Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Walk By Moonlight
Today I produced a watercolor from memory depicting the night movement of Fox Company 2/1 to its assualt position before the city of Ubaydi, Iraq in the early morning hours of 14 November. The company began this 3 kilometer march to the edge of Ubaydi at 0330 in the morning. The moon was up and full; the night air was bracing and very still. Each Marine, heavily laden with gear, weapons and ammo was a ghostly figure trailing a silvery cloud of dust. Marines in the distant line of march faded into a delicate veil of "moondust", slang for the talcum-like powder that the soil of Iraq quickly disolves into under the crush of combat boots and tank treads. The only sounds to be heard were the occasional squeak of a backpack harness, quiet coughs and distant roosters. The ankle deep moondust deadened the Marines' footfalls. We arrived at our positions opposite the town at about 0530, just as morning prayers were being sung in lilting Arabic from the minaret of the main mosque off to our left. The town itself was illuminated by both moonlight and the ubiquitous flourescent lights that grace every building in Iraq.