9 April 2008 (Sadr City, Iraq)

Our platoon went out late last night. They escorted a team of soldiers who were tasked with placing cement barriers for the Iraqi Army. My squad was left back at the patrol base. I got the impression that LT Schardt thought it was a stupid mission. SGTs Taaga, Fraleigh, and Bridges, and I sat around bullshitting, and listening to the patrol on the radio. At one point, I heard my buddy, Leo, calling out contact. I hated that we weren’t there. When the platoon returned in the morning, I asked SFC AB about the contact, and he said that nothing happened.

Today, hasn’t been too bad. Someone gave me a book called Zodiac, and I’ve kind of gotten into that. We’ve learned that they’re not going to decide which extra companies down here will stay or go until at least April 15th. So, we’ve got at least another week before we find out if we’ll stay here longer, or go back to our own AO (area of operations). Because we know that we’re going to be here for a little longer, there is talk of platoons making runs back to Taji for half a day or something. We could all use an opportunity to have a shower, a hot meal, grab some clean uniforms, and get our trucks checked out.

We learned, today, that two soldiers from 2nd ACR were killed. It sounds like it was an accident; something happened with a grenade. As a result, we were required to turn in all of our fragmentation grenades. We’re in combat. If someone accidentally shoots himself, I wonder if they’ll make us turn in our rifles too.

I’m not sure why, but it seems that morale, throughout the platoon, has been higher today. Even LT. Schardt has been in a pretty foul mood lately, and he seems better. Guys have lounged around today. Some played hacky sack, and others have done PT, slept, read, or grappled. It seems that everyone has tried to stay busy doing something. I got caught up on letters. Now, I just need to figure out when I might be able to send them.

Captain Veath came in and said that we need to start thinking about awards. That makes me think that we’ll be heading back north soon. If we’re talking about awards, we must be wrapping this up. I know medals aren’t everything, but I hope I can get some awards pushed through for some of my guys; they’ve done a good job down here.

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