JAG-ged Edge
Trial Defense Services (TDS) Deployed
By: Andrew Efaw

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Friday, 12-Nov-2004 00:00 Email | Share | Bookmark
PVT Ryan Meets the Swamp Thing at the Blair Witch Project

11/12/04: Did land nav today. I was supposed to hook up with elements of the 818th Maint. Co. from Fort Meade Md. But they failed to show, so I did course by myself in the pouring rain. It was like Buckner all over again. I felt like a real soldier for the first time since I got here. I think this is first time I have had to do a course by myself and with a pace count since I was in FAOBC. Units are sending their people through in groups and some with GPS. I had a GPS but wanted to do it the old school way. A member of the cadre had supplied me with a copy of the answers so I knew I would pass one way or another. The first point was pretty difficult bec. I lost my pace count and was redeveloping my compass skills. I got the next four without a problem. I went back to the 818th and got the scorecard to do night landnav. Again, I went out completely by myself. In the background there was automatic fire from the machine gun ranges nearby. It got very dark very fast and the rain was coming down in buckets and I got lost. I finally just shot a straight azimuth to take myself back to the road. A big tree branch broke and fell in front of me. That scared me and I started moving faster and somehow I got stuck in the middle of swamp. All around me were vines and underbrush and moonlight glinting off water. I took big leap in one direction that I thought would be solid ground and was knee deep and muck. It was kind of like being trapped in B movie, Private Ryan Meets the Swamp Thing at the Blair Witch Project.

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