Sunday, June 14, 2009

War Letters: Part 11

January 30, 1991

Out in the middle of a desert somewhere near Kabrit, Saudi Arabia

Dear Lynda:

Hello again, beloved wife!

It’s 2:10pm and I thought I’d take some time out of my busy schedule and write to you.

I’ve done nothing today except eat and read “The Choirboys.” It’s a police novel and real interesting, even though I’ve read it before.

Last night, however, was very exciting. It was 12:15am and a full moonlit night. We were all awakened by the shouts of our platoon commander. I jumped out of my sleeping bag and into my boots and looked to our north. The sky was lit up all along our front with five or six orange colored flares floating in the air.

I thought, “Oh shit,” and asked somebody what the hell was going on.

It wasn’t a SCUD missile alert.

I was told that Iraqi tanks had broken through our lines and that they were heading towards us!

“Here we go,” I thought.

I figured this was the baptism of fire I’ve been waiting on. I surprised myself in that I wasn’t freaking out and pissing my pants.

We were told to grab all our weapons, gear, and ammo and head out to the forward most fighting holes on our line. We did so, and I was amazed at how calm and determined we all were.

Sgt. Stratton and I occupied the same hole. I fixed my bayonet (effective against T-72 tanks!), and we waited for “Joe Gook the RagHead” to appear so that we could place one well aimed round into him and push his heart out his back!

A short amount of time elapsed, and I began to wonder why, with our lines supposedly breached by enemy armor and all hell breaking loose, I couldn’t hear the sound of a single shot of any kind being fired…or any sounds at all for that matter.

Well…we found out in about ten minutes when we were told to get out of the holes.

It seems that about an hour before our wake-up call, four or five Iraqi tanks had come down to the border and then turned east. The tanks were no closer than thirty miles from our position!

I understand there was a small tank battle, and that the Fly Boys got some of them AND some of us. I’m not sure. That kind of thing happens in war sometimes. Close air support is not always an exact science.

There was actually no reason at all for us to be put out into the holes. Somebody here was listening to distant radio traffic and lost it and thought we were going to get hosed!

But…it was good training!

I understand there is an entire tank brigade (ours) in front of us anyway! For the Iraqis to get through them without firing a shot would be nothing short of a miracle.

We departed our front and staggered back to our areas…all of us joking and bullshitting about how freakin’ inconvenient this war is getting to be! It took me about an hour to calm down to go back to sleep because I was so wired.

I finally got up around 6:30am and watched as a sandstorm ravaged my clothesline full of clean skivvies and socks that I had washed the day before. Such is life.

They are saying that they’re going to bring up the Woman Marines (WMs) from the rear areas to be with us. Cowan and I are bitching to our fullest to try to keep the WMs away! We don’t want them, don’t need them, and can’t stand them! We have a semi-good thing going here now. We can wash our nasty bits and do it in front of Allah and everybody, and not worry about offending. Bring the WMs in, and we have to make separate heads, showers, and sleeping areas.

And…we’ll also have to keep armed guards on their worthless bitchy asses so they don’t get mauled! If they do come out here, I’m going to ride them hard…like I do the guys. I’m not playing tea party with any of these school girls. Enough of that. You know how I feel.

I hope you are doing well back home, and hope you aren’t worrying yourself sick about me. I’ll be OK, baby. You can count on that. I’m too mean and nasty to get hurt anyway. I’m invincible!

I’ve got the best woman in the world to come home to, and I’m not messing around with that. Do you have any idea who she might be?

Well, baby…I think I’ll go now. I’ll mail this letter and see if anything came in for me from you. I hope so.

I love you forever.

Semper Fi!


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