February 7, 2013

War Stories: Baghdad, A Tropical Paradise

There is a certain location in Iraq that many in the SOF community know. This particular place has a pool in every backyard and marble floors. The three story complex that housed up to 50 Rangers also had other amenities, such as a sand volleyball court, horseshoes, diving board, and yes, a zip-line that went from the top of the third story into the pool.

Let’s just say someone came for a visit and didn’t appreciate the risk factor due to the 15 feet of tile between the house and pool. They shut that ruckus down.

That was a summer and a locale that would almost make you forget that you were in Iraq. We would run missions all night and be “home” by morning. The mornings usually consisted of a group of us going down the street to get some breakfast, well actually dinner.

After a nice big plate of brenner (breakfast for dinner) consisting of runny eggs and grits, we would cruise on over to the Baskin Robbins freezer for ice cream. Lying by the pool and eating a root-beer float after breakfast was an event that, for some, became a daily ritual.

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About the Author

I served in 3rd Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment from 2003-2008. Almost four years of the time spent in 3/75 was spent in the sniper section. I am a graduate of US Army Airborne School, US Army Ranger School, US Army Sniper School, Special Forces Sniper Course, and the US Marine Corps Summer Mountain Scout Sniper Course. I have competed in the US Army International Sniper Competition as well as the US Army Small Arms Championships on three separate occasions. I currently live in Corvallis, Oregon and hold a Bachelors of Science in Biology from Oregon State University.

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  • Riskbiz

    Know the location well. Don't forget the FBI HRT parties, and I'll personally never forget bored Rangers when there was no mission on a given night (circa 2004) trolling route Irish blacked out and in true "I wish a motherfucker would" style, hoping for contact. Any contact. lol

  • Canopylight

    I heard about old MSS Baghdad. Too bad they closed it down in favor for a location by BIAP that didn't have the cool amenities.

  • Black Betty

    So your the reason that video has 45 million hits.

  • isaiahzb

    @uncle hakim I can't believe that I didn't catch that. My bad you are correct, it is the Tigris that we were next to. For all the time that I spent next to those two rivers, you would think that I wouldn't mix them up like I did. Nice catch.

  • uncle hakim

    I always thought it was the Tigris that ran by the Green Zone, but then, I wasn't lucky enough to live in there.  I thought the Euphrates ran by Ramadi and Fallujah - about 30klicks west of B-dad, but then I was only there for two years.