I don’t exactly remember the date, but it was in the last half of our deployment to Iraq. We had to drop off prisoners at Abu Ghraib. While the prisoners processed we decided we would go to Camp Victory in the Green Zone, where the “Big PX” was. On our way back we were ambushed. It was probably one of the most intense ambushes we had experienced with insurgents on rooftops, in windows, and pouring out doors shooting AK-47’s and RPG’s from both sides of the street. The back of Carter’s truck got hit by an RPG, but once the fire started, our drivers knew to push through the ambush as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we gunners fired on our zones of fire, throwing MK-19 and .50 cal. rounds into the buildings, seeing bodies fall left and right. It was fast, furious, and intense, but we escaped it with no real injuries.
We returned to our base outside of Baquba, and after an hour of after action reviews, and filling out reports, we headed to our bunks. It was time to try and escape, forget about it all for a while, and hopefully never have to think about it again. Though the adrenaline kept everyone up, and many were hyped about what happened, some bragging about how many haji’s they took out, some, like me heading to my bunk to read. I had already become disillusioned by the mission in general, but it would be what happened a week later that solidified my anger toward the military and our deployment to Iraq.
A week later, we were told that we would be going back to Abu Ghraib, but this time to pick up prisoners. Not just the two we had dropped off, but this time between 20-30 prisoners, and that we would need to bring a 5-ton truck to haul them all back. Me, being the only person in the platoon with a 5-ton license was “vollen-told” that I would be driving the 5-ton and that we would mount a .50 cal. machine gun on top, manned by my old roommate Fuck’n A’ McCray. But this time our 1st Sgt. and Company Commander would be joining us. So the convoy would be three humvees in front, me in a huge unarmored 5-ton truck, and three humvees behind me. It wasn’t the type of mission someone wants to go on, especially when you are driving a big target a week after getting ambushed near where you are heading.
We arrived at Abu Ghraib with no incident. Sitting around, the CO says, “alright, this will take a while, let’s go to Victory to get lunch!” I start taking all my gear off the 5-ton when the 1st Sgt. asks, “what the hell are you doing?” I tell him that I’m jumping in a humvee since we won’t need it to go to Victory.
He says, “we can’t leave a truck here unsupervised, get back in there, let’s go.”
I reply, “we’re on a secured base, it’s not going anywhere.”
“Are you disobeying an order?”
“No 1st Sgt… In that case, I’d rather just not go. I’ll stay here with the truck.”
“The fuck you will! Get in there and get in line, or I’ll smoke you for a week.”
It’s at this point it dawns on me that this mission may be FUBAR… I reluctantly get in the truck, and we head to Camp Victory, taking the same route we took the week before when we got ambushed. Thankfully we made it to Victory and back with no incident. But it was back at Abu Ghraib that my blood really began to boil as I overhear the 1st Sgt. and CO complaining, “well damn, we didn’t get any trigger time.”
Shortly after, they bring out one prisoner… ONE FUCKING PRISONER!!! There was absolutely no need for a 5-ton, we could have put this person in one of the humvees. It’s at this point I find my Platoon Sgt and ask him to join me away from the humvees. I had never yelled at someone who out-ranked me, especially by that much as I was an E-4 yelling at an E-7, which is pretty much unheard of, but he took it, because he knew I was right. I cussed at him that ‘those motherfuckers set up this bullshit mission so they could get some fucking trigger time,’ and ‘it was absolute bullshit that he would allow that,’ and that ‘they were using me as a target…’ and so on… I had never wanted to frag someone so badly in my whole life as I wanted to frag those two fucking pieces of shit who were in charge of us. But, I’m a better person than that, however it crossed my mind for a long time…
MILITARY SLANG•NORTH AMERICAN
gerund or present participle: fragging
deliberately kill (an unpopular senior officer) with a hand grenade.