War Journal

Posted by on May 28, 2007 in Blog, Inspiration, Marine Corps | 1 comment

Originally I wrote this for a friend, who now I know wouldn’t have deserved it, and wouldn’t understand it. I don’t think the reader will understand what war really is like. Its good and intense, and also bad and dull at times. Since I’m cleaning out my files, and I want to keep the memory of my journal alive through this blog, I’m posting it here for you to enjoy. Remember that it starts out as the letter to my former friend when I was going to give it to her, but after that the journal starts. As I said before, enjoy.

I randomly decided to write about some of my old journal entries. This is a journal that I kept when I was out on deployment. I rambled a lot in it, and at times I was unclear because of the lack of time to write. I know that it may be intense, but I’m just writing different things for you to read and occupy your time. I wanted to do something great for you for your going away trip, but because of the lack of time, and the lack of ideas, I am just writing and seeing where it leads regardless of how it makes you feel. The journal is not grammatically correct and some of it just simply doesn’t make any sense, but I’m writing this as it was written. Below is my first journal entry, which was during the calm before the storm (before the war). I want you to be happy on this trip. So, without further ado, read on.

(Was originally placed at the end of the letter) Some of these stories are funny, gruesome, and caring. They give you a perspective into my state of mind at the time. One of the benefits of these journal entries is to show you that life is temporary, and that we need to make the most of it. If you have an opportunity for great things, you should grab it before it gets away. Life is what you make of it.

The Journal

Monday, March 03, 2003

0938 hours

I’ve decided to write a journal because of all the things on my mind. I need to express them. I have seen a lot of things – things that most people wouldn’t or have never fathomed of seeing in reality. I have seen wood burning in a pit. I have seen British, US Marines, Royal Marines, Army Soldiers, Sailors, Corpsmen, Kuwaiti Army. I’ve seen Harriers and CH-46s (or something similar) fly right above my head only a few 1000 feet above. I have been a Humvee machine gunner. I have had a Kuwaiti child stare at my eyes while I was that gunner. The kid was just trying to understand what was going on, but he doesn’t know. He has never seen someone like me before. I have been in battle with a sandstorm (a major one) on post. I got scared when all of the sudden 2 Marines appeared to my left when I hadn’t seen them in that place before. They were probably 6 feet away. I halted them, and nearly put a magazine in. They couldn’t see or hear me, because of the storm. There is much to do, and much not to do. We are just hurrying up and waiting. It seems like we are going to do something soon. I want to have a greater part in this war. Ammo driving may not be the dangerous and non-pointless thing of this war for me, meaning that I want to do some killing with the possibility that I may die. That is what the Marine Corps is about – Honor, Courage, and Commitment. It is not played out, not many use them or have integrity, but I am a man out to explore and see and do what others may never do. As Jean-Luc Picard said, “To boldly go where no man has gone before.” I don’t want to die. I have too much to live for. I cherish my family even with our conflicts. I cherish my ideas, the way I am, and how unique I am. I need to live. I am on this earth right now to complete a mission. If I die, then nothing will really change. Nothing should change. There are so many things out there in the unknown that may cause me serious injury, bodily harm, or even death. Anti-personnel mines, scud missiles, chemical attacks, biological agents, snakes, spiders, grenades, bullets. I am not going to die. Since that is the case I am going to do and get everything that I’ve wanted. It will happen.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

0930 hours

I got here on the 11th of February. I left on the 9th. Today on the 18th of March I am leaving Camp Matilda and starting to leave into a position near the Iraqi and Kuwaiti border.

1230 hours

Digging holes. . .digging holes. . .digging more holes. Actually my hole (A-Driver) and the driver’s holes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

1000 hours

I’m tired. . .cold runs through my bones. I need to go home. I need to get out of here. Lets get the job done. . .

1500 hours

We’re in the same POS (position) now as yesterday. I woke up at 0400 and left at 1000, moved to two different POS’s, and we got to this one at about 1600. I didn’t sleep until 2300 or 0000, woke up at 0200 because I was really cold but I still didn’t want to take my sleeping bag out because it was under the LVS cammie netting. I went into the LVS, stayed there for 30 minutes or actually 45 minutes and then went on post, left post on the .50 cal at 0500. Pretty much I’ve been waiting for the LOC to tell us something (to do). So, I’ve been trying to sleep.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

0200

I was told that we are 15-clicks away from the border. I just got off a two hour post. It seems that we will kick this off at 0400, or so everyone says.

1200 hours

Still. . .in same POS. . .I feel all weak and energy drained. . .We need to attack Iraq soon. . .all this political drama is killing us. . .send us in. . .send us out. . .on the news it said (“Radio Kuwait”) that the CIA knew where Saddam was, so we bombed the bunkers with cruise missiles. . .now it’s saying that we exchanged gunfire wit Kuwait this morning. They bombed Kuwait? Where? Well, I don’t see anything yet.

1630 hours

We just put the cammie net back in the back and filled our foxholes, and at 1800 will take the blue pills that supposedly cure almost every disease, and then we should see some fireworks at 2100. I hope this shit starts finally.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Finally, this shit kicked off. I didn’t get much sleep tonight. Last night was the most expensive and most beautiful fireworks display I’ve ever seen. The beauty was not in any color (there wasn’t any) the beauty was in the purpose and knowing that enemy structures or vehicles are getting blown up. . .wow. I’m part of a war. Operation Iraqi Freedom. . .Fuck Yeah. . .The firing batteries are fucking it up now. . .(charge 8s?) man, the LVS is shaking and they’re (the gun line) is about 2 clicks away.

1130 hours

They say that we are moving to our next location soon. We are going over the burm and heading into Iraq. I busted my finger yesterday on the way here with the LVS. My head also smashed into the roof.

1500 hours

Finished digging another hole. My first hole in Iraq. We crossed the Kuwaiti border (passed through the hole in the burn) and that was about the height of the LVS and then we passed through the DMZ which had barbed wire fencing and then passed the burn for the Iraqi border. Each was about 200 – 500 meters apart (estimate). It seems like we won’t see any combat. Tanks is outside Baghdad (this isn’t true I think) and Arty is near Al-Basrah. I don’t know what the deal with Saphron-Hill is but if tanks are by Baghdad then we should already have completed first phase and have taken Saphron Hill. Right? Well, I found out that the blue pills are supposed to prevent Malaria. I was wrong about it before. We have gone to war and nothing has changed and that is what I predict.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

1700 hours

Been on someone’s farm today (earlier). Seen some EPW’s, released one and called him back and we were told to move ASAP. Tank (enemy) was going to blow up even worse than what EOD did.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

1130 hours

Yesterday (last) night we went North about 40 more miles.

1630 hours

We are currently going 150 miles North. We left much earlier. I got to say. . .I hate bugs! I mean they’re annoying that’s all.

1830 hours

Smoking first cigarette in Iraq. Why do I always start smoking after I quit. (btw – I don’t know if I told you, but I smoked for about a year – not everyday and not much – and I hated it)

Monday, March 24, 2003

0745 hours

I need to shit, but I’ll hold it in until I an change my underwear. Nevermind, I’m going to shit right now.

0800 hours

When I get back, I’m going to look for a picture (cartoon) of a big-breasted chick with camouflage utilities uniform but topless with long hair (maybe) and she’s holding a SAW with a belt dangling to her foot (maybe). I think that would be cool. Yesterday, when we stopped the convoy (we’re still in the same convoy) the said that the grunts – 1st Marines got attacked by 1000 Iraqis, 50 casualties we’re reported. This happened on Highway 9. We were on Highway 7 (for a while at least, or at least near it). I don’t know how true it all is but some Major was on the Comm trying to find out about it.

0846 hours

We just found out that 4 Army soldiers were captured by the Iraqi Republican Guard and murdered on the streets of Baghdad. They say another 80-clicks and artillery will be in range. We are letting LAR and Tanks go first to provide us with cover so that we can provide them with cover. We will be going against republican guard. People will die. People I know will die, that is if we take any incoming. I hope no one dies, but war is war, and we need to kill Saddam and his republican guard if it means having them or us take a bullet. I just want to go home safely so I can carry on with my life and do all the things that are important to me. But on the same token, I joined the Corps to fight even if it meant I would die. I will fight even if it meant I would die. I will fight, I probably will be fearful but I will fight. I will kill and it will have been worth it – the risk – the war – this hell will have been worth it.

0900

I’m reading this in the Iraq country handbook and it pisses me off. It probably is the civilians and the military. I’m writing it on the next page. The renewed conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians in September 2000 provided Saddam Hussein with a propaganda opportunity. Saddam deployed a number of Republican Guard and Army units to western Iraq, claiming that he was prepared to support the Palestinian military in their struggle against Israel and encouraging other Arab leaders to do the same. Saddam then held its largest military parade since 1990 in Baghdad in late December 2000 in an effort to showcase Iraq’s military might and support for the Palestinians. The Iraqi regime also provided free medical care to Palestinians wounded in the intifada and paid money to the families of those killed. These efforts endeared Hussein to Arabs were angered by Israeli actions, but they directly challenged the moderate middle eastern leaders who argued for diplomacy and peace.

1030 hours

We are still waiting. I found out that those Army guys got dragged in the streets, and a Marine 2nd Lieutenant and Lance Corporal truck-driver got shot and killed when a vehicle did a drive-by. The Marines weren’t wearing SAPI plates. And Romeo 5/10 got shot at early on in the game.

1245 hours

Supposedly, we are trying to end this war by Friday. A lot of Marines have been captured by the Republican Guard as POWs. A woman Marine was captured too. I can only imagine what the sick son-of-a-bitches are doing.

1300 hours

I know if I’m captured, they will do to me everything that they would want to do to a POW. It says that I’m Jewish on my dog-tags and I’m not ashamed about it. These mother-fuckers aren’t going to hold me hostage. They are going to kill me and mutilate me in the worst way. My last name will not be disrespected like that. If I get captured I will fight my way out until I die.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

1810 hours

Yesterday there was a real bad sandstorm and some bad rain too. Today, I say about a squad of epw’s being detained and their AKs and mortars being guarded by Marines and some Marines said they saw a bloody, dead enemy on the side of the road next to our position. Tonight we are going to drop a bomb on a bunker 300 meters away. Oohrah. Earlier today we heard some small arms and 240g fire not far away. And LAR next to us got into a major firefight 3 minutes before we got into the pos which was maybe two hours ago. Kill.

Thursday, March 27, 2006

1630 hours

At about 0500 or 0530 I saw illums directly ahead a good distance away and then some by Tango’s position to the rear, and right.

Friday, March 28, 2006

0700 hours

Still in the same pos, and had a couple of “gas” warnings but the pigeons are still alive, so it was probably nothing. Tango took gunfire supposedly. I saw a Cobra blowing shit up in the distance and firing its machine gun. Last night they were using supercharge 8’s and 9’s. I remember someone was talking about RAM artillery projectiles – that it takes an act of congress to use them. I’m fuckin sick of this shit, because the possibility of getting killed unexpectedly is likely or at least possible and I’m not getting enough sleep, food, or heat at night.

1400 hours

These fuckin bugs – all the fuckin time. Anyways, the 4 Army soldiers were MPs and the POW was armed. The woman was a WM 2nd Lieutenant. Mortar fire, AT-5, and AT-17, and chem rounds from arty. The shit’s really starting to hit the fan now. I’ll probably be writing less.

Tuesday, April 1, 2006

1700 hours

Yesterday we were handling 5 epw’s. One spoke some English. We let them go. They went back to their farm and Tango held onto the weapons and ammo until Tango left. They had 3 old-style rifles and one single (buck-shot) shotgun and one more weapon that I couldn’t tell what it was and it broke apart. Today we left the POS and went into more heavily populated residential area. There were a lot of people here compared to normal. I saw some (4) kids playing with a volleyball just passing it to one another by hitting the ball up in a volleyball manner (fingers extended). Some of these people are old enough to be my father and older. Some are young enough to be my brother. I kind of feel sad that they have to see the military stomp through their homeland, but at the same time we are freeing the country from a sadistic dictator. It is hard to tell if they sincerely want to be free and like what we are doing, or hate our guts and want to kill us (civilians).

Thursday, April 10, 2003

(no time)

I’ve seen a lot of shit since I wrote last. Last time I wrote I wasn’t too busy, but since then I was doing a lot of stuff with ammo. But how I’m in COC Local Security. I’ve seen 2 dead bodies on top of each other, all lifeless, and I’ve seen another in the distance. Right now we are in an old enemy Arty POS. Because of the rounds that are lying around in the area. Supposedly we are going home soon like 30 more days until the Army relieves us. We are very close to Baghdad now. Supposedly Saddam and his son were trying to escape last night. I went on my first patrol yesterday. It was cut short because Romeo battery already went through the area.

(no day) April 16, 2006

(no time)

I don’t know the day, we passed Baghdad. I found misc items from the enemy at our current pos. I’ve passed a lot of civilians. “We love Bush,” or “very good,” or “good,” or “what’s your name?,” or “How are you?,” or “where do you live?” is like all they say. I traded my lat dollar and got a 250 dinar bill, but it ripped in half. We (5/11 and LAR I think that’s it) are in Task Force Tripoli. 5/11 fuckin rules.

Monday, June 16, 2006

(no time)

My birthday is in two days. I’m considering requesting mast all the way up to Maj Gen Mattis because this special purpose MAGTF is shitty. I was not informed of this in time (makes no sense – needs explanation. I know.).

One Response to “War Journal”

  1. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

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