Payday loans
RedShirts 2 Ad Banner for Kickstarter

Archive for July 1st, 2008

Life Saving Pizza

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

There was a chill in the air as the soldiers of the 876th EN BN loaded up for their logistical ground assault convoy. The weather here in Iraq had dipped down from the 140 degrees that most soldiers experienced when they had first arrived, medic to a frosty 65. Our mission was a night move, shop our purpose logistics, drugs and the reason was to gain some of the excellent equipment being left for us by our state’s outgoing Guard units: Task Force Dragoon.

The final pre-combat checks and inspections were complete; everyone was talking via the radios, weapons were given their functions checks, and the route was deemed clear according to the latest intelligence. I gave the final safety brief, reminding all of the participants of the places that we would travel past during our trip. Upon leaving the gate it was ”Go Time”. Our crew-served weapons gunners scanned their sectors, the drivers focused on the road laid out ahead of them, the passengers scanned the sides of the road for possible IEDs, and I kept constant communications flowing with our air support who was watching our progress from the sky.

We were making great time as we passed by Fallujah, one of the apexes of the Sunni Triangle. You could see the walls and towers of the Abu Gharaib prison complex as we passed Abu Gharaib. Once we reached Baghdad we got turned around on an onramp, but quickly righted ourselves. We were passing through the second of the Sunni triangle cities.

As we passed by Camp Taji and its high walls my thoughts passed to my brother who is stationed there, and reflected momentarily that even though I am thousands of miles from my home, that a person with whom I had lived under the same roof with for fourteen years of my life was only a mile away. My thoughts quickly returned to the duty at hand as a call came up on my radio. A convoy ahead had been hit with an IED. This served as a grim reminder to maintain my focus. EOD was on the scene, and the area would be cleared by the time we made it to that area.

A quick stop by Camp Anaconda for fuel allowed us to stretch our legs and prepare for the final leg of our journey. We would bypass Balad next, and then Sumeria. Coming up to Tekrit we saw that the road was blocked off entering into the city of Saddam Hussein’s birth. We knew that this was coming and took the detour around the third corner of the Sunni Triangle. Soon we were able to take the bypass of Bayji, where we were warned not to go because “there are bad people there”. Eventually we arrived at our final destination; Camp Sumeral. I looked at my Global Positioning System (GPS), and noticed that we were very close to the city of Mosul, and the countries of Turkey and Azerbaijan.

We had made great time, arriving two hours ahead of schedule. With the exception of the Baghdad turnaround, it was a flawless convoy.

On the way back we were also making great time. Because of this I allowed my soldiers time for Pizza Hut or Burger King at Camp Anaconda. They had performed exceptionally and this was a reward that they could not receive at any post near Ramadi.

This turned out to be a good choice because as we prepared to depart Anaconda I was informed over the radio that an IED had been initiated on a convoy just south of Anaconda on the route that we were to take. Had we not allowed the extra time for pizza it would have been our convoy hit with that IED. The return trip back was thankfully uneventful.

Thank God for lifesaving Pizza.