Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Marine Tour of Iraq 2006

Blackfive, as always, has the best stuff on what's really happening out there in the Big Bad World. This One Marine's perspective is undoubtedly shared by many--far too many. Can't say "one Marine's view" cause you'll think I mean Major Pain, aka Capt B (who's also got some pretty good stories running on his blog today) but this is someone else.

The retrospective from the field is at once hilarious, terrifying, moving, and humbling. Some samples of his highlights are quoted below, but do go read the whole essay. It's well worth the time.
A hilarious sample:
Most Surreal Moment - Watching Marines arrive at my detention facility and unload a truck load of flex-cuffed midgets. 26 to be exact. I had put the word out earlier in the day to the Marines in Fallujah that we were looking for Bad Guy X, who was described as a midget. Little did I know that Fallujah was home to a small community of midgets, who banded together for support since they were considered as social outcasts. The Marines were anxious to get back to the midget colony to bring in the rest of the midget suspects, but I called off the search, figuring Bad Guy X was long gone on his short legs after seeing his companions rounded up by the giant infidels. (note: this is tied with "Coolest Insurgent Act " but you'll have to go read the whole essay to find that LOL moment.)

A terrifying sample:
Best Piece of U.S. Gear - new, bullet-proof flak jackets. O.K., they weigh 40 lbs and aren’t exactly comfortable in 120 degree heat, but they’ve saved countless lives out here.

Best Piece of Bad Guy Gear - Armor Piercing ammunition that goes right through the new flak jackets and the Marines inside them.

A humbling sample:
Biggest Surprise - Iraqi Police. All local guys. I never figured that we’d get a police force established in the cities in al-Anbar. I estimated that insurgents would kill the first few, scaring off the rest. Well, insurgents did kill the first few, but the cops kept on coming. The insurgents continue to target the police, killing them in their homes and on the streets, but the cops won’t give up. Absolutely incredible tenacity. The insurgents know that the police are far better at finding them than we are. - and they are finding them. Now, if we could just get them out of the habit of beating prisoners to a pulp . . .

The number of moving and heart-wrenching entries are too many to list here. Go read the whole essay.


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