Thursday, July 07, 2005

In the Sandbox...

Bravo Company, Second Platoon -USMC
The ambush started when the lead vehicle of Second Platoon rounded the first corner into the town. There was a mosque on the left, with a brilliant, cobalt-blue dome. Across from this, in an upper window of a three-story building, a machine gun had opened up. Nearly two dozen rounds ripped into our Humvee almost immediately. Nobody was hit; none of the Marines panicked. They responded by speeding into the gunfire and attacking with their weapons. The four marines crammed into this Humvee --among the first American troops to cross the border into Iraq-- had spent the past two weeks wired on a combination of caffeine, sleep deprivation, tedium and anticipation. For some of them, rolling into an ambush was almost an answered prayer.

Their war began several days ago, as a series of explosions that rumbled across the Kuwait desert beginning at about five in the morning on March 20. The Marines, who had been sleeping in holes dug into the sand twenty kilometers south of the border with Iraq, sat up and gazed at the empty expanse, their faces blank as they listened to the distant thundering. They had eagerly awaited the start of war since leaving their base at Camp Pendleton, California, more than six weeks earlier. Spirits couldn't have been higher. Later, when a pair of Cobra helicopter gunships thumped overhead, flying north, presumably on their way to battle, marines pumped their fists in the air and screamed, "Yeah! Get some!"

-Evan Wright, Generation Kill, Prologue

...USMC girls...
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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