26 April 2008 (Sadr City, Iraq)

We got up and continued guard duty at the patrol base. 2nd platoon is running humanitarian aid operations today.

We did another dismounted patrol today. My squad led the patrol, and 3rd squad was in trail. The drama between the squads continues. 1st and 3rd squads are pissed about mission assignments, orders of march on patrols, and of course the awards. I talked to my team leaders, and encouraged them to be quiet professionals. I also spoke with LT Schardt and SFC AB. AB said, “Fuck ‘em.” LT Schardt said that he and I are on the same page. He told me that he uses my squad because all my guys always want to go, because I require little to no guidance, and because we produce results. He said that Bridges and I deserve the awards we received, and then he added, “When you need a varsity play, you use your varsity players.” He admitted that he needs to use the other squads, and that he relies on my guys too much, partly out of laziness. It’s easier for him to come to me, and my boys never say, “It’s our day off.” He told me that he feels like he has to push the other squads to do things, when my soldiers are always asking to go. He went on to say that given the same situation again, where lives were on the line, he would send my squad without question.

Later, I told Theresa about the awards we received. She asked if I had done something I wasn’t telling her about. I told her that I hadn’t done anything. As LT Schardt put it, when he and I talked about the awards, “You moved up a street and cleared a building under fire.”

I guess we did do that. It sounds different when you tell it like that.

Here’s a stupid fact; I’m in boxer shorts and flip-flops right now, and I’m drenched in sweat. The bottled water we have sitting here is nearly as warm as bath water. My ACUs are hanging to dry, and they have salt rings on the legs and under the arms. I rubbed hydrocortisone cream all over my body in an effort to stop the itching. This is miserable.

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