Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Soldier Fun Night

I didn’t know until yesterday morning that we were going to spend the night in Ramadi. I knew we were going to Ramadi yesterday morning but I didn’t know we were going to spend the night there. I found out when I got to the Humvee this morning and the convoy commander said, “You know we’re going to spend the night there right?” I figured why the hell is he asking me? He should be telling me. So I told him no and that I’d have to get my sleeping bag and shaving kit.

The drive there wasn’t bad. I think I’m getting used to it. I like going there more then I like going to Balad. The road is more secluded and there seems to be hardly anyone out there. I guess it’s where most of the violence is taking place too, the Anbar Province. It wouldn’t seem that way driving out there but it doesn’t take long to look at the blast marks from IEDs past. There are bits and pieces of tires and car parts scattered along the road. The fresh marks are easy to spot by their dark black color. The older blast points have faded over time from dirt and dust.

I can’t believe how much fun I had last night. After dinner last night we settled at the MWR and transient barracks to spend the night. I wasn’t in the mood for watching a movie or football, playing video games, or reading a book. I ended up browsing the new copy of FHM in the small room library. The library is made up of a little room with a table, a couple couches back to back, and a wall lined with shelved books. On the table were a stack of magazines, mostly girl magazines, but the girl in a skimpy bikini caught my attention. That’s when I knew it had to be a men’s magazine. I flipped the pages and sure enough, it was. I was browsing through the FHM magazine when these guys from another unit walked in with a board game and seated at my table.

The set up a game of Scrabble and I began to watch. I never played before so I wanted to watch and learn how to play. It was simple and it didn’t take me long to learn how to play. It got to the point where they began to ask me if words like via and teddy were words. It was a good game and I enjoyed watching them play. I think the word that got the most points was squid. The guy that won seemed to be playing for the prize of winner. He seemed like he’d be a sore loser if he lost.

After the game the wanted to play Risk. They invited me to play but I was tempted not to. The only thing that kept me from saying no was the fact that I didn’t have to get up early in the morning. It turned out to be lots of fun and I was beginning to bond with strangers real quick. That’s the kind of guy I am sometimes. I end up making friends out of strangers real quick. There were five of us playing and we all started to gang up on this guy what was taking control of the whole game. The only way for us to beat him was to group together and attack him. He was pissed and didn’t think it was fair but we kept making the point that he was getting global domination and we couldn’t let that happen.

I was being sneaky about it though because while everyone was fighting him I was building up my Armies. It didn’t matter though because later in the game he battled all my forces and won. I ended up becoming the second player out of the game out of being one of the strongest. Oh well. It was still fun and I hope that the other guys beat him. I didn’t bother to stay and watch the outcome of the game. It was 0130 hours by the time I got knocked off and it was time for me to get to sleep.

I thanked the guys for letting me play and told them that I’d like to stay but couldn’t. There were some pretty cool guys and it reminded me of the best reasons to be in the Army, to be around some guys and just have a good time. Those memories of being together and having fun are my most memorable. The guys were active duty from Ft. Polk Louisiana.

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