up empty glasses and refill them. They don’t necessarily give you back the same cup. The chai has so much sugar, that the glass stuck to my glove where the chai had spilled over the side. It took two hands to put it down.

COL Wahlid talked about needing money and supplies to help the poor people in his area. I wonder how much he skims off the top? If I had to describe him in one word, I think I would call him a warlord.

We are supposed to go to JSS Mshahdh tomorrow, and remain there as QRF (Quick Reaction Force) for 24 hours. It shouldn’t be too bad.

I jokingly told Theresa that I could get a Harley over here for pretty cheap. She told me I should order one. I’m not really sure what that was about. I always kind of wanted a crotch-rocket, but I’ve never really considered a Harley before. I might have to seriously check into it.

I got onto my team leaders today. They were supposed to have the soldiers move our gear from 2-vic to 4-vic for today’s patrol. I guess my guidance wasn’t detailed enough, but I thought that it would be common sense. Move our stuff from one vehicle to the other means to move our stuff from one vehicle to the other. It’s not that hard.

Fraleigh just didn’t seem to give a shit. Bridges was pissed at first, but then he apologized for dropping the ball and said it wouldn’t happen again.

Stay tuned.

 

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