Excerpts

Excerpt 1

April 8, 2004

Oh gosh, where should I begin?

On the morning of April 3, we were told we were definitely convoying. We drove to Camp Arifjan, got our trucks, and proceeded to our staging point in Camp Virginia. We parked and secured the trucks but it proved to be an all-day event. We didn’t get back to Camp Doha until 2100 hours. Along the way, Top got lost and we wound up going through Al-Jahra, eventually ending back up on the highest point in Kuwait (which I have now learned is called Mutla Ridge) again. I didn’t mind. What a beautiful view. You can see clear down to the ocean. That’s about all there was to that day except for getting my first real experience driving a five-ton truck. They’re big and somewhat clumsy, slow to accelerate, but otherwise fun to drive.


 

Excerpt 2

August 2, 2004

Top told us this morning while we were at formation that more than 23 mortar rounds came into the camp last night.

That’s quite a bit for one sortie but it didn’t seem different from any other day. I’m not sure where most of them hit, but I do know there were a number of explosions close to me and a few landed in the field next to us. One went right over Malcolm. It freaked him out pretty good.

Today has been quiet so far, but rumor has it that an attack is impending. It’s sure to get worse before we leave. And those fuckers are getting more accurate. The longer I stay, the more I’m pushing my luck. Maybe someday soon my ticket will be up and I’ll win the “lucky lottery” and go home in a plastic bag. It makes me feel sick to my stomach to think that all I have to do is take a leak at the latrine and BAM—that’s it, lights out, my thoughts and memories scattered like leaves in the wind.


 

Excerpt 3

December 25, 2004

Christmas in Iraq. This is the first time I have celebrated this holiday away from the States, the first time in 10 years away from Rita or our families.

Today, we had a mandatory formation at 0830. There were some promotions and Top played Santa. He even put on a beard, bushy white eyebrows, and a hat. He handed out gifts the major had put together for each person in the company.

I got a copy of the yearbook project I finally finished—I found that pretty amusing.