The Battle of As Samawah

Today I am re-posting a fellow blogger’s post called “The Battle of As Samawah”. It is long piece based on his experiences in Iraq. Don Gomez is an Iraq war veteran and member of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. He blogs at “Carrying the Gun”. Here’s what it is like to be at the front lines in a war where there are no front lines.

Carrying the Gun

March 28, 2003. Night time. Warm air. Kuwait International Airport. The screaming roar of engines disorients as we hobble towards the anxious planes sitting in the dark. Distant city lights twinkle in the gaseous exhaust. I imagine a Kuwaiti family, somewhere out there, sitting down for dinner.

Fuck. I’m already sweating in my brand new camouflage chemical suit. It’s bulky, hot, and scratchy.

We waddle forward. I’m upset that I’m not wearing a parachute. For months, we trained to parachute into Baghdad airport commando-style in what would later become the greatest-mission-that-never-happened. Now, our commanders tell us we are going to instead simply land on some captured airfield in southern Iraq. The details are unclear. Were we going to roll out of the back of the aircraft, guns blazing? Would the enemy be there, or was the airfield secure?

I shuffle up the ramp and drop my heavy rucksack filled…

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