I don't know how many times I've written about the withdrawal from the Hasbaya outpost. I've written about the months we spent in there getting the shit shelled out of us in my journal and on here. I've written about how we were denied air evac. and even a fucking convoy. I've written about how shit scared I was when I was sure we were going to die. I've been having very vivid memories of the morning of the last day. L. busted in at about 5AM and was almost hysterical. "They're fucking gone!" Wait who's gone? "All of them. The whole 90th batallion." So we looked outside and there were boots as far as you could see. Arabs take off their boots when they run away. So 309 were now 9. We were only there as a recon team. We were 9. So now how do you hold onto an outpost with one squad that was the day before held by a whole fucking batallion? you can't unless you want to get beheaded liveon Al Jazeera. So after we radio for air evac and get a negative and a negative on a convoy my boy B. looks at me with the most frightened look I've ever seen "We're going to die aren't we, Sarge?" I said "Fuck no. We're getting out now. On foot. Nobody is going to die today" I was totally convinced that we would all be dead in an hour. So the only way out (because of the mountains behind us) was to head directly west in the direction of the insurgents assaulting our position. There was no other way than to go straight at them and then turn due south and make for Kaukabe which was about 10 clicks away and where SFC had decided they could risk sending a convoy to pick us up. There was a small hill in the middle of the valley that me and S. took cover behind after coming down from the outpost. While the rest of the squad headed due south through olive groves that offrered fucking zero cover we laid down as much cover fire as we could. We had yanked the FN MAGs from the posts as we left Hasbaya so we went to work. I couldn't see shit except smoke. We both used up 4 drums of 150 in what must have been 5 or 6 minutes. The rest of the squad was firing as they went but now they were taking cover where they could b/c the Hajjis were no more than 100 meters from us. I had one belt left and the bullets were cracking by my head. S was out completely. I told S. to move to the grove but he told me to go fuck myself and that he was going to die with me. I said goodbye to my parents and to my sister. I was waiting for the 81 that was going to tear me apart. They were falling so fucking close. It was all over. I was dead. We were all dead. And then the entirewestern side ofthe valleywent up in a fire the likes of which I had never seen. The heat sucked the beath out of me. Two apaches. Fire. Nothing but fire. S. and I just walked down to the grove and jogged with the rest of the squad to Kaukabe and the convoy waiting for us. B. looked at me so differently this time. The terror had gone. Now there were just tears of joy. My hand was all fucking burned from changing barrells on the MAG. I don't remember how I felt at that moment. I think it took a couple of years for feelings to kick in. I didn't die that day. None of us did. In November of that year S. and B. were killed by an IED and my hand was still black and burned from changing those fucking barrells.

2 Comments
  1. Jack21 10 years ago

    I\'m sorry. We were ten. I negelected to count myself.

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  2. karmicpath22 10 years ago

    War of Red

    Underneath the blood red sky
    there was an unforgettable fire
    buening away hopes and dreams
    into a blaze of smouldering ash
    unheard screams with surprised attacks
    stabbed in the back by enemy hands drawing guns
    and blowing up homes taking land with prisoners of war
    stuck in cells of hellish confinement
    black clouds loom overhead with many soldiers lying dead
    many families severed with broken limbs and aching hearts
    crying over the loss of their loved ones weeping in sorrow
    not thinking of tomorrow with memories lingering on
    in total darkness underneath the blood red sky.

    Written by Shelly Wiseberg
    Taken from Soulfully Yours
    Copyrighted 2011

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