Actions Upon Contact

by:PFC Carnes.

{written by my son while in Afghanistan}



Today's date October 10 2011.
I have been away from my wife and loving family for 10 months now, not a day goes bye that I don't think about them and wonder if what i'm doing with my life makes them proud of me. Growing up I didn't have too many friends and was kind of a loner. I come from a fairly small family, most of them died when I was quite young and don't have many memories of them, but the ones I do have I keep close to my heart and rarely speak of. I am the type of person that if you saw me walking down the street you wouldn't think I am soldier, you might take one look at the tattoos on my arms (not reading what they say) and immediately categorize me as a deviant and a burden on society. I guess first impressions are lasting impressions.
Whomever is reading this if you did ask yourself well then who are you, and if you didn't then fuck off and just skip the next 3 pages



Before I joined the army, I had no tattoos dressed like a skater and smoked pot on a regular occasion, I never really paid too much attention in school, unless it had something to do with a car I really didn't care to much about it, and I almost always found myself in trouble in one form or another. I was the type of kid that needed order and discipline (not to say that I didn't get it at home) and because of the way I was I hurt the people around me and the day that I realized what I was doing my heart had never felt so heavy and full of pain and then I met a girl who helped me turn my life around and I'm thankful for her everyday, because if it weren't for her I most likely would not be writing this, well whatever the fuck you wanna call this, and in time like everyone else before I hurt her as well and what's even worse is I never told her I was sorry for what I had done to her and how thankful I was that she came into my life.

Before I left to go to basic training I was a youth leader at my church for about 3 years and I am a godfather to 2 beautiful children. After basic I went to my duty station and then came home one weekend and ran into a girl I used to work with and we started hanging out and about 2-3 weeks later when I came home again I asked her if she would be my wife and she gladly said yes some people may say that's really fast, before she passed my grandmother told me when I meet someone I'll know when she's the right one. The days went by and one day when I was on a hunting trip in Kentucky (which is where my duty station is) I got the worst call that I had ever gotten, it was my soon to be mother in-law she told me that my wife was in a car wreck and she was unconscious but stable in the ICU, I jumped out of the tree I was in and raced back to Ft. Knox and got the first flight back home when I got to the hospital it was one of the hardest thing was trying to not to have her see me cry, but my efforts failed. When you see the love of your life lying in a hospital bed there's not much else you can really do but cry. She stayed in the hospital for about a week, less than 2 weeks later it was Dec 4, 2010 our wedding day, a day every little girl dreams about. This was her day and let me tell you this no words can describe how beautiful she looked walking down the aisle holding on to her father's arm, we were wed by my father and we went home as husband and wife this was the best day of my life. We have been married almost a year now even though our first year I was in Afghanistan our love for each other is still strong. I get to go home in 2 months and I can't wait to see my family and tell them all of my stories.
Well there you have it, that's my life pretty much. I take everything for what it is good or bad, and if you actually took the time to read this and you now feel bad for me then you can get fucked 'cuz I don't need your sympathy.
My life has made me who I am.


Oct 11, 2011
One more closer to going home. Its 0630 and I’m on KP (kitchen patrol) the only thing going through my head is what am I doing this for I’m a soldier, a trained killer, I could have sworn that this fat fucking poge was perfectly capable of taking out their own damn trash, but I took as many shifts as I could so I could let my guys rest as much as they could before their mission later in the day.

Oct 11, 2011 cont.
The other day we received word that sometime within the upcoming weeks we would be air assaulting into an AO where choppers get shot down to conduct an operation that should have nothing to do with us, but that's of no concern to me because it's my job and I see no more fitting way to end my life, but this is the first time i've been nervous the entire deployment not for me but for the family that I have fought and bled with for 10 months now, their lives hold more value to me than my own and I would gladly give my life for them any day wherever it be at home or in theater. The bonds formed between soldiers are not spoken to each other but held only in our hearts, we do not tell each other that we've got there back because there's no need to we all know it and we can feel it and nothing can break this bond it's in our blood, even tho we may fight with each other, come game time none of that matters.
Today 3-10 did a raid in an area we had been in weeks before and found a layout of our entire AO as the mouths progress and it is getting closer to the time when the pass between our AO and Pakistan will be covered by snow and impossible for travel things are heating up little by little and time is running out for them.

Oct 12, 2011
here we go, yep it's a rant
The things that are pissing me off for today:
our fagot ass BC wants us to take razor wire and traffic cones on our upcoming air assault mission what the fuck are we gonna do with that shit? I know for damn sure i'm not dragging that shit up and down mountains, and the other thing is when someone says thank you to someone in uniform and they don't even know what they do, 9 times out of 10 you can tell if someone is a soldier or not because we don't like that shit most of us hate being thanked “for what we do” so in short don't fucking do it. I think if you're a soldier you should get a uniform that no one else has and poges should where the old BDUs.

“Deployment is like being in prison, you get your yard time which consists of mission and going to the gym, and once in awhile they'll come and go through all of your shit all the while you've got some asshole yelling at you.”


Dec 14-18 2011
Day 1.
This was undoubtedly the longest day of my life, it was about a 28hr day and about 20° but it was one of the greatest days of the deployment for me at least. We were clearing a village, I was kicking in doors and tearing shit up. For once I actually felt like I was doing my job for once, it was a great feeling.

Day 3.
The best day of the mission we entered a draw occupied by the Taliban suspected somewhere in the thousands. As we made our way to the top we found about 25 dug in sleeping areas and fighting positions, still pushing to the top about 800m we uncovered 22 RPG rounds, 5 IEDs, and later on 10 more RPG rounds. One of the IEDs was an EFP which I had never seen before in Afghanistan,there more common in Iraq. It you don't know what an EFP is, it's a directional shape charge capable of ripping through tanks, it's like a slug from a shotgun, but the slug is the size of a football. We also found a book with names, phone numbers, and places of employment of Haqqani leaders. This truly was a big win for the US, but the win for me was as simple as a coat that I stole from there camp. It wasn't anything special, just a tattered BDU jacket, but it saved my life because 8500ft up in the mountains it gets pretty damn cold.

Day 4.
Last day; fucked around, climbed some mountains and then moved to set in our patrol base then there were fires and rejoicing and dancing (no bullshit) we were all happy to be going home or at least to the the place we have called home for almost a year now. The best part of the mission was I found the army family I was looking for, we helped each other the entire way giving each other the last little bit of our water or our last piece of food, even at night we would sleep close so as to conserve body heat. I love my life, but I still miss home and my beautiful wife

Oct 27, 2011
So the days are getting shorter and the nights longer and colder. It's getting the that point where the pass between us and pakistan will be covered with snow and unable to use, so this is the time for them them to make their final attacks and I say “fucking bring it”.
We have noticed an increase in IED emplacements and the other platoons who go outside the wire are getting hit with small arms fire on a daily basis.
Today was our first mission in 4 days due to us having to pull guard on the COP,
1st Sqd went to manjay, while Wep Sqd went to the OP on the cop(it's about a K in elevation) we pretty much went up there took of our helmets, sat around, smoked, and talked about home for about 3hrs so it was a pretty short day with no small arms fire unfortunately.
Tomorrow is a safety stand down day it's basically a day off to rest and refit even tho we just had 4 days off to pull guard.

Oct 31- Nov 1, 2011.
Wake up: 0245
Roll out: 0400
Me, my Sqd leader and a sniper team make our way out of the wire to set in for a 36hr SKT (small kill team) at a spot where the last time we were here we killed 3 guys trying to emplace an IED. Meanwhile elsewhere the ground element is setting up fake KLE's (key leader engagements) and clearings in hopes of distracting the enemy away from us. We were up on the mountain for about 18hrs when RCP (rout clearance) was passing by our position they received about 5 rounds of IDF from 2 separate locations and small arms fire there vehicles did not return fire they just kept driving (RCP is scared of where we are and they're always getting shot at when they drive through because they're all dumb ass's) but any way where was I at...oh yeah so our AWT (air weapons team) came on station and observed what they thought was somebody with an RPG which turned out to be a roll of fabric, but we stopped what we were doing, broke down and moved out, when we got to where our AWT saw the guy we hung out for a little bit and nothing turned up, so we mounted back up and headed back to the COP at about 1800.
Our 36hr mission was about ½ of what it was supposed to be

Nov 3, 2011.
Today we did some paperwork and got word on how it's going to go when we get home...you have no idea how good it feels to say that home were at the point where we are packing up and getting ready to rip out and it feels great I can't wait to go home to my family, it's so close and still feels so far away tho a mount and a ½ is a long time in Afghanistan.


This is a recap from before I started this:
(its pretty much just of random other stuff i've done)
One day when we were in a place called Nowday I shot a MK-19 into a mosque.
(The MK19 is a machine gun which fires a 40mm grenade with anti-personnel fragmentation and light anti-armor capability. It fires 40mm grenades at the rate of 325 - 375 rounds per minute.)
yeah that's it;
anyway the next time we were in Nowday I got shot in the elbow of all places and I was inside of an armored turret, Bled all over my truck.
Got yelled at for throwing away the fragment of the round I pulled out of my arm, there words were “now we can't give you a purple heart” and my exact words were “I don't want a fucking purple heart”

Nov 5, 2011.
Today we went out and set up on S.P.H.
Today is a Muslim holiday known as Eed it is to celebrated the birth of the muslim prophet Muhammad. To celebrate these jackass's decide to shoot into the fucking air; are you shitting me, on the way back to the COP I could see these retards shooting from rooftops, REALLY.

Nov 7, 2011.
Our mission was to escort our ANA and major Faread (ANA commander) to the ANA checkpoint in ya-koby.
We got there after 3hrs of walking, hung out for a while, then on our way back we took contact from a nearby treeline. The rounds were way too close for comfort (all around us) we could all hear the rounds crack past our heads. We ran to our positions set in the gun and returned fire, the nut sack (25-100 round pouch for machine guns) on the 240 got pinched due to the weapon sinking into the soft dirt and only fired 2 rounds thankfully everyone else picked up there fire (even the medics).
We are all hungry and eager to kill even after 11 months of fighting we all want that kill before we rip out.
When we returned our ANA had a small party and invited us and some of our leadership.
All and all not to bad of a day.

Nov 8, 2011.
Fuck yeah!
Today we had a company competition it was pretty much to see what platoon is the best and we dominated it was to be expected we knew we were the best and now everyone else does too.
Later on that night we had a mission,
we went out to Manjay and set in for counter IDF. I have been a team leader for almost a mount before my old lazy ass team leader got back from leave,
now that he's back we are pretty much competing for the team leader position and as of tonight I think i've got it in the bag he doesn't know what the hell he's doing.
I was told if I became team leader it would help me get promoted (sweet) even tho I hit my 2 years in Feb and get promoted for time and service.
Now that the missions over it time to hit the gym.
I was informed today our next deployment may be to africa.

Nov 12, 2011. Count.
Tonight we air assault into a place called Zanbar, this place hates US and ANA alike.
This is a 2 day opp and it's about 25k all together, it's an ANA led mission and there gonna be pissed because we changed there mission completely from what they wanted to do; last time they got pissed off they were with 1st Plt they punched one of their NCO's in the face and had mexican standoff weapons at the ready and on fire, so yeah lets hope this goes well.
On the final day on the mission (during the middle of the day) were walking through all of the villages that hate us just so we can get back to the COP (home),this is my first big mission as team leader I hope I do well and get all my guys home safe.

Nov 14, 2011.
Mission complete the 16k walk back sucked but whatever, no contact which was very surprising. I think I did pretty well as a team leader and I think everyone else saw it too so we'll see what happens from here.
39 days left (give or take).
Time to hit the gym.

Nov 16, 2011.
The people of Sabari have a code in which they live by; one of the things this code says is when someone comes to your house you must be hospitable and give them food and a bed to sleep in, even if you hate this person you must treat them with kindness and hospitality. The other thing is they must protect their guest while they're staying with them. They also believe in an eye for an eye, these are the things that   can start tribal wars.
Today our mission was to provide overwatch for 1st Sqd on there way to Chinah we set in our OP after about an hour our ANA got hungry and decided to go get us some food when they came back the ANA and two villagers had in hand chi, murai (unleavened afghan bread)
and some food which was amazing even tho it had no meat.
Quote of the day: Sgt Ottero
“If you can make meth you can make money”

Nov 17, 2011.
MWR on blackout for two days now so I didn't get to call my best friend and tell her happy birthday, or call my wife and tell her how much I love her.
Our mission today was to make our way to MKK and KKD and do some KLEs why we need the gun to go through the villages I have no idea.
(when I say the gun I mean the 240 it heavy as hell and primarily for COP defense, on OP for overwatch and fire support)

Nov 18, 2011.
Today I was given some fag ass coin form some ass who thinks hes is the greatest thing to happen in the army.
The coin was given to me for combat excellence...yeah; sure, ok whatever.
Yeah that's it, to me it doesn't matter just another war trophy for my dad.

Nov 19, 2011.
Today while on guard the COP took a single round of IDF for the first time in two mounts and on top of that up to now we haven't killed any innocent civilians.

Nov 20, 2011.
1 month, 3 days.
tomorrow we're doing cataloging in Manjay (it where we find out who lives where in the village so we can keep track of our areas and set the next unit up for success)
so it's probably going to weapons Sqd no the COP OP a fairly short day.

Nov 21, 2011.
Ok so I lied it wasn't a short day when we went up to the OP and nightfall hit the COP took IDF I observed the POO site (point of origin) so we pushed up 200m to the top of the mountain to get a better view on where it was coming from thankfully it was only about 500-600m away from our ground element was they pushed to the village of Chinah and after about 30min we found the tube but lost the guys.
All and all a pretty good day.

Nov 22, 2011.
Tonight we are making our way to double Roshan it's a radio tower about 2k away to set up an SKT (small kill team)


Nov 23, 2011.
Ok so mission success they changed it, it wasn't an SKT it was an OP to provide overwatch for the ground element conducting raids. Before we got there and set in we were getting ready to cross route Alaska and somebody shines an IR light on our position from on top of  double Roshan.
Its Hanabel (there from Back there 5k to our N-NE) in our AO without checking on missions in our area, and there advising up to not set up our OP because we might mess up there gay SKT fuck that.
There scouts and were a Wep Sqd it's pretty sad when we look and are more professional than them and we have more noise discipline then them and we carry a lot more weight. I love how much better we are then everyone else.

Nov 24, 2011.
Thanksgiving!
Im thankful for an amazing career
and my supportive family.
No mission for me today half of the Plt left to go do a mission with FTF (ok these guys suck they think they're high speed but there just retarded)
ate to much food...time to sleep.

Nov 27, 2011.
So my guys still aren't back yet, this place is boring as hell with no people and no missions; Time is dragging.
So the other day my Sqd leader said that he was gonna fight for me to get promoted early, I guess i'm starting to make a big impression on everybody, but all I care about is getting us home. We've got a little less than a month left and there's like 2 patrol cycles left till we do “left seat right seat” with the new guys (it's where we'll do missions and they'll follow us then they'll do missions and we'll observe them.) and then i'm out of here.

Nov 29, 2011.
Today Doc Tek and Sgt Boyd left us to make there way back to the states.
24 days left for me and I counting them down.

Dec 5, 2011.
Early this morning (0230) we made our way to big G with little to no lume. With our faces painted and our eyes heavy from lack of sleep, we left the cop to set in our last skt of the deployment.
On our way there we encountered a camel; yes a camel and he slowly made his way into our formation right behind me none the less and every time I would look back to make sure we still had all of our guys so would the camel. When we arrived at the at the base of big G about 20 monkeys started screaming and running around on the top of the mountain... I hate monkeys. We set in close to the top and waited for daybreak, when morning was upon us we started our sleeping rotation (2 up 1 down) and waited for our trucks to leave the cop and pass our location, and hope someone would try to plant an IED in the road so that we could engage them. 15Hrs later nothing, our last SKT was a bust so we made our way back to the cop empty handed.

Dec 8, 2011.
Today at about 1000 the first of the new unit arrived not much longer and the rest of them will be here and i'll be on my way home.

Dec 12, 2011
Today our mission was for 2nd Sqd to go to Manjay while Wep Sqd pushed up on the ANA OP on our way up we could here the Yacoby check point taking contact when we were set up at the top the COP took two rounds of IDF from Nuri-kaly so we ran to a better spot to engage and returned fire (Nuri-kaly is about 3500m from the OP and the max range of a 240 is 3725m with no wind so it was kinda hard to get'em out there) and then Bak received a complex attack of small arms and RPG's when the guys who shot at us from Nuri-kaly tried to drive away bam-bam (our new atr weapons team) stopped them, from the air mind you, and 3rd Plt rolled out to get them.
When they got there they found a shit load of stuff (2 RPK's, 2 mortar rounds, 10 AK mags, mortar tube, 1 grenade, 200 RPK rnds, 2 chest racks, 6 BDU uniforms, 6 sky masks, 1 burka, and a tripod for the mortar system) and cuffed the 3 guys and brought em back all and all a good find and a good day.
(oh yeah and Bot shot a sheep from the OP)
9 days left...

Dec 18, 2011.
Ok so the new guys got here a few days ago and they're fucking stupid.
I just got done at the gym and went to the chow hall to get some water and sticking out of one of the trash gans was a bunch of maps of everyone's AO; really are you serious? That's why we have a burn box and burn days.
4 days left.

Dec 22, 2011
Today we started our way back home 
9-12 days left.

If this is the last word you ever here from me just know that I love u all and not a day went bye that you weren't in my heart.
Here it is the real reason I joined the army it wasn't for fame or glory or even to kill and blow shit up.
It was for you, I wanted to join to serve my country and provide for my family who I love with all my heart.
When i'm asked why I made the choice I did I always tell them its what my grandfather did and maybe in some way it rubbed off on me but it's not entirely true I think if I make it out of this alive I think for once i'll tell the truth for once in my life.
I have spent most of my life hiding behind the lies that I have created in my head. Now don't think for a minute that i'm scared of my own death, it is something we all must experience and it is a part of all our lives. I also value my life and live it to the fullest and never take it for granted. In closing I love u all and you will always have a place in my heart. Love, Chris
2nd Ptl Weapons squad Bco. 1-26  3-1
Big Red One
This book, if you wish to call it that
is dedicated solely to my loving father.
If it weren't for him I would not be here today, to be the man that I am.
I love u dad.

“See you on the other side”