SiP & Operation Iraqi Freedom

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Post by Vir2L™ » Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:37 pm

That's a close call mate. Glad to hear everyone will recover, besides the mental/emotional stress.

Your brigade will be in our thoughts and prayers.

HOOOAH!
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Post by SiP » Sun Jun 18, 2006 3:54 am

Well, I'm no longer under my brigade. My unit keeps getting tasked out to serve under USMC command. I move around a lot. Right now, I'm live in an old abandoned restaraunt with a bunch of other guys.
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Post by SiP » Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:19 pm

As I was visiting the MacGamingMods.com home page today. I noticed that in the description of a recently posted RvS mod the name "Ali Baba" was included. About a month back I was on a 10 day mission in which I worked side-by-side with an Iraqi army unit. Although I knew and learned very little of the Arabic that they spoke to me, I did pick up on a few things. Most notable, "Ali Baba" is their choice terminology for making reference to enemies in the area when they were trying to communicate to us about potential enemy activity. In fact, I often found myself referencing the Iraq insurgency as "Ali Baba" when trying to speak to them.
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Post by SiP » Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:21 am

Today, a fellow soldier in my platoon was shot by a sniper while on patrol. The bullet apparently broke his upper arm and got lodged in his neck. With a little recovery time, I've been told he's going to be ok.

In any case, I was the one sorry guy who was asked to clean up the blood afterwards - and there was quite a bit.

I got it all cleaned up and now I am of the understanding that I will be the driver of the vehicle that he was shot in. My first mission in THAT vehicle will likely be tomorrow. Lovely.

-Sip, Out.
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Post by Vir2L™ » Mon Jun 26, 2006 1:34 pm

Happy Birthday SiP. :notworthy:

Stay safe!
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Post by SiP » Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:17 am

Hey, well thanks. It's too bad, though, that my 23rd has to be in the worst place on Earth.
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Post by SiP » Fri Jun 30, 2006 1:22 am

Dang! The USMC unit that I'm attached to right now is taking some horrid losses.
Just the other day, a an IED went off that actually flipped a hummer. Two Marines died and the explosion ripped up the entire road. It left a 15' by 10' by 4' deep crater.

Then, two days ago, a Marine got hot through the helmet by a sniper killing him instantly.

I'm just glad to be in the Army where we do things are little more carefully and professionally.
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Post by SiP » Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:48 pm

Today was full of lots of action. On the initial trek out of base on mission my combat patrol crossed paths with an IED that luckily never exploded on us. It was later eliminated via a controlled detenation.

Then, at about four hours into our mission, a single mortar round impacted roughly 100 ft from my vehicle. The shrapnel and dust was so intense. One piece of metal penetrated the rear driver side of the hummer nearly destroying the internal A/C unit - that would have been awful. Upon impact, the projectiles that hit my hummer hit so hard that I was convinced for a moment that bullets from small arms fire was hitting the vehicle.

Even so, at about 10 seconds after the mortar impact, a medic in my vehicle did spot tracer rounds being shot towards our general vicinity. Luckily, none of those rounds came even close to hitting any of our three vehicles.

A little later in the night at about the 5 or 6 hour mark in our mission, one of our gunners spotted an IED emplacement team attempting to do what they do best...or, rather, not so good in this case of this instance. We engaged with our maximum firing capability.

In any case, back to that mortar attack. That really took me by surprise. Although it was only a single round, it was very loud and very potentially disasterous. It had such a force to it that it sent a shockwave of gunpowder-smelling dust that permeated essentially all seals on the doors of the driver's side of the vehicle and the smell, once inside, held there for a while in full potency.

It was quite a night.
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Post by SiP » Sat Jul 01, 2006 4:14 am

After a closer analysis of the damage to my hummer's rear driver side where the shrapnel from the mortar had penetrated, I realized that the damage was more severe than I had originally observed. The shrapnel fragment seems to have collided with one of the external vent blades of the A/C compartment causing a small fragment of that vent blade to break off and join the shrapnel fragment in it flight into the side of the vehicle.

I realized this when I opened the trunk hatch to download gear after returning to base and spotted two holes in the inner wall of the driver side of the trunk compartment. The two holes were much larger than the one on the external vent blade and looked so similar to the type of holes that bullets leave when they penetrate a sheet of metal that I found myself second-guessing whether or not a bullet had hit my hummer as well.

The bottom line, I guess, is that we had metal fragments bouncing all around and every which way just feet behind us! I've yet to find the fragments.
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Post by ZiPpo » Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:37 am

Damn, son, sounds like the fun times we used to have back in the Nam, but we never had A/C, you spoiled brat! Just kidding, sort of. I have been reading your posts with great concern, and wish I had sent you a birthday greeting earlier, so Happy Fuckin' Birthday and may the Burka Clad Beauties of Baghdad give you a real BJ! With one to grow on. You are in my prayers, my friend, now get yer ass back to the world.[/i]
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Post by sparrow » Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:12 pm

Happy be-lated brthday sip. Keep your head down and your spirits up man. Those are some pretty scary tales you are telling. You are in all of our thoughts and prayers.

~sparrow
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Post by SiP » Sun Jul 30, 2006 4:23 am

Well, we have finally received Internet in our barracks. There are strings attached, though. The price is a travesty and latency and packet loss is horrendously high.

I can't even download software updates much less play games or download mods. In fact, I can't even stay logged onto GameRanger for more than a few minutes most of the time.

Right now I'm just happy if I can get in a daily visit to my email account. On the one hand, I'd to say that we go very ripped off. Although, the lack of a quality service is in part because a number of the original people who had claimed they were committed to buying into the service impulsively decided to back out earlier.

Honestly, considering where we are and that we are trying to set up a successful LAN with Internet access is reason enough to have had a little more patience. Then again, maybe I was just so determined to have it that I willfully pledged my money and waited patiently for three months of installation and many of the other soldiers and Marines were not.

My squad is still the reigning champ for hitting the most roadside bombs in my company thus far. I can't honestly say that this is a commendable feat, but it is notable.

A roadside bomb hit my brother’s vehicle a few days back - he's OK though.

The summer had truly come in Iraq and with it the increased desperation of the insurgency. It is a real irony if one thinks about it all. There really wouldn't be any hostility going on if the enemy could keep itself at bay. It is not the allied forces playing the role of the aggressors at this point in the war effort. Rather, the hostility it is entirely driven by the insurgency.

If these aggressors only knew that their actions are the driving force of our perpetuated stay in this nation, they would stop. All we're really trying to do here is turn the nation over to its people. The sooner the insurgency ends it efforts, the sooner the allied forces will leave.

The Iraqi infrastructure is very capable of doing something good for itself and its people. It just amazes me everyday how the insurgency can't see that or at least entertain the idea it is just around the corner.

Well, that's my word for the day.
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Post by SiP » Fri Aug 18, 2006 10:50 am

Hey all,

A lot of hostility has been present in these parts. We've been attacked many times since the last time I added a post here. We've had our casualties here and there, but thankfully no fatalities. The same, however, can not be said about the opposition. They've taken some losses to be certain. And, to top it off, they are the ones fighting. We're just here keeping the peace. We're not trying to fight anyone. They keep drawing first-blood time and time again and we keep stopping them.

On the more humanitarian side of things, today I was in some of the local villages and while there, I gave out notebooks and packets of pencils. I also made an effort to give a lesson or two on economics to the local children population. Everywhere one goes in Iraq, the natives have lots and lots of the old, outdated currency - the Saddam dinars. Even though they are worth nothing in the greater scheme of things, it is still interesting and educational to allow Iraqis - especially the children - to use the old dinars as sort of a bartering item.

Everywhere I've been in Iraq, I've found a profoundly consistent characteristic in the people - they believe that they need not do anything but beg to get what they want. Granted, the coalition forces do owe a lot to the Iraqis and will continue to owe them for some time. However, I've come to feel that the coalition forces ought not be indebted blindly. As such, every chance I get I try to instill in, at the very least, the young population that acquisition is not solely accomplished through pleading – especially when done so in a somewhat hostile manner.

The quality of child rearing in Iraq is appalling. The kids here just run free doing nearly whatever they want and whenever. Obviously, it is not the job – or the place – of an occupying military force to encourage alternative parenting practices. But, since I’m stuck here doing what I’m doing for a very long number of months, I just don’t see much harm in trying to encourage Iraqi children to entertain the idea of conducting certain unfamiliar tasks to them such as fair business.
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Post by Guest » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:41 pm

It's been a while since I've been by this forum or any for that matter. Lots of crazy stuff has happened in my neck of the woods, but I'm still kickin.'

The rainy season has finally come and I'm sort of on the fence about it. Well, actually, to be honest, I rather liked the lack of presipitaion. It has been over 6 months since it last rained and I got used to that lack as being normal some time ago.

Now that it's here, I think it was only the idea of rain that I liked. Wind is always present in Iraq, regardless of the season, so when rain comes it's just a big mud storm. It pretty much sucks.

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Post by SiP » Sun Oct 22, 2006 11:37 pm

I've been in Iraq for about 7 months. One would assume that life would get more desirable - or at the very least acceptable and manageable- as more time goes on. This was beginning to become the case. However, now that my chain of command has decided that I am going to be living and working off main base more than on for the remainder of my tour here my everyday life from here on out just doesn't look too swell.

Although doing the duty that I'm doing now might make the time go by quicker, the idea of having to move on and off base a few times a months just doesn't look to hot. Because I'm an infantry soldier I should probably be saying to myself "suck it up and drive on, soldier" but I just can't help but gripe. It's the story of my life these days - gripe about it but do it anyway.

The longer I'm here the less I know what to make of this place. I'm my opinion, the idea that this place is a war zone has long since passed. To me this place looks more like the wild west of the early United States. Everyone is just trying to make a new life for him or herself. In a way, Iraq is like a "blank slate." I also just don't see much of a struggle over resources - it's seems to be all about the people and their rights to govern and live in peace. Whatever there is to be had, tangibly, in this nation weighs little compared to the struggle over who the people want to be or don't want to be.

I do know, however, that all of the Iraqis I've spoken and worked with are very religiously devote yet also hold strong interests for modernization. They don't want to set aside there religion for a completely secular democracy but, at the same time, they certainly don't want the kind of nation that will come about if the insurgency's aim is given a free pass to do as it wishes. Even though the insurgency's current aim is to rid Iraqi western visitors, Iraqis have personally told me that this is not the limit of that they have in mind for Iraq.

More than America and the Iraqi people know this to be true. On a daily basis I see people from all over the world working to help this effort to build a strong Iraq that is free of strict, Taliban-like rule. In fact, I've seen more international diversity in the workplace here in Iraq than I've seen nearly any other place that I've visited in the world. Granted, there can a fair amount of money to be made for working in a combat zone, but considering the risks these people endure on a daily basis is testimony enough that something greater than personal finance is a strong motivator behind living and working in a place such as this. Case and point, if I wasn't in the military I don't think I'd come to Iraq just to make money. Even though my job is riskier than most of theirs, working here as a civilian would make me feel quite a bit less secure.

The civilians here who I probably have the most respect for are the one who do some of the same security jobs that I've done from time to time. For example, on a daily basis I see civilians protecting convoys and base guard posts just as a lot of my fellow soldiers, Marines, airmen, and seamen do.
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