3-4 May 2008 (Sadr City, Iraq)

We had patrol base security until about 1500, and then we rolled out to the OP at Charlie and Tennessee. Security was a little thin, we only have three Strykers, and Leo’s squad was down to just him and two soldiers.

We consolidated our positions; 1st squad joined my squad in our usual spot. It made the time between guard shifts long, which was okay, except the downtime passed by so slowly.

I wasn’t a huge fan of having another squad in my position. Sometimes, I felt like I was babysitting. One of their soldiers fired bird shot from a shotgun into a satellite dish. There wasn’t any reason for it, and the pellets didn’t even penetrate the metal. We were all angry, and we wanted revenge, but knocking out someone’s TV signal wasn’t quite what I had in mind.

Later, the power came on, and the family in that house came up wanting to adjust their dish. They hadn’t done anything to us since we’d been in that spot, but they were pissed when they saw that we’d shot their satellite. The house we were in had power for a few minutes before it was out again.

I fell asleep that evening, and it seemed like I was sleeping well. I was awaken by an explosion at 4 A.M. It shook the couch I was lying on. I went back to sleep pretty quickly, but I was woken up for guard at 5 A.M. My two-hour shift was boring.

When I was relieved from watch, I went inside and called Theresa. She was at her boss’s house, in Indianapolis, for a party. They were drinking and having a good time, and I was glad she was able to get away and hang out with other adults. We didn’t talk long, but I was glad to have a few minutes to chat with her.

Once we were off the phone, I laid down and went back to sleep. It was after lunch time, when I woke up to a gunshot. The air was still, and the afternoon heat was bad. I pulled my uniform jacket on over my sweat-soaked t-shirt, and went to see what the shot was.

Another squad leader had fired a “warning shot” at some men who were supposedly watching us. In reality, he shot a rooster of the top of a nearby building. I had mentioned earlier, “I’d like to shoot that damn thing. It crows nonstop.” Well, apparently, he decided to shoot it. I was on guard again later when the rooster’s owner picked it’s body up by its feet and carried it away. He glared at me the entire time I could see him.

Later that afternoon, there were accusations that someone from our position had shot a civilian in the head further up the road. We hadn’t. It would’ve been much easier to convince people we hadn’t committed murder if we could have said, No one has even fired a round up here today. Instead, we were on the radio trying to explain why someone fired a round, the angle of the shot from our location, when the shot was taken, where the shot impacted, and all kinds of other shit. Why? Because one guy decided to shoot an annoying chicken. Later, it got out that he had shot a handful of cats and pigeons on other patrols. I was not very happy to be wrapped up in that kind of bullshit.

After that whole thing had been cleared up, 2nd platoon arrived to take our place at the O.P. We rolled into JSS Sadr City to refuel our vehicles and top off our supply of MREs and bottled water, then we headed back to our patrol base at the school where we picked up security detail again. Leo’s two soldiers stayed at JSS Sadr City to help provide guards.

In between our guard shifts, some of us played Spades until we decided to go to bed.

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