War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

from the diary

June 2009, “Spin Boldak”, Wainwrightistan

another day walking around in heavy shit [kit]
—Psy Ops guy to me while on patrol through “Spin”

lying on my cot, my cot beside the G-wagon cover that makes a wall, inside the 40’ x 40’ pressboard bunker smack dab in the centre of “Spin”. it’s late. I’m reading a Len Deighton one of the riflemen lent me. MWO runs in, STAND TO, STAND TO”. we rush for clothes, boots, helmets vests. the PSS, the Police substation outside “Spin” has come under night fire, a “civilian” national has been hit by a stray and 9-lined out.

Capt. is all wound up. “civvie,” Capt. orders, “you stay in the radio room with Sigs and don’t take off your damned helmet or vest”, the radio room is the dead centre of the bunker, it’s where we grab rats, gossip, laugh until Capt. throws us out every day.

I hear the dirty dozen outside. they’re kitted up. ready to rock and roll. while Sigs and I sit, eat chocolate, laugh, while he handles all the radio traffic. the helicopter comes in. lands. evacuates the 9-liner. Sigs is cool as he juggles radio channels like fire torches.

hours later, “Stand down,” but we can’t sleep. everybody wound up.

“It’s fun on Ex”, says Capt. old warrior. he knows what’s coming for real in A’stan.

in the middle of the night I wake to the sound of a cell phone ringing. a soldier talks softly into the night. in the morning he says, “my old lady was a drunk mess” missing him. another young soldier says, “you’re lucky, my girlfriend just has sex with other guys.”

tonight, waiting for my own “chalk”, I’m wondering. where are they all now?

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled from the diary. It was posted here on October 21, 2009.


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