Excerpt from Corporal Mosqueda’s United States Marine Corps standard-issue Federal Supply Service green-canvas hard-cover journal:
“Wed Feb 6, 1991
On July 29th, 1990, Saddam Hussein promised he would not invade Kuwait. Well he obviously lied because here I am writing this journal now.
Don’t let anyone lead you to believe that this war is not because of money. Wait a minute, we’re still not officially at war. Congress and the President have not declared it yet. So far we’ve been calling it a campaign. To date, this campaign is going very well. Extremely well.
Well, it’s now a quarter after 3 in the afternoon on Feb 12th so it’s pretty obvious that I’m not really going to keep this journal up to date. I’m sitting in a fighting hole with Craig and Mark. Mark is reading the daily paper but wants the local news from back home and Craig is writing yet another letter to Janine – but not before it’s proofread and checked for spelling.
We’re over here right now because 1st platoon is now the “hot FDC” and we’ve had more than enough of our SGT. Meech for the day. Although I have to admit that he actually has been able to keep his temper so far, considering that he is SGT. Meech after all.
This whole past week has been more bullshit work as always. We had a couple of classes but otherwise there’s been just too much time wasted. It seems to take us one entire day to do one simple thing. When we got gassed for 2 minutes – that took the whole day. When we threw a grenade or two – a whole day. ‘We do more before 9 o’clock then most people do all day.’ What we do after 9 o’clock is another story.
Everybody got liberty this weekend except for those who were on light duty – ‘the sick, lame, and lazy’ as they’re called. It was a good break from the bullshit that’s been going on since we got here. The only ones who stayed in town were the Popp brothers, Jacobs, Pedigo, Drake and SGT. Meech. I kind of felt sorry for Meech because no one invites him anywhere. Popp and I even saw him by himself at the E-club when we went into town for dinner on Saturday.
I think the only ones who like Meech are his new, transferred Texas A&M roommates Drake & Palacios. They haven’t known him long.”
None of us noticed, remembered or cared that it was Valentine’s Day the next day. At least that’s what we told each other. We all got drunk together. We goofed around, fooled around, and looked out after each other. We also argued vehemently with each other, wrestled & fist-fought, and taught and learned from one another all the different reasons we hated the world and loved the company and misery we shared. We hated god and loved going to church together. We judged our differences and were fascinated by unique experiences together. We were ready to defend and kill for our told principles, but would not think of harming our new best friends… our new family, that we learned to love. We were not ready to say this out loud.
We were allowed to love each other. We were just not allowed to do the unspeakable… We couldn’t “like” each other.
Don’t ask me why. I can’t tell you. At least not yet.