Task Force Montagua Essay Research Paper James — страница 2

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where all US equipment hit the ground at. At the port is where our first missions began to take place. As previously stated our primary mission was force protection, which includes providing security for American troops as well as equipment. At the port when our vehicles and equipment started to arrive our missions began. The poverty level in Guatemala was like nothing I had ever experienced. Anything that wasn’t guarded by armed troops was more than likely going to be pillaged. People would actually steal our garbage in hopes of finding something of value. Our vehicles became prime targets of thieves and from day one on we had around the clock armed guards baby-sitting our Hummers. Other than having a few cases of bottled water stolen out of a couple vehicles there were no

major incidents to speak of. With all of our vehicles and construction equipment now on the ground in Guatemala our primary missions began to take place. The 833rd Engineer company, out of Toledo Ohio, came in country to rebuild damaged bridges, roads and buildings. Our primary building site was near the Honduran border where a key bridge used for commerce was wiped out by raging flood waters from hurricane Mitch. This was by far the most dangerous part of our trip because we were working approximately two klicks north of Guatemala’s border with Honduras. Guatemala has had armed conflict with Honduras for years now over this disputed boarder. The River is where the Hondurans believe the boarder is but the map shows the boarder approximately two klicks south. We were right in

the middle of a known hot spot. The funny thing about this was that we were told that we would be doing construction that would help the Guatemalan people. The construction was actually repairing damages which occurred on Chiquita banana plantations. In other words American soldiers were deployed to a hot spot to work for a large American corporation. I have no doubts that someone in congress got a large campaign contribution. During our work at the bridge site no combat took place(the bridge is marked on the map) but a few rounds were discharged though. Guatemalan soldiers fired several times on suspected Honduran radicals. No American lives were lost at our work site but we did have a couple of scary moments. There is an unimproved road that leads off the main hardball to the

work site. One afternoon myself and another two man MP team were blocking off the unimproved road leading to the work site. Standing orders were that no civilian traffic was allowed to pass without authorization of the MP Lieutenant, who was supervising security on the other side of the river. We had a white four door Toyota pickup truck pull up to the road block and begin to beep his horn. My best friend who was watching the gate went up to the truck to question the driver. The driver then parked his truck and exited his vehicle yelling. Once the driver was in clear view away from the truck he pulled a loaded and charged .45 caliber pistol and pointed it at my friend. I immediately drew down on the subject and told him I was going to shoot him if he did not lower his weapon. The

man continued to yell, he was doing it so fast that I could not understand what he was saying. This incident seemed to last for hours when it only actually lasted for a few minutes. As quickly as the incident began it was over. The male subject lower his weapon and laid face down on the ground as instructed. We then removed the weapon and took the man into custody. The scariest few moments of my life had ended and everyone was all right. My buddy Larry was visibly shaken and was pretty quiet for the next couple of days. There was one more major incident on this trip. The details of the incident have been labeled as classified but this incident saw four American soldiers dead. The details are a little sketchy but it breaks down like this. Four engineers were approximately two

klicks west of us down river scouting a possible construction site for a hospital. Honduran rebels grabbed them and held them for ransom. When the army notified these individuals that the American government does not negotiate with terrorists, the soldiers were tortured and executed. The bodies of the soldiers were never recovered. The most disturbing part of this is that the truth was never disclosed to the families and American press was never notified. This happened about three weeks ago. The rest of my trip consisted of law and order. We patrolled the streets of Puerto Barrios ensuring that soldiers at the local bars and entertainment spots weren’t getting into any trouble. We had a few problems at some of the prostitution houses. Officers would get drunk and try to take