Monday, May 28, 2007

Perspective: One Day in Baghdad

When the alarm goes off at 0730 hours, I roll from my cot and, as routinely as finding socks back home, strap on uniform, armor, pads, grenades, a 9-millimeter Beretta, assorted mayhem and hurt. Routine is not so comforting in Iraq, I think. But this day is so far like almost every other. I joined the Army with my G.E.D. and a desire to see life beyond Syracuse. I signed just before 9/11 and was shipped to boot camp after the towers fell.

I reach the row of Humvees (just trucks to us) at a run and join my friends and my family, the 1-71 Cavalry. Cowboy, a 30-something farm boy, is checking the fuel, ammo and radio. Baghdad mounts his 50-caliber gun. I check over my Squad Automatic Weapon, known best by its descriptive acronym: SAW.

A staff sergeant briefs us on the day’s plan. We’ll be security for the funeral procession of an Iraqi Army official.

Read the rest at the NY Times