I am really getting ahead in the PTSD race. In the last 36 hours, We’ve raided houses, cleared highways, met with the governor, dedicated a new IA headquarters building, cleared more highways, and passed out school supplies and candy to children, and policed body parts off of the highway after a VBIED attack.
In the last 36 hours. Let that sink in a minute. What did you do night before last, until now? I’m not being arrogant (it’s not what did YOU do) I’m just making the point that we go from Dirka Dirka Mohammed Jihad! (also known as Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill! mode) to bread and circuses with the flip of a switch. It’s easier to go from happy and smiling to ready to kill (and smiling) than the other way, because you need a couple minutes to sweat out the adrenaline. Often, we don’t get those minutes.
This is what it looked like when I first got here (ignore the date stamps, Top has yet to figure the camera out). After the AIF tried to blow it up (A glorious and sound triumph for the IA that defended the building, by the way—
There was an 8-foot deep hole (through steel reinforced concrete) in the ground where the VBIED detonated. The AIF attacked with rockets and machine guns at the same time as the VBIED attack. My IA Company fought bravely, and several were severely wounded, but they gave better than they got. I thought the building would have to be demolished, and we’d start all over. This building was also the local government building for the city council and mayor’s office.
Well, we cut the ribbon on the refurbished building yesterday. That’s when I met the governor. A pretty likeable guy, all things considered. He thanked me personally for my efforts to make the building and the area safer. This is what the building looked like yesterday.
The VBIED on the highway was targeted at civilians waiting in line to buy gas. The lines here remind me of the gas lines in the late 70’s, except with more cars. The car had 3 occupants in it when it went off. Either they were going to buy gas for a trip somewhere, and it went off prematurely, or they were targeting the actual station and it went off prematurely, or three of the biggest retards on the planet died yesterday when they failed to realize that increasing the number of suicide bombers is only effective if you increase the number of bombs. Incidentally, the VBIED was less than 200 meters from the barbeque.
So the last 36 hours' chronology went like this:
Raid houses—including VBIED Factory
Few hours sleep
Candy and School supplies patrol.
And all the administrivia that comes with the above mentioned missions, and with the whole company command thing. I have actually forgotten to eat. My diet lately consists of varying types and quantities of Motrin and caffeine, and heavy doses of nicotine. (Did you know you aren’t supposed to make necklaces out of the patch?)
And somewhere in there I managed to write the Mrs., send some thank-you’s to Soldier’s Angels, and now, finally, get some rest (until the next mission).