Letters From Fallujah (4) COP Factory

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20 AUG 03

Uncle Hank,

We’ve been busy since I wrote last.  We ran a couple missions into Fallujah, what a shithole.  We were security for the Battalion Commander, which means we were way too far from what was really going on but we got to hear about it on the radio.  What utter bullshit.  We also had to watch our Battalion CSM sleep in his vehicle like the huge turd he is.  The men of 1Panther call him “Deebo” like the character from “Friday.”  He’s a turd that won’t flush.  Sarnt Spear sayz “I won’t badmouth my superiors.”  But sayin that means he ain’t got nothin good to say, he’s just bein as politically correct as he can be.  He ain’t got a thimble full of politically correct in ‘im, trust me.

We got attached to Delta Company a few days ago, one section and two platoons of Delta are west of the Euphrates guarding some nuclear radio-active shit.  We’re about 30 klicks from Bn HQ, Sarnt Spear seems pretty happy about it.  It’s primitive as hell, we sleep under camo nets and eat MRE’s three times a day but I guess it could be worse.  We relieved a team from the Third ID, the whiners.  They’ve got burn barrel shitters here but we’ve already figured out how to replace the graffiti with something “tasteful” so Sarnt Spear won’t be any more pissed off than usual.  Third ID are some pitiful whiners, them bitches cry about everything.  I’m glad I’m a Paratrooper and not one of them dirty nasty, whinin legs.

Every day we clear 20 miles of one of the major logistics routes.  We know every empty coke can, chip bag and assorted trash along the road.  Every time we see a new one Sarnt Spear walks out to see if it’s camouflaging an IED then walks back and we commit that piece of trash to memory along with all the other ones.  Every morning as we drive up to the route Sarnt Spear and Jonsey tease each other, “Ha biatch,” Sarnt Spear says, “Today is your day to ride next to the IED’s.”  The next day Sarnt Spear sayz “F*ck you Jonsey, only real men ride next to the IED’s.”  We put two trucks on one side of the road and two on the other and stare intently for disturbed dirt, new trash, anything we don’t remember from yesterday.  It’s a nerve wracking sonofabitch for four hours every morning.  We found 21 IED’s along a half mile of the route the other day.  It took EOD 8 hours to get to us.  Sarnt Spear and his buddy Sarnt Parsons from Delta defused most of them.  They crawled around like dumbasses diggin in the dirt, pullin wires and diggin up artillery rounds.  F*ck that.  Haji painted “Highway of Death” on a big sign on the side of the road, the first thing we did was take pictures beside it.  F*ck Haji and his Highway of Death.

We do another patrol every afternoon just to get familiar with the local area.  There are farmers here!  If they’re next to the river they pump water out of it into their fields and grow onions or maybe wheat.  If they’re not close to the river they dig a pit with a bulldozer maybe 30 or 40 feet deep then pump water out of that into the fields.  None of the fields are any bigger than Dad’s garden, not even an acre, pretty pitiful way to make a living.  We’ve stopped to introduce ourselves, there’s an emptiness in their eyes when we talk to the locals.  It’s like they’ve been beat down so hard that beat down’s are all they know.  They just figure we’re gonna give them the next one.  When we drive away without giving them a beat down they just shrug and think they’ll get it next time, it’s really pitiful.  I don’t know how many years it would take Americans to become so inured to abuse that we just expected and accepted it.  They’re the poor bastards we’re here to help but they don’t realize it.

We do another patrol every night, never at the same time, we keep it mixed up and random so Haji can’t plan an ambush.  We sneak the vehicles up into an overwatch position so we can see where Haji likes to emplace IED’s.  We caught two motherf*ckers last night.  They were digging along the road about 400 meters away.  A car came down the highway and they dropped everything and ran.  When the car was gone they came back.  We had a squad of 11 Bravos with us.  They snuck up close and the Haji’s tried to run again, we cut ’em down with the Ma Deuce and the Mark 19.  They were buryin artillery rounds, guilty as hell and now they’re with Allah.  That was sweet, Haji will think twice about buryin IEDs on that stretch of road.  It relieved a shitload of stress too, puttin a couple terrorists in the dirt goes a long way.  It’s almost as good as gettin mail.  (You could write a little more often…)

Love ya!



About the Author:

I joined the Army in 1988, served in the 25th IL (L) , 24th ID, The Infantry Training Brigade, The 82nd Airborne Division, Ft Polk and again The 82nd Division until I retired in 2008. I was a mortar maggot and retired with the rank of Master Sergeant.
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  1. Vassar  August 22, 2018

    Melancholy as hell, Allen. Every grunt that ever visited that part of the world will taste this story. I see a book evolving. Great stuff.

  2. Allen  August 22, 2018

    Thanks Vassar, that means a lot coming from you. I hope these short letters show something those who have been there recognize and those who haven’t can feel. We’ll see.


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