Saturday, August 20, 2005

A big, about to be VERY heavy, footlocker full of climbing holds.

We eat dinner and then, while we hoped it would be called off, proceed on our night mission (the QRF force for the day also runs a night mission on those days). It's short, only about two hours of cruising around our sectors and then escorting back to the KRAB the chaplains and their assistant ("The God Squad") from their weekly trip to our patrol base. While we usually leave our gear on the trucks when we're assigned to QRF, I notice a lot of guys taking theirs back inside, apparently sure that we won't get called out again.

I call Sally, who's at a trade show with Lillian, and we chat for a while. I tell her how tired I am, after little sleep, the raid and mission, and then having been called out twice today already. I tell her though that the odds are in our favor and we should get an uninterrupted night's sleep.

Later, just as Wilson has settled into his bunk and I'm getting ready to, our third QRF call comes. We rush to the trucks, put on our gear, and roll out the gate again. There was some intelligence gathered that bad guys might be congregating in a certain area of one of our sectors and we're soon bouncing across rutted fields near a water tower, alternating when it's dark enough to use our night vision goggles and taking them off when the ambient city light is enough to see by. As a gunner sitting in a turret in a sling seat, I get knocked around quite a bit more than the other guys in my truck.

When we return to base, I'm now absolutely sure that we won't be called out again and I take my gear off my truck. By 2:00 AM, we're back in our bay, finally asleep.

Five hours later, just one and a half hours before we're scheduled to rotate off QRF and onto a few days of guard duty drudgery (although a scheduled drudgery with eight clearly defined hours of work), we are called out for the FOURTH time.

We rush to the KRAB to pick up the Explosives Ordinance Disposal team (aka 'bomb squad') and bring them to the site of another possible IED. (Actually, we think that's what we did. In talking to our medic, just about a week after this day, we can't actually remember what the missions were, since they so often blend in together, particularly with so many in such a short time.) Again, we set up around the site, and pull security. Posted by Picasa
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