Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Moving to the Big House!
A first hand report, no media BS
This comes from a friend I have in Ramadi. Guys, I can't release names or personal info, but as anyone who has been there knows, the Marine Grunts are a very TIGHT family, I went to boot camp with this guy back in '86, and we have been keeping in touch constantly since his first deployment to help topple the Tyrant's rule over there.
Even after what he terms as "All hell breaking loose" they are in good spirits and moral seems pretty good.
"Thought I'd send a quick group email to cover the events of the last couple days. Pure and simple, all hell broke loose around here on Tuesday. I was hanging around the COC listening to all the radio traffic, and no kidding, it sounded like a training exercise where the trainers overload the battalion staff with all kinds of scenarios. Literally, anywhere our guys went they got ambushed/attacked. All over the town. Squads pinned down. Marines temporarily missing. Armor being called in to relieve pressure. Reports of wounded and killed Marines. Helos on station, making gun runs down city streets when they could ID targets. F-18s high overhead providing another set of eyes for the combatants. From the rooftop here, you could see plumes of black smoke rising from all over the city area. Everytime new radio traffic came in, you had someone engaged somewhere, or someone calling for a medevac. (Fr Devine picked a hell of a day to visit Hurricane Point!) The guys who came back said the bad guys were on rooftops, in the buildings, shooting from moving cars, running in the open... you name it. And the bad guys paid a heavy price, from the reports of bodies laying in the streets, and strewn on rooftops. Crazy. We had 12 kia and 15 wounded.
Yesterday was another serious, if not as chaotic day. 1 kia and 5 wia. More of the same types of enemy action. Not to say we were underarmed on Tuesday, but yesterday they went out with EVERYTHING. Put it this way---there's no armor threat here, but all our TOW gunners had missiles yesterday.
Today I went out with the CO as part of the COC forward during a cordon and knock operation into some of the same area that the fighting occurred the last two days. Maybe five minutes after we pulled in, there was sporadic gunfire---a bit surreal to hear those sounds echoing through the streets, especially because the landscape reminds you of Blackhawk Down. Stray cats roaming the trash fields, fetid standing water, exposed cinderblock walls for the "houses"... Nothing that was anywhere closer than a few blocks from where we were. And then it died off and there was nothing the rest of the day. We did catch some guy with more than $800k on him. He said it was from an Army contract. We'll see. Some of the locals told us that the "3 day jihad" had come to an early close because of the casualties the bad guys had taken the last 2 days. Pisser. Our S-3 replied that he's here on a 7 month jihad of his own. Thought that was pretty funny.
Anyway, the reality is what it is---it's dangerous here, but I'm as safe as you can be in this environment if that makes any sense. It was much better to be out today feeling like you're in charge instead of sitting back and waiting for something bad to happen. Will never go looking for trouble, but when I have to do my job out there (like today when we paid a few people for damage we did to their crap during the cordon) I, like the other Marines, am armed to the teeth and supplied with good gear. There is no chance of the bad guys winning any of these fights, and I doubt they will scrap with our Marines anytime soon, if at all.
I know you're going to worry no matter what I tell you, but hopefully you won't worry too much, because I'm just fine."
"Conform to his image" Romans 8:29