Sawtooths manager Nick Reed refuses to admit that he blew up the bathroom at the cabin last year. He obviously has no respect for the Army Values™. I have no evidence that Reed was the one who blew up the bathroom. But he's the only manager who A) was present at the draft party that day; B) was seen in the vicinity of the bathroom; and C) later lost his top two RBs to torn ACLs in the very same week. I mean, that has to be karma, right? The universe wouldn't do that to someone who didn't deserve it.
Compiled and edited by Justin C. Cliburn
This is the first installment in our ongoing oral history project. You can read later chapters here.
To understand the OklahomIraqis League ("the OIL"), one must know who its members are and what brought them together. The league began at Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq in 2006. It was resurrected in 2007 and kept alive each successive season. It's the way they keep in touch and share news with the men they served with in Iraq. Sometimes it's the only way because, although the men of the OIL are incredible friends, they may have never known each other without the Army National Guard. They came from different backgrounds and followed different career paths, but they served together as soldiers. Their bond would never be what it is without the experiences they shared one year in Iraq.
Their story is important, even if only to them, because when historians chronicle the Iraq War, they will focus on the usual fare: the battles; the successes and the failures; the bombings and the civil war . . . and the presidents and generals who managed them.
But it will be up to the everyday Joes, the boots on the ground, to tell their stories . . . because no one else will. Who were these men? Why did they join the military? What did they do over there? How are they now? And what has kept them close since they first went to war together? These questions may be important only to those who already know the answers, but they need to be shared just the same.
What follows is an oral history of the OIL, as told by the men who lived it, beginning with the combat mission that inspired it. It is by no means an exhaustive history of that combat mission in 2005-2006; such a history would fill a book of its own. But it is a decent overview of the year that preceded the formation of the OIL: where they were; what they'd experienced; how they felt. 152 Oklahoma soldiers served on that mission, but just a fraction of them are represented here. Each soldier below speaks for himself as an individual. Collectively, their memories form a history best expressed through the oral tradition of storytelling through conversation.
Soldiers are traditionally a guarded bunch, reluctant to show emotion or share their feelings, so the following is a rare look into the collective memory of one group of soldiers in Iraq almost a decade ago.
The OIL2's Killman Memorial Trophy is now proudly displayed in the home of OIL2 commissioner Nick Reed. He will keep the trophy in trust until a champion is crowned.
We previously posted the arrival of the OIL2's Killman Memorial Trophy. Now, the OIL2 has a commissioner as well. Nick Reed, a veteran of the 158's 2006 SECFOR mission in Iraq, will serve as the league's commish.
OIL commissioner Justin C. Cliburn shipped Reed the Killman Friday afternoon. Reed will hold the trophy in trust until the OIL2 crowns its first champion. Then he'll ensure the champion's name is engraved on the side and deliver it to the next caretaker until another champion is crowned.