Friday, November 7, 2008

Just Another Day In Paradise, Pt1


All the vehicles were in more or less a decent position for the terrain, overwatches set, and no (major) issues to deal with. I still wasn't exactly sure what was going on, just that higher had sent word to stop the patrol and hold position for further developments. We had diverted from patrolling the MSR (Main Supply Route) and basically set up camp in the middle of nowhere to wait... and wait... and for some more variety, wait some more. In between monitoring the radios, some of my guys were talking about their fondly remembered conquests. Business as usual. At least they weren't acting out these heroic adventures or taking, uh... matters in their own hands... er, that I knew of, at least. The sun was setting (again), so nothing was for sure, of course.

I rolled over to the convoy net to see if there was something going on there that I needed to know about, like a particularly large convoy or anyone that had found an IED in our area...


I keyed my squad radio.

"All victors go to 50%, driver primary, VCs (Vehicle Commanders) to my victor." After my guys showed up we had a short talk about the situation (standby to standby), the patrol (loooong hours, and counting), and the fact that I at least wanted my drivers to catch a few zzzs so they didn't almost kill anybody, again. None of the VCs had anything for me, so they went to their vehicles to wait for the word. I started rummaging in my vehicle for my etool and my personal Roll of Life (toilet paper - ain't no way I was gonna use the MRE-supplied 'paper', nuh-uh).

One wise-ass asked, "Gonna take a dump, Sergeant?"

I glanced down at my tp and shovel. "Nope, gonna make a surrender flag and call it a night, Einstein."

He chuckled and returned to his story, this time with girlie voices and sound effects.

Dang, his chick voice is starting to sound pretty good... it's definitely been a long deployment.

Ask any Marine about what's the quickest way to interrupt a perfectly good period of boredom and they'll tell you;

1) Light up a smokey treat.


2) Pop a squat (in pitch-black darkness, no less).

I was about half-way through #2 (ha!) when, of course, we got the word to move.

ME: Comeon!, ya bastard...

RADIO: [stage whisper] Hey, Sergeant, we got the word from higher, gotta go! Sergent! You over there?

ME: [groan/whimper]

RADIO: [chuckling] You ok, Sergeant? What's the hold up?

ME: Jale... peno... [pant,pant]... chee... ese.

Gingerly climbing back into my hummer and easing into my seat, I asked what the word was. My radio man rogered up and told me that we were to return to the FOB for an escort of Psycho.


Back at the FOB, the new XO introduced me to the Sergeant First Class in charge of the Psychological Operations (Psycho) team. The good Sergeant nodded his head and said, "Bob", as introduction. I shook his hand, grinned, and introduced myself, "Sergeant". First name basis completed, he informed me that he needed us to escort him to a general location, east of the city that regularly lobbed little forget-me-nots over to our FOB. In response to my general inquiry as to what generally they'd be doing at said general location, he smiled and said "Psychological operations".


We spit-balled a few ideas for the escort, a somewhat more specific location for the op, and set a departure time in just under an hour. XO added the standard stuff, the good Sergeant had rank, but I was responsible for his ass to and fro the objective. At the party he was the man, and I was to help out wherever I could. No stickyfingered Marines near the soldiers' hummer, for security and common decency reasons. There was still more than enough time to pass the word, for my guys to raid the chow room for midrats (midnight rations), and still leave us all enough time to transit to our position to arrive on schedule at zero dark thirty.

"On the road again..."

Exiting the FOB again, this time with the Psycho vehicle in our train, we meandered on a somewhat scenic route to our destination. As it was about 0300 hrs and we were driving sans lights there really wasn't too much scenery to be had, but it was definitely not the straightest route, that's for sure.

Our route to approach the city included taking the hardball for the last few miles to our objective. As we crossed the last of the dunes and began our approach to the road, I started to pick out where I wanted to get on in the green blur of my NVGs. This was pretty important, because it would really ruin my day to get blown up before we even got the job done, you know. I directed my driver to the area I wanted, hopped out of the hummer, and walked up to the road. Not seeing anything particularly suspicious in the shoulder of the road, I marked where I wanted my vehicles to get on the road and started jogging in the direction of the city. One by one, my vehicles and that of Psycho climbed the berm of the road and turned after me.

Hopping back into my seat, I told my driver to keep the speed slow, as to allow all of the vehicles to get onto the road without too much space between us. I grabbed the mike and told my trail VC to advise me when they were on the road and ready to step. Meanwhile, my vehicle was proceeding forward at what would be a fast walking pace. My last vehicle finally climbed onto the road and rogered up that they were good to go. I was responding to his information when, from out of the pitch-black darkness, a huge friggin' deamonbeast of a mutt decided to stick his snout in my window and express his displeasure at my presence, loudly, vigorously, and with much snapping of teeth.

To my credit, I avoided shrieking like a girl (much), and even managed to restrain myself from okaying a MK19 expenditure. Thankfully, that was about the extent of excitement on the whole ride over there.

At the objective, well, it got a bit more interesting...


Bob G. said...

Now ya got me scratchin my "hat holder" in between falling off my chair laughing at the obvious snafus...
(If ya wanna get the troops moving instead of waiting, have a team leader take a waiting for a bus and lighting one up...always works)

Did your psyops use an LRAD or MVADS?
(I like 'em both)
...Or did you just crank up a lot of 160Db YANNI at 'em?


(new "name" for Victor Charlie, huh?)

The Captain said...

Certain MREs you want to avoid right before or during a patrol.

I am reminded of a senior NCO pawing through a box one afternoon...

"Hmmm... 'Spiced beef, chunked and formed.' Just like my bowel movements: chunked and formed. I wonder if there's a connection?"

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing ya dumped before the Demonbeast jumped ya! LMAO