I spent some time with the arty guys from 3/11 in Afghanistan-- one battery at FOB Dwyer and another at Fire Base Thunder (now called Fiddler's Green). The above pencil sketch was done at November Battery 3/11 at FOB Dwyer-- it's a "Triple Seven," one of the state-of -the-art(illery) pieces currently fielded by the Corps to reach out and drop a world of hurt on the enemy with just a call.
The 3/11 Marines were stoked, waiting to get into the fight, as Operation River Liberty had just kicked off. They'd prep'd theirs guns for a mission, but were not getting called to the dance! They'd expected a lot of activity, but so far hadn't gotten a mission.
The arty guys are a proud and confident bunch, and the men of 3/11 were sure they could do some good damage to the enemy, if called upon. Hence the title, "Put Me In, Coach!" for the sketch.
I, too, was hoping for them to get a mission, so I could get some video and photos of them shooting, but it never happened while we were there. One night at Fire Base Thunder, however, I was asleep under our cammie net hooch, when awoke to shouting from the vicinity of the gun line... and then a BOOM! Darn it, I missed the shot-- heck, I couldn't film or sketch it in the dark anyway, but what a bummer! And yet I was elated that they finally got to get into the game.
Click here for more on the Arty Marines of Afghanistan...