I want to tell you the story of Hasbaya, but if I had one hundred years and one hundred tounges I could not convey to you the hell of that day.

We were being withdrawn from firebase Hasbaya and the Hajjis knew that we were leaving. They stormed the outpost the same day we were being redeployed. We could not hold the position b/c the Iraqi army had deserted the day before. We were there – just my team of 10 – to lend some firepower to the 90th Iraqi Army Battallion – 300 men. Of course they ran when they learned that we were leaving. So we found ourselves – the ten of us – holding a position the day before held by over 300. The Hajjis began their assault just before dawn (as was customary). We were ordered out but with no chopper to extract us "Get out on foot. Now" Those were my orders.

Can you imagine it? The ten of us leaving by the very route the Hajjis were taking to assault our position? They sent the villagers of Mimas in front of them to protect their assault. We had to run through women and children shrieking in victory to neutralize the Hajjis before reaching our extraction point some 10k\'s away. We ran right into each other. Shooting at a blur 1000 meters away is one thing. Shooting at a man 10 feet away, so close that you have to fire from the hip is something else entirely. It was daylight. It was a beautiful spring day and I could hear Ezzan being sung from Mimas and Hasbaya and Libaya.

When bullets are fired at you from so close they don\'t whiz they crack – a crack inches from your head. And then you must open up. I had 4 drums of 150 on me plus 2 belts of 75. When it was all over I didn\'t have a round left. I changed my barrell twice and burned my hand pretty bad. You can\'t fire that many rounds from one barrell. It\'ll melt unless you change it. The chin strap on my helmet kept slipping and I kept adjusting it as if I had my chin strap on tight I was invulnerable.

We neutralized the force sent to take Hasbaya. We jumped into the jeeps they sent us instead of a fucking chopper at Abu Kamcha and we all puked, from exhuastion, from relief. Not one of my team fell that day. That was May 1. In November, 2 of my men fell in an ambush when I was far from them – on leave in the States. I could not save them. I was not there for them. I wish that I could have died in their place.

That was the withdrawl from Hasbaya. I had never seen so much gore in the light of day under such a beautiful spring sun. But they kept coming and kept coming and they didn\'t even try to take cover. I set up my 7.62 at  ridge overlooking their route of assault which was pathetic, ridiculous. One line of men 3 feet from each other. It was a turkey shoot. I don\'t know how many of those Hajjis fell dead and how many ran. I hope a lot more ran than got mowed down. I\'ll never know. I don\'t think that my mind will ever let me know how many we killed. But we killed no women or children or non-combatants. We killed a lot of Hajjis that day. Who can blame them for fighting foreign invaders? What the fuck did they ever do to us? They didn\'t fly those planes into the twin towers. They had fuck all to do with any of it. Shit we armed them with those AKs to fight the Iranians – the same Kalachnikovs they were firing at us with. Nobody trained them properly. Now they lie dead in a grave I imagine the villagers of Hasbaya, or Mimas, or Libaya or Reichaya dug for the. I don\'t know. I didn;t bury them. I just killed them. Who wastes nearly 1000 rounds of ss109\'s? 1000 rounds? I would have killed 10,000 of them to keep my boys safe.

They were safe for a while and then came November. I was stateside getting drunk and neglecting my wife for some stupid logistics girl barely out of HS.

I deserve this torment. I deserve every second of it. The butcher of Hasbaya. The butcher of Hasbaya. What do I now have? What? I don\'t have you B., and I don\'t have you S. Fuck I miss you.

The angel of death become the saddest man alive.

1 Comment
  1. thelifeofjade 12 years ago

    I want to give you a hug Jack. 🙁
    Thank you for sharing the story…It was very powerful to me and I hope it was somewhat therapeutic for you as well.

    xx jade

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