May 6, 2004
For a grunt, the sound of close air support is very comforting, here in the form of an Apache Longbow keeping an eye on things as we set up our perimeter for the morning’s operation.
This is what used to be a Baath party office building located on Highway 1, not far from our base. It got hammered, as you can see, during the invasion, and continued to be used by assholes to fire on convoys due to its close proximity to the highway. A lot of units had made it standard procedure to fire it up whenever they passed it, but this drew the ire of the people who live behind it since that’s where half the rounds would land as they sailed through the open floors. On this day it was decided it would be flattened. It was my platoon’s duty to secure the site while the engineers did their thing, emplacing all the explosives. Once they were done and the notorious “Baath House” was felled, all that remained was the elevator shaft, much to the chagrin of the engineers.
Next to the Baath House was a complex of military buildings, also razed during the invasion. It was here that the engineers parked the flatbed tractor trailers that carried their massive bulldozers and where my security post for the morning was. A few of the buildings still stand, this one sans roof, and make good places for bored soldiers to take pictures of themselves. This is me and Wazina with an awesome stencil of Saddam behind us.