“Now that the war is through with me
I’m waking up, I cannot see
That there is not much left of me
Nothing is real but pain now”
One – Metallica
If you’re reading this, please bear with me, the doctors, they say it will help me get better. Not sure if I believe it, but might as well try, if only for you mom. Mom, I love you, I am sorry about what I did, but I guess you can never come back from where I sent you. I suppose I’ll need to deal with this once I am in hell, because that’s what gonna happen to me when I die.
This time it was supposed to be good intel, like the thousand times before. Some of us even worked on getting this intel, I was sure it was solid, they tell me I suffered (am suffering) from some sort of shell shock, I don’t believe it, it might be the drugs. I do not remember, all I see every night is the faces of my team, one after the other while they try to run away from me. Why would they be running away from me?
We hit the compound, we hit it real hard to make sure that the towel heads would not destroy any evidence this time. Insertion was full on aggressive, heck we even lost Corporal Legs before it had even started. He fast roped way too fast and lost his footing. I saw him pummel down the side of the main hangar in a heap of human flesh. I guess this was par for the course for us 22nd Rangers “Team 7” tasked with finding WMDs in Iraq. I should have taken the hint and aborted, I would probably have lost my commission but I least these men would be alive today. I lost 8 men that day, as their commanding officer I take the full responsibility of it.
At least Legs did not see the rest of it all. The rest of us went into action as soon as we hit the deck, we took down insurgent from all corners, some of them coming without any weapons at all, just bared teeth and claws. I shit you not, fucking zombies. The doctors say I should not repeat that, but for me that’s what it felt like, a god damned George fucking A. Romero movie.
We secured the ground level of the main hangar, and established a perimeter. We took a quick headcount and not counting Legs, we had lost 3 team members, PFC Skinny Steve, Sergeant Big Earl and Corporal Wheels, we tried them on the comms without success. The were probably wandering outside the security perimeter, but the radio silence was eerie. We would link up with them during extraction I suppose. we started gathering intel and came in contact with more insurgents, I said before that it felt like a Romero movie, let me rephrase that, it felt like a Romero movie alright, but where the zombies would be on a crack cocaine/speed melange, throw in some of the new stuff the kids take nowadays, they were just crazy, they ran so fast and came at us without fear.
Even with a good perimeter like we had, some of the crazies managed to break through the line. Once in they pummeled us with the strength of a battering ram, one punch from one of these guys cracked my helmet. I’ve spoken to a quartermaster about this, and he flat out told me I was out of my mind. The army might have cheapened out on a lot of our gear, but the Kevlar helmets are as hard as a rock. There built to withstand 7.62mm rounds. Anyway, I’d lost my helmet, but Lucky Jay’s ran out, he got hit on the chin, the lower portion of his jaw was teared of. I remember hoping he had died then.
That was the first time I thought we might not get out of this one. The after action report says that I’ve radioed the ground extraction at that moment, it would take them 10 minutes to reach the compound, I had radioed them early. The airborne unit already tasked to another mission could not come to us.
We dropped a lot of them before we understood that these guys were not insurgent but some sort of prisoners, some of them in hospital gowns. Not unlike the one I am currently wearing these days. You know the one, the robe that can never fully hide your ass, and puts your dignity down the shit hole.
Anyway back to my story, we managed to secure a laboratory section and went through as much of the dossiers as we could. The prisoners unable to breach our defenses.I asked Sergeant Brooklyn to do a quick ammo count.
Fuck me, poor fire control, from a junior officer, lead to lack of ammunition when we needed it the most. As you would expect, it’s as if they knew; the crazies took out Sergeant Knuckles early and overran our defensive position. I remember crawling on my hands and knees with my pistol and K-Bar firing center mass at anything that was not wearing camo.
They finally came for us, they told me they found us in a pile of bodies, badly battered and wounded. Every dead ranger had been completely pummeled, not a single wound via firearm, this is what bugs me the most. We got hit by thugs with their bare hands and they took us out.
The official story is that we got hit by nerve agent and were not able to defend ourselves properly. Bullshit, we followed every fucking procedures in the book, we established defensive perimeters, we shot center mass and took them down, they just kept on coming.
We just kept on dying.
This is my tale of the assault of Al Salman,
God as my witness, this is the truth.
Lieutenant Jake Greenrose