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On the ground with SF

Nov 3, 1998
Guys and gals, I have been dreading leaving Camp Phoenix ever since the prospect was introduced to me months ago by our platoon sergeant. Life as a mounted/mechanized mortarman isn't too bad, but life as a light mortarman is, well, tough. As I told a sergeant yesterday, "A light mortarman has the worst job in the Army." That's what I was afraid I was getting into, in a country with harsh climes and bitter winters. As well, I dreaded not being able to talk to Jordy with any frequency.

It seems I need not have worried. :cool: I was told last night by squadmates who'd been out here it wasn't bad, and when I rode into the Special Forces camp today, the SF E7 I talked to, immediately suggested I get out of uniform! :p I prudently waited until the mini convoy that brought me- with its major along for the ride, and hoping to drop a couple mortar rounds- had left.

Our accomodations aren't cushy, but they beat the hell out of living in the open in 0'F weather. We have a light (60mm) mortar, but it's in a pit at the top of our mountain. I'm here with just a handful of 11C types and SF.

So...mail to me will take longer, and I have no privacy anymore, but I can now wear what I want, only have to take my weapon with me if I feel like it, and will work a hell of a lot less!

"God bless SF." :D

Well all right! Glad to hear you fell in with a good crowd. It's always good to have leadership like that. Stay warm. :)
Be safe John. I hope everything works out with your new assignment.

Yeah, I don't know if I can reconcile life as being easy with you in a mortar pit, but I'll try!

Well good news then. I'm praying for you bro. Keep as warm as possible.
You're in San Francisco? Cool. I'm only an hour south. Feel free to drop by.

"only have to take my weapon with me if I feel like it...". Please, feel like it, often/always.

Be safe. Be well.
If you consider a mortar in an emplacement vs. carrying that heavy little bitch, you'd understand my joy a little better at our pits.

I have found one minor drawback- because all water has to be brought in, we're only supposed to take a shower every few days! So, if y'all want to send some wet wipes, I wouldn't mind a bit. :eek:
Congrats on the better post Spectre. When heavy objects are concerned stationary is preferable to mobile. Keep safe.


What kind of wet wipes do you want/need?

The view from those walls must be awesome, I'm assuming you must be taking pictures whenever you can, and I hope you share them one day!

If you want we can work up a package, what else do you want?
Any wet wipes are fine, whatever's cheapest. Our food choices are a little limited here, so dried fruits of all types are also good inclusions.

I'll take more pictures, but surprisingly, the view from the walls isn't much better!

I know some of y'all worry, but the furthest I'll get from my weapon is 100 meters. It's not like I'll go for a stroll outside the wire without it!

We have a 120mm too, but in practice, that's never man-ported.
I figured you didn't want to carry it.
You'll get prayers on your behalf from Montana until you come back, at which time I'll probably pray for you transitioning to Civilian clothes.

John, excuse my ignorance, but what does MEDCAP stand for?

Also, who are the guys on the roof of the building in the second photo?

Could MEDCAP be like a sick call but to win the hearts and minds? I like the earth barrier, I suppose to provide protection from explosives?
Yeah, a MEDCAP provides simple medical care as well as things like backpacks for kids. I didn't go on the one today, but over 1200 people were treated.

The HESCO barrier is the evolution of the sandbag. A cube of cloth, reinforced with wire, and sometimes capped with concrete, it makes up a lot of our walls...

You look cool in that first pic John. Warrior John. Freezing his butt off.