Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Part I 'Bright Light Fades into Blackness'

The sun was blinding and what I was watching looked like a slightly over exposed color movie film from the 1950s playing out a modern warfare scene in all directions around me. Other Cobras buzzed by making silent for brief seconds the roar of our own track. The Gunny had referred to Nostradamus' visions of fire breathing locusts and I could plainly see that these Cobras were not only armed with that 20mm Chain Gun but they were also loaded with a TOW missile plus Hellfire and 40mm Rockets. Fire. We did not dismount at any point as we made it through this built up area. When I turned around and looked back towards where we came from, I saw Mounted Marines and Army Tanks spread out across the sand towards the end of my field of vision.

Back in front of the column I could start to see the buildings of little towns popping out of the sand, we were moving passed the first urban area that I saw during this exercise. There were roads, empty two story homes, telephone lines and occasional bomb destroyed Iraqi Military vehicles littering my view. More Helos chopped over head flying in support of this push north towards Kuwait City. We continued to move in the direction of our third night out which would carry us into the unknown of Day 4. At that same moment in time the UN was full of meeting and debate back in New York City. Plans for the next War in this theater some 12 years from this time were being set into motion.

I cannot quite recall getting more of King Fahd's free gas on the twilight of this third day out but I know that it happened even though my physical memories are clouded. There was another jam at the tankers and rubber bladders. Grimy charcoal and oil smoke blackened Marines were off to the side in small groups, smoking and eating some MRE chow then burying the rubbish where they stood. It was getting dark again. Hours after the sun went down we had moved under another thick black low hanging veil of oil smoke. We were now getting ready to enter our fourth day of this operation and from the outside on the top of the track I could not see anything, not even the hand in front of my face, there was absolutely no light. Our track had stopped with the rest of Golf Company and it was quiet near midnight. All star light from the never ending, always expanding universe was blocked out by the burning oil wells out there roughly 180km in the distance to our east and north. I'm not sure if we were told to or not but we slept for a while at this spot we were stopped at. Team sized Fire watches were posted in the real and then came a few hours of rest.

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