Mired in a Mine
6 Feb 96, Tue — Ðurðevik
Then again we have days like today.
The U.S. Army in Bosnia has come down with a serious case of REMF-itis. Two days ago the powers-that-be dictated that everyone must have a 72-hour vehicle dispatch. (A dispatch is a document that says the driver is authorized to be operating the vehicle.) Yesterday, they mandated fire guards for all tents with heaters in them. A small tent, such as mine, only sleeps four people. That means we’d be getting 25% less sleep than we already are. Today the REMFitis got terminal.
Anyone refueling a heater must wear goggles. Last night some of the FSB weenies confiscated heaters from unguarded tents. (Which means that in Force Protecting those poor guys from the remote possibility of a fiery death, they froze them instead.)
Also, all vehicular traffic, not just convoys as was the case earlier, must travel in groups of at least four vehicles and all convoys must have permission from the Grand Wazoo before they can use the roads. BG O’Neal, who must be severely under-employed, was out stopping unanointed convoys today. For a unit such as civil affairs, those sorts of restrictions severely hamper our ability to meet and do business with civilians, which is our whole reason for our existence. It’s just another perfect example why special operations units should not be under the operational control of conventional forces.
That anonymous colonel justified his existence today by renaming our camp from ‘Joanne’ to ‘Angie’.
SGT Argetsinger went over to Charlie company to renew our 72-hour dispatch. He was told to come back during working hours.
7 Feb 96, Wed — Ðurðevik
Since the coal mine people tried to butt-stroke us yesterday, my team really didn’t have much to do today. We ended up serving as convoy fodder (the fourth vehicle) in a 5/3 ADA convoy to Tuzla Main. This, of course, afforded us the opportunity to take peaceful, cleanly and satisfying dumps and showers. Unfortunately, I backed our vehicle into a U.N. potty-pumper truck, busting one of our two antenna mounts. Even worse, the mail that G-5 was supposedly holding for us was nowhere to be found. No one on my team has received any mail so far.
Later in the day we arranged a meeting with ‘Mr. Big’, Sefket’s boss, who is the ‘President of Economics’ for the mine and who supposedly has the authority to lease the quarry. If this really is a government organization, then Mr. Big is not the top of this food chain. He has superiors and whether he has the personal authority make a deal, he will likely have to refer it to his superior (‘Mr. Bigger’). That means an even longer wait, and even worse jerk job, until the issue is resolved.
“We were able to move 80% of the brigade in here without a DTO [division transportation officer] and now we can’t move anything.”
Was listening to some Creedence Clearwater Revival on my Walkman this afternoon when “Fortunate Son” came on. Considered in the context of tax deductions on used underwear, loathing the military, draft dodging, yearly ‘meals on wheels’ deployments, and confiscatory tax rates, I thought it especially appropriate:
Some folks are born made to wear the flag
They’re red, white and blue
But when the band plays “Hail to the Chief”
They point the cannon at you.
Some folks are born silver spoon in hand
Don’t they help themselves
But when the tax man comes to the door
The house looks like a rummage sale.
Some folks inherit star-spangled eyes
They send you down to war
But when you ask them “How much should we give?”
They only ask for more, more, more.
|Page 5||Page 6||Page 7|