So this is sort of a…”This one time in Iraq…” story, but also just some rambling on how weird war is. In Iraq at least, that’s all I can really talk about since that’s the only place the Marine Corps ever saw fit to send me, war was weird, and one particular thing made it even weirder for me. I’m sure many of you have had moments of just surreal unbelief at some of the situations you found yourselves in, this is one of mine.
Our company stood watch on the north ECP in Ramadi. Rotating as we did, it was our platoon’s turn to watch this particular ECP. Two of the posts watched the northernmost road traveling east and west, right next to the Euphrates river. That road would close every single night at 6 p.m. and reopen every morning at 6 a.m. The posts watching this road had either a 240G medium machine gun chambered in 7.62 NATO or a Squad Automatic Weapon, chambered in 5.56 NATO. Needless to say, any moron who decided to come diddy bopping down that road with ill intent would be lit up sufficiently well.
So there I am one morning on the post with the 240G, it was about 5:56 a.m. This local dude rolls up to the barricade, gets out of his car and starts moving the barricade that closed off the road, which was nothing more than a roll of concertina wire. It was at this point, I had a choice to make. The year was 2005 and the insurgency was in full swing, so there was a thought of
“Hey is this duder is trying to play it cool before a huge VBIED comes rolling in? Is he the huge VBIED?”
Ramadi had a few solid VBIED attacks in recent months and it was a legitimate possibility. The other thought was.
“Is this just a dude whose watch was a few minutes fast?”
I had him sighted in and I along with the other post were both curious to this dudes intent. I was 19 and not trying to get shwacked due to inaction, so I was behind the gun with homeboy in my sights.
A crowd soon gathered at my post as we watched this guy, several rifles, in addition to the machine gun I was manning came to bear on this dude.
Do we shoot? Do we not shoot? What the fuck do we do here?
The call was made to not shoot homeboy and it was a good thing because he was just some dude…then the question came…is he lulling us into a false sense of security by being a super cool dude for several weeks, THEEEN doing the big boom boom time?
Turns out it never happened, but it was weird all the same to be sighted in on this dude and have another dude under the age of 30 making the call of if homeboy with a fast watch should get stitched up or not.
I, personally, am glad we didn’t make the wrong choice, I didn’t want to fight a farmer, I wanted to fight a fighter.