No Quarter

Updated: October 29, 2013


By Anonymous RU Fan

I was in a transportation company in Iraq (‘08-’09) tasked with transporting M1As, Bradleys, MRAPs, etc, and drove an HET (Heavy Equipment Transport)—look that bad boy up if you haven’t heard of it. We were worked like dogs and rarely got any downtime due to the amount of stuff that needed to be moved from Iraq to Kuwait, as well as the lack of units that had the capability to haul what we could. So, you can imagine the mindset of little 21 year old me at that time.

About 3/4 of the way through our 12-month deployment my mother sent some crayons and other coloring materials as she thought I was in contact with a lot of local children. We really just drove by them, but never got close enough to hand out stuff. During one particular summer mission I decided I’d take these crayons with me and, once we got away from the big wigs, draw some cool shit on my truck and just wash it off before anyone could see on the way back. I proceed to write “No Quarter” (aka: no mercy) on the driver’s side door and “Soul Reaver” on the hood with some nice teeth. I was pretty proud.

crayonsThis was great and most people got a kick out of it until we got back from mission and went to the wash racks to wash it off. To my surprise the crayon would not wash off with the pressure washers… Not even a little. The wax from the crayon had baked into the paint from being on the road in 130+ degree heat for about a week. I took the truck back to the motor pool and parked it hoping we’d have paint to spray over it, but of course we didn’t. The PX was also closed at the time and they also were out of paint.

First thing in the morning I grabbed simple green and a wire brush and started to scrub hoping the big dogs wouldn’t come around to see it. Top, our First Sergeant, just happened to stroll out into the motor pool as I’m standing on a stepstool trying to get this crap off. To make a long story short he wasn’t happy. I think he figured my 2+ hours of scrubbing was punishment enough since he just sat and watched the whole time until I was done.

A day or two later we were in a briefing getting ready to head out again and he drops off a black and white picture of a HET truck and a pink crayon. He says “Next time you want to draw on something, color on this,” and he walked away.

I later found out, per my own research, that it was expressly forbidden in the Geneva Convention for “no quarter” to be declared on an enemy, and by the grace of God we missed a walk through by a four star General that very day we got back. Luckily, I think 90% of the people who saw it didn’t understand the meaning. Even after I painted over it with 2 cans of tan paint “No Quarter” would still bead up clear as day like a nice wax job when getting it wet at the wash racks. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s still there today.

Sometimes I’m surprised I made it as far as I did.




  1. Lucky13

    October 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Haha, good stuff. I had written “I brake for IEDs” on the tailgate of my truck with chalk, I think it made it through the convoy from Baghdad to Al Kut before I had to remove it.

  2. Miles Veteranus

    October 29, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    When I was in “the Stan” in ’02 our XO called the lot of us to gather round. He told us explicitly to deny sanctuary, offer no quarter and kill the enemy. It was the only time in my career that I have heard anything like that. Nor have I or will I ever forget it.

  3. Reaper0607

    October 29, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    I found it humorous to drive around with one of the black and orange “For Sale” signs in the windshield of my guntruck ($1,500 o.b.o), and so did most folks I ran into. Unfortunately for my driver, who was the first one one back to the truck after a pit stop at the chowhall in TQ, he ran in to one Sergeant Major who did not find it quite so funny…and was quite vocal about his displeasure. Leave no one behind? Not so much for me that day because as soon as I saw the Grade A asschewing taking place I did a quick about face and found my way to the nearest MWR area to waited out the storm. Way to take one for the team SPC Griffith…way to take one for the team.

    • Scottlac

      November 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      That’s funny because when I came back from mid-tour leave I brought a “For Sale” sign. The CSM had a pickup truck that he would use on the FOB. My sign went in his back window while he was at chow. It stayed there for most of the day. That sign ended up getting passed around the battalion as people pranked each other with it.

      I also brought a Dominoes Pizza box and some mornings I would just set it outside the door of my hut.

  4. Doc Strong

    October 30, 2013 at 11:33 am

    One of our HUMVEE’s had a cow skull attached to the hood. Never had any problems with it until one day. We were heading back into our FOB after our mission and stopped about a mile away due to a suspicious package on the side of the road. We did our 5/25’s and was checking out the package when we got a call from the FOB. Our CSM was watching us on the long range camera and wanted us to stop everything we were doing and remove the skull right that moment. Never mind that there were people on rooftops watching us (possible snipers?) or that the package had not been fully examined yet (were there secondary IED’s?) Nope, remove the skull now. Jackass.

  5. anon

    October 30, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Good story — one of my soldiers had written (in chalk, thankfully), “MIKE HUNT” on his humvee. Damn privates — God gave them two heads and they only think to use on eof them.

  6. Jake

    October 30, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    When I was in Afghanistan in 2009 one of the police mentor teams I worked on had a Jolly Roger flag on one truck and the Betsy Ross on another. One unfortunate day in February 2009 we took mass casualties in the Helmand Province and a local reporter was on his way through with the mayor of Nad-e Ali. Unknown to us at the time the guy took pictures. Shortly after I guess theses pictures popped up on the Pentagon radar because I guess this one picture of the two flags flying on the antennas made it to NY Times and the Washington Post, they didn’t know who we were or where we were so they blasted all the ARSICs trying to find out who we were to tell us to take them down, we’re not pirates, blah, blah, blah. Needless to say the good ole fun sponge got their way and we had to take the flags down. Wah-wah.

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