Local boy makes good


Pfc. Jason Hagan, from Grand Rapids, Mich., a member of Scout Platoon, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, takes a break in the back of a Humvee at Camp Fallujah, near Fallujah, Iraq, on Saturday. The unit was on a mission to escort other troops into Ramadi.

From the October 18 Frontline Photos

Pfc. Hagan and his unit apparently are part of the “pause” in offensive operations that will last until after the elections. They’re spending their free time escorting other troops into Ramadi, which must a great place to unwind during a lull like this. Which reminds me of

“We are now retiring toward the enemy following the salvage of all the Third Fleet ships recently reported sunk by Radio Tokyo.” — Admiral William P. Halsey, Jr., October 19, 1944, message to Admiral Nimitz (CINCPAC).

Japanese mainstream media had reported Halsey’s fleet wiped out. Sixty years ago, plus one day. And an election year, to boot. (Never mind all those US troops in France and Holland and Sicily and Italy and North Africa, none of which had any direct connection to Pearl Harbor. That whole European war was such a distraction.)

But, then, this would make the LA Times sort of like Radio Tokyo, wouldn’t it?

As usual, my analogies aren’t perfect. But they’re usually pretty close.

UPDATE: Incidentally, the 1-9 Infantry is NOT the “First of the Ninth” seen in APOCALYPSE NOW!. That was the 1-9 Cavalry.

Willard: It was the Air Cav, First of the Ninth, our escorts to the mouth of the Nung river. But they were supposed to be waiting for us another 30 kilometers ahead. Well, Air Mobile, those boys just couldn’t stay put. First of the Ninth was an old cavalry division that had cashed in its horses for choppers, and gone tear-assing around ‘Nam, looking for the shit. They’ve given Charlie a few surprises in their time here.


Kilgore: This is the First of the Ninth son. Air Cav. Air Mobile. Now we can take and pick your boat right up out of the water and put it down just anywhere you like, young captain.

The 1-9 Cav really was in Vietnam and really did give Charlie a few surprises in their time. They’re currently in Iraq as well, in the Baghdad vicinity, attached to the 1st Cav Division.

The 1-9 Infantry also has a long and storied history. My guess is that they’re adding to it as I write this.

Just in case you were, you know, wondering.