15 Minutes

Day 26
Andy Warhol said that in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes. I think maybe we don’t get all fifteen minutes in one continuous segment. I think maybe some of us get that fifteen minutes doled out in short segments. It seems that another of my segments is here. The Kauai news paper The Garden Island had a front page article about me going overseas.

My dad sent me a copy of the newspaper. It included a picture and everything. Pretty cool. Reading the article reminded me of what I’m doing over here. It is some times easy to lose sight of one’s purpose. It was fun to read.

This was not so fun to read. Some will argue that this is the reason we should pull our troops out and go home. That is like running into the house and locking the door while someone is murdered out in the street. These are the people who would love for the Coalition to leave Iraq so that they could begin to build their power bases through the use of terror. As hard as it is to understand, let alone accept, the terrible things described in that story are the occupational risk of being a soldier/sailor/marine. It comes with the job.

The part of this I don’t understand is driving through places like Falluja in SUVs. This is called a soft target. Something or someone that can be attacked with little risk of retalitation. Four guys driving around in an SUV is a very soft target. I talked to a guy who spent six or eight months up passed Fallujah. He said the area is pretty nasty. When they were heading back down to Kuwait to begin the process of heading home they draped spare flak jackets on the outsides of their vehicles to provide some additional protection.

And that’s another thing. You gotta wonder what whiz kid thought it would be a good idea to build combat vehicles &#151 such as the hum-vee &#151 with absolutely no protection for the occupants? The doors are made of cloth or aluminium. This friend of mine &#151 I consider him a friend &#151 said that they would take steel from wherever they could get it and jury-rig extra plating on the vehicles to increase the level of protection they offered to those riding in them. He said the guys called them Mad Max vehicles because they looked like something out of the Mad Max movie series.

My friend is a supply person. He said that he did not have an Interceptor vest until they left for the convoy down to Kuwait. The Army finally issued him a vest and he got plates from a guy who was flying out of Iraq. He also said that they had a lot of vests in country sitting in store houses. He suspected they were waiting on the plates for them but does not know for sure why they weren’t issued out straight away. Still gotta wonder. Why?

There was a nasty taste and smell in the air this morning. Made it hard to breath. I could definitely feel a constriction in my throat. Breath shallow, walk slow, find some place inside to be. This is the first time it’s been more than just a nasty smell.


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