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Old 10-16-2003, 06:57 AM   #16
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I hope you have a great time Sting2 and he is doing well.

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Old 10-17-2003, 11:39 AM   #17
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Originally posted by STING2
Tomorrow night, my best friend who spent 8 months in Iraq this year will be coming back to his home home from his US base in California. My friends and I are all going out tomorrow night to see him and have some beers and talk face to face for the first time since Christmas/New Years. It should be an amazing and fantastic time.
Please give a first hand account of what your friend's perspective on the war is.


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Old 10-17-2003, 01:46 PM   #18
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Originally posted by diamond

Please give a first hand account of what your friend's perspective on the war is.

Do not worrie, he will.
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Old 10-18-2003, 04:47 PM   #19
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Thanks Scarletwine, we did have a wonderful time. He is off to visit family in New York this weekend, in Atlantic City with one of my friends Sunday, and he'll be back here in Monday for some more R&R here.

It was amazing to finally be able to talk with him in detail about his experience in the war. His combat Helicopter Unit had made a collection of gun camera video and still pictures taken while they were in Kuwait/Iraq. He was able to identify the video that came from his gun camera showing targets that he destroyed. Many of the still pictures were very funny. While deep inside Iraq, they had these mobile bathrooms set up out the open. He took a picture of his view of the Iraqi landscape while on the throne. They also took a picture of a letter written by a 7 year old to them. It said. "You are a US soldier. You are risking your life. I want you to get them. Get them all." It was written in crayon or magic marker. Other funny things were a member of his unit shaving his head saying he did not mind because there were no girls around, only to be confronted a few days later sitting at a table with Allisa Milano and another Super Model, apart of the USO tour shortly before the start of the war.

The gun camera video was done very well. Some video was better than others as far as showing detail. Most of this you will never see on CNN or the BBC. Some of it was in color but most in black and white. The targets were Tanks and Armored Personal Carriers, gun emplacements, and other vehicles and fortifications. Some vehicles hit would have secondary explosions from fuel and ammo going off. Most of the gun camera footage he has though is still back in California.

The war started off with his Marine Combat Helicopter Squadron flying missions out of Kuwait. As US forces moved farther north towards Baghdad, the trips from Kuwait to the forward fighting area became longer. Soon, his Helicopter Unit would have to set up temparory bases in Iraq. This would often consist of landing in the middle of a Highway not in use for several hours. There they would rest and refuel. He would often sleep in the middle of the road next to his helicopter on a thin mat with his M-16 close to his body, under the sun or the stars depending on the time of day. Most missions though were done at night and he would usually go to bed around 8 or 9 am in the morning.

Most of his missions involved doing recon for Marine Ground Units and of course performing normal combat and combat support functions.

The most intense part of the fighting came when they had pushed past Al Kut and were about to head into Baghdad. A Marine Ground Unit was passing through a small villiage. It was apparently filled with Republican Guard units. His Cobra Helicopter and 3 others engaged in combat support for the ground units. There were so many targets to shoot at that in the space of 10 minutes, he fired all 8 Hellfire Missiles, all of his 2.75 inch rockets and all of his 30mm ammo. Two of the Helicopters of the 4 engaged in the battle had to leave the area because of damage they sustained from being hit.

His own Helicopter was hit earlier in the war but he did not realize until he was back at base and the maitenance crews were working on it. This kept in Basra for a couple of days in which he stayed with a British Unit, while his Helicopter was repaired.

His said most of his targets were Armored Personal Carriers, Artillery, Anti-Aircraft Guns, military trucks, and Jeeps used by the Fedayeen. Surprisingly, he did not see nearly as many tanks as he though he would.

The Anti-Aircraft fire at night would light up real big as the 23mm shells exploded in the air. But usually, the Iraqi's would not fire at them at night after the first few days of the war, because it made it easier for the Helicopters to target them.

Once the war was over, he would switch back between Kuwait and Iraq. His base in Iraq was near Al Kut. The whole 8 months he was there, he either slept on a cot or on the desert floor, inside a tent or out in the open. Polish and Spanish forces relieved his Marine Units duty in Southern Iraq just last month. Their last night at the base in Iraq, the Polish Helicopter Units invited them over for some drinking, Polish Liquor and Whiskey.

One benefit of the long deployment is that his Girlfriend who is also a Marine was stationed in Kuwait. He got to see her everyday while his unit was based in Kuwait.

He talked about his total anger at the French. Marines in his unit found French made Roland missiles in Iraqi possession just recently purchased by Iraq last year. Some were just parts of missiles but still. The Roland Missile is a French Anti-Aircraft Missile. A total violation of the embargo. Either signs of French evil or French incompetence.

He will be in this general area, Northeast USA for the next two weeks, at home during the weekend and visiting other family on the weekends. Were looking forward to hanging out again this week.

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