The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.


July 31, 2009

Name: John
Posting date: 7/31/09
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Milblog: Afghani Kush

Well, as per the norm we had another mission today. Went out and went looking for the 'bad guys' out in a valley that's actually pretty near the base. But with the river being as high as it as and the terrain being as difficult as it is, it took us a couple of hours to get out there.

Framed John Missions 2

.50 prepped and ready.

The Taliban like to use motorcycles to get around, and we saw a couple of those out there today. They're fast and they can get through the terrain that our trucks can't. So usually when we roll up on a village and you see a whole bunch of guys in bikes squirt out of it, they're bad guys.
Needless to say we did some shooting today. I don't think we did much damage, but every day that all of our guys come home safe is a good day in my book. Plus I think we got who we were looking for in the area, so not a bad mission all in all.

Framed John Missions 3

Brass and links after a fight.

Of course my truck did break down, which is starting to happen more and more often. I think it's a bent frame but we'll see. The trucks out here just don't last. The terrain and the abuse we put them through loading them down with all the ammo, food and water just isn't kind to them. I believe that I've been through three trucks since I got here in January. But of course none of those were new trucks, or even completely refurbished trucks. Sometimes it seems like a guessing game to see what combination of parts will keep the truck, the gun, the comms and the crew working together like we're supposed too.

For example, my first truck had a decent engine, great comms and a terrible suspension. The next truck had a weak engine, but an awesome suspension and decent comms. The one I just finished driving (and working on) right now has the best engine that I've had, the worst suspension, and getting comms up and running is like chasing a ghost.

It really does feel like the truck is haunted -- comms work sometimes, don't work other times for no apparent reason. I'm thinking it's sunspots, or solar wind, or magnets, or... whatever. I just make stuff up and go with it. We end up trouble-shooting for a day or two until we get whatever minor kink it is worked out.

Take care, folks.

Framed John Missions 4


Thanks for the post, the photos .... and *you* take care.

truck breaking down, not good! take care out there!

I love your blogs because they give an insight to the REAL life of a soldier. Its the little things you talk about that I find interesting. Please take care over there. And thank you for what you do everyday.

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