- April 16, 2009
How the Spartans Were Conquered
Been on deck nearly 10 days and this deployment may prove to be darkest night as compared to last year’s glorious days of ruggedness.
Last deployment I had a rifle company that lived in an OP that looked like something out of the Road Warrior. Watchtowers festooned with machine guns and grenade launchers overlooked the maze of obstacles littering Entry Control Points.
The Marines lived in conex boxes which were converted shipping crates covered in sandbags and Hesco barriers. The Company Commander, myself, the XO and our air officer all lived in one room together that used to be some kind of meat locker.
Indirect fire from insurgent mortar teams was pretty regular until we killed them all.
The chow sucked. It was something known as UGRs or some such acronym. I suspect the name has something to do with the sound troops make while trying to choke down a mouthful of it. “UhhGGhRR!!”
Physical violence nearly erupted the week we ate the same dish seven out of ten days. America’s 1stSgt was leading the way. The box was labeled chicken fajitas but I suspect it was composed of chicken colons. Marines were only able to pry my hands from the cook’s necks with a case of Dr. Pepper.
Mail from home was a most coveted item. We received mail twice a week and sometimes took as long as two weeks to reach us. Knife fights were known to break out over a package of homemade baked goods. Premium cigars were treated with nearly as much reverence as one’s personal weapons.
Air conditioners were appropriated and installed with sledge hammers. Marines also constructed their own phone center and computer stations. This was considered pretty high speed for us jarheads. Spaware was set up and the boys were able to call home and e-mail regularly. There was even a large screen TV and DVD player. We couldn’t get Armed Forces Network television, but as grunts we thought we lived in the lap of luxury.
Lean, hardened Marines exited friendly lines multiple times a day looking to take the fight to the forces of jihad. It was hot, miserable, sucky work and I remember it fondly.
We were totally ready for the Zombie Apocalypse.
This year I am completely disgusted with myself.
The Marines live in air conditioned trailers we call ‘cans’ and fit two to a room. They have electricity, mattresses, cable for AFN television, and even wireless connections are available for internet use!
My can has a TV that is rarely watched. My laptop is KIA so that is not an option, no big deal there. I even have a small leather couch that does quite well as reading area.
Mail is picked up daily and takes five to seven days to get here. I haven’t seen a knife fight in over a year.
On base, there is a Subway, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Burger King, KFC, and a stinkin’ Cinnabon! There is a Green Bean Coffee Shop, though I see no reason to bad mouth that fine company.
Then there are the dinning facilities. The food is pretty good eatin’ if you ask me. There is the main line for meals, a short order line for burgers and such, a sandwich line, salad bar, and the dessert bar. Yes, dessert has its own bar replete with various types of cookies, cake, pie, ice cream, and other fat pills.
The movie theatre shows two movies a day, there are USO comedy nights and Charlie Daniels is doing a show this week. The PX sells, music, DVDs, potato chips, candy, and everything America’s 1stSgt doesn’t stand for.
The forecast for me leaving friendly lines in an effort to confront the forces of evil is not looking so good.
The base is totally inundated with Army, Air Force, Navy, KBR workers, and third country nationals.
It IS the Zombie Apocalypse.
America’s 1st Sgt.