July 18, 2005

Soldiers and Families: Life in the 150th

  …they had gone on a mission and he was playing peek-a-boo with a child standing behind a tree that looked to be about two. And then he realized that the child was playing peek-a-boo ...

 

…they had gone on a mission and he was playing peek-a-boo with a child standing behind a tree that looked to be about two. And then he realized that the child was playing peek-a-boo behind a 50 cal., which is a large gun that they set up on top of the vehicles to protect themselves. I had to tell him that that child didn’t see the 50 cal., he saw the soldier behind it.

Kimberly, caller from Mobile, AL

Members of the 150th Battalion [provided by Amanda Jones]

For this show we’re trying to paint a full picture of the American military by focusing in on the microcosm of a single battalion. Specifically, the 150th Battalion of Combat Engineers out of Meridian, Mississippi. We’ll talk to soldiers about the community that exists within the battalion. But we also want to hear from their spouses, parents, and kids, and the friends they’ve left back home. The people who feel (if you talk to them) almost as much a part of the battalion as the soldiers themselves. It’s an extended community that stretches from Iraq back to the states, which also exists online.

We originally found out about this particular battalion through SFC Kevin Kelly, whose blog we excerpted for our Blogsday show, and who was then subsequently a guest on our milblogger show. His blog is posted on the Dixie Sappers site, which serves as an online hub for friends and family of the 150th.

Uncovering a weapons cache [provided by Amanda Jones]

These photos were sent to us by Amanda Jones of Lucedale, Mississippi, whose husband Randall and brother-in-law Ben are both serving in the 150th. They were taken in March of this year, and show members of the 150th uncovering a weapons cache buried in the Iraqi desert near their operating base. According to Amanda, ?they dug for 4 days straight, to find the weapons.”

If you’re a part of the 150th — at home or in Iraq — please tell us a little about your life, what you miss, and what you’re waiting for.

 

Amanda Jones

Wife of Randal “Lee” Jones, B Company

Rebecca McCormick

Mother of SGT Donald Wayne West Jr., A Company
Blogger, Wayne’s World.

June 30, 2005

The War in First Person

  Sometimes I feel bad thinking about what could possibly happen to these people (the Iraqis) if this doesn’t pan out. Specialist Ernesto Haibi, 6/30/05 on Open Source In the electronic open letters from the ...

 

Sometimes I feel bad thinking about what could possibly happen to these people (the Iraqis) if this doesn’t pan out.

Specialist Ernesto Haibi, 6/30/05 on Open Source
In the electronic open letters from the troops in Iraq, it’s not a different war exactly, but the details are not what you see on television or in the papers. A medic writes about having to choose which to treat first: a GI or an insurgent. Answer: treat the enemy first, because he’s an Iraqi and we can get information from him. Beth, a Navy corpsman, writes: “Since my last post we had a mass casualty, for those who know what that means. Yet, another image etched in my soul forever. One of the patients had shrapnel go through his eye, another lost legs, and yet another an arm. Pretty scary stuff.” A soldier writes about the constant use of the word “awesome” – part of the numbing effect of war: my wife left me: “awesome.” Somebody dead: “awesome.” Another writes with embarrassment about the bad manners of tracking mud into the Iraqi home he just raided. From the fog of war, these writers in uniform may be the Tim O’Briens and Norman Mailers of this generation. On Open Source: from where we are to Iraq, engaging with blogs of war.

Spc. Jason Hartley

infantryman in the New York National Guard, blogger: Just Another Soldier

[in the studio in Cambridge]

CFO Gordon Cimoli

Helicopter pilot for the 12th Aviation Brigade, blogger: Cimoli.com

[by phone from Detroit]

Specialist Ernesto Haibi

medic in the 23rd Infantry Battalion, blogger: A Candle in the Dark

[by phone from Ft. Lewis, Washington]

SFC Kevin Kelly

sergeant in the 150th Combat Engineers Battalion, blogger: Dixie Sappers

[by phone from Forward Operating Base Dogwood, south of Baghdad]

Sgt. Chris Missick

communications specialist for the 319th Signal Battalion,

blogger: War Blog

[featuring audio excerpts from his podcasts]