Meet Kimberly Johnson, freelance journalist embedded with our Marines in Iraq’s Al Anbar Province and based out of Camp Hit.. She is also blogging at Mother of all blogs
"In need of a break, I sat on a pile of weathered boards and pulled off my heavy helmet. I had never felt such exhaustion. Standing in the 130-degree heat wearing my armor and a Camelbak backpack filled with water was slowly wearing me down. I popped a few M&Ms that I had the good fortune of finding earlier in an MRE into my mouth to dissolve slowly, in hopes they would keep my blood sugar up. I tried not to gulp my water down so fast that I wouldn’t have enough for later. I dug my hand around in my pack until I found a baby wipe to counter the sweat pooling at my collarbone.
And that’s when I heard the shots. Small arms fire – probably an AK-47 -- rattled off in a quick burst, followed by five mortars in quick succession. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. I looked at my watch. It was 2 p.m."