A few nights ago we we spent a good portion of the night driving around some of the nastier streets in Falluja. We navigated dirt piles across one road, and then the narrow alleys that bypassed the obstacles blocking the next road we cleared. We dug up suspicious spots in the road, and fended low hanging electrical wires away from our vehicles.
This time, we were out there that night making sure the roads were clear for the Iraqis instead of US troops. This is what they did. Not too bad, I'd say. The Iraqi forces, at least around here, are certainly getting better.
Last night, it was Falluja proper for us again. Leading off down one of the grittier streets that we patrol, something caught our eyes. We stopped, and took some time to look around. A lot of the time, you don't immediately see a bomb- you first feel that something isn't quite right. We've all learned to trust gut instinct and funny feelings. Directly in front of us is a depressed dirt patch in the middle of the paved road. That, in and of itself, isn't a big deal- the roads here are terrible. The conversation goes something like this:
The truck stops. I hop down from the turret.
TD: So what are we lookin... Oh, that looks nice!
SPC W: Hey man, I just had a feeling.
SGT F: What's that in the middle?
I pull out the binos.
TD: It looks like a screwdriver... green handle, kinda bent.
We start to move our search out to the sides of the road. We've been sitting and looking for perhaps five minutes now. I move my gaze back to the funny green thing in the road, and as I do so, it disappears with a CRACKKKK-BOOM and the road vanishes behind the hail of sand and gravel. As we sit and listen to the chunks of road ping down on top of the truck, we take a look out at the 3'x2' crater left in the road a bare fifteen feet forward.
SPC W: Definitely not a screwdriver.