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Old 01-21-2010, 11:26 PM
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Default Adagio for Strings 09-19-05

Webstral 09-19-2005, 12:19 PM Not the best day today. I was snatched from an afternoon of intended rest and refit to drive the IO cell leader and another guy in my group to FOB Falcon for a memory service for a fire support guy who was killed last week. The IO people are mostly artillerymen who have no job here in Iraq. The KIA was killed when an IED went off literally under his seat of the Hummer.

The service is always hard. I've been to enough of them now that I don't want to go to any more. After everyone has spoken, the company of the fallen soldier comes to attention. The first sergeant calls the names of several of the peers of the lost man. Each peer answers in turn. Then the first sergenat calls the name of the lost man. Silence. He calls again, using rank, first name, and last name. Silence. He calls one more time, adding in the middle name. Again, silence.

It's heartbreaking because even though it's a ritual it implies that we hold a secret hope there is some chance he might show up. That if we call his name one more time, we'll hear him off in the distance: "Moving, first sergeant!" He'll come up, shame-faced. And everyone will yell at him for being such a lame knucklehead and making us worry. But we'll be so happy to have our brother back that we'll forgive him.

Of course, he doesn't answer. The first volley of the twenty-one gun salute rings out. Now we know he is gone for certain.

On the way back, our three-truck convoy came under fire. This was the first time I've been shot at. It was nothing to speak of. I didn't even know we were being shot at until the gunner said some tracers went over his head. The first two trucks were hit with two or three rounds apiece, though. Overall, not a good second half to the day.

The fun just never stops in sunny Iraq.



Grimace 09-22-2005, 07:32 PM Whoa...keep yer head down over there, man. Last thing we want to do is have that ceremony here.

On a lighter note, at least now you'll have something to stretch into some huge story for your kids in the future.

Stay safe!


TiggerCCW UK 09-23-2005, 07:20 AM Keep your head down and your chin up!

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