In the Holiday spirit
There I was taking a shower in the tin can known as our shower trailer. My buddies were to the stalls on my left and right. A few guys were at the narrow sink that spans six feet from the door to the water heater brushing their teeth, shaving and farting. It was a full house. And we were all singing “White Christmas.” When somebody slammed a door really hard at a nearby trailer, we went silent. A slammed door from a distance sounds distinctly similar to a mortar round being dropped in a tube and launched. When we heard no explosion, we (I can’t vow for everybody, only myself) continued scrubbing our chiseled abs, cannon biceps and sang.
I’ve really been in the holiday spirit lately. One of my Joes’ grandma sent the unit a six-foot-tall blowup turkey with a gobbler the size of my head. Of course, we all had our picture taken with it. Everybody said the holidays would be the hardest of our deployment. I can’t really say that, because I have grown really tight with these folks the past 10 months and we are so close to going home that a holiday is just another day with extra food.
Amidst all this holiday talk and decorating and singing, I realized that I can have conversations about behead bodies, and it not even faze me. We found several beheaded bodies thursday or was it yesterday. Anyway, the terrorists beheaded these Iraqi soldiers.
I’ve been asked several times by people how do the Iraqi soldiers stack up. Well, that’s a loaded question. The only other armies I’ve been around have been Aussie, British and Nicaraguans. It’s not fair to compare them to us, that’s for sure. From what I’ve seen, some Iraqis leave their post when they get shot at. Others stand up and fight. In the U.S. Army if you leave a fight, you go to jail. The Iraqi army allows their soldiers to quit whenever they’re tired of being a soldier. That’s the problem. There’s no accountability. It’s always been that way. That’s why we stomped ‘em in ’91 and again in ’03. Now, I’ve served and fought alongside some pretty damn brave Iraqis, many of whom I felt were just as brave and strong as U.S. soldiers. Those beheaded soldiers who we found recently lost their lives for their country. They were soldiers, men of courage and believed in the future of this country. When their blood is spilled, I have just as much remorse for their loss as an American.
And on Turkey Day, I will pay my respects to those Iraqis who have lost comrades on the battlefield. When I eat chow next Thursday, it will be with a slew of Iraqi soldiers and although I speak about as much Arabic as an American toddler, I will tell each of the Iraqis Thanks. And then, I will stuff myself so full that I probably won’t have abs of steel anymore.