July 13, 2013

War Stories: Welcome to Iraq

The day after we arrived, we split teams and sent a forward party to our team house in Samarra, while the rest of us, myself included, stayed behind at Forward Operating Base Balad. I’ll tell stories about that hell hole some other time. Our forward party was welcomed promptly by incoming Katyusha rockets. Fortunately, none of them were accurate enough to cause any damage… except the one that landed right between where our vehicles were parked and the entrance to the compound as our guys were offloading equipment from the vehicles.

Thanks only to what must have been a miracle, the rocket did not detonate. Instead, it stuck in the asphalt like a damned lawn dart. Someone has pictures somewhere, I promise. One of my teammates was even feeling froggy enough to throw rocks at it from behind a t-barrier while they waited for Explosive Ordnance Disposal to arrive. Being trained in unexploded ordnance, I would have advised strongly against that, but I wasn’t there yet. But the thought probably would have passed my mind. Hell, I would have been throwing rocks too. Anyway, bottom line: Samarra was a hot spot when we arrived. Prime hunting territory.


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About the Author

is a former Army Special Forces soldier who spent time at 1st Special Forces Group and 20th Special Forces Group between 2004 and 2008. He currently works with the Green Beret Foundation, a non-profit charity focused on supporting wounded and killed Special Forces soldiers and their families. Blake is currently pursuing a bachelors degree in general studies... you know, just to get it over with. Twitter: @bmiles84

To comment on this article please join/login. Here's a sample of the comments on this post.

  • Romad99

    Blake, I remember that day. What a stroke of luck that was!

  • SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA)

    Blake Miles Not that I doubted you but, Holy Cow!!  That should have been the picture for this piece.

  • Recon6

    decktechonthe1047 SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA) Recon6 Jake75   Copy that Deck !!  Hell, I sleep like that any time I get North of Orlando, lol...6

  • nbell31b

    Blake Miles Haha nice!  I vaguely remember that.  Remember when that mosque got blown up? That day sucked ass!

  • decktechonthe1047

    SEAN SPOONTS(MAFIA) Recon6 Jake75   Yep, that's about right.  I was a blue shirt on a fast frigate, with a sealamps helo aboard.  Fucking North Atlantic sucks!  Everything is gray, and bitter cold.  Sleeping in long-underwear, and sweats.