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Posted: 5/3/2004 9:32:02 AM EDT
Hey guys.  I have lingered around the website for about a year now, and this is my first (that I can remember...) time posting.  I am currently in Eastern Iraq, serving with the TF 150th, from the 30 heavy seperate brigade (NC national guard), attached to the 1st ID (big dumb one...).  Please don't reply with any of the "thanks for serving", I appreciate it but that is not the point of this post.  I was wondering if any of you had questions about what it is like here, I will tell you as much as I can.  I have come to love my M4 (Roxy is her name).  Specs:

Colt made, standard M4
RAS rail system handguards
Surefire flashlight (not sure of the model number...)
Aimpoint CompML (or M68 as we call them)

we were supposed to get flip up rear sights but they ran out.  Funny how highranking officer types who never leave the FOB (foward operating base, today's firebase) get all the cool stuff, while I know line soldiers who still have A2s...my other baby my 249 SAW has an Elcan on it, although I normally don't keep it mounted (saws aren't exactly presicion fire weapons, though they are suprisingly accurate).  Our SAWs have the ABN barrels (like 10 inches?), with RAS rails.  Hopefully soon I will be trading my 249 for a 240B...but that is probably wishful thinking.  I am currently an FO assigned to A CO 150AR, but they are infantry right now (there tanks are still in WV).  

I myself am 20years old, from Charlotte NC.  My wife and I have a house in Cramerton, about 15 minutes from the city.  

I do have one question though, we have been told by our armorer not to use graphite lubrication, but we do have some over here, does anyone know if it will hurt the rifle or not?  Any other tips for desert use would be appreciated (I know to keep it clean...and normally I keep it dry of CLP).

Spc.  James Andrews
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 9:33:08 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 9:46:42 AM EDT
Welcome aboard and Happy Hunting!!!

Thanks for your service and be safe over there
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 9:50:39 AM EDT
Greetings and welcome!
Take care and watch your 6.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 9:54:38 AM EDT
I don't know about the lube question, but I'm sending you an IM (check the buttons at the top of the screen).

As for questions, the biggest one I have is what is the REAL general opinion of the Iraqi people toward us?  As you can guess, the news media can be selective in what they report and emphasize.

You and you buddies can be sure that we are behind you!
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 9:55:01 AM EDT
If you can get it, try militec.  If you follow the directions, you can apply it, wipe it dry, and still have sufficient lubrication on the weapon for proper function.  I could well understand that graphite might fould things up a bit.  Just my take on it YMMV.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 9:59:28 AM EDT

Any other tips for desert use would be appreciated

During Desert Storm I would daily use the compressed air off of one of our duce & 1/2s to blow my rifle clean. If your rifle is relativly dry(you mentioned keeping the CLP to a minimum), the compressed air will blow out any crud thats managed to work it's way into Roxy ;)

Stay Safe & watch 6
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 10:00:52 AM EDT
Ok, I will start...what do you miss the most? What everyday item do you miss the most? What is the biggest culture shock for you? What do you like best about being over there? When are you coming home? I have a sister in Charlotte(suburb, gotta look it up), if we can do anything, please let me know.

I am no expert, but I use CLP in my Bushy(Lorraine) and she goes a few shoots before cleaning AND I shoot Wolf!! I may not clean her every time, but I do make sure there is 'fresh' CLP before shooting. Spray on, wipe off excess.

Sorry, but I do have to thank you for your service, at least I followed the other instructions!!

ByteTheBullet  (-:
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 10:03:51 AM EDT
Shoot an "Insurgent" and take his AK!
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 10:05:26 AM EDT
How's the response from the "average" iraqis?  Good, bad, indifferent?

Give us some regular updates, too.  The news that our newspapers have decided isn't actually news because it doesn't conform to their editorial biases...


Link Posted: 5/3/2004 10:06:00 AM EDT
Do not use graphite - it attacks aluminum.  You may have noticed some aluminum parts on your M4...
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 10:15:53 AM EDT
I have a few questions.
What ONE thing under 25.00 would you like to see in a care package.

Do you think what your doing is worth it ? What is the general opinion in your unit.

What do you think about the extentions for the guys in country.

How do the people that you have contact with feel about us. Do they ALL hate us or do some help you out when they can?

VIRGINIA supports You guys 100 %

Good luck and be as careful as you can.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 10:26:17 AM EDT
I have one question,

How do you guys feel about being on such a short leash? We would'nt have near as many losses if you guys could use all of your power.

Be careful and thanks for your service, the beers are on me...

Link Posted: 5/3/2004 10:30:47 AM EDT

Do not use graphite - it attacks aluminum.  You may have noticed some aluminum parts on your M4...

QS, this is new info for me!  I thought graphite was inert.  When I see "attacks", I think chemically.  Or, do you mean that it causes the Al to wear more?  
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 10:40:47 AM EDT
Nope...it's a galvanic reaction that corrodes the aluminum.  

Link Posted: 5/3/2004 3:03:04 PM EDT
Back in basic aircraft maintenance school they emphasized never to mark on aluminum with a pencil.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 3:32:57 PM EDT
James...My father in law served in the 30th Division 119/L in WW2...From The Bulge to The Elbe....

Link Posted: 5/3/2004 4:44:50 PM EDT

Ah, welcome--and THANK YOU for your service to the Country.  Keep your head down, and watch six.  

Link Posted: 5/3/2004 4:48:34 PM EDT
If it moves, shoot it, if it doesn't, blow it up. Watch your ass.
Don't take pictures
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 5:00:55 PM EDT
Since you won't let us "thank you for your service" be sure to tell ALL in the sandbox that we support you 100%

Do not use graphite on your M4. If you ger near enough to some of the Air Force guys, ask them about graphite and aluminum.
Link Posted: 5/3/2004 5:09:00 PM EDT
Welcome aboard James!

Thank you for what you're doing over there.  Kick some ass, then repeat.

One question I have is:  How is the M16/M4 performing over there.  Any problems or is it functioning well?

Watch your 6!

Link Posted: 5/3/2004 5:38:16 PM EDT
I like Militec. Just wipe the excess off.
If you or your guys want to try some IM me with your addy and I'll get some shipped out to you.
Thanks and watch your 6.
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 12:15:14 AM EDT
I guess I'll leave the graphite unopened.  From what I hear the m4/16s are working fine.  You just have to clean them (sorry Jessica...).


Not everywhere in Iraq is like Baghdad and Fallujah.  Where I am is actually very quiet.  We have had no direct attacks on any of the units in my FOB that I know of (only a specialist, I have to gather intel, they don't brief me).  The people here are very poor, and worry about supporting there families more than who is in power over them.  In other areas, I know many Iraqis want us gone.  But in other areas yet, I have met many who love us for liberating them.  That is the best feeling on earth, I have seen old men come up and kiss US soldiers with tears in their eyes and thank them.  The younger they are here, the less they appreciate it.  The more power they had under Saddam the less they appreciate it.  

SHOULD WE BE HERE.  I don't know if we should be here or not.  In my opinion, God wants me here, or I wouldn't have joined when I did, or the unit that I did.  President Bush is a man of God, and I don't think he would be so misled to send us here wrongly.  All I can do is make the best of it, and experience what many men envy.  Now as to not being able to show our true power (and I know, they NEVER let us use FA).  It is appropraite for the area we are in.  In Fallujah, they started bombing the crap out of the city when stuff got really bad.  We don't need to make more enemies than we have.  It is VERY delicate here.  Some days I would say "fuck em, if they don't cooperate, well tear down their city with mortars!", but that obviously wouldn't get far.  I think most in my unit think along the same lines.  We wish we could do what we were trained for (war, not policing), but it isn't needed here.  We can't destroy a village because they hid a few insurgents.  

AS TO WHAT I MISS.  I miss my wife.  If I could have her here, but out of danger of indirect fire, and a little room for me and her, I wouldn't care if was running missions 16hours a day 7days a week.  All the little things on earth like constant power, drinkable tap water, long showers, soft mattresses, soft sheets, not being dusty as soon as you walk out of the friggin shower tent...those suck but are very livable.  We live a lot better than most of the Iraqis who live around here.  We live a lot better than a lot of soldiers in Iraq.  I miss my wife, and my family and friends.  And I have only been in country 2 months.  I can not understand what the guys in hot areas, who have been here for a year, and just got extended are going through.  That is BS.  One year is a long enough tour.

If you guys want to send packages, look on the web for soldiers who don't have people at home to send them stuff.  I get more stuff than I can keep, my family takes very very good care of me here.  I greatly appreciate the offer, but there are many other soldiers who don't have that many people at home sending them stuff.  I know there is a website somewhere to hook up with soldiers with no family members.  I'll ask my CoC about it.

Link Posted: 5/4/2004 1:24:18 AM EDT
I am glad to hear you are very positive over there. I cant truly understand the things you miss, I have never been in that situation. Please find out that website for soldiers who need things. If you know anyone ask if they want anything sent over there. I am not rich but anything will help right?

Be careful and keep posting when you get a chance. If you need anything let us know.

, Rob
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 2:58:42 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 3:15:11 AM EDT


Don't take incriminating pictures

Thanks for posting!  
I have family on Oak Island, NC
Link Posted: 5/4/2004 3:28:50 AM EDT
Great posts, Thx James
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