They dogged the watch last night which has the affect of shifting everyone back one shift. My section has been standing the evening watch, now we stand the day watch. Today was my first time on day watch. It’s kind of nice to be off work with daylight hours left. Feels kind of normal. I’ll have to get used to talking to the family before I go to bed instead of right after I get up. Not sure how long we (the comms guys) will stay on the current watch schedule. We’re currently in three sections but comms is trying to go to four. That would have me standing a different watch each day with more time off between watches. I really like the crew I’m with so I’d just as soon stay with everyone else.
There was a thunder storm last night. Some rain, thunder and lightning. It was a beautiful sight. The desert it is pretty during storms. By about noon it had cleared off. The seas were still pretty rough but beginning to calm down.
The Shi’ite radicals who were so eager to grab the attention of US forces in the Fallujah area seem to have succeeded, at least if this article is any indication. Undoubtly this will get worse – especially for the Iraqis – before it gets better. With vastly superior fire power and comparatively unlimited resources, US Forces will overcome in the end. I have to wonder what the cost will be in Iraqi lives. How many innocents will die?
Recent news articles released by the Marine Corps regarding personnel killed in action in the area of Fallujah did not contain any details about now the men died, where the men died nor any detail of the fighting in which the men died. An article in Stars & Stripes (sorry, the exact article does not seem to be online) explains that the Marine Corps is citing Operational Security in its refusal to release the details of the deaths. It goes on to say that the Department of Defense is talking to the Marine Corps in a effort to get them to change their policy. Personally, I hope the Marine Corps stands fast. Describing in detail the methods by and manner in which soldiers/marines/sailors/airmen die serves only to feed that same morbid curiosity that causes people to slow and look at a traffic accident. Beyond that, nothing is gained.
Five Marines died. The how and when will be in the medal citations when they come out. What is news worthy is that five brave men lost their lives in a far away land fighting for the freedom and safety of people they’ve never met. What does it matter to Joe-Six-Pack in the Wal-mart parking lot whether those five men died as a result of an IED, direct enemy fire or indirect fire? The American Public cannot and should not try to fight this war from their Lazyboys in front of the TV. The President and candidates for president should not be trying to fight this war on the campaign trail. War is dirty, ugly, nasty, gruesome business that should be left to the professionals who have chosen, despite their detailed knowledge of this utterly repulsive aspect of mankind, to make warfare their trade. The American public needs to be judgemental of the conflicts the US involves themselves in but the details of battle and how men die will not help the public in that judgement.