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.
This 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.