Rioting keeps you warm.


Above: CPL Fennerty (left) and Coach (right)

Today: +8
Days Rated: 93
Average Day: 2.46

Today was pretty awesome. Finally it was our turn to put on robes, stroll around the streets with AK47s and RPGs and act like simians. A lot of things are reversed when you have training exercises. In real life it is better to be in the US Army, where you’re fed, housed, clothed, provided with training and equipment, and not used as a suicide attacker. However, in training exercises, it’s better to be a filthy insurgent. You can wear any crazy combination of uniform you want, no helmet, you don’t have to listen to anyone in charge of you and most importantly, when you get killed, you can spring back to life a few minutes later. It’s the same way when you’re a casualty. In real life, that’s bad, because it is not good to die or get hurt. In training, it’s good, unless it’s really cold, because you don’t have to walk anymore and they drag you or carry you.

So I portrayed various roles in Cactus City, as directed by Sergeant Nolan. When we were not being used, we got to hang out in a room with a stove. Some guys just wanted to sit around the stove and do nothing, others of us tried to get on every single mission because they were fun. I put on some sort of man dress over my black fleece, and practiced hiding an AK underneath it, then quick drawing it out. I got this down to where I could have it out in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately there was no call for Wyatt Earp the Iraqi today, so I never got to use this skill.

I was first a sniper. Then I was a terrorist holed up in a building. Both times I was killed, because that’s what happens to everyone in that line of work eventually. I started to get bored. I wanted some real action. Basically I wanted to throw trash around the street and act like Ortlieb did.

I got my chance as they said I could be the village elder. The idea was for me to meet with a platoon leader. Once he was talking to me, the plan (I wasn’t supposed to know about this) was for Jorgensen to detonate an IED that SSG Ruiz put in a car, and then snipers to fire from a building. I would be killed. I drafted Keller to be my son and Tucker to be my bodyguard, and we walked around the street looking important. Actually someone said that I looked like a fat rug merchant in my yellow/brown robe, but they were probably just jealous. The IED failed to go off, and Jorgensen confused everybody when he tried to detonate it and yelled “Allahu Akbar” and dashed off, but nothing happened. This made the platoon nervous and they refused to go out into the street after that. Eventually, I was able to lure several of them out by beckoning and speaking in broken English, and the snipers opened up, so I could finally die in peace and go back to the warm building.

On another mission I was a civilian and almost got in a fistfight with Adams. The specifics of this fight were so stupid, I won’t even bother to run through it here. The whole thing involved who got to be a civilian and who had to hide in a building, and we resorted to name calling, people putting dip in their mouth so they couldn’t go inside, and rock-paper-scissors (Rochambeau) to settle it.

I found out why the previous opfor spent most of their time roaming the streets, smashing things with sticks and playing with the junk. 1. It’s fun. 2. It keeps you warm.

Lessard was not playing with us today. Yesterday when we were jumping out of a truck, his equipment somehow became attached to SGT Uptegrove’s, who was getting out ahead of him. So Lessard unexpectedly exited the truck before he was planning on it. He landed on his back on the ice. When I got out, I saw him there, twitching and moaning. I thought he was just doing a realistic job of pretending he was a casualty. Apparently not. He is all right now, but he was told to just stay in the warm room today and not run around like a maniac like the rest of us.

The last mission was my favorite, because we basically did the opposite of what we were told. Donica, Plaza and I were supposed to hole up in a building and shoot. However, this would be boring, and we needed to get revenge on the other platoon for fortifying the town hall last night. So we darted across the town like ninjas. The first sergeant spotted us when I was halfway into the basement window of the town hall. I looked up at him nervously, afraid that we would get in trouble for not being where we were supposed, but he just told Donica that he was dead because the other platoon had shot him when he was running. Plaza andd I roamed around the dark hallways of the hotel, shooting people out of windows, until this grew boring. We split up, and I jumped out a window of the hotel and almost landed on SSG Ruiz, who was busy trying to get yet another IED to work. I continued being a deadly nuisance until I finally ran out of ammo and died in a Banzai charge. I went back to the warm room.

When I was there, SSG Nolan had us put down our weapons and become an “angry mob” to chase 3rd platoon from the town. I waved a stick. I shouted anti-imperialist slogans. We shook cars. We pelted the soldiers with ice balls, and advanced dangerously close to them. One guy dropped some piece of equipment and had to run back and go get it and we smacked him with like 5 pieces of ice, including one giant piece I threw that hit him right in his helmet. Now I know what I want to do when I get out of the army. Become a riotesr. They have way more fun.

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