Thank God, this is my last patrol before rotation home. I don't know of anyplace I have hated more than this pisshole of a country. I won't even dignify it by calling it a shithole. You'd think that the people would be grateful for us getting rid of Saddam, but I guess there are too many people who don't know when they are well off.
The biggest fools are these so-called insurgents. Shit, if they had just kept their heads down for six months, the Coalition would have left, and they could have shot at each other to their hearts' content. But, no, they were too intent on the chance to shoot at Americans, so they couldn't wait. Damn, I hate the bastards!
So here we are, rolling through another unpronounceable town looking for insurgents, but hoping that we don't find any. BANG! ... Shit! What's that? Son of a bitch! The Humvee in front of us has been hit by an RPG. "GET US OUT OF HERE, JONSEY!"
"I CAN'T, SARGE! THE ROAD IS BLOCKED BY THE WRECKAGE OF #1 VEHICLE!"
"OK, BACK UP TO GET US OUT OF THIS TRAP!"
"I CAN'T BACK UP, SARGE. THAT RPG TOOK OUT THE LAST VEHICLE IN LINE! WE'RE STUCK HERE!"
"OK, EVERYBODY BAIL OUT! WE'LL BE THE NEXT RPG TARGET! RUN FOR THAT HOUSE ON THE LEFT! WE'LL TAKE COVER THERE!"
Cpl. Sam Jackson had the same idea; here come his men. OK, that means that there are 11 of us. I hope that house is empty, I don't want to shoot civilians by mistake. "GET THAT GOD DAMNED DOOR OPEN! WE HAVE TO GET OFF THE STREET!" The door was locked, but, fortunately we have our special shotgun shells that will blast a door open if it isn't barred on the inside, and sometimes it will, anyway. "COME ON, DAMMIT! WE DON'T HAVE ALL DAY! GET YOUR ASSES INSIDE AND TAKE FIRING POSITIONS AT THE WINDOWS! SAM, GET YOUR MEN TO THE SECOND FLOOR WINDOWS!"
I guess that we are lucky in one respect: the house is isolated so we can see all around us. On the other hand, it means that we can be hit from all sides. Shit! Why can't things be easy on my last patrol? At least, we have enough men to cover every window.
I sure as hell hope that they don't have the RPGs to waste by blowing holes in the mud brick walls. It won't be easy to do with these walls being almost 65 centimeters thick. Several RPGs will have to hit in the same place to cut through, but it is possible if they have enough of the damned things.
The windows are all too small for a man to get through easily, so they will probably have to assault the doors to get to us. But we could be here a while if I can't contact our base and get some help out here. And, if we are here a while, we could run out of ammunition. OK, the first thing to do is radio base and report our situation.
"HEY, BILL, I NEED THE RADIO! ... BILL, DID YOU HEAR ME? ... PVT. WILLIAM SMITH, REPORT!"
"Sarge, Bill's dead. I saw him go down as we bailed out. He had a string of AK (AK-74) bullets across his back and through the radio."
Damn! Now what? No radio means we are in deep shit! "WE DON'T HAVE A RADIO TO CALL FOR HELP! ANYBODY GOT ANY IDEAS?"
A voice came from upstairs. "SARGE, I GOT MY CELLPHONE! IT WORKS AROUND HERE! MAYBE THAT WILL HELP!"
"PITCH IT TO ME! I'LL TRY CALLING FOR HELP THAT WAY! ... THANKS!" Now who the hell should I call. I don't have the captain's private number, so I can't call him. Oh, hell, I'll just try one of the numbers on speed dial.
Dammit, heavy fire like that means they're going to try something. The call will have to wait. "What's going on, Pete? Can you see anything from your window?"
"Yeah, come look at this, Sarge. I think they're going to try a charge at us from that building over there. I've seen at least 10 or 12 rag-heads bunched up behind that wall to the right."
"Wait until they get out into the street and hose them down, but don't waste ammo. Did you hear that, Jerry?"
"Yeah, I got the word. There may be more coming from my side."
"OK, you guys, hang loose. Don't shoot until you have a target and don't waste any ammo. We may be here a while. I'm going upstairs for a minute."
I climbed the stairs and found Cpl. Jackson. "Sam, it looks like they're going to charge us in a minute or so. Don't let your men waste ammo. We may be here for a while and we'll need every bullet we've got. It may be a diversion, so don't let your men get distracted from watching their sectors. Call me if anything looks weird. OK? I'm going back downstairs, now."
"Sure, Sarge, we'll take care of it."
Back downstairs, I just stepped off the stairs when Pete and Jerry opened up. Return fire was not aimed well, because it is hard to shoot accurately while you are running, but a few bullets did come in the windows. Suddenly, Jerry just collapsed without making a sound. A bloody mess fell out of his helmet as he dropped to the floor. I yelled, "MEDIC!" and ran to him. He was dead, so I pulled him away from the window and started shooting.
They just kept coming. It was like they wanted to die. Now, there was shooting from upstairs, too. Our fire was heavy enough that the charge broke before it got half-way across the street. They turned and ran back behind the wall, and shooting from both sides stopped then. I counted 13 bodies in the street, but a few of them were wiggling, so I could tell that they were not dead.
I was really pissed at the whole thing, so, when a white flag was waved from behind the wall, I took a shot at it. That settled that. I knew that they wanted to recover their dead and wounded, but I was having nothing of that. I knew what would happen if the situation was reversed, so piss on them!
Things looked quiet for a few minutes, so I went back to the cell phone. I recognized a couple of the names on the list, so I pushed the button for the first one. The phone rang for a while, but nobody answered, so I tried the next name on the list. This time I got a connection.
"Hello, Bud, whassup? I thought you were on patrol."
"This is Sergeant Oscar Hopewell. We are under fire and our radio is out of action. I need you to get to headquarters immediately and have somebody call me back on this number. This is urgent, so please hurry."
"Sure, Sarge, I'll get right on it."
We hung up, and I anxiously waited for the call.
While I was waiting, a car came careening down the street. I was willing to bet that it was loaded with explosives and headed for us. I yelled, "PETE, STOP THAT CAR!" Both of us commenced firing at it, and the guys upstairs caught on and started their own fire. Somebody must have hit the driver because the car swerved so quickly that it rolled over, but didn't explode. It came to a sliding stop almost exactly in front of our door and about 25 feet away.
A tremendous amount of fire had started coming at us from across the street as soon as we started shooting, but we were lucky and nobody got hit. I saw a door in the house across the street open, but I couldn't tell any more about it. A voice came from upstairs, "SARGE, THIS IS SAM! FOUR RAG-HEADS RAN FROM THAT HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET AND ARE HIDING BEHIND THAT CAR!"
"THANKS, WE'LL WATCH IT!" I had no idea what they had in mind, but I knew it was not good for us.
About this time, the guys watching the back of the house opened up with some short bursts. I went back to see what was going on. "What's going on, Bobby Joe?"
"Some fools tried to sneak up on us while you were distracted in the front. There were three of them, and we got them all."
"Good job! No telling what those jokers will try next, so keep a sharp eye out."
I went back to the front room of the house and looked out the window. No sooner had I stuck my nose out where it could be seen, than a burst of AK fire forced me to jerk my head down. I was sure, now, that some deviltry was about to happen.