They say Iraqis-gone-wild sometimes like to climb onto Humvees. To deter those wacky Arab frat-boy antics, you just wrap your truck with concertina wire. This is an effective tool for crowd control in all places other than New York City where the wire would be covered with plastic shopping bags by the end of the day.

This is Orlando, my new SAW gunner. Peter, my now-former SAW gunner, has managed to catch a mild case of narcolepsy and is probably going to be discharged from the Army. I’ve know Orlando for several years. He is an experienced SAW gunner and an all-around bad motherfucker. He’s mellowed over the years, but there was a time when this salty Lower East Side-raised Nuyorican would cut you for looking at him wrong. This is not hyperbole. He has a knife scar on his face that runs from mid-forehead, through his right eyebrow and down to his nose where part of his nostril was sewn back on. Orlando’s SAW is the most enemy casualty-producing weapon I have direct command of and there is no doubt in my mind that Orlando will gladly produce these casualties from me, should I ask.

Socky got promoted! He is now a Private (E-2). This is our company sniper section, a photo taken immediately after the promotion ceremony. Yes, Socky got blood rank. From the left, Ed, Chris, Socky, Ray, and Cola.

Silent Scope
Ray recently discovered the sniper video game “Silent Scope” in the laundry building. It’s become a bit of an obsession for both of us and Cola is starting to get into it too now.

high scores
If anyone reading plays this game, could you please validate for me that these are some incredibly sick scores? They all belong to Ray except the last which is Cola’s. My top score is a meager 388000.

Ray gets muddy

Ray gets muddier
Trying to walk to and from chow usually involves having to avoid a lot of mud. Ray got tired of walking around the mud and was going to walk through a puddle when Chris told him, “Ray, do not walk through that mud puddle.” So he ran, dove into, crawled through, rolled around in, did flutter kicks in and made snow angels in it instead. This is not the first time Ray has spontaneously violated unsuspecting mud puddles. Chris, frustrated, made Ray do three-to-five second rushes, high crawls and low crawls all the way back to the barracks where he just rolled around in more mud. There is no degree of physical discomfort that I believe Ray would not gleefully endure. Just don’t ever give him tuna salad with celery bits in it– this he will not endure.

one eye open
Tom Ridge and President Bush say to stay vigilant. You think you’re vigilant? What do you know about vigilant? Willy literally sleeps with one eye open.