The Escort

No no, not the type of escort you're thinking. Come on, we could never be that lucky.

I was put on the same detail as yesterday except this time around, there was actual work for me. I escorted Iraqis who were working on the FOB from place to place. It wasn't too bad at all actually. They were all very polite. One guy gave me a pack of cigarettes, they were made in Korea or some place. The label said something about "American taste" which made me laugh. Maybe I'm the only one who for whatever reason doesn't taste the smoke.

By the way, I would like to mention that these guys have balls of steel, I swear. I lost count of the multitude of close calls I saw today. I thought for sure someone was going to be injured, consequently in dire need of my superhuman CLS powers.

Forklift + gigantic tire + tire falling off of forklift right in front of one of the workers = holy freakin crap, that was close. To keep it short, let me just reiterate that I saw plenty of close calls. Didn't phaze the guys though.

One of the workers I spent the most time chilling with was 17 years old and probably spoke the best English out of the ones I talked to. We chewed the fat about quite a few things. Who his wife is going to be. He asked if I was married (several of the workers asked me that actually). I asked him a few questions about public opinion of us being there and a few other FOX News type questions. He calls the NCOs "the bosses" and recounted tales of one in specific making one of the soldiers do pushups and flutterkicks. He said it was "no good." Hahaha, I'm telling ya, this cat rocks.

Pork is good for us. No good for them.
Hashish is good for them. No good for us. I think we drew the shortest straw there.

He seemed to like soldiers pretty well though, which in my humble opinion, is good. He wasn't a fan of Saddam, Uday, or Qusay, which is also a good sign. I asked if the fighting is worse now than it was before, and yes of course, this place is more dangerous with us involved. He didn't really think things would ever get a whole lot better though.

I dared to bring up the Sunni-Shia conflict and he said that it was also no good. Pretty level headed guy if you ask me. He's glad we're here. I asked if he ever gets worried about being targeted since he helps Americans. He said yeah, but he still seemed calm enough. Pretty optimistic for the most part. It was like he pretty much just makes the best of what life gives him. I dig that.

All in all, it was nothing like people said it would be (this detail). I never once had to worry about anyone stealing or doing any shady shit. Just proves that you have to take everything people say with a fat grain of salt. I guess even us "good guys" can be wrong huh?

He hooked me up with a knit bracelet, and I accepted, but still insisted on giving him a dollar for it. I'm not normally a big bracelet guy, but how many people can say they got something for kicking it on a not so hot day with a laid back Iraqi?

I'd definitely like to see this place calm down a lot more.


  1. Anonymous said...
    amen to that. Hook up the regular US folks with the regular Iraqi folks, and there could be a peace of sorts perhaps? Great to learn about other cultures.
    4/2 mom
    membrain said...
    "Pork is good for us. No good for them. Hashish is good for them. No good for us. I think we drew the shortest straw there."

    One of your best lines yet. (Although I suspect Mom wouldn't agree.)

    I don't know how much information you have available but things appear to be really turning around in Al-Anbar.

    As you can see I'm still following around. Stay as safe as you can.
    Anonymous said...
    You were reading my mind, membrain. I no more than said "I'm going to have to have a talk with that son of mine..." and I read your comment. I can't wait to nag him in person, but I pick my battles, and save my bullets for a battle I can win! =-?

    Unlikely Mom
    Anonymous said...
    Hey, thanks for sharing some GOOD news about an Iraqi. You have to figure, they can't all be bad. Just like here in the States ... Good folks and bad. My son has met several Iraqi's he really likes and respects, granted they are Terps and IA, but still.

    Ballsweat ... Son uses that word frequently in IM's to emphasize the degree of heat in Iraq. I know it's REALLY hot when he complains, because he was born in the "Smokin Hot Cali Desert Region", so his heat tolerance is higher than the average Joe : )

    Keep up the good writing Kiddo, I enjoy your posts!

    3/2 Mom
    Anonymous said...
    Dude, words cannot describe how awesome your blog is. I'm still in the process of getting your package together, it'll be big though.

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