13 April 2008 (Sadr City, Iraq)

It was between 1 and 2 A.M. when we went back forward to relieve 3rd platoon at the OP at Bravo and Tennessee.Sadr City at Night #1

They said that things have been crazy while we were gone. We were told that they’d counted 13 IEDs since we’d left, and that they also seen several RPGs and nearly nonstop small arms fire. Supposedly, one IED destroyed two Huskies that were traveling with the route clearance team. I did see one on a trailer as we passed JSS Sadr City on our way back in. Apparently, while we were gone, higher ups have decided to allow vehicle traffic again, but so far there has been very little. The Iraqi Army still has Route Charlie blocked about 5 or 6 blocks in front of us. We have started seeing a lot more people out in the streets though.

LT Schardt called on the radio this morning to ask what my squad did to make the bad guys leave. We brought Heckman down with us this time too, so I blamed him. He, like me, never seemed to get into any shit on deployments. Before we left Taji, Heckman noticed I had packed my camp chair, and he asked me why I was bringing it. “You’ll see,” I said. He brought his too.

We didn’t hardly hear any signs of war until this afternoon, then it was kind of off and on, although sometimes the fire was pretty damn heavy. We can tell that Bobby Gene isn’t as used to this shit as we are. He gets pretty excited when he hears gunfire. He told us that he hadn’t been home for more than a couple of days when he saw us on the news, and he couldn’t believe that we were really fighting while he was at home chilling.

I’m trying to diet here, as crazy as that might sound. I’m eating 1 MRE a day, and maybe a snack of some sort here or there. Yesterday’s meals at Taji made me want to eat normal food again.

Everyone in the platoon seemed to be a little low when we got back down here. Our radio wouldn’t work for some reason, and Taaga flipped out. He yanked the bracket from the RWS and started slinging it around, hitting shit with hit, and then he threw it. He was pissed that the same things go wrong all the time, that he had spent his rest day waiting on vehicle repairs, etc. I’ve never seen him so mad, except when a new private got mouthy with me when we first got our Strykers. I didn’t even have to handle it, because Taaga grabbed him by his shirt collar and dragged him off into the darkness between the vehicles.

I wrote some letters today, and I drew a maze for Jacob. He likes puzzles and mazes.

I think it’s time to eat something.


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