Wednesday 24th September 2014,
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War Story 1

The Beginning of the Saga

I won’t kick right off into the lessons because that would make it seem too much like school. Back home at my unit, I am in charge of training up our guys once they get out of all the schools they attend. I put them through about a 6 week program, and in the end, certify them ready to deploy to combat. I am very much used to writing lessons plans, and teaching on a schedule but a big key to that no matter how interesting the subject, you have to keep the attention of the students. So I always throw in a few stories in between subjects and lessons, stuff that’s funny or sometimes stuff that directly pertains to what we are learning.

As I sit here and think of what story I should really start out with, I am some what stumped. Not to mention it is about 105 degrees in here, and 1:30 in the morning, so my thought process isn’t exactly clear. Yet, a decent one comes to mind that has somewhat of a humorous spin to it, especially since it was something I was directly responsible for.

It was December 2005. I was in Northern Iraq on a mission with a Special Forces team. We were going out to this local guy’s house that apparently had been kidnapped and held for ransom. He claimed he was going to come along with us and show us where the guy lived that kidnapped him. We were game, especially if it involved going to hunt a bad guy.

So we loaded up into the trucks and I was sitting in the passenger seat of one of the HMMWVs. In the truck with me there were 2 other team members, an interpreter, and the guy that was going to ID the house. As we drove around for a while looking at every run down house, waiting for this guy to point it out, he started yelling in Arabic. A short distance in front of us a man was in his driveway getting his haircut by another man. As the local was spewing Arabic words, which sounds more like a low growl rathter than speaking, the interpreter was quickly translating.

“He says that’s the guy, right there getting his haircut, that’s the guy!” The interpreter yelled at me.

I quickly got on the radio telling the team that our man was the one sitting in the chair. We quickly sped up and the team leader ordered everyone out of the trucks “as fast as you can guns up… lets nab him now!”

The vehicles sped to the driveway almost instantly and spread out to almost form a “U” around the house. As we rolled up to this spot the local was still talking to the interpreter but this was already going down. Everyone was out, guns up, thirsty to bag this terrorist to his own people. As we all approached the man, who was absolutely terrified, the interpreter jumped out of the truck and yelled for us all to listen to him.

“He says that’s the man that was kidnapped also, not that is our bad guy” the interpreter said.

Of course they all looked at me, but the interpreter had my back by saying his initial translation was “that was our bad guy”. Of course we apologized to the poor guy that we just scared to death and went on our way. You know it was a while before I heard the end of that.

Of course we laughed about it later, but I really thought for a minute there we got lucky and that was our guy. Well, I hope I entertained you for a little bit, or at least enough to bring you back tomorrow, which is when I will begin the gear setup guide. Take care,

Donnie

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