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calendar   Saturday - August 28, 2004

The Front Lines

In keeping with our invitation to any of our troops overseas to write us with their stories and opinions, we are proud to publish our first story from one of the troops in Iraq. I'll shut up now and let Mike tell you all about it ....

Hi I’m SSg Mike ********, from Fort Myers, FL, serving with the 82nd Airborne out in Iraq. I’m 29, unmarried, and have been proud to serve in the US Army since I left Bishop Verot High School. Like all paras, I keep jumping out of good aeroplanes, so I figure I’m kinda nuts. My personal motto is “Proud to fight, fight to win”.

We’re out in Al Anbar Province, west of Baghdad. It includes a bunch of names you’ve probably heard of, like Fallujah and Ramadi. We call it The Badlands. Most every day some towelhead hero is using us for target practice. Sometimes we lose a guy, and often someone gets injured. Sometimes we can’t hit back, for operational reasons. But if the officers do let us get up close and personal, the towelhead dies. Nobody messes with the “All-American” if they want to collect their pension.

Not that it’s a healthy place for us. Living in pup tents in some goddam desert, nothing as far as the eye can see. One of the guys from Utah says it’s just like home, except you can’t buy a beer and there’s no Burger King.

There’s a sandstorm at the moment, so at least the jeehaadis can’t see us.

Not that we can see anything either. It’s like a dark orange fog that tastes like metal. It gets everywhere, into your clothes, hair, food, bedding.

Still, you shouldn’t join Uncle Sam’s army if you can’t take a joke.

What’s not a joke is the way we’re not allowed to fight properly. Look how we had to back out of Fallujah before the job was done. Now the same thing with that Al Sadr in his mosque. They should have sent in the 82nd. Why?

Here’s a clue. Paras are deadly-accurate riflemen and I guarantee they’ll hit every jeehaadi – our kill-ratio exceeds rockets. That's right! Two reasons. One, we are trained marksmen and we carry close-combat optics on our rifles; anyone comes within range of us and fires, we can quickly target them and take them out. Second, we like to get up close and personal. Not like helicopters and tanks shooting from a mile away, they don’t know what they’re hitting, enemy, empty buildings, could be anything. We are trained to operate in risky situations with minimum equipment, so we go in to 200 yards or less, where we can see their eyes, that is until we make their face explode. Like I said, we would have taken that mosque 2 weeks ago.

Guys, we really appreciate all the support we get from people like you back home. Kinda makes a change from all those whining peace hippies. My Bishop Verot Vikings coach always used to say “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Should have added “And the girlies start crying”. So we appreciate the patriotic support from sites like yours, and the emails, and the parcels. It keeps reminding us that we represent the greatest country in the world. That’s how every United States soldier usually can keep smiling.

Thanks, guys!

avatar

Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 08/28/2004 at 06:14 AM   
Filed Under: • War-Stories •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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