Small Victories

I was on a dismount counter IED OP with a scout buddy of mine. Cuddled up back to back under some mesh camo netting in a farming ditch on the canal of Route Pluto. Dead tired from the day to night op transitions and general lack of sleep I felt myself actively dozing off and barely able to keep myself coherent when I heard my partner say ‘alsallahmalakum’ out loud with a scurrying sound that followed quickly after. We had just been made. And now we had minutes to get the fuck out of dodge or end up as photos on the news.

Our closest exfil was up the route doing a turn and wouldn’t be back our way for a while. We jumped up, hauled ass down the route to try and find a more concealed location. On the way I ate shit hard in the crops and jumped back up as fast I’d ever done with a pack, armor, and rifle back into a dead sprint for what felt like two hundred yards but was more likely 50 through soft soil, mud, and muck. Finally in cover, we radioed our patrol for a pick up, pulled palm fronds over us and got low into the brush for the next ten minutes while we waited for the trucks. When they arrived we hopped out, jumped in, slammed the doors and we were safe.

One small hitch: my partner forgot a bag full of sensitive items at our hide so essentially our lives were over. Thankfully he quickly convinced our CO to allow us to go back out in our last location since it was "so well concealed" and finish out our mission. After about 20 minutes they drove us back to that same spot. We jumped out. Retrieved the bag. Moved to a new location. Finished out the night in another spot. And never said a word about it the rest of our deployment about it. Small victories.