Monday, May 29, 2006

Trip back from Tikrit

Helicopter ride from hell. Blacked out. [no lights on the helicopter - admin] We must have stopped at every Podunk LZ between Tikrit and Baghdad – it seemed to take forever. Sometimes we had some rough guys with us (you know, the bearded guys), sometimes regular Army, sometimes we were alone. Once we even slung a load (i.e., carried it in a huge sling beneath the aircraft). I swear to God, every time we came upon a high tension wire I thought it was going to snag the load and bring us down. We were so low that I could have told you what channel the TV was on in a house, except I was too scared to look

The last stop before Slayer was the IZ. Actually, it was just a soccer field and we were all blacked out at about 0400 in the morning – it was spooky. By now I couldn’t hear a thing from the constant engine noise inside the helo, but all of a sudden we felt this low rumble - sort of like you can feel when a diesel locomotive goes thundering by, but not nearly as loud. We looked out, but didn’t spot anything unusual until a minute later when a huge light grey mushroom cloud rose high enough to be seen above the buildings. A car bomb had exploded about a mile and a half away. It was spooky, moving against the background of city lights. I’d heard the Muj don’t like to fight at night, but apparently this one did.

When we finally arrived at base camp we were about an hour late and the ride I’d left had given up and gone home. After all that, we had to hump those dammed packs two miles from the LZ. I think I finally got to bed about 0600, and I slept all the way until past lunch.


Anonymous Nancy & Matt & Tim said...

MILITARY MARK..................

A big hello from Conn.( oops, I can't say Conn. anymore cause of your Brother!)
I am glad kraig set this site up! Tim & Matt love to hear your stories & pictures!

(except for the bad words ONLY KIDDING!) each day sounds never ending ,
your talent for details I want to know when your BOOK is coming out or can I have the rights to these blog messages?
Tim would like to know how hot is it there & are you holing real guns?
Gosh Mark, just thinking........if I didn't have you as a Military Mark cousin Who would my boys be looking up to? Who would be their Military MARK?
Hey, hang in THERE looking foward to hearing from you!
Love you lots !
Nancy & Matt & TIM

May 30, 2006 8:24 PM  

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