Now it was late into the night. Staff Sergeant G. and myself had to recover some equipment rightfully dropped by Sergeant G. as we conducted a night recovery and continued sweeping. Our company commander, who was embedded with our convoy for observation, spotted what he thought was a possible IED trigger-man.
The Captain directed us to fall back. What I didn’t hear on the radio, because Staff Sergeant G. was walking away from me, was that the Captain was going to engage the target. I heard a rapid firing and I immediately dropped to the ground. What most of you may not know is that the magazines for our weapon systems sits right at abdomen level, so when you rapidly drop to your mid-section, the magazines apply pressure to your stomach region. With that sharp jarring I let out a really bad…smell.
I sprung to my feet and ran around the truck where Staff Sergeant G. and the E.O.D. technician were waiting. When I slammed myself against the truck they both looked at me and asked what I was doing. When I told them about gun fire they laughed at me, informing me the shooter was our own. Not long after they asked what was the smell. There was no denying it now. Surprisingly, the remainder of the village sweeping went rather smoothly.
After we had cleared the rest of the village route. It was time to roll on. We all loaded up and continued on to Camp Leatherneck. At this time, I was stationed back up in the gunner’s hatch and the driver was back to his assigned duties. The gunner’s position comes with a few perks and setbacks. One of the perks is you get to have a bunch of snacks at your fingertips. So earlier in the morning I had set up my area with a bunch of snacks and drinks. We made a quick stop to check a suspicious area, and the driver and Staff Sergeant G. got out to investigate.
I got comfortable, or as much as you can get, and started looking for something to drink. I hadn’t had anything to drink all day. I took a huge gulp filling every corner of my mouth.
Now what happened next was a series of rapid thoughts. In my head it went something like this: This is really warm, but it was really hot outside, like a hundred and thirty something. But it doesn’t taste as sweet. Wait, the driver has a bladder the size of a thimble. I think this is piss! Here is where I threw up out the side of the truck. I staggered through the truck looking for anything to get the taste out of my mouth. At that time, I turned off the truck to yell at the driver for peeing in my bottle of Gatorade.
I have to tell you the element that we escorted, used their radios as a personal Radio DJ talk show. However, at this precise moment the radio went dead silent.
Now I crawled up over the weapon platform I accidentally keyed the microphone to my head set.
I broadcast-ed “Specialist C! I am going to f#@%ing kill you! Your piss does not taste good!” Immediately Specialist C and Staff Sergeant G collapsed in laughter. I heard seconds later from Staff Sergeant J, who was concussed in the back of the medical truck, “Best hot mic, ever.” I knew then I would never hear the end of it.
After everyone collected themselves and got moving on. Our entire convoy had made our radios the talk show, and I was the butt of every joke. That is how I got the call sign Orbitz. It cleans a dirty mouth.
This chaos in its entirety all took place in less than twenty-four hours. Defiantly the worst day of my life, so far.
C.M. Moore is the pen name for a retired soldier, and a romantic at heart. After Connor was blown up in Afghanistan and received a purple heart, he began writing with his wife. Connor’s first book 1:05 a.m. is a mixture of love, sex, and action. If you want to contact him send him a message. He loves messages!