Unfortunately I do not have any photos supporting the next few posts of Part I. Instead for your viewing pleasure I will put up more recent images that I feel are interesting and correlate to the entry. I took this cloudscape picture on tripod last Sunday out in the way back. For a minute the hole in the center of the cloud looked like a moving broken heart. Far off in front of our position a small orange flame flickered. We laid there watching the vast emptiness while a crew member pounded one of the pins on the broken track with a sledge hammer. Time passed. I turned around, looked up and saw orange light dancing on the side of the silent broken track just under the driver's compartment. The reflective surface of the armored vehicle surrounded in darkness acted like a tan movie screen playing back the refraction of light burning flames off in the distance. I can still see a hologram image of that light in my mind's eye.
While the crew continued to work, someone in charge and paying close attention called off our defensive response. That left one team on forward watch which allowed the rest of us to mill about just as we had been training to do around the world for years. The wet ebony oil smoke ceiling hung flat not far above our heads giving the illusion in all directions towards the horizon that we were in some sort of a building structure. I do not remember there ever being any actual liquid particulate falling from the sky as has been portrayed by the fiction film industry. But I do remember thinking to myself that I had never witnessed anything like what I was seeing before me.
In the back drop of our quietly chatting smoke circles we could sporadically hear Spartan and other officers of Golf Co. give their sit-reps(situation reports) over the net. Near the rear hatch of the track close to the red bulb there was a speaker that we could hear clearly broadcasting the occasional reports from the field to the north of us. I believe that at one point Spartan talked about us, the two tracks back. He instructed us to get the vehicle fixed then proceed to a forward gas distribution point where the Co. would wait for us before proceeding. Just before the track fix was complete there were a few loud explosions way off to our west and north. Friendly fire, a reoccurring theme during the Persian Gulf was most likely the source. There were other Companies from 2/4 and some Army Tanks from the Tiger Brigade out there in the darkness of daytime picking their way through and north. By the time we loaded back up our charcoal suits were off but our flack jackets and helmets were securely on.