18 April 2008 (Sadr City, Iraq)

We didn’t get back to the patrol base in Sadr City until nearly 11 P.M.

It has been especially dusty the last couple of days. It seems like a thick heavy fog, but it’s orange. It isn’t sand or a sand storm, it’s just really fine dust. I can feel it settling on the paper as I’m writing right now. There is a gritty feel to my pen as the ball rolls across the page.Dust Storm

We did a dismounted patrol this morning at 11:30. The CO, Captain Veath, told me that we were going to take the fight to the enemy. I told him, “we’re not going to see the enemy, and we’re just taking our fight for a little walk.” We forgot to take our interpreter with us, but Jimmy filled in for us and got the job done. He’s really worked hard to learn the language since we’ve been here, and he’s done great.

We checked on more schools while we were out, and they’re terrible. There’s rubble and garbage everywhere. There is no way in hell that I would allow Jacob to go to a school like this. Of course, the whole damn city is like this, in or outside of the schools.Kids along Rt. Charlie

While we were walking, I took a few guys into a shop across the street from the school we’re sleeping in (the patrol base). Some of the shops have reopened since we’ve been here. The guys bought some sodas, and I kicked a soccer ball around with some kids that were hanging around. I drank a Boom Boom, which tastes a lot like Red Bull.

On our recent trip to Taji, I added some more movies to my Zune. Once we got back from patrol, I watched Varsity Blues. Then the Iraqi Army came rushing in with a wounded soldier. He was shot in the lower part of his abdomen, and there was an exit wound in his back. I’m sure he had internal bleeding, but he was conscious. I said, as the medics started working on him, “it was probably a negligent discharge.” The reporter that was there watching didn’t like it at all that I made that comment.

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