**By Danjel Bout of **[/font]365 and a Wakeup
[font=Arial]As our lead elements turned into sector I started to laugh at the absurd amount of military might rumbling into our AO. Our normal patrols carry a fearsome amount of weaponry, but this was something altogether different. The point element was composed entirely of M1 tanks and the impregnable Buffalo IED clearing vehicle, as they cleared the road ahead of us the resembled nothing more then the armored prow of an icebreaker. Their appointed task was to keep a watchful eye for the insidious IEDs that seem to metastasize along our routes, and they slowly moved out of sight until even the sound of their titanic engines was subsumed in the low din of morning. A few minutes later our election day convoy moved out, a sinewy strip of armor and weaponry. The armored flanks of our element glinted in the morning light, as bright and hard as the scales of a storybook dragon. Our grim parade of vehicles were led out by the low, angry profile of M1 tanks, whose slewing turrets whispered hymns of hydraulic force. Following behind were a slew of M113s and armored HMMWVS, their irregular silhouettes studding the road like dull metallic beads. Sandwiched in between our bellowing war machines was the lanky profile of a HEMMT wrecker, its lines still sleek and graceful despite the thick slabs of armor plating its sides. It was an awesome spectacle, made all the more impressive by our mission. This assemblage had only one purpose – secure an election site in one of the worst areas in Southern Baghdad[/font][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]. [/font][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Our final destination was two nondescript schools sitting smack dab in the middle of our sector. The Iraqi election officials had turned a blind eye towards the entire region during the last elections out of fear for their personal safety. To ensure the citizens would have the opportunity to vote in this election we were assigned with the task of living on the election sites and providing security in the run up to elections.
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