HOW ARE THINGS OVER THERE? |
August 20, 2009
HOW ARE THINGS OVER THERE?
Name: SGT B.
Posting date: 8/20/09
Returned from: Iraq
Hometown: Rockford, WA
Milblog: The Gun Line
I’m going to say it up front. I was a fobbit.
I was one of the Command Post guys. I had a set schedule, I didn’t go out on missions. I stayed behind when my guys went out and I manned the various communication systems that monitored them. I watched them roll, and waved to them as they headed out of the motor pool on their way to the Entry Control Point (ECP).
And I worried about them. I prayed every time they went out that when I came back on shift the next day, that there wouldn’t be anything other than the list of required checkpoints and the annotation that “BC13 RP JBB 0200 23/6, 34/33.”
Most of the times that was true, and even when there was a “significant” event, all my guys made it back inside the wire, a fact for which I praise God, the small unit leaders that motivated the men, and the men themselves.
Not bad for a bunch of “weekend warriors”, I’m thinking.
How was life over there? Not really that bad, actually.
That isn’t to say it was a lark, or a walk in the park, but everybody stepped up to the plate and did their jobs with a minimum of angst or drama. We came to play ball, and we brought our game faces on.
I could complain about a great many things. I could gripe about the institutional food. I could bitch about the months on end where there were no days off. Sure, there were personality clashes, and there were the usual dysfunctional disconnects that you find in any unit that isn’t used to the ways of an Active duty unit, but, all in all, those memories fade as each day passes, and I prefer to concentrate on what I have seen in the “big” picture.
I saw every indication that it is getting close to the time for us to hand Iraq fully back over to the Iraqis. The “insurgents” are treated as criminals, and every day another force of Iraqis steps up to the plate to replace a CF unit walking the streets of the major towns. I can’t tell you that they will be entirely successful, but I can say that I think that we are seeing the end of this, and it’s on a good note. America can be proud of what we have done here. I may not agree with all of the decisions made during the course, but, all in all, we have done good things, and I am proud to have been a part of it.
So, I did have an easy time of it, when my deployment experience is compared to that of many others. (I’m an old fart, my best work was done in support of the actual warfighters anyway...)
The real conflict was actually taking face in my own head, and in my life on the domestic side of the pond, and that is where the story of "Sergeant B" is found.
More later, as it settles in my brain housing group...