Q&A With Sgt. Sapper, A Soldier In Iraq
The war in Iraq brings with it many perspectives.
This week's Q&A is with Sgt. Joe Sapper, a soldier currently stationed in Iraq (real name withheld at his request). His answers were edited slightly for grammar, when appropriate. Normally, we don't print vulgarities here, but I really can't blame the guy.
Sgt. Sapper's words speak for himself.
1. What made you enlist in the military?
I enlisted in the Marines out of desire to serve my time as an American, then I joined the army because I still wanted to blow stuff up.
2. What is your day-to-day life in Iraq like?
There is no day to day life for me in Iraq. I can say we have certain missions to accomplish like patrols and removal of IED's [improvised explosive devices], but those go at all hours of the day. We are on call for anything. Eat, sleep, and shit regularly.
Some units have it easy like back at Ft. Hood. They are what we call FOB monkeys (the FOB is the "forward operating base") and some soldiers never leave. They are the ones who the reporters usually talk to. So they explain [their] life here and people get one view, a view of a REMF [rear echelon mother f*cker], not of real soldiers.
3. When you have free time, what do you do?
Free time is hard to come by. I usually listen to the radio and shoot the shit with people. Sometimes watch a DVD, try to write home or wait in line for a couple minutes on the internet.
4. What can we do to make your life easier over there?
Enlist so we don't have to rotate back so soon.
Really there is nothing the American public can do. The unending care packages [are] very welcome and appreciated by all, but there is nothing you can do to make it easier, maybe just a little more pleasant.
5. What's the most important thing Americans should know about Iraq?
Shit. I don't know.
The majority of the people in my area don't give a shit about who is in charge, democracy, freedom or anything. It's like giving a monkey a laptop. You might think it's great and couldn't get by without one, but what the hell is the monkey gonna do with it? Fuck it up that's what.
They want to live with out getting killed by us, the mahdi militia, the foreign fighters, ING, whoever. They want the necessities, clean water, electricity, sewers, and they want it NOW.
They want everything right now, but don't want to work for it. GIMME GIMME GIMME. I hear it every time on patrol.
I'd like to thank Sgt. Sapper for serving this country and being so brutally honest. At the very least, regardless of your view of the war, remember what he's doing right now the next time you complain about your job.
A few days ago, I posted places where you can get some non-traditional sources of information on the war. You can find that post here.
In addition, here are some additional links of interest, in terms of ways to help U.S. troops:
Here in Reality
Teamsters Local 1150
You may also find my previous Q&A with Anton Srdanovic, Candidate For Congress, here.