Before now poetry has taken notice
Of wars, and what are wars but politics
Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
from "Build Soil"
Robert Frost

Friday, January 19, 2007

Falluja Nights

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.



  1. MAy God Bless and Keep you. And ALWAYS pay attention to that "funny" feeling!

  2. Yeah, dude! Stay safe and keep up the great work...

    You HAVE to stay safe! I love reading your writing!!!

  3. Anonymous21/1/07 07:02

    Dammit, Janet!

    Jeezly Crow, I get all worried reading that. Be careful and pay attention to that hair standing up on your arms or the back of your neck.

    Take it easy, sugar.

  4. YIKES! Thank God you listened to that gut feeling! ((hugs)) to all... glad yer alright. You are always in our prayers.

  5. Anonymous21/1/07 16:42

    Just wanted to say I really appreciate the job you're doing for us out there.
    Also your blog is cool.
    Be safe.

  6. Trust your instincts.

    Thank you for your service to our country.
    May you come home safe and soon.

  7. Anonymous24/1/07 11:40

    I am in AWE of your spidey-sense. Good work!

  8. My family and I are so very proud of all of the men and women that are serving our country. I pray daily for all of their safe return, and pray even harder for the families that have already lost someone.

    I wish there were words strong enough to express the gratitude my family has for everyone willing to do for other's, and our country, the things that many of us can't do, and that a number of American's won't do.

    Thank you for your blog and even more thanks to you and your family for your sacrifice to protect me and mine.