Surfing for Dolphins


It has been too long since I wrote the last one of these.

The other night I went to bed early. Big mistake, lots a nightmares, then woke up at 3 AM and just laid there remembering stuff I could do with out remembering.

Now I don’t have nightmares about my time in Iraq, but I do get plenty of nightmares about calculus classes.

Normally when we went to snatch someone up. We would do a raid in the middle of the night. We would also be prepared for the worst. Drive up near their home. Move in on foot to make less noise. Make a cordon and, entry. The room clear until we found the target. We would use nightvision until we got inside, then we switched to white lights.

Each time, it ended the same way.

Iraq has warm weather. Not quite as cozy as the greatest state, Florida, but still warm. Many of the locals, not having air conditioning.

We would systematically clear the building, room by room, checking each nook and cranny. Fully expecting someone to try and pop out to try and kill us.

And every time, the target would be sleeping on the roof, where it was a little cooler and nicer. Often they slept right though our ingress and left us to prod or shout them awake.

Anyways, I remembered one time we were working with some of the intel guys. They told us we were going to the home of a major financier of the baddies. We rolled up on this guys home, all friendly like, and introduced our selves. He welcomes us in. I was posted on security in his back yard by his home. The family cooked us some chicken and we had plenty of Chai tea. Everyone was all friendly and buddy buddy. I was fortunate to be close enough to see and hear what was going on.

After some time, what felt like an hour or two, the intel guys had a little private chat with the home owner. They explained that they knew who he was, they he was financing the insurgents, and that he was going to go away for a long time.

Now to paraphrase what they told him. They gave him an option, it went something like this:

You have two choices. You can say good bye to your wives, your kids, and then you can walk with us to the end of the road where we will hand cuff you and take you away. Or, we can cuff you now, drag you out of your house, in front of your family and neighbors, and that last thing anyone will remember about you is the Marines dragging you away. Do you want to leave like man with dignity, or do we need to take you kicking and screaming?

He choose option two.

It seems to me, that when we hauled someone off, some of the individuals acted (I wanna say, “like men”, but that phase might not mean much to many now) dignified. Others would piss and shit themselves.

It seemed pretty consistent that later when we were debriefed, it was the innocent guys who acted dignified and the guilty who were so dirty. I don’t know if it was fear, or perhaps just another form of resistance or revenge to force us to clean up that mess and suffer that stench while we had to transport them.


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