Monday, July 12, 2004

Troop Rotation and Blogging

Rotation of US troops out of Iraq has left the number of military bloggers migthy thin there.

Jason of Iraq Now -- Home.

Kevin of Boots on the Ground -- Home.

Chief Wiggles -- Home.

Baghdaddy -- Home.

Lt. Smash -- Home.

We are very happy they are all safe at home, but we could use a few new soldier bloggers to carry the torch. Currently we have CBFTW of My War -- Fear and Loathing in Iraq blogging up in Mosul. We like his blog a lot and would encourage any other milbloggers to speak up. We need eyes and ears in Iraq just like with the Iraqi Bloggers. The media outlets, except for an occasional piece by journalists like John Burns, have decided to count bodies for the most part. You want eyes on the ground? How about this?

I will never forget the time when we were leaving the main gate of our FOB, and I was manning the machine gun out of the back airguard hatch to our vehicle, when a red SUV started honking its horn as it try to race in the gate, bullet holes all over it, the windshield, the sides. I remember thinking to myself: Holy shit, how can anybody survive that attack? I'll never forget the look on that drivers face when he was yelling "GET THE FUCK OUTTA THE WAY!" as they drove past us. I cant explain it. When they got passed us I saw that the back window was completely blown to bits and there was an individual laying down, completely covered in his own blood.

Less than 5 minutes after that we were driving down a busy street in mosul when I saw a white SUV parked crooked up on the middle divide. When we got closer I observed a lifeless body sitting in the drivers seat, with the seatbelt still on him. It was a global security guy. The vehicle, to me, did not look as shot up as the red SUV, but it was still covered in bullet holes, windows blown out, and there was fresh red blood splattered all over the white paint of the vehicle. Fuck. We stopped and dismounted to pull local 360 security around the SUV and to stop traffic. I looked around and realized that we were almost in the same location where we got attacked by a RPG several weeks ago. Our combat medic slapped on his latex gloves and started to begin the process of putting him in a body bag and separating his shit. The guy looked late 20's, maybe early 30's to me. Clean cut, athletic build. There was still fresh blood dripping from his face. My team leader ran around frantically with a terp. To see if anybody saw anything or knows anything about what just happened. Of course, nobody talked. Helicopters were now hovering overhead. Air support.

Or how about this passage from today's blog?

We did a mounted patrol along the Tigris river today, the river runs right through the middle of Mosul. The Tigris River reminds me a lot of the Sacramento River back home in California. My dad used to take me there a lot when I was a little kid to go fishing. Caught my first fish there. I thought about those times today, especially when we drove past an Iraqi man and his son slowly floating down the river in a small boat fishing. Looked very Steinbeck-ish. The kid waved as we drove by. I waved back. The sun set was out, and so were a lot of Iraqi families, all-hanging out along the river. Enjoying themselves, swimming and picnicking. A lot of them would wave and cheer as we drove by. It was very peaceful along the river. Even the stray dogs by the river looked to be at peace.

If anyone locates any other soldier bloggers, let us know and I'll add them to the sidebar.



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