Thursday, September 21, 2006

Mechanics, Bakers, and Candlestick Makers defend Al Qaim

Last night at 9:30 PM, I was just getting ready to go to sleep when I heard rifle fire. There is a small 100 yard range about two yards from my tin can and everyone goes there to fire off a few rounds to OpCheck their weapons or make sure they have a good BZO (Battle sight Zero). BZO is basically checking your sites to make sure they are still lined up properly. Anyway, I hear some shots being taken from the range area. People usually shoot during the day but there have been a few times when they have shot at night. Then I here some rifle fire that sounds a little different and it’s coming from a different direction. I figure it sounded different because the sound was ricocheting off of the tin cans. Then I hear a .50 cal machine gun open up. Usually you only fire a 3 round burst to test out the .50 cal. This guy was firing multiple times. I was opening my door to see what was going on and Marines started yelling, “Get up! Get up! We’re being attacked!” Of course there were multiple people yelling and they weren’t using nice language. I put on my gear and headed outside. They started attacking from the West, and then shots came from the North, then they were shooting from the East. The Marines on the perimeter started popping flares. Our Quick Reaction Force (QRF) got in their Hummers and took off. My first job when the base gets attacked is to get accountability of all of my Marines. If we know all Marines are accounted for inside the wire then we can shoot anything that moves on the outside. After accountability, I started unloading ammo off of trucks and into hummers to resupply our guys. They were reporting that they were running low. The insurgents launched rockets and RPG’s at us. We had Cobra helicopters and a Harrier overhead lighting them up. It was pretty exciting. The Cobra’s were awesome. They would ask a certain guard post to mark his target (shoot were he last saw the enemy) and then they would swoop down and tear them apart. The whole thing lasted about three and a half hours. There were times when we had about twenty minutes of silence in between shots and then suddenly everything would start up again. I guess I was wrong about that safe feeling I had about being on this base. I know that in the last 14 months only one mortar landed inside the lines. That’s all changed now. Nobody was hurt in this entire ordeal. There was confusion at times and some of our people did stupid things. All of these guys are non-infanry Marines but they have had the training required to be an effective fighting force. I think we have it all corrected now and we’ll do even better next time. The Battalion Commander made a joke that the Headquarters Marines now have more combat time than the line companies.
When I went to chow this morning we only had eggs, cheese, or cereal. I guess all the supply trucks got held up and didn’t make it in last night. Hahahaha. All he roads were cleared by his afternoon and we even go Baskin Robins Ice Cream. It was Cherbet so I chose not to get any.
Today, GySgt Luis “Chino” Leiva came by to visit me. He’s a friend of mine in 29 Palms. Our kids play football, soccer, basketball, and swim on the same team. It was nice to see another Marine that I know so well. He’s going to be stationed at our farthest northern battle position. He’s going to try to make it down here once a week.


At 6:03 PM, Blogger Clever said...

i dont know you but God bless you. I stumbled on your blog just messing around on the net, keep your eyes open and come home safe.

At 8:51 PM, Anonymous 147 said...

Mike - GGGGGreat job, my heart is racing reading the blog and I imagine your heart rate remains a little above normal!!! Also, your writing is A+. Thank you so much for taking time to blog us (love the title)! Hope you got my Birthday e-mail. Love you Son.

At 11:40 PM, Anonymous Shelton said...

Hey Mike, well it sounds like things are starting to get interesting over there! I'm glad you and your marines are safe, and hope you had a good birthday also! Love Boog!

At 2:38 AM, Anonymous Schellee said...


Hi! Sounds like you have had some excitement around there! Are you doing ok? I sent your box today.
Sorry it will be late.

Carter's b-day is tomorrow! We are going after our Foster Parent training. Then, we are going to stay in Redlands tomorrow night for Britni's meet on Saturday.
She told be last night how excited she is about this meet. I am excited for her. She is doing great! She did a 25yd Freestyle sprint (at the end of a 3 hour
practice) in 15:09! That is fantastic for her! She
was very proud of herself.

Anyway, I need to go. I have a TON of stuff to do to be ready to leave tomorrow. I love you very much! Please take care of yourself and be safe!

Love you,

At 5:24 AM, Blogger Missy said...

Hey Mike!! I'm so proud of you and your Marines! Keep up the good work and stay safe!
Love you much, Sis

At 5:45 AM, Anonymous mhmcmom said...

wow! fireworks for your b-day, huh? i feel as tho i was there just reading. keep up the good work! know you are loved, stay safe.

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Linda said...

Holy smoke, Mike, what a night. Only a Marine would say, "It was exciting!" I felt as if we were right there with you. Thank God you are all alright. Take care, brave Marines.


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