Skip to comments.Marine quotes from the last couple weeks
Posted on 04/26/2004 7:05:15 PM PDT by opbuzz
Gunnery Sgt. Mark Woodward was surprised Thursday to hear that a cease-fire had been in place since Monday. "Oh, that's what that was called?"
Senior US officers here say their opponents amount to a "hard core" of a couple hundred foreign and more Iraqi fighters, "fairly significantly depleted" by recent fighting.
General Conway told journalists at this base seven miles east of the city. "I'm confident that if we have to fight, it won't last long."
Conway says, though insurgents are still able deliver a large punch. "It will be costly [to enter the city], but the marines are ready to strap it on."
"They are not the least bit hesitant to hide behind women and children," charges Conway. "These people need to be eliminated, and it will be our job to do that."
Woodward. "They want to go to heaven, and we're helping them get there. They are going to run out of food, water, ammunition, and people."
"We watched them fire rockets into the city - 122mm rockets - and we don't have positions there," says Woodward. "It makes great TV."
"I wonder what this means to the peace talks?" Capt. Kyle Stoddard, commander of Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment
"These boys definitely want to come out and play this morning!" said Sgt. Warren Hardy, 26, of Colorado Springs, as he watched the red glow of a rocket-propelled grenade sail overhead and crash near a Marine position about 200 yards away.
"They seem to have an affinity for the area around the mosque," said Marine air controller Capt. Roy "Woody" Moore
"It's tit-for-tat, we're not seeing tat," Byrne said.
Maj. Gen. James N. Mattis, commanding general of the 1st Marine Division to reporters in Fallujah. "It's hard to have a cease-fire when they maneuver against us, they fire at us."
Marines blared loudspeaker messages into Fallujah, saying, "You are cowards for hiding behind women and children. Come out and fight," Byrne said. They also played heavy metal music, including AC/DC's "Shoot to Thrill
"I don't think they expected us to retaliate as hard as we did," said Lt. Col. Matthew A. Lopez
I opened a window because I heard voices and I thought it was Americans, said Corporal Koreyan Calloway. There was a guy in a headscarf with an AK47 standing there looking at me, so I shot him.
"I was running and I watched as I got shot in the left shoulder," Conde said. "I remember seeing a red mist coming from my back." Even though he saw himself get shot, it didn't occur to Conde to quit fighting. "I didn't really realize I had been shot until one of the Marines said something," he added. According to McKenzie, Conde fired several shots, killing a combatant, before falling to the ground. He then managed to get back to his feet and fire a few more rounds at the enemy before falling again. "We helped him up so he could get to the corpsman to get bandaged up," McKenzie, 22-year-old from Bonaqua, Tenn. "We made sure to kill the guys who shot him." The corpsman treated Conde, who only wanted to get his gear and get back to the fight. Conde's Marines were out there and he knew his place was alongside them. "We stayed and fought until every one of the insurgents was dead," Conde said.
FALLUJAH, Iraq Taking a short breather Friday, the 21-year-old Marine corporal explained what it was like to practice his lethal skill in the battle for this city. "It's a sniper's dream," he said in polite, matter-of-fact tones. "You can go anywhere and there are so many ways to fire at the enemy without him knowing where you are."
Chaplains email Morale, sky high...extra intensity, friends are on the line. the senior nco's and officers here, feel the pull the most. They have served with or trained everyone on the line..The Corps is a small community. This is very personal. If a person can do something to help the outcome of the fight..they'll find a way..it's that kind of day..all for one, one for all.
CE Having services in a war zone is a little different. A)we have to worry about getting large numbers of people in one place. One mortar round into the right place and you could kill alot of Marines. B)organists are in sort supply and we don't have an organ. Music? C)We are going to worship and it will be well attended...we need Easter..because we live in the valley of the shadow of death..we need the resurrection. CE I don't know how the Marines do it..but the COC is loaded with strack looking Marines. The senior NCO's all look like NFL lineman. The junior officers look like marathon runners and the mid-grade officers look like NFL halfbacks...the senior officers are lean, tanned and serious..deadly serious.
The place exudes the warrior spirit. If you are a civilian I can't explain it and won't apologize for it. If you are a veteran you don't need to have it explained..the warrior spirit.
CE These Marines are in a street fight.
They don't have the word 'lose' in their vocabulary.
They've been bloodied and their anger is up. The intensity in the COC is contagious.
This is a tribe of warriors. They exist to close with and destroy the enemy. They have their tribal mores, rituals and rites. Their enemy has desecrated members of the tribe and taunted the Marines.
They've asked for a fight. The Marines are in full pursuit and absolutely determined to annihilate their foe.
CE We aren't playing paintball..we are at war.
CE ..today's standard preconvoy brief now includes the following: "If you drive into the kill zone..two options..drive through and on, or reverse and drive out. Do not stop. If you are blocked into the kill zone..displace from the vehicle, find cover, fix the target, engage, manuever and destroy the hostile forces. Target selection..rules have changed...avoid civilians, if possible.
"A lot of these guys were souped up on jihad," said Lt. Col. B. P. McCoy, commander of the Fourth Battalion, Third Marines. "They might as well been suicide fighters."
One of the most important tools for this battle comes from the garden shed: sledgehammers. On Wednesday, marines punched "mouseholes," just big enough for gun barrels, in the brick walls of the homes they occupied. They also smashed windows to scatter shards of glass across the front steps. "It's an early warning system," Capt. Shannon Johnson explained, as he crunched noisily across the glass, "something the old guys taught us."
"And we don't want to rubblize the city," said Colonel McCoy, whose battalion of 800 clashes daily with insurgents. "That will give the enemy more places to hide."
"It's their Super Bowl," said Maj. T. V. Johnson, a Marine spokesman. "Falluja is the place to go if you want to kill Americans."
The Marines will spend weeks learning their new skills, testing for the gray belt and then green a few short days later.
"This way is so much better," De Pew added. "The pain is all at once instead of being spread out."
"We will win the hearts and minds of Fallujah by ridding the city of insurgents," said Cpl. Justin M. Rettenberger, a squad leader with 1st Platoon, from Hazelgreen, Wis. "We're doing that by patrolling the streets and killing the enemy."
The enemy did not run; they fought us like soldiers. And we destroyed the enemy like only Marines can. By the end of the evening the local hospital was so full of their dead and wounded that they ran out of space to put them. Lt Col Kennedy
Capt Smith said the shooting showed the rebels were not serious in abiding by the truce. "We've got one (a ceasefire) in place, evidently they don't," he said.
"I think the insurgents and foreign fighters tried to make a conventional stand last night," said a Marine air controller who said he wanted to be referred to by his radio call sign, "Woody." "They showed their hand that they would stand and fight," he said. "And they paid dearly for it."
"Oh, I'm sure there's plenty of them left," said Cpl. Philip Cook, 21, of Huntington, W.Va. "There just weren't any more who wanted to mess with us last night."
Together they pulled a Marine off the tank and placed him on the back of a humvee. He was wounded with shrapnel to the head and eye, and another Marine from the tank was badly wounded in the hand. After seeing his wounded tank crew off, Chambers realized he was wounded, too ---- hit in the upper left arm with shrapnel. "I saw a couple of guys run, so we went after them," he said as the medic cut off his sleeve. "Then POW! The first one missed us, but the second one got us. They're just going to patch me up and I'm going back in."
A college professor, an avowed atheist, was teaching his class. He shocked several of his students when he flatly stated he was going to prove there is no God. Addressing the ceiling he shouted: "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I'll give you 15 minutes!" The lecture room fell silent. You could have heard a pin fall. Ten minutes went by. Again he taunted God, saying, "Here I am, God. I'm still waiting." His count-down got down to the last couple of minutes when a Marine just released from active duty and newly registered in the class walked up to the professor, hit him full force in the face, and sent him butt over tea-cups from his lofty platform. The professor was out cold! At first the students were shocked and babbled in confusion. The young Marine took a seat in the front row and sat silent. The class fell silent...waiting. Eventually, the professor came to, shaken. He looked at the young Marine in the front row. When the professor regained his senses and could speak he asked: "What's the matter with you? Why did you do that?" "God was busy. He sent me."
Then on March 25, they had their first real firefight after a squad took a wrong turn on a road and accidentally came up behind a group of Iraqi fighters who appeared to be waiting in ambush formation. "We took them out," said Cogan, who led the operation. "It's a motivating thing. Even the guys who took hits were joking about it. We were pumped up. ... It created bonds that weren't there before."
Maj. Daniel Smith, executive officer of the 1st Tank Battalion at Twentynine Palms, told The Associated Press the Marine's wounds would end his tank career because sight in both eyes is critical for the job. Popaditch's wife said her husband wanted to stay in the military, though he sounded concerned about the damage to his face, which was still badly swollen and bandaged. Thursday was their 13th wedding anniversary. "I don't know how I look," he told her on the phone Friday. "Sweetheart, I don't care," she recounted. "You're alive."
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq - Still sweaty and soiled from two weeks of Humvee patrols in pursuit of an elusive enemy, Marine Lance Corporal Don Gray was spoiling Saturday for face-to-face battle with the shadowy resistance fighters who have frustrated U.S. forces.
"If we fight them, we will kill them," said Gray, 20, whose 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment has spent long days and dark nights finding booby traps but few fighters in towns west of Fallujah. "I want to kill them so that we don't have to come back in two months, two years, five years, 10 years ..."
"I can rubble that city and reduce it to crushed stone and walk over it quickly. But that is not the ideal, it may be the worst thing to do," said Col. John Coleman, chief of staff of the 30,000-strong 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, in charge of military operations across Anbar province, where Fallujah is located. "I don't want to be owning Fallujah with some Marines downtown who are getting potshots everyday because we took no Iraqis with us."
"It's basic, it's not a hotel," said Marine Capt. Chris Iazzetta, 33, the prison camp warden, showing crude 5-by-6-foot wooden plank and chain link cages surrounded by dirt filled barriers meant to keep solitary confinement prisoners alive in a mortar attack. The Marines have mostly beaten the insurgents when they face them in battle. But the booby traps have proven to be a more implacable problem. A column of Humvees was stopped in its tracks outside Karmah Friday while experts disarmed a series of 155-milimeter shells fashioned daisy chain style on the side of the road.
Among them was Lance Corporal Jeffrey Scott, 20, of New York, who lost all feeling in his legs for two days after an April 6 mortar attack on his unit as they built barricades against suicide bombers. The slug struck the back plate of his bulletproof vest, causing his spine to swell, but sparing him permanent paralysis. He kept the slug in the chest pocket of his desert uniform, even as the general pinned the Purple Heart on it. Scott said he would carry it there always, "as a little reminder that I'm not invincible."
"Most of the time we forget about this place and think of home. Occasionally we get interrupted by a few gunshots," Lance Cpl. Ignacio Villarreal said Saturday.
The tedium is broken only by only amid the occasional chatter with comrades or the growls of dogs scrapping in the streets, Villarreal said. "You got the dog wars. That's fun to watch."
Most of the time, he's thinking of home, of drinking a few beers and going to his first college party. He and his buddies joke they are spending spring break 2004 in Fallujah -- "having a blast, literally."
These Marines got a taste of their foe's tenacity on April 13 when insurgents swarmed two armored vehicles, firing assault rifles and barrages of rocket-propelled grenades. The rockets ripped through one of the vehicles, killing a turret gunner and wounding another Marine, tearing a chunk from his right leg.
Pfc. Aldo Hernandez, 19, of San Fernando, Calif., remembers running from one of the burning vehicles with fellow Marines and taking cover in a house. He said hundreds more insurgents joined the fight, some pouring out of hiding inside ambulances.
"I was stunned. They swarmed on us like a bunch of ants," he said. A quick reaction force came to their aid and extracted the Marines after an hours-long battle.
Asked what he thinks about crossing the front line to confront those fighters again, Hernandez said simply he does what he's told and will be fine.
"Marines can go to sleep tonight knowing they killed (some) bad guys," said 2nd Lt. Josh Jamison, leader of the 2nd Platoon, which infiltrated some 400 yards ahead of its defensive lines to finally put down some of the rebels who daily sneak up to shoot rifles and fire rocket-propelled grenades at the Marines.
Stoddard, Fox Company's commander, said Saturday's battle proved what the Marines have been saying for weeks: that the insurgents are using mosques to fight the Americans. The insurgents were armed with assault rifles and machine guns with magazines taped together for quick reloading in combat, and were carrying grenades. "I have no sympathy for these guys," he said, as his men were returning from the operation. "They're using holy places to conduct ambushes. It's just ---- I don't know ---- wrong." The Marines said the ambush would be a serious blow to the rebels' morale as they face the American force of nearly 5,000 Marines who now surround the city. "They thought they'd be ambushing us, and look who got ambushed!" said Capt. Roy "Woody" Moore, reflecting the triumphant mood of the Marines who say they've been getting frustrated sitting behind defensive barriers just inside the city for weeks now. "When they see the bodies lined up in the street in front of the mosque ---- IDs out and weapons gone," Moore said, "they're going to say, 'Things are really starting to go badly for us.' "
"I have come here to kick ass and chew bubble-gum. I'm all out of bubble-gum."
Ragheads.... prepare to make peace with Allah, cause your a#@ belongs to the USMC.
Stay safe !
I recently came across these song lyrics by an English heavy metal band from the 80s, and I googled them up to post here. Apparantly, a lot of folks think the band "Saxon" was the most under rated metal band of that era, and they enjoy a cult following. I've never heard them or this song, but I'd sure like to hear it now, having read these lyrics. Maybe this is what our PsyOps folks could be blasting into Fallujah.
But here's a bit more; this one's on the same album, too:
Danger, danger, there's something in the air
Faster, faster, be careful, you better beware
I had a dream last night, I saw you burn
Someone screaming out, screaming out the words
Run for your lives, they set the place on fire
Run for your lives, the flames are getting higher
Burning, burning, fire in the night
Higher, higher, the flames are shining bright
I've got nowhere to run, I was blinded by the light
There's someone screaming out, screaming in the night
Run for your lives, they set the place on fire
Run for your lives, the flames are getting higher
And they were singing
Ale oh, oh... ale oh, oh... ale oh, oh...
F***ing "A" !
You nailed it. I think that's what we're doing but they got to do the stupid "Show Dance" for the muslim press while we keep reading our boys/girls are kicking ass big time !