Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Rolling, rolling, rolling

Grant's grand idea is seeming less grand by the day, and perhaps faster than that. Yesterday, our first patrol flubbed because of a flat tire. Our second patrol returned to base without doing what we'd come to do. Wait, maybe that was our third patrol.

Today, I was on duty at 0600. After ferrying around a general, a little later we took a patrol out for some face time with the locals. Some genius decided to park our vehicles barely inside an intersection...and then, on a bridge...I finally suggested to the sergeant that if we were trying to make them like us, we should stop causing traffic snarls. Grant endeared himself to me yet again by handing a water to a young local man.

"Do we have any more water back there?" I thought this was staged, so the guy would go away and not beg for more, so,

"No," I replied. Anyway, we were shortly surrounded by a flock of children crowding around our vehicle and into the busy two lane street that our vehicles constricted to a single lane...Grant seemed to find this funny. At the same time, we're still sitting in direct sunlight, in 80-something temperatures, and I'm wearing my helmet, long sleeves, protective sunglasses, body armor, and gloves. So much sweat was pouring down my glasses I had to remove them for a few minutes (against regulation, but I had to see).

Tonight, we took a $500,000 piece of gear out to watch more corruption by the @fghan National Police. Sgt. Kewel has evidently been "fired" from the patrol leader position for not wearing his neck protector on his armor, so another sergeant is now in charge. We set up on a route with a clear view for thousands of meters...of course, our position was only 20 feet from a road, with nothing screening us from vehicles passing by! Brilliant.

It seemed that my last couple of weeks before I left active duty were calculated to make me even happier to be leaving. This is more of the same.


HollyB said...

Where do they FIND these geniuses? And why are they allowed to lead a troop of boy scouts, much less MEN with weapons in a hostile environment? ARGHHH!

J.R.Shirley said...

Yeah, pretty much. At least, tonight we were more like 100 meters from the road, and set to move much more quickly.

Callie Ann said...

Just wanted to say thanks for putting yourself out there for everyone at home. Thanks for all you do to Protect the home country, it really does matter. Thanks for putting up with all the crap they make you go thru. Your a Hero and I thank you.

J.R.Shirley said...

Thank you, Miz Callie. That means a lot to me.