Just wanted to let our readers in on a blog I was turned on too of a Marine over in Iraq. The blog belongs to Jake Wood whom you can see here coloring with some Iraqi kids:
And some snippets of his posts:
Route security goes a lot like this-
Load squad in humvees.
Drive humvees up and down a major road for hours on end.
Wait for one of the following to happen- IED, ambush, or vehicle breakdown.
Today was vehicle breakdown. Apparently the humvee I was in decided it didn’t want to make right hand turns anymore. I don’t know for sure, but I think that’s kind of mission essential. We were in the process of trying to hook up a tow bar, but realized that we were only about 400 m from one of the biggest sniper threats in the area. Cancel that idea.
So my driver was tasked with driving back to the FOB making only left turns. Meaning if he wanted to turn right, he had to put it in reverse and crank the wheel left. I’m sure the local populace was looking at us like we had lost our minds.
Humvees like to break a lot. Simple things too. Like doors. I’m not sure there is a humvee in the Marine Corps that has four working doors. The US can put a man on the moon but they can’t give me a simple door that will unlatch and swing open.
And an even better post:
Friends, family, strangers…Americans young and old….I apologize to you all tonight because I fear I may have just lost the war. I was on a patrol tonight with my squad…we had to go firm in a house because engineers were going to blast away the remnants of the bombed out bridge. We were sitting around, socializing with a group of young Iraqi men, when the conversation turned to athletics. Well, one of them thought that he was pretty strong and flexed his arm for us…of course, my friends, my comrades, my brothers-in-arms, decide to throw me under the bus and say that I was much stronger. So this Iraqi makes me flex for him…I’m not gonna lie, I was a lot bigger.
It doesn’t end there. Suddenly this Iraqi challenges me to an arm wrestling contest. I immediately have a flashback. Suddenly its 2003, I’m at the Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN for a football game. I’m drunk at an Irish bar on New Year’s Eve…suddenly an Irishman taps me on the shoulder. I turn around…he’s about the size of a leprachaun. He gets to the point, he thinks he can whoop me in arm wrestling…I tell him no thanks…he insists…I say no…he buys me a Guinness…I say okay…I almost lose.
Fast forward to Iraq…tonight…I don’t think its a good idea, but my friends insist that it’ll be good for building ‘relations’…I take another look at the guy he’s not THAT big. I agree.
Ten minutes later, there is still no winner. It’s declared a draw, but for America, it was a resounding defeat. It was the draw heard round the world. I will never be able to show my face in that area again. Granted, he didn’t claim victory, but I could see the sparkle in his eye… my fellow Americans…I am sorry.
And a great question:
So I’m on post, asking myself, "Who are these people? What kind of monster looks at people that leave their families thousands of miles away, to come to a foreign land and help, and says, ‘I am going to take 120 lbs of explosives and bury it in the road so that I can take from them what they are trying to give me’?"
What kind of human launches mortars at a base, knowing that if they miss they could cause casualties to their fellow Iraqis, and not only that, but launches them from the cover of a village full of women and children.
Who does this in the name of religion?
Make his blog a daily read.