Reflections, Ten Years On

Feb 14, 2013 by

The ten year anniversary of the 2003 invasion of Iraq is in a few weeks. Below are a few thoughts describing what we were going through as the invasion neared. J.E. On St Patty’s Day, 2003, myself and the five other members of HUMINT Exploitation Team Three, assigned to support Third Battalion/Fifth Marines, were in position north of Logistical Support Area Grizzly, just a few hundred meters south of the Iraq-Kuwait border. The day before we had taken the last showers we would have for about the next month. A few days earlier we’d made a last quick trip to First Marine Division headquarters, Camp Commando outside Kuwait City, to touch base with our chain of command, pick up last minute supplies like extra ammo and MRE’s, use the internet, and maybe get a...

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Crossing

Mar 18, 2012 by

Crossing into Iraq in that never-ending convoy felt like being caught in a river’s current, we flowed across the border in an inevitable stream of war machines. In the afternoon light of the desert we poured through breaches in the berms and tank trenches on the Iraq-Kuwait border, passing long-abandoned UN border posts standing a useless watch. Further on, as darkness fell, we began to pass the GOSPs.  Saddam had ordered them set on fire, so we drove through the jets of flame spewing from the earth.  At the closest we maybe got within 200 meters of a GOSP on fire, maybe as far as 400 meters. That may sound like a long ways away, but the heat was so intense it felt like my face was melting. The hot air blasted through the open...

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My Introduction to War

Mar 14, 2012 by

We all fear the unknown, and mankind’s fear of death comes from having never experienced it.  Ask the few people who have been certain, utterly certain, they were about to die, and I think you’ll find men and women who can ponder their own end without the paralyzing fear so many have.  Not that we necessarily want to embrace that ugly bastard, but we’ve shaken his hand and we’ve huddled together in the same fighting hole. It’s not that we’re more brave than the rest, but for some of us the fear has been worn away from long familiarity. Or maybe we’re just used to it always hanging around.  I’m not saying fear is a friend, but I think I’d be lonely without it. In March of 2003, a few days into the invasion of...

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