Marines Magazine

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Sea Stories

Different Priorities
By Chief Warrant Officer 4 Cannon C. Cargile

While on deployment with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2003, we spent time in several different countries.

We went from the mountains of Kosovo to the desert plains of east Africa. Well, the temperature in the mountains of Kosovo averaged 20 degrees and the temperature in Djibouti averaged about 120 degrees.

We left Kosovo during the deployment and landed in Djibouti less than two weeks later. I remember the day we arrived in Djibouti, my driver got out of his vehicle looked around and said, “Well this really sucks! We go from the cold, freezing mountains of Kosovo to the burning hot African desert and we haven’t even had a chance to get climaxed.”

I dang near busted a gut laughing. I said, “You sure are right. I’ll talk to the colonel today and see what he can arrange. In the mean time let’s try to get acclimatized.”

Nobody Home
By Sgt. Teodoro Ramos

While on a dismounted night patrol in the Haditha Triad of Western Iraq, I decided to secure a house to rest.

My point man, Cpl. Malcolm Gray, moved up the steps to a double door steel gate that led into the front yard. Since it was near 2 a.m., Cpl Gray attempted to unlock the metal door as quietly as possible by reaching for the steel bar on the inside of the door that was in the concrete and lifting it, to unlock the gate.

After about 15 minutes of no success and near frustration, Cpl. Gray decided to climb the railing along the steps to have better reach over the gate and pull the metal bar up. As he slowly climbed up the railing he leaned over the other metal door, and at that moment the door slowly squeaked open from his weight. While Cpl. Gray hung helplessly on the open gate, he looked over at me and just laughed.

Caught Up
By Cpl. Nathan Hatchel

I’m in Camp Fallujah Iraq and it’s the end of the work day. I am informed that there is going to be [physical training] the next morning at 6:15 a.m.

I wake up the next morning to my mosque-shaped alarm clock and head over to my office with rifle and PT gear to meet for PT.

We headed to our PT location – what we call “Smurf Mountain.” We are all “left, right-o-leyo,” and we all stopped to stretch.

Smurf Mountain is surrounded by concertina wire and it’s basically an off-road course for 7-ton trucks and other off-road vehicles. There’s only one way to get to the mountain and that’s by stepping on the concertina wire at a certain area. But I decide I want to show off.

I was pretty confident in my jumping skills so I decide that I could clear the concertina wire if I jumped it. So I start off at a pretty good sprint towards the concertina wire. Everyone is still stretching and when they see me start to run they all look at me.

I jump.

What I didn’t notice was the barbed wire just above the concertina wire until it stopped me in mid flight. The barbed wire catches me in the stomach and slingshots me right into the concertina wire.

Everyone begins laughing uncontrollably, gasping for breath. I’m on the deck busy trying to get untangled. After about five minutes of straight uncontrolled laughing, everyone comes to help me out of my situation. Cut and gashed, I feel motivated enough to finish PT session. Everyone talked and laughed about it for months.

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