Chiggers, sand fleas and Scorpions – a Recon Marine’s Story from Afghanistan


View of the Hindu Kush

Image by AfghanistanMatters via Flickr

 Today’s blog post comes from my friend Palmer in Ohio.  It was written by Saucy Jack, a Recon Marine on duty on a God-forsaken spot, up to his calves in snow, watching a hole in Afghanistan.  It really gives you pause!

From a Recon Marine in Afghanistan…

From the Sand Pit it’s freezing here.  I’m sitting on hard, cold dirt between rocks and shrubs at the base of the Hindu Kush Mountains, along the  Dar ‘yoi Pomir River , watching a hole that  leads to a tunnel that leads to a cave.   Stake out, my friend, and no pizza delivery for thousands of miles.

I also  glance at the area around my ass every ten to  fifteen seconds to avoid another scorpion  sting.  I’ve actually given up battling the chiggers and sand fleas, but the scorpions give a jolt like a cattle prod.  Hurts like a  bastard..  The antidote tastes like transmission fluid, but God bless the Marine Corps for the five vials of it in my pack.

The one truth the Taliban cannot escape is that, believe it or not, they are human beings, which means they have to eat food and drink water.   That requires couriers and that’s where an old bounty hunter like me comes in handy.  I track the couriers, locate the tunnel entrances and storage facilities, type the info into the handheld, and shoot the coordinates up to the satellite link that tells the air commanders where to drop the hardware. We bash some heads for a while, then I track and record the new movement.

It’s all about intelligence.  We haven’t even brought in the snipers yet.  These scurrying rats have no idea what they’re in for.  We are but days away from cutting off supply lines and allowing the eradication to begin.

I dream  of bin Laden waking up to find me standing over  him with my boot on his throat as I spit into his face and plunge my nickel-plated Bowie knife  through his frontal lobe.  But you know me, I’m a romantic.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This country blows, man. It’s not even a country.  There are no roads, there’s no infrastructure, there’s no government. This is an inhospitable, rock pit shit hole ruled by eleventh century warring tribes.  There are no jobs here like we know jobs.

Afghanistan offers two ways for a man to support his family:  join the opium trade or join the army. That’s it.  Those are your options.  Oh, I forgot, you can also live in a refugee camp and eat plum-sweetened, crushed beetle paste and squirt mud like a goose with stomach flu, if that’s your idea of a party.  But the smell alone of those ‘tent cities of the walking dead’ is enough to hurl you into the poppy fields to cheerfully scrape bulbs for eighteen hours a day.

I’ve  been living with these Tajiks and Uzbeks, and  Turkmen and even a couple of Pushtuns, for over  a month-and-a-half now, and this much I can say  for sure:  These guys, all of ‘em, are  Huns…  actual, living Huns..  They LIVE to fight.  It’s what they do.   It’s ALL they do. They have no respect for anything, not for their families, nor for each other, nor for themselves.  They claw at one another as a way of life. They play polo with dead calves and force their five-year-old sons into human cockfights to defend the family honor.  Huns, roaming packs of savage, heartless beasts who feed on each other’s barbarism. Cavemen with AK-47’s.   Then again, maybe I’m just cranky.

I’m  freezing my ass off on this stupid hill because  my lap warmer is running out of juice, and I  can’t recharge it until the sun comes up in a  few hours.  Oh yeah!  You like to write letters, right?  Do me a favor, Bizarre.  Write a letter to CNN and tell Wolf and Anderson and that awful, sneering, pompous Aaron Brown to stop calling the Taliban ‘smart.’ They are not smart.  I suggest CNN invest in a dictionary because the word they are looking for is ‘cunning.’ The Taliban are cunning, like jackals and hyenas and wolverines.  They are sneaky and ruthless, and when confronted, cowardly.  They are hateful, malevolent parasites who create nothing and destroy everything else. Smart.   Pfft.  Yeah, they’re real smart.

They’ve spent their entire lives reading only one book (and not a very good one, as books go) and consider hygiene and indoor plumbing to be products of the devil.  They’re still figuring out how to work a Bic lighter.   Talking to a Taliban warrior about improving his quality of life is like trying to teach an ape how to hold a pen; eventually he just gets frustrated and sticks you in the eye with it.

OK, enough.  Snuffle will be up soon, so I have to get back to my hole.  Covering my tracks in the snow takes a lot of practice, but I’m good at it.

Please, I tell you and my fellow Americans to turn off the TV sets and move on with your lives. The story line you are getting from CNN and other news agencies is utter bullshit and designed not to deliver truth but rather to keep you glued to the screen through the commercials.  We’ve  got this one under control The worst thing you  guys can do right now is sit around analyzing  what we’re doing over here, because you have no  idea what we’re doing, and really, you don’t  want to know.  We are your military, and we are doing what you sent us here to do.

Saucy  Jack

Recon  Marine in Afghanistan

Semper Fi

There is nothing that I can add to that!

Cliff

Photo Credit: License Creative Commons

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3 responses to “Chiggers, sand fleas and Scorpions – a Recon Marine’s Story from Afghanistan

  1. know most of the stuff we teach although I suspect we might even have a few ideas they.. Leads are just that leads they are not a gauarantee of signups or sales in your program…

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