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This blog exists only as an archive. It is a journal that serves as a window into my life as a Marine combat veteran serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; it was written with no filter, no politics and no agenda. Please feel free to follow my journey from beginning to end. Welcome to my life.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Good Read


I recently took The Kite Runner out into the field and finished the book in only a matter of days. I really recommend it, its definitely one of the best books that I have read in a while. I have to give credit to my sister Sarah for suggesting that I read it.

For those of you that don't know anything about it, it's a book that follows the story of a young Afghan boy as he grows up in an initially peaceful and subsequently war-torn Afghanistan. It then follows him and his father as they flee to America. The story deals with a lot of issues like racism, prejudice, religion, war and the pressure of a boy to grow up in the shadow of his beloved father figure.

I'm serious about this book, it had me close to tears a number of times, you need to pick it up.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Soooooo hot...

So the unthinkable happened on Tuesday. We were in the middle of training, and lo and behold, we stopped. Captain Watson came over the comm and said that we were getting black flagged, which means that it got too hot to continue training. Since when?? I mean it did get to about 122 degrees yesterday, but, come on, we've been training in temps that have hovered around that numerous times before. Don't get me wrong, none of us were complaining, I had probably already lost about 10 pounds of sweat sitting in that back of the AAV, but we're freakin' Marines right? Someone might mistake us for a bunch of weak asses before we know it.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

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It's been quite some time since I was last able to get on here and throw some posts around. My last week and a half has been oddly busy with random things and I just haven't been able to find the time.

Last week was pretty exciting. My whole company went out into the field in the last part of the week to run two ranges, 400 and 410 alpha. They are out in some serious desert terrain, one of them is a platoon sized attack on a fortified enemy objective, the other one is a company sized attack that used combined arms, meaning we called in mortar fire, artillery, 50 calliber machine guns, the battalion sharpshooter team, etc.

For me it was my first oppurtunity as a team leader to lead my team in a simulated combat run. I feel like I did real well. In the platoon sized attack, my squad was given the task of storming the bunker furthest from the assault position, and we were told that of the whole company, we did the best job of jumping in the bunker and clearing it using grenades and proper techniques and so forth, so that was rewarding. Not to mention I got to pump about 7 40mm grenades through my grenade launcher in the counter attack (awesome by the way).

The second attack was the next day on Friday. The whole company and then some were involved, which means about 170 Marines. The whole battle plan was real complex, it started with about 10 minutes of mortar suppression from the 81's, and then the assaultmen used bangalore torpedoes (which I got to help make, using C4) to blow a path through a minefield. Then the supporting machine gun fire began and the mortar switched to suppression with the 60's. My platoon was the first through the wire and set up security on the far side while the other two platoons stormed through to their objectives. After they accomplished their objectives, we had to race in full gear through this dry creek bed to our staging point about 3/4 of a mile away (it was about 110 degrees!) We then proceeded with our attack on a bunker, when we got within about 200 meters, we fired five 84 mm rockets (they go BOOM) and then rushed the hill, some of us almost dying from exhaustion. From start to finish the attack last almost two hours. It was hard as hell but one of the most exciting and dangerous (funny how the go hand in hand) things I've ever done in my life.

After what felt like invading a small country, my friend Hunt and I headed down to Hermosa to continue our deydration process with a plentiful serving of pint sized malted beverages. Lots of fun in Hermosa.

This week myself and the other team leaders have been working on giving classes to the guys in the squad. I gave about an hour long class today on the different aspects of combat and recon patrolling. Went pretty well.

This weekend shoulud be exciting. Hunt and I are returning to Hermosa, gonna go celebrate big Joe's birthday. Naked pictures will surely be posted for you all next week.

Have a good one, make sure you're leaving comments so I know you're reading!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Fun PT

For once my squad actually did some fun PT today. Instead of the usual which consists of mindless and aimless runs up into the backyard sand hills, we found a little secluded area and did some 'combat pt'. Which means we circled up and did one on one ground fighting. The only way to win was to make the other man tap out. Some fights only lasted a minute others went closer to ten, but I tell you what, when you feel like your life is on the line you fight like a mad man, and you get a pretty damn good workout in. Yours truly won two out of two fights, making the guy tap out both times on a rear-naked blood choke. Sounds brutal but its all in good fun.

What other news...not much going on this weekend (at least compared to last week's extravaganza) I'll probably head down to Palm Springs tomorrow and catch either Superman or Pirates of the Caribbean.