Somalia Medal The Canadian Airborne Regiment in Somalia
A Soldier's Journals
Tuesday, January 23, 2018  

Somalia '93




 

Garrison Duty

7 February 93

We were issued our tan combats yesterday afternoon.  We have three different types, one of heavy cotton, one of the same material as our combats and the third a lightweight version of our combats.  We are supposed to trial them, but they gave us only extra large sizes and they hang off of us.  Obviously by the sizes they gave us, they thought we were all fat REMF's (rear echelon mother fuckers) like themselves.  What can you do?

The REMF's have been filtering off all of the best supplies, keeping the majority of the beer and good rations for themselves.  We are left with limited supplies and are beginning to resent them for it.  They are here to keep us supplied, but they act as if their sole purpose is to make themselves more comfortable at our expense.

I have been selected as permanent canteen queen for the week our platoon is on garrison duty.  It is not that bad I guess, sitting in the canteen watching movies all day.  It is better than sitting on OP, but 10 hours a day is rather long.

8 February 93

Coalition hits Somali faction:  Rival leaders requested attack on Morgan forces - Globe and Mail, 26 Jan 93.

Reading the above headline shows me just how screwed up the situation is over here.  Today in our o'group we were told that General Morgan was asking for coalition help to repel and expected attack by his rival Colonel Jess.  I was also reading in a Kenyan newspaper a couple of days ago that people believed General Morgan was, and had been for some time, hiding out in Northern Kenya.  Of course the Kenyan government denied it, saying it was all rumours.

I pulled another guard duty shift last night after working until 23:20.  I also have another shift tonight.  That is working out to 17 plus hours a day and not much sleep, so I told Sgt Veary that I need a break.  I haven't even had time to take a shower since I got back from Kenya.  He went to the WO and it was decided that I would work the canteen one day on and one day off, switching with Bech.

I got a letter from Sherri yesterday with a picture.  God does it smell good, makes me miss home allot.  I can smell it on everything it touches.

We fixed up the tent today by building a porch out of old palettes and hardening the floor with some excess wash water.  For a final touch I put up a small Canadian flag and we renamed our home "Bob's Country Bunker" in honour of all the country music the others listen too.  If I'm not careful, I'm going to start liking country.

The generator went down this evening and a bunch of us gathered around voicing ideas about what could be wrong with it and then trying to fix it.  By far the best comment came from Sgt Mercier who announced that he thought it worked on batteries.  Eventually we got it fixed after trying just about everything.  In the end, it turned out to be just a clogged fuel line.

9 February 93

It was a nice day.  After a two hour shift last night, I managed to sleep in until eight.  We skipped breakfast and immediatly went to work on the perimeter fence.  It only took us a couple of hours to finish putting the third strand of concertina up.  I spent the rest of the morning helping Bruce make a table for the tent out of scrap wood from palettes.  After a shift on guard duty I had my first shower since Nairobi.  We then had dinner on our new porch.  All we need now is patio lanterns for that final touch.

After dinner Chris broke out pate, red wine and melba toast from a care package and I brought out the chess set I bought in Nairobi.  We sat at our new table on our new porch playing chess, drinking wine and snacking on pate.  A nice way to spend the evening even if he did beat me as usual.

Chris went on shift so I played Rick and beat him.  It is good for the ego to win once in awhile.  At about nine, the generator went on the blitz again, so we shut it down and lit lanterns for the night.

10 February 93

I spent the day on canteen duty reading through my Lonely Planet East Africa guide and dreaming about my two week R & R.  Bruce and the rest of the section spent the day re-enforcing the front bunker.  It must have been hard work under the desert sun.

The generator was on the blitz again, so instead of watching the movie which is on and off again, I sit watching the light show of tracers flying over Beled Weyne.  It is a beautiful, but deadly display.

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