Experience of a lifetime

Essay by Remarkable7700College, Undergraduate October 2007

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I have been in the Tennessee Army National Guard for over ten yearsnow. I really enjoy the military, but I never expected it to take me half wayaround the world simply because I have never been full time Army. In June of2005, the government asked my unit for volunteers to join other soldiers in Iraqin the fight for “Operation Iraqi Freedom”. People have always looked at theNational Guard as part-time Army, but in today’s world, we are no longer just“Weekend Warriors”.

While I was in Iraq, me and my unit was doing missions as convoysecurity. We escorted military and civilian personnel from one base to anotherto deliver cargo, while providing security and safety for the whole convoy andits cargo. There were many times when we had insurgents shooting at us withAK-47 machine guns as we passed. They would hide inside buildings or lay inthe sand and wait on U.S. military convoys to pass and then ambush theconvoy.

The insurgents would also set out road-side bombs, also know asIntegrated Explosive Device. We were constantly having to watch for theIntegrated Explosive Devices as we traveled in our convoys. If we spotted anIED then we had to stop the convoy and check it out to make sure it was an IEDthen call out the EOD team, also known as Explosive Ordinance Device team.

The EOD team would then come to our location and dispose of the IEDproperly.

While not doing missions, life on base in Iraq was interesting. We hadmany chores to do from time to time. Chores like washing our own clothes,taking classes if changes were made to how we were doing our missions,cleaning our rooms, and other chores of the same sort. There was an internetand phone center close to us so we were able to contact our families andfriends and...