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Letter from My Friend in Iraq...

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Letter from My Friend in Iraq... Empty Letter from My Friend in Iraq...

Post  News Hawk Wed May 29, 2013 1:25 pm

My war story -

"Flash-Dry" (From about 2006)

'Wife found the true story about what happened on my way to Ramadi...

"Man, you wouldn't believe what just happened yesterday! We were down on the Euphrates River below Haditha Dam, heard the strangest thing! Was a rumbling, kind of like a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, but higher pitched. Being a contractor, I just got back in the up-armored MRAP parked in the shade of the only palm tree near enough that we could see what was going on and still be in the shade - that is REAL important out here. Heck, who knows what the insurgents might have snuck over the border from Iran...

Anyway, the Marines all sort of hunkered down, looking up river, where the sound was coming from. The captain in charge of the convoy - we were on a convoy, had stopped to take care of.... Nature.... Anyway, the captain got up on the hood of one of the MRAPs so he could see better or hear better or something...

Now we had been there at that place for a few minutes when this sound started coming. I was a little uneasy stopping outside the wire in the first place, but, being an old guy, I wasn't about to miss a chance to... take care of Nature... but we all knew that this was "Injun Country" - "The Badlands" - and I was just a passenger, hitching a ride from Haditha to Ramadi, and beggars can't be choosers, so...

Anyway, as I was saying, everyone just got down behind whatever they could and tried to figure out what we were hearing. Some of the guys went over to the bank of the river and were looking upstream. It didn't sound like a motor boat, but you can never tell what the bad guys could come up with!

I was in this big thing, this MRAP, which is very high, and we were parked on the bank under the palm tree, so I could see out. The window on the passenger side had fallen off on the road a ways back, so I could hear, too.

The river isn't too wide there, maybe 900 feet or so. But it is pretty deep, or so they told me. There had been some cases of insurgents using motor boats made up to look like they were fishermen. Not sports fishermen, more like... fishermen... you know, Arab fishermen... So we were looking for that. At least I was, cause I was nervous about this whole thing anyway, and now there was a noise coming that I couldn't figure out.

A squad (I think it was a squad - four Marines... is that a squad?) got in a row boat tied to some rocks on the bank of the river and rowed out just a little ways into the river so they could see around a clump of reeds there.

Folks, you won't believe what happened next! The ground actually started shaking! It was kind of like when a big truck goes by, or when an M1A2 tank goes by, kind of rumbles your innards. I saw a couple of the Marines stand up! Now, the captain had gotten down off the hood of that MRAP - you all know what an MRAP is, don't you? Like a big armored truck... kind of like Big Foot on steroids... nah, if you don't know, then Google it... anyway, the captain had gotten down and had walked over to look up river.

Then it happened! I know that Arizona and West Texas have flash floods, but I had never seen anything like this in my life! Folks, it was a FLASH DRY!!! AL GORE WAS RIGHT!!!

What we saw first was, way upstream, a wall of mist, sort of, and it was coming downstream real fast! I thought maybe the bad guys had a very wide submarine, maybe? What could cause that? The guys in the boat stood up, holding their hands to shade their eyes...

Then we knew what it was! Behind that wall of mist was a wall of... NOTHING!!! There was a nearly straight wall of water, but it was where the river was disappearing! The sound we heard was the RIVER BED CRACKING! That Flash Dry was so powerful it was causing the mud to crack! And Really Really loudly!!!

Now you know the bravery of Marines. That is legendary. Those four young men in that boat were examples of the Corps' finest. They did paddle quickly, and the three without paddles were using their rifle stocks, but it was too late. That flash dry went by so quick that the boat hardly tipped. It just dropped. One of the Marines was standing up... it sort of reminds me of General Washington on the Delaware... and, Folks, those Marines rode that boat 30 feet straight down. When it hit the now-cracked mud at the bottom, not a one of them dropped his rifle!

There were some amazing sights happening right there in front of me! I saw rocks falling toward the river bed... no, those were Turtles! That mud had dried so hard that when the turtles hit the baked river bottom, it made sort of a booming thunking sound!

There were fish everywhere - looked like flocks of birds! They were wiggling and thrashing around in the air on their way to the river bottom, it really looked like a bunch of birds!

Then we saw what we never had imagined! It was FROGMEN! Ladies and Gents, somehow the Insurgents must have figured out that we were going to stop there to take care of Nature, and had texted on their Blackberries, and there were a bunch of SUICIDE FROGMEN were heading our way, were almost there, and would have GOT US! But... there they were, just like the turtles, flailing through the air, steady-winging it to the river bed.

The Marines, being Marines and well trained in the ways of War, no doubt had been trained on what to do when there are Suicide Frogmen, so they did just what they learned at Quantico and done 'em in. All seven of those Suicide Frogmen bit the dust. Oh, by this time, the cracked river bottom was already turning to dust. Happens real fast out here in Iraq, Honest. Wasn't even bloody, Folks. Blood all dried before it hit the... dust.

My fishing buddies will be proud of what happened next. Some of those Marines must have liked fish, because they took some cloth sacks they had had their laundry in, dumped the laundry in the back of the MRAP and gathered up some of the fish. Had to be careful about them turtles, though, which were pretty ticked off at having been dropped on the bottom like that. Anyway, they did gather up some of the fish and, after duly posting lookouts - more for another flash dry than for any more Al Qaeda scumbags - gutted the fish and packed them in some crushed ice that had been keeping their near-beer cold.

I figure they had a good fish fry when they got on back to their base. I got off at Ramadi and went to Burger King for a coke and a hamburger. In fact, I had two cokes, because that flash dry left me really thirsty for something that would wet my parched throat.

Since I'm over here and can't call him, myself, y'all be sure let Big Al know that I am now, finally, a true believer. Stay safe, Everyone, and DON'T run out of gas! Natural, or otherwise.


Presently residing in Al Taqaddum, Iraq, about 35 miles west of Baghdad...
News Hawk
News Hawk

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