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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.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Well we're all back safe and sound. Only out for six days this time, so we finally got to know what that feels like. I got back to Camp Fallujah and didn't even know if I was supposed to take a shower because I wasn't making myself nauseous yet ( I opted for the shower).

We really didn't do a whole lot this op. We stayed in one village for three days that we had never been to and the people there were so nice. If we needed to stay in there house for a while they would stick around and try and chat instead of leaving for another family member's place. They'd bring their children over and have them play with us (the candy bribes helped with that too). I think a lot of it had to do with the area not being as traditional when it comes to the Islamic culture. The women there weren't covered and were allowed to speak, and that usually translates into a much lighter mood.

The last three days were pretty much just as uneventful with one exception. I was manning an entry control point with 5 other guys at about 1:30 in the morning when we suddenly noticed that the lights in a Humvee that was being used as a blocking position had been turned on. Now, you have to have driven a military humvee to know that turning the headlights on is not an easy task the first time. Anyways, it didn't make sense at all, it was 200 meters away, surrounded by open field to the south and a canal to the north, and no one was around it. So we call on the radio to see whats going on. They of course didn't know anything about it.

Great, insurgents AND ghosts. Freaking ghosts.

I took a team down the dirt road towards it with the following running through my mind, allright Jake, it's either someone playing a trick on you (not funny), an insurgent luring you into a trap and every step you take from here on out is going to be on a land mine, or its a ghost, probably a terrorist ghost, out terrorizing shit.

I got about 50 meters from the truck, tried inspecting it with a flashlight, which didn't work. I then posted a machine gunner on it at that position and took another guy around south in the field to inspect closer. I got about 30 meters from it on the south side and could see underneath it. Still nothing. Nada. I leave the guy behind with strict "if you see a ghost, scream like a girl and get help orders" and walked up by myself. At this point I'm singin 'Jesus Loves Me' and hoping it didn't get booby trapped. So this is how its going to end for me, inspecting ghost pranks, I deserve better, or at least extra ghostbuster pay. I got up to the passenger door, looked through the window expecting to see something, I don't know what. Nothing again. Check the driver door, no visible booby traps. Walk around to the passenger door, at which point I flip out because I realize that there's probably a shooter across the canal with a rifle trained on the door waiting for me. Sprint back to the other side. Work up the nerve to walk around again. Open door. Turn off lights. Walk back to the ECP at a really fast pace.

Back at our truck we start talking about it. We all decided that if any of the other humvee's turned on we'd run all the way back to base and grab garlic and wooden stakes.

That's it. That's my six day op. Happy kids and scary ghosts.


  1. Hi Jake,

    Glad you're back and the story with the vehicle lights makes my skin crawl. You guys are due some uneventful patrols, and I am glad the last two have been quiet. I mailed my last package last week, but will continue with Motomails for now. I know that all of you are itching for some civilization, and I know Steve is. Just a little more time, and you will all be home. I will keep the prayers going daily until all of you get back home. I want to thank all of you for your service, and sacrifice. Thank you for the posts, that help us all understand just a little more. Tell Steve I said hi, and am proud of all of you.

    Steve's Dad

  2. In the Air Force, we used to play a prank on young security forces personnel posted to guard the larger aircraft (like B-52s). You see, when it gets colder at night, the aircraft's wings (being metal) contract. When the wing contracts, is moves or jumps, usually making a loud pop. Well, we'd tell these young Airmen they'd be guarding a "haunted" aircraft. When the wing moved, the poor Airman would frantically call for help...we thought it was pretty funny...at the time. Good luck on your Ghost Hunting!

  3. creepy!

    I'm scared of the dark. I bet I'd have a cow if I were in Baghdad. Literally I think I would birth a cow! Bugs, insurgents and now ghosts... makes me want to hork just thinking about it.

    Be well, Jakeman.

    Deb & Zoe

  4. That is one of the funniest stories I have heard from country...ghostbuster pay...awesome