Pages Menu

Categories Menu

Posted on Mar 14, 2007 in Front Page Features, Stuff We Like

Letters from Iraq 7: Anger, Stay Back!

By Russ Vaughn

We watched as EOD ran detcord to a position near us. We heard, FIRE IN THE HOLE, FIRE IN THE HOLE, FIRE IN THE HOLE and took cover behind our car. BOOM! Then we heard the sound of little bits of debris tinkling as it struck the roof of our vehicle and some near by trailers. YEEEEEEE HAAAAAAAA that was fun.

When Saddam was sentenced we received a larger gift, a 122mm rocket. My patrol was about a mile from it when it impacted. We geared up and went to the scene. The hole was still smoldering when we arrived. BRF showed up and established the TCP’s. We were then sent to find another possible impact site. Supposedly a second rocket hit near by and did not explode, so we went looking for it. We found nothing and went back to normal operation.


The next day I walked up to the impact crater to take photos. The crater was about 4 feet long, a foot and a half deep and two feet wide (I sent out a photo of a piece of the rocket motor casing to most of you). While I was standing there a couple of infantry guys walked up and started taking pictures. We started chatting; one of the guys was less than 40 meters away from the explosion, well within the rockets kill zone. He said he didn’t hear it come in and the next thing he knew debris and shrapnel were flying all around him. Not a piece hit him. He is a very lucky fellow. Amazingly the rocket didn’t hurt anything or anyone given how far and fast the fragments travel. We are not always so fortunate.

We have had some loses of people in units we work with. Some to accidents like a helicopter crash, another to a landmine, and one to a GSW. One of the people I e mail this to is from the hometown of one a helicopter crew that crashed. We have a table set up in the dining facility for fallen comrades. For those of you that have served you know and understand its symbolism. Enough said.

Being a cop here is a little like being a sheriff in the old west. Everyone here wears or carries a gun. More importantly they all know how to use them and carry plenty of ammo. You put your boots on, strap on the gun belt, and put on your hat. You walk down the board walks between the CHU’s. Your steps are marked by a clunk clunk sound just like Gary Coopers in “High Noon”. You stop and chat with the locals. You check to make sure there are no disturbances; if there are you sort them out. You check the things to make sure they are secure. The work is necessary but very boring.

Unlike the old west you have a radio. You get a call, there is a fight at the CSH. You drive over as fast as you can and get out. A soldier runs up to you and tells you there are four guys, civilian contractors, fresh from outside the wire, that they took casualties, one KIA, two WIA, that they are fighting each other and they are armed. Make the call for backup. Vests on, and walk into the unknown. It took a bit talking but it turned out OK. It was one of my more interesting days.

Political correctness has hit the COB. Heaven help us. On the north end of post is the old base housing for Saddam’s pilots. I believe I have mentioned it before as the Crack Houses. The units before us named them that because they are all the same and they look like government project homes. They are refurbishing them, and they are rather nice when repaired. Many of the units are worn down, shot up, and the windows are covered with boards. Most of the homes are occupied, even the bad ones. The powers that be have decided that we should refrain from using the derogatory term “Crack Houses”and refer to said structures as the “North Housing Area” (cough). Oooooh Kaaaay.

Mind you, we have sort of complied with commands wishes. We now call the former “Crack Houses” the “North Historical District”. The name we use seems to connote a luxurious exclusive neighborhood. Now I can describe this area truthfully with words that would conjure up pictures of some of the most expensive neighborhoods in America so please indulge me by reading the following……….

Want a new Home? Visit COB Speicher’s Northern Historical District. We have lots of freshly remodeled homes for you to choose from. All our homes come with privacy fences, armed guards and a HUMMER in every driveway. Maintenance free xeriscape yards. Free bottled water delivery. Free trash pick up. An internationally owned and operated restaurant is near by. Free fireworks displays. Adult Living, (no children allowed). Check out our gym and Olympic sized swimming pool. Come train on the same soccer field used by Iraqi Olympic athletes. ……ad infinitum…..(I think I missed my true calling, working for the press or an ad agency).

Words are powerful. They way they are used in some circles is dangerously misleading. Take what the press says with a grain of salt and skepticism. Having had to deal with the fourth estate jokers here, I don’t trust them. Unfortunately no one holds their feet to the fire of truth. Now off the soap box……..

This is my last communication from this AO. I will be home soon. Hmmm that sounds ominous. Any way, thank you, all of you, for indulging me and reading my e mails. I also want to thank all of you for your prayers and support you have provided for ALL OF US. God Bless you all. God Bless America. GOD BLESS THE TROOPS. Be SAFE and thanks again.

Pages: 1 2 3