Once Upon A Time In Iraq

Way back when the Iraq war was still fresh and we’d only been in the country around 2 years, an intrepid and goofy looking lance corporal set out with his battalion to the surly, hostile and malodorous city of Ar Ramadi, the capital of the Al Anbar province. I’m tellin’ you guys that city smelled shitty. There was no way around it. As soon as we got back into friendly lines, the air quality changed and the aroma, was relatively pleasant all things considered.

One night we were out doing grunt things with all of our grunt friends, taking houses, looking for bad guys, shooting out lights that would white-out our NVG’s, playing “Would you Rather?” or “Kill, F***, Marry” when we happened upon a house. Now, this house was like most other houses in the city, nothing to make it stand out, just a house, maybe it was a little larger than most and more maintained, but otherwise, it was just a house in Ar Ramadi.

Quick disclaimer: Now granted, it’s been almost 12 years since this shit went down so the details may be a bit fuzzy, and after all, I am a writer so I may utilize literary license to fill in the gaps, but this did indeed happen.

So the members of the best CAAT (Combined Anti-Armor Team) in the battalion jumped out of their humvees and quickly made entry into the house. We cleared the first floor, uneventful. It was just a random house, no fire had come from it, just a random cordon and knock (that’s where we go in the house NOT looking to kill every swingin’ dick as opposed to cordon and knock-down where we do want to kill everyone in there).

We go ahead on up to the second floor to find a locked door. After trying the door, we hear a voice…

“Mister 5 more minutes!”

We replied…

“F*** no, United States Marines, OPEN THE GODDAMN DOOR!”

We get the same reply. Asshole. So we stacked up on the door and I pull out a grenade with a shit eating grin on my face, only to get told by the assault team leader that it was indeed “not happy time for Mr. Grenade.”

Dejected and disappointed, I mule kick the ever living shit out of the door and it flies open. The assault team flows through the door like butter, smooth and tasty! I being the breacher, come in last.

What to my wondering eyes I did see but a man and his wife making smoosh smoosh at like 2 a.m. local time. Both of them naked as the day they were born and we Marines just standing there…finally someone piped up.

“Hey get dressed and go downstairs…also, if you hear ‘U.S. Marines open the door’, don’t say 5 more minutes. It’s a great way to catch Mr. Grenades feelings.”

 

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One thought on “Once Upon A Time In Iraq

  1. Yeah, the vagaries of war, house to house at night, you gonna catch all kinds of weird, although a couple ballin’ at O dark 30 ain’t weird. But war is. Credit to your squad leader, that time.
    .
    As for shitty-smelling cities ‘n towns, uh-huh, yeah, I still can muster up those smells, I shit you not. The foods, that musty stench, etc. What we do for the CONUS that no one but us gets.