I Don't Know How To Tell You This, But I Sort Of, Um, Lost My Rifle

This is a guest column by the worst E-2 you've ever had.

So, I'm not sure how to tell you about this. I want to point out it's a totally fluke incident and not the kind of thing that normally happens to me.

Except for that time I failed to turn in the company SRP packets and caused a delay in our deployment.

Or when I ate nothing but pizza for six weeks and brought the company PT average down below 240. Sorry we didn't get the streamer for the guidon. Which reminds me of the time Chapman and I fell asleep in the CP, and 2nd Battalion stole our guidon and left it in the dumpster behind the DFAC. But maybe never mind about that.

Seriously, this is something totally out of character for me. Like the time in Fort Polk when I failed to engage the parking brake on the Humvee and it rolled into the porta-shitters, almost killing the sergeant major. I think that blue dye eventually washed out, though.

Those incidents are behind me. I've signed my counselings and have really been trying harder to be a good Joe. This time it's totally not my fault.

So anyway, you remember my rifle? That black thing that um, you know, fires bullets and has a bunch of accessories on it. I think it costs a couple grand, if I had to take a guess.

Somebody stole it and I can't find it.

No, really, I've been looking everywhere. In the latrine, under my bunk, the chow hall, even the smoke pit and the PX. I also climbed a guard tower by the UK compound to see if any Brits took it. None of the topless sunbathing chicks seemed to have it.

I know it's not in the shower trailer since I haven't been there all week. I also came up empty-handed at the Pizza Hut too.

Well, not totally empty-handed. That pepperoni really hit the spot.

Anyway, the last time I remember having it was in the line at the PX where I bought a log of Copenhagen, a pack of Newports, an operator patch for my plate carrier, a case of Monster, and some tattoo and car magazines.

Then I stood my shift guarding the sensitive items quadcon. When I woke up halfway through my shift, I realized my rifle was gone. Someone stole it between the PX and me taking mid-shift nap.

Now in all honesty, whoever has it is in for a big surprise. It's probably not worth all that much since I haven't cleaned it all deployment and it's completely covered in rust and dirt. Hell, it doesn't even fire anymore.

No need to let the CO know yet. I can't afford another Article 15. I'm barely able to make my car payments as it is. Plus, I'm on thin ice with him ever since that negligent discharge in the clearing barrel.

Think we could chalk this up as a combat loss?

Lee Ho Fuk contributed to this article.