Medicine Soldier

A View from Iraq


Long Day

My day started early or never ended. Last night we agreed to support one of our sister companies by providing a truck to take some sensitive secret equipment to another camp. The catch was the convoy was leaving at 2am and I received the mission at 8pm, six hours notice. I was going to go and then the commander decided he did not want me to go. By the time the coordination was made it was almost 10pm and I had to brief someone else to take my spot. I gave very clear and specific directions to link up with the convoy and who to give the sensitive equipment to.

I went to bed at midnight and did not sleep well wondering if I should have gone, because I had all the details. I got up at 6am and checked in to make sure the guys left with the convoy and then I took a group to the range to fire some more machine guns as we prepare to do patrols regularly. Things were going well and I was pleased with the trainers and the sergeants in charge. Upon returning to the control center to check in I was yanked out of my HMMWV by a captain wondering why I was not on the convoy and where my truck and the sensitive equipment was. I told him I was absolutely sure my guys and the truck were in fact on the convoy and they were very trustworthy and detail oriented. So the Captain handed me over to two majors and another captain who started in on me saying the guys never checked in with the convoy commander and how could they sneak in to the convoy. I told them all they had to be there. That they had to drive right by the convoy to leave our motorpool where we kept our truck and there were no other units leaving that early. I could not imagine what they were doing, they could not be hiding inside the camp all morning. So one major gave in and called the destination and found out the sensitive equipment was delivered and I was off the hook. The other major was not happy but he dropped it.

My guys did not return as scheduled, and I was worrying and wishing I had gone. I went with my commander to find out where they were when they pulled in at dinner time, with a truck full of mail. Everyone was excited to see them safe and see the mail. Unfortunately there was another truck full of mail with our units stuff. So we unloaded the mail and went for dinner.

After I recounted my day to the guys, two lieutenants sat next to me complaining about their long day. I asked them if they were on the convoy with my guys and they said yes. I asked them if there were any problems and they said no. So I told them my end of the story. It turns out they were in charge of the convoy and my guys were on time and did exactly what I told them. They were going to speak to the other officers for me.

We still have a whole truck load of mail to be sorted and the guys know it is here and they can not wait until tomorrow for us to pick it up from the post office. It is like Christmas; I hope we will not be disappointed.

As for the rest of my day, we are getting ready to assume our share of the patrols now that we have vehicles. So we have this weekend to get everything ready soup to nuts. We have the guys divided into teams to train the crews on the routes, prepare the load plans on the vehicles, and set up a staging area near our tents. So when the "Bat light" goes on we are ready to roll.

It is now almost midnight again and I am unwinding before bed. Here is a picture without my "cool guy ballistic sunglasses." The temperatures are climbing here and the critters are starting to come out...

posted by Scott | 23:44 Baghdad time | © 2.24.2005
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