Ma Deuce Gunner

Ma Deuce Gunner


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Time to Ride

0300. It is dark. The moon is high and bright, but filtered through the camo netting, it provides an eerie white glow on the warriors who are preparing for a mission.

The smell of diesel exhaust wafts through the motor pool. Radios beep, crackle and hiss... "Animal Base, this is Renegade 3B, radio check, over." "Roger, out" comes the reply.

Clink. Clank. Piink. The sound of .50cal headspace and timing gauges being tested in machine guns. Orange-red cherries from the tips of cigarettes dot the motor pool. Light-hearted banter between the men fills the air, recounting humorous movie lines, laughing about funny occurences on previous missions. Feet shuffle and scrape through the round rocks in the parking lot, as the almost ceremonial pre-mission wrestling match breaks out. Someone has blindsided his buddy and has him in a headlock, and they twist and push and pull, much to the amusement of bystanders. Questions from superiors to subordinates regarding loadplans, gear, and provisions pierce the laughter from time to time.

Red-lensed flashlights surround HMMWV hoods, illuminating maps and imagery, schedules and charts. Questions are asked, roles in the upcoming mission confirmed and reconfirmed. Every once in a while, someone calls out, "Hey... Where did you put that...??" or "Anyone seen my...???"

Then it happens. "Mount UP!!!!!" cries the Lieutentant, and circles of men scatter, striding quickly to their modern day up-armored chariots. The 'riiiiiiiip' of velcro can be heard, from body armor being adjusted and re-adjusted and thin, sturdy tactical gloves donned, the 'snap' of plastic buckles being connected, and gunners clamoring onto the roofs of their gunships. "Good to go!!!" can be heard throughout the motor pool, over slamming doors and idling engines, as final crew checks are done.

"RedCon 1" comes over the radio, as the truck commanders check in with the Platoon leader. All is ready. Armor is on, ammo ready to be loaded into clean weapons, radios constantly chattering.

"Renegades, this is Renegade 6, follow my move." The truck lurches forward as we pull out of our spot and into line. The dust fills my nostrils as we move; I grip the handles of Mama Deuce for stability... I am back, and it is time to ride. I love this stuff.


At 10:37 PM, Blogger Tony B said...

God damn. Nice piece. Keep yourself safe.

At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like the blog - keep it going... DSW

At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 12:02 AM, Anonymous linda said...

Be safe!

At 1:24 AM, Blogger LittleMazza said...

Yup, I know you do. You have a great way of sharing, and we're glad you can give us a vivid picture of what's going on with you and your unit over there. It's real, and we need more of this kind of reminder of what our soldiers experience. Luvya, and keep walkin' with the Lord, cuz He will allow different kinds of twists to occur in life. The Lord never changes, though, what a wonderful promise. Malachi 3:6.

At 6:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're a true Warrior poet. Now get back to work loading those connexes.

At 6:56 AM, Blogger David M said...

Its been a long time since I have experienced that first hand but your writing style has brought it all back. Good Luck, Happy Hunting and Scouts Out!

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Edward said...

Good hunting!
Joyful return...mission accomplished.

Thank you, for without men like you and your brothers-in-arms there would be no freedom anywhere in the world.

At 10:23 AM, Blogger GunnNutt said...

Holy Cow, MDG! Where have you been hiding this literary prowess? You've always been a great read but this post takes the cake. Like you've so aptly said, "I love this stuff."

At 10:46 AM, Blogger said...

Stay low.

At 11:21 AM, Blogger TODD said...

Good luck MDG

Happy hunting, and nail a couple of tangos for us.

Stay safe

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous SSG_K said...

Cigarettes in the motor pool?

What would PS Magazine have to say about that....

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous bill 76016 said...

Just discovered your blog and have enjoyed your comments - but I need some insight -

I'm and old airman ('68 - '72) - what's Ma Deuce - I know it's a gun but what kind and how mounted ?

Were I forty years younger I'd enlist again just for the privilege of serving under "W" and standing in the presence of heroes like you -

MDG - stay safe and thank you -

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Subsunk said...

Welcome Back.

Young Man.

Press on.


At 1:41 PM, Anonymous SuperChief said...

Hey Ma Deuce, just found your blog, great job. My war was in a different time and place but your description brought back the memories of pre-dawn loadouts of our riverboats for an op. Keep up the good work, stay safe, My thoughts are with you and your compatriots...Thanks for everything you troops are doing!

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Peter said...

Watch your six, young Corporal. We're prayin' for you and your comrades.

Bill, Ma Deuce is the M2, the .50 caliber Browning Machine Gun.

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Sutcliffe said...


Remember "Gulf War syndrome" from the first Persian Gulf War? I found out what it is: depleted uranium poisoning. See, the Department of Defense still claims that it's harmless and uses it now more than ever, in Abrams tank armor, in tank gun rounds, in 30mm ammunition fired by A-10 'Warthogs', and a myriad of other uses I'm not privy to. Is it used in the ammunition fired by the 25mm Bushmaster chain gun on the Bradleys and the Marine LAV-25s? I don't know; if I had to guess i'd say it probably is. The worst part is when it becomes depleted uranium dust which is floating around in the air all over Iraq. A single particle of it lodged in your respiratory system is cancer-causing. So far in this war the Department of Defense has used over four times the amount of depleted uranium it used in Gulf War One, so imagine how much worse "Gulf War syndrome" is going to be this time!! Over 200,000 vets of Gulf War One have so far filed for disability because they're crippled from it and in various stages of dying miserabley. Several thousand have already died from it. It also afflicts their spouses andven causes their babies to be born with grotesque deformities!!
So how about that? The Department of Defense "supports the troops" by first poisoning you all, then denying it knows the cause of the "mystery illness"!! Their callous disregard for the well-being of the troops is breathtakingly despicable. Every soldier, marine, airman and sailor should be thoroughly outraged. Please pass this information on to everyone you can.

At 5:54 PM, Blogger David M said...

Gulf War Syndrome=Depleted Uranium Rounds...I don't think so. Those rounds have been in use since the 80's. I remember changing out the loads on the M60A3's even. Gulf War Syndrome is definately something else.

At 7:22 PM, Anonymous MissBirdlegs in AL said...

He/she's posting that crap on all the Milblogs, just under a different name. Nobody is paying any attention to them.

MDG, this was a great post, thank you! Like a previous commenter, if I were 45 yrs younger (& maybe a little bigger), I'd have already seen a recruiter. I appreciate y'all so much!

At 2:14 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Hey Brother. That gave me chills. now I have to go email all of my warrior buddies. Got me thinking about old times.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger John Schroeder said...

Great Post -- Glaad you're back in the saddle and enjoying it. Linked here.

At 11:49 AM, Blogger TODD said...

To Sutcliffe
You need to go back into your 68 VW bus and hit the bong again. This is not the place for all you anti-war crap. WE WILL NOT LET RELIVE THE 60'S AGAIN. Mark my words you bring that peace rally crap to my town you will be escorted out properly

Jack ass

At 8:56 AM, Anonymous MDG's sis said...

Great images, bro! Loved it.

At 4:40 AM, Blogger patrickafir said...

Thanks, MDG. This country is built on spirit like yours.

At 7:34 AM, Blogger Yarbz said...

Nicely written. I thoroughly the detail. It's almost as if i were there...we'll not really. Anyway, let's have some more of this kind of writing.

Stay safe and stay deadly and quick.

Semper Fi (even to you Army folks!),

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Florida Bill said...

Well done. I echo those comments above. Thanks for your service.

At 2:02 PM, Anonymous kelsey bell said...

my big cousin mike, now such a hero! i look forward to talking to you soon... about college and my plans for the future. love always!!


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