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

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

VBIEDs at the Gate

We rolled back to Ramadi early Sunday afternoon, after a long rotation out to Falluja. I took my personal gear and my 240B machine gun into the barracks, and stopped in to say hello to my medic buddy. I was headed back out to the 5-ton dump truck that we use to transport gear for another load of rucksacks and bags when the air split with a loud craaack-BOOM, and the ground shook underfoot. Everyone flinched towards the ground, and someone dryly cracked "That didn't sound like outgoing". A large black smoke plume shot into the air somewhere over towards the gate, turning grey as it mixed with the dusty sky. Black smoke, for a VBIED. I don't know why the VBIEDs always shoot black smoke into the sky, but they invariably do.

The next few minutes were filled with the confused rush that follows a big blast- phones ringing, squad leaders checking to make sure all their men are ok, and a general babble of voices asking what happened? Who's dead?

The big voice sounded- "Clear all roads from the south gate to Charlie Med. Clear all roads from the south gate to Charlie Med." Minutes pass, and sirens begin to sound in the distance. The big voice drowns out the noise- "All interpreters and medics report to Charlie Med. All interpreters and medics to Charlie Med."

Time passed, and more details began to filter in. The blast was just outside the police station on the south side of the camp. The station is technically on Camp Ramadi- inside the outer perimeter, but outside the main gate. Two pickup trucks had approached the station- the lead truck exploded, and the second sped away. Twenty minutes later, another VBIED (possibly the other truck) exploded in another district of Ramadi. The blast at the police station collapsed a nearby house killing 3 civilians inside, and wounded 35 more, including 5 policemen. The wounded began streaming into Ramadi, where two of my medic friends helped to treat them.

Welcome back to Camp Ramadi, ladies and gentlemen.


  1. It's good to hear from you... Seriously. I was starting to worry.
    ... Not that reading this makes me less worrysome, but you know what I mean.

    Try to stay safe, You are all in our prayers...
    How scary that day must have been!!

  2. Anonymous25/4/07 11:59

    Welcome back.

  3. Anonymous25/4/07 12:00

    With Medics and Interpeters called, does that suggest that you are winning hearts and minds by mending Iraqis that the insurgents have injured? Better PR than Hillbillary going to Syria,isn't it? Senator Whory Reid don't like you guys doing that stuff. We might make a good impression there before he caves in on himself.

  4. Definitely relieved to know that you are back! I check on you every day and get really worried when you haven't posted in a few days --- this seemed like a LONG time.

  5. Anonymous25/4/07 19:04

    That's it, then. Kevlar underwear in your next care package. ;)

  6. Anonymous25/4/07 19:09

    Welcome back TD, so nice to hear your voice again. I'll meet you back at the Longbranch, if it's all the same to you. I was able to tape only 6 hours of the 11 hours of America at a Crossroads. And I did tape the second 2 hour installment featuring the writing of some Our Troops... and I was tremendously impressed and proud. But surprised? Nahhhhhhh.

  7. Anonymous25/4/07 22:40

    Think there were a lot of us concerned when we didn't see you post for a while.

    Glad you are back.

    Glad to hear that the wounded felt safe in comming to y'all for aid.

  8. Anonymous25/4/07 22:51

    Welcome back, TD.

    "I don't know why the VBIEDs always shoot black smoke in the sky." Same reason airplane crashes put out black smoke. It's all that fuel going up in flames.

    Thanks for the post. As others have said, we worry when it's too long between posts.

    Hang in there, we're in awe of the job you're doing. Both your soldiering and your blog.

  9. Meagan, I suspect CLEAN under-shorts would be better.

    I know I'd need a fresh pair after that.

    Good to see you still kickin' some hoop, Don. Stay safe, ok?

  10. I was going to say what Mel said. I was wondering if you were doing okay. Keep staying safe. You and the rest of your platoon are in my prayers.

  11. Just another welcome home party TD, they missed you........ I too have been here day after day wondering where you were and what was up. It is good to know you are safe, stay that way....

  12. When we don''t here from you we get worried. I was going to ask Badger 6 about you.

  13. Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 04/26/2007
    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

  14. Anonymous26/4/07 10:11

    1. Very glad you were not hurt. Very sad that others were.

    2. "That didn't sound like outgoing."
    Know what you mean. In pilot training, it happened that my house was directly under the Eastside downwind. Hundreds of times a day, we heard T37s above us. We ignored them. (Amazing what one can learn to live with.) The only times we looked up were when something sounded different in the overflying jet's engines -- once a flameout and once an engine fire, many times a newby jerking his throttles.

  15. Oh, by the way, I posted this in your blog at Global Defense Group, so you don't need to mess with it.
    I added a couple of photos of Camp Ramadi, but it's otherwise unaltered.

    Take care, bro.


  16. It is not just the fuel. Gasoline burns with less smoke the hotter it is. Although oil burns black. The black smoke is from the rubber and plastics burning. Since most of a car is rubber and plastics, you get a lot of black smoke. It is the same in a house fire. The petroleum based products burn and the chemicals within burn differently that ,say, wood or organic matter. That is why a grass or forest fire has a light grey to white smoke.
    Keep it safe.

  17. Anonymous27/4/07 02:09

    Yeah, I was beginning to wonder about the long silence like everyone else. I'm really glad you're ok. You know, I just read about this same VBIED hit over at Desert Flier's blog. He's a flight/trauma nurse over at Charlie Med. I wonder if you know him... Sortof a small world I guess. At least in the blogosphere. :-)