20 April 2008 (Sadr City, Iraq)

I split radio watch with LT Schardt and Nikjoo, the RTO. On my three hour watch, I finished a book I started reading yesterday, and I watched several large rats run around the room. Once my shift was over, I slept until about 9 A.M.

I’m sure we’ll do another patrol of some sort today, and then we’ll probably do barrier emplacement overnight. We’re starting to fall into a sort of rotation with the other platoons, so our schedules are becoming somewhat predictable.

As before, the flies are super thick in here this morning. The streets are still filled with garbage, so they’re just everywhere. It looks like it’s been plowed into piles and some of the piles have been burned, but it’s really not helping.Power Lines on Charlie.JPG

The Iraqi Army soldiers are shooting a lot this morning; at least I’m assuming it’s them. Maybe we’ll get to see some action today. Honestly, I doubt it.

Today is our 3rd full day back in Sadr City after our last trip to Taji. The recent cloud over Iraq has left everything with a thick layer of fine orange dust. Our eyes are taking a beating. I’m not sure when we’ll go back to Taji again, but I think I’m ready to go back for good. It seems like our fighting here is done, and if we’re not really fighting down here, then I’d rather be comfortable back in our own AO. The uniform I’m in already stinks, and I’m tired of smelling this shit hole.

More later.

I was right. We did a dismounted patrol, and it was a sort of tour of past raids. We passed two of the houses that my squad has hit since we’ve been down here. I really don’t care for this NY Times reporter who is still hanging around. One of the houses that we passed, was the one where I confiscated $40,000 U.S. He seemed to have a real problem with that.

Hopefully, if it was legit, he’ll get it back. If not, fuck him and the reporter.

We stopped at another shop and talked with the owner. He said that business has been slow. Another man there told us that two boys had been shot in the market by an American. He said it was a .50 caliber machine gun that was mounted on a truck, and that it didn’t sound like a Russian machine gun. No one in my company has fired a .50 since we’ve been back from Taji, so I’m not sure I believe him.

Frolo wanted to know how he would know the difference. I did think that this guy probably knows the sounds of war better than we do; he lives here. Regardless, I haven’t heard any heavy machine guns being fired lately, except for late last night.

Barrier emplacement on Route Gold was the same. It was chaos getting there. While we were up there, the tanks engaged some Haji with their coax machine gun. It was mostly boring for us.

We’ve upped our security at the patrol base. Apparently, someone tossed a grenade over the wall sometime in the last couple of days while we’ve been at the OP. It happened again today.

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