Not too much new here for me. Been out in the field for about 4 or 5 days. You kind of lose track of how much time you spend out there because your internal clock turns entirely upside down. Usually the first night we head out we spend about the first 36 hours up locating a patrol base and then securing it for use. From there a random rotation of security and patrols are set up, with a couple of 3 hour naps sprinkled in. You might get 2 hours of sleep at noon, and then be up for 13 hours and then get a 3 hour catnap in at 3 am. Of course when we get back to base it might not change, since we got back here at 3 am last night and then went on a 5 hour foot patrol this morning at 6:30 am. Rest is apparently a crutch that we don't rate.
My platoon spent about a half day at Camp Fallujah yesterday. I used to enjoy going back there. Good hot food, air conditioning, the post exchange. Now I hate it. You know why? Pogues. Here's an education in Marine Corps-ology. Pogues, or POG's, are 'Persons Other than Grunts'. I'm a grunt. I'm an infantry Marine. We live in the field, we eat crap, we walk through fields of crap, we don't change clothes for weeks at a time, we count the passing of months by the number of showers we have taken, and we actually carry weapons and ammunition wherever we go. But when we go back to Camp Fallujah the place is crawling with pogues. They have fresh haircuts, clean fingernails, they wear deoderant, they only carry little pistols, they get to wear cammies and not flight suits, their boots aren't muddy. They're mad when its not steak and eggs for breakfast. Their toilets flush.
When we go to Camp Fallujah its usually after four or five days in the field. We haven't shaved in days, or showered in weeks. We smell. Bad. We walk around camp and all we want is hot food, maybe try and make a phone call, and hopefully take a shower. The last thing we want is for a pogue who thinks seeing combat is flying from Kuwait to Fallujah to come up and tell us that we're out of line for not having a shave and wearing dirty boots. But inevitably that's what happens.
"Hey there devil dog!"
"Yes Staff Sergeant"
"I know we don't walk around mainside without a fresh shave and clean cammies"
"We just got in from the field, just trying to get a hot meal in before we get a shower"
"I dont care, that's not how we do things"
blah blah blah. What an ass. I guess my shave is going to win the war. The tensions only rise when we convoy past the open fields and see all the pogues playing organized flag football games. They even have uniforms for their teams. I can't even get uniforms to freaking patrol. I have exactly 2 flight suits to leave the wire in. Two. One smells like a camel's ass and the other like a portajohn outside Lambeau Field. But Uncle Sam can splurge on some jerseys so these guys know what flag to pull.
Anyway, other than wanting to choke slam all the pogues with Mocha Lattes, it wasn't too bad. The showers were hot, the toilets flushed, and the carmel pecan ice cream was excellent. As a disclaimer, I'm just venting after a very frustrating couple weeks, pogues are important to the war effort, I understand that...