The views expressed within this journal are my own, and in no way represent the views or policies of the United States Army, Department of Defense, or any other official agency.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Clickety clack clack, sevens!

Day breaks and we roll sevens on the craps table again. Basically it’s a dramatic story to only those not involved. The sun is rising and we’re patrolling again, searching out for the mortar men responsible for the New Year’s Eve fiasco. Apparently this mortar crew has been at it for a week straight now, and they were not varying their point of origin by much. Foolish they are for thinking they can get away with such patterns.

“This is Deathdealer 2-6, dismounting time now at our current location, how copy over?”

“Roger Deathdealer 2-6, Deathdealer Base, out.”

Our dismounts were out over watching several locations the mortar team had fired from. I had lost visual contact from the humvees for almost twenty minutes, not seeing any sign of the dismounted element.

It was a chilly morning, not how you would imagine Iraq. There was a little bit of frost on the ground, and the breath steamed like a slow burnt cigarette being exhaled from my mouth. It was still calm though. An Iraqi holiday, coupled with low temperatures, kept most of the local populace inside.

It had been going on thirty minutes without a visual. I was getting prepared to make a communications check with my dismounted element, which consisted of the platoon upper leadership, and a small fire team. As soon as I picked up the hand microphone to call the platoon leader on the radio a deafening explosion went off. I felt the shockwave in my chest, and it dissipated throughout my entire body. I paused to wait for a break in radio silence, hoping that no one in my platoon had been hit. The longest 4 seconds of my life passed by in terms of radio silence.

Each platoon varies its own tactics, techniques, and procedures to help combat patterns the enemy can exploit us with. It's how we flex to beat the enemy at its own game. This is where lady luck looked as if she would strike again… for my platoon at least.

Had it been thirty minutes longer our patrol would have been coming to an end, and we would have been the ones to travel that route back to the outpost. It would have been our lead truck instead of theirs. It would have been my guys and I to find a little more than we bargained for…

We were lucky. Again.

It just so happens that the one light infantry platoon attached to my heavy weapons company is the platoon my best friend is in. It’s a bittersweet taste having my brother, my closest friend with me at my outpost. It was his truck that was hit. And as luck would have it again, he just happened to not be on patrol with them. No one was seriously hurt or injured.

And these are the days that faith, religion, and spirituality come from within to look for all those answers. As I quote to my guys, “Don’t ask questions you don’t want answers for…”



Tony said...

....wishing any good luck, good fortune, good vibes, good anything, that could possibly be coming my way....and passing it on to you and your brothers!!!


Liz said...

May you have all the luck again, again, and again....till you come home. Congratulations on your promotion. Be proud, be very proud.

Holly said...

T,I'm trying to type through my tears. I can't believe this is our reality for the next 14+ monthes...
I've asked God to build a wall around you, to keep you safe.
I'll see if he can make it a little bigger to keep ALL of you safe. Let the boys know I'm praying for all of you.
I love you, hol

Allissa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allissa said...

nothing is harder than reading the words you wrote and your realization at how close it was to being you......I hate to admit but it makes me cry, Even worse its a skinking feeling for me to know that I wouldnt know if something happened to you, I would just stop seeing your blogs and have to wonder....