9 October 2004
Today we had a major operation, of course location and other intelligence I cannot divulge, however, suffice it to say that my day started at 2:30 this morning, and it is now nearly 7:00 at the time that I am writing this. We did find quite a few weapons and were able to get many of them off the streets. My feet have not been this sore in a long long time. Well, while we were out there going house to house, one of our medics was approached by one of our Battle Captains. The Captain asked this young Specialist where our First Sergeant was. The Specialist replied "I don't know, sir". The Captain then asked him where our Company Commander was. Again the Specialist replied, "I don't know, sir". The Captain began to berate the Specialist with, "That's not very good situational awareness now is it troop?". The Specialist calmly replied to the Captain, "Well, sir, you don't know where they are either". Needless to say, that will be the talk of the Platoon for quite some time.
Also, as my Squad was finishing up our last house, we discovered that the family was very friendly. They offered us dinner, which we declined of course, based upon the hygiene and general health issues involved with eating local fare (of which I am guilty of consuming from time to time, being the guest of honor at a couple of our schools), and they offered us other things, water (again not a good idea), drinks, etc. I went upstairs to search the dwelling and as I came down after I had finished, the old man handed me a glass of milk. Well, knowing the aforementioned hazards, I was really not of the intestinal composition to try any type of dairy product. Well, I noticed one of my team leaders, one of my Sergeants, drinking a glass himself. When I began to refuse the offer, he told me that if HE had to drink it, so did I so as not to offend them. Well, I swallowed my apprehension and took a sip. Well, as I took the sip, the Sergeant told me it was goat's milk, which he had failed to mention beforehand, and it was the most rancid thing I have ever drank in my entire life. Tequilla would not have been strong enough to wash the taste out of my mouth. Well, again, I did not wish to offend the family, so I finished what I could (approximately half a glass), and told them that I really needed to go. When we left the house, I told this Sergeant that I was going to kill him. He informed me that he was not aware of it being goat's milk, and asked him straightaway "How many cows have you seen in this country?". Well, I will get him back for that, but it will be all in good fun. If any of you have ANY ideas, please feel free to inform me. Keep them clean and the risk to his health to a minimum (as decided on a case by case basis).
All in all, it was a tiring day, however, we got quite a bit accomplished, least of all, a few more weapons will be pointed in our direction. Take care and God bless. I will write more soon.