Friday, April 29, 2005

Browning Rules the Night

Specialist John Browning of Oregon mans a .50 Cal while scaning for any trouble on a night mission where we inserted a sniper team near a village. Our Night Vision equipment allows us to rule the night! When US Forces first arrived in our Area of Operations the local Iraqi's thought we were Vampires because we wore dark glasses during the day and we could apparently see at night as we drove through the villages in the dark without using our headlights.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Surrounded By Greatness

I am surrounded by greatness. These two gentlemen were visiting FOBs (Forward Operating Bases) in Iraq because they support us and believe in fighting to protect freedom. These two heroes received the Medal of Honor for their heroic actions during the war in Vietnam. The Medal of Honor is the highest honor given to men and women of the US Armed Forces. After his plane was shot down the North Vietnamese held the gentleman on the right as a POW for six years. His story of survival during those torturous six years is heart wrenching and inspiring.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

A Little Piece of Home (Part 2)

SSG Fisher asked me if it was safe to put the flare in the back of the Humvee and get back to the FOB. I advised him against it because the flare contains a small explosive charge that shoots the parachute out and ignites the flare. SSG Fisher decided that we would try to ignite the flare by shooting it with our M4 rifles. We assembled a firing squad and after a few shots the flare burst into a brilliant yellow light that was too bright to look at. As it was burning I turned to SSG Fisher and said, "Aren't you glad we didn't put it in the Humvee?" (Note the mound of dirt on the left hand side of the picture. That is one of Iraq's largest oil pipelines running into Northern Iraq's largest oil refinery.)

A Little Piece of Home

This week a few IP's (Iraqi Police) came to our gate and said that they found a rocket in a field. Since our FOB (Forward Operating Base) had been rocketed that day we thought it might be one that had been launched at us earlier. Part of my job is to analyze craters and determine where the rocket or mortar was launched. So we loaded up into our Humvee's and followed the IP to the rocket. When we reached our destination I dismounted and walked over to the location. I looked at Staff Sergeant Fisher and said, "It's not a rocket, and it�s from Utah!" The rocket was actually an aircraft flare made by Thiokol that never ignited and fell to the ground still intact. (Read the sticker on the flare)