Sunday, December 14, 2008
First I couldn't ascertain which unit I would be going to on the Hill (Custer Hill for those that have never been to Riley) so I will have to move twice. First to Replacement then to wherever I'm going to be on the Hill. Worse still the Out processing process had me just short of furious. Nobody knows anything. Well I finally decided that I had to just get a bigger storage unit, and that would have to be that. Unfortunately the 5x10 I was supposed to have is still occupied. so I get the bigger unit, WAY bigger 15x30 or something of the like, until the 5x10 becomes available.
Problem. . . The Ford Mustang wasn't exactly designed with Cargo in mind. Enter U-haul. As if the deal with Nook and Cranny not having the right sized storage unit weren't bad enough, here is the single worst bit of "oh God not again" to hit me yet. I put in a request for a 10' truck. They only had 26' available. Way more space than I needed. It handled worse than an LMTV, and that's saying something. The steering was looser than an Amsterdam whore, and the devil of a wind was blowing. I was white knuckling it the whole way. Dear god it was scary. But I got the 10' truck rate, so no harm no foul.
Of course I left my Mustang there. I saw no point for a $30 cab ride if I was coming back the next day. But now that its not here the 'Stang is sorely missed. Well I waited till it was pretty quiet and most of the cars were gone out of the parking lot. I kind of needed to because the Uhaul van turns like an old mule. After I pulled it up into the building area (on the side walk no less) I went on for about an hour of back breaking labor trying to move all my tote boxes and foot lockers. Let me tell you something you don't think it, but DVDs are heavy! After I was satisfied that I'd gotten everything, I drove the truch back to the parking spot i had for it. Then I was just sitting around and realized I FORGOT THE DAMNED TV!!! My lower back was already screaming but I lifted it, and took it out there. Its not heavy per se, but it is awkward as hell.
For some reason I can't sleep (big shock there), But I don't want to pack any more. I know I know its absolutely freaking amazing I am procrastinating. But every time I look at my room I see one more thing I forgot to do, one more thing I need to take care of, and it kind of sucks. everywhere I look there are three things to do, and I want nothing to do with it, but, like an idiot I waited and now look where I am. Awesome, Isn't it?
I suppose if there is one bright spot I've passed the year mark, and Erika and I haven't fallen out of touch. I'm shocked. Doesn't mean I'm actually a part of her life, or that we're dating, but its a start. Actually with all the on again off again, there's so much history that every time we have a serous discussion (which she avoids like the plague) there's enough recrimination on both sides we might as well be politicians. The really funny part is that part of the problem is ironically that we are both Ex crazy. Essentially we point to each others Ex and say "see, you loved them more than you loved me". To be honest I don't think she's ever given me enough time to find out how she feels about me or vice verse. Some of that is nursing school, some of that is distance, but a lot of it, is that I get too close.
First it was Lisa, then Andrea, now Jessi. Every Ex of min in recent memory is brought up as evidence. Lisa. . . well the hurt she caused, and the residual feelings is what broke us up the first time. Andrea, well the baby scare made her a little crazy and got us together the second time, but I started going PTSD again and she left as quick as she could before I dragged her down. Now its Jessi. The fact is that I was going to buy a ring for her and all that ment that she feels that she's the rebound girl. I haven't talked about marriage this time around, and after all the shit I've been through over the years I won't for a long time, but somehow she thinks I want to marry her so I won't be alone. I don't want a hallow marriage, I don't want a trophy wife, and I damn sure don't want a phoned in family. I want the real thing not a sub.
And of course there is the ever present need to "figure things out". People have been "figuring" things out for centuries Somehow I doubt she's going to have time for proper introspection, o suddenly have a *ding* moment. And as always that little man in greens is sitting there like a dark cloud with a nice big sign that says "deployment" or "PCS". She doesn't want me to go anywhere but she doesn't want me to get closer. Honestly, this is why wars are fought. Guys get so frustrated with women that they have to beat it out of each other.
I have a feeling that this will be the second Christmas in a row that I mark with little fanfare or celebration. As desperatly as I want to rekindle the Christmas Spirit I knew in my youth, it is hard. I know no one here, and even if I did, I'd never ask to spend Christmas with someone. Its not a matter of begging, though I suppose that is an element of it. It has a lot to do with the fact that its just so damn impolite to invite yourself. I think this is yet another case of my awkward social rules getting the best of me. I know intellectually that I am *usually* welcomed wherever I go. I know that *for the most part* I am remembered fondly by all that have known me. But just because I am friendly, does not mean I have friends. It wasn't until last Christmas that I realized how alone I was. And now. . . maters are worse.
I can not thing of anything I can possibly do to get in the mood. Christmas alone is. . . well hard. The whole point of this season is to come together. To be close to the ones you love, and to spread goodwill and peace to all. Alone that is nearly impossible. Hearing the wind howl outside my window, and accosted by the harsh halogen lights, it is impossible to feel the chirstmas spirit. There is no warm glo of a fire. No fresh snow outside. No love ones to get close to, and no one to share this time with. So another Christmas in the B's.
Oh one more thing. To all you Atheists that feel the need to incite people's religious fervor. KNOCK IT OFF!!! Christmas is the most sacred of Christian holidays. As Haunika is for the Jewish people. And the message should make y'all peacenick re-re's happy. PEACE ON EARTH AND GOOD WILL TOWARDS ALL MEN. I realize some Feminazi out there will take issue with the "men" part, but REALLY?!?! You God Damn hippies say Peace for 11 months out of the year regardless if the cause is just or not. You call honest men war mongers, and the ONE TIME that most of America will actually agree with you, you act like assholes and try to completely ruin the Holiday! ENOUGH!!! We tolerate you, and accommodate you, the ACLU, the "Council of Reason", Code: Pink, Planned Parenthood, and the like. You push and you push and you push. For once please, leave this one holiday alone. Is that really too much to ask?
Thursday, December 11, 2008
As anyone knows, that's just about the most dangerous spot in an Iraqi city. What happens next is not exactly clear. When the dust settled 17 Iraqi Civilians were dead. The unit that responded found no evidence of enemy fire. It was apparently the subject of several investigations. To the Iraqis the case is clear. The men would have a semblance of a trial, but it is clear that if a guilty verdict and death sentence weren't handed down, the court might well be stormed by fanatics. Even though they have convicted and executed several Ba'ath party members, and people personally responsible for atrocities, I highly doubt the Iraqis would be impartial.
Sadly The Justice department in this country has become far less partial. Hidden behind a veil of laws that *technically* apply there is a clear case of lawers that are obviously anti-war trying to affect policy. Its bad enough that our own JAG is ready to jump in our asses over mistakes, now we have to worry about civilians getting up and whacking us if the military doesn't. So where does it leave us? what hope does the Blackwater crew have? I honestly don't want to think about it.
I know this much is clear, endless litigation and merciless prosecution of troops will lead to an Army, and contractors afraid to take up arms for this or any other country. The Anti-war crowd may just get their wish, an America that can't go to war. I just hope when my next tour comes around I don't run afoul of any JAG lawers trying to make a name for themselves.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Also I am not looking froward to going back to the army as a whole. Out processing is not fun, no matter who you do it for. All the check lists, and all the forms, it's an ungodly nightmare. Plus I really have no clue how I'll get all my stuff up on the hill. Mustangs are great rides but not great for transporting stuff.
Well My battery is almost dead so I'm going to sign off and get outta here.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
When all is said and done, there are lost of stories to be told on thanksgiving. Many are of joy, some are of terror, and some involve large amounts of stomach discomfort, and peptobismal. What is not told is that the Pilgrams, were near death on plymoth Rock. Starving, and hundreds of miles north of where they were supposed to land (Virginia, Ironically named for the "Virgin" Queen, Elizabeth who was rumored to be anything but) Until the natives taught them how yo live off the land.
Strange as it may sound in this day in age, it was faith, and perhaps faith alone, that kept the Pilgrams from completly devolving into a mass of paniced individuals, that would ultimatly have perished due to inability to function. But anyone who has lived through a massachusets winter will tell you it's no small feat. We forget that this feast was all about getting together and being thankful for what you have and not bitching about what is wrong with your life. So take time, over eating turkey and such to remember what it's all about
Monday, November 10, 2008
The problem with Army and Marine Veterans of Korea, is that they are caught in that stage between WWII and Vietnam. We start to see one kind of battle fought with weapons both new and old, but in look, and feel it had far too much in common with WWI and WWII to be taken seriously. John Glen was perhaps one of the most respected statesmen from this period, and as far I know he never had aspirations of becoming president.
And then there's Vietnam. Veterans of this era, are perhaps as sharply divided as the country was. You have some that turned their back on their service and those that served (John Kerry) and you have those that continued to bare true faith and alleged to the causes they enlisted for. Even till today the country does not have enough distance from that painful time to really judge the events and a clear context. In recent years, people have taken a closer look at this war, and they can start to see the victories as well as the defeats. They can begin to honor the courage involved, and in this small way the betrayals of the public are lessened.
But, sadly I think that John McCain was the last Veteran of this era to run for the highest office of the land. Many Vietnam vets have their own demons to face, and many would not want to get involved in the demons of others. Especially since some of the demons we face today are directly resulting from that terrible period in time. So where does that leave us?
Well the traditional model of a president is an elder statesman, learned and wise, with experience in a broad range of subjects. While youth can indeed be a factor, the truth is that Experience in statecraft is indeed hard won. With the new President-Elect, we are left with an unknown. He has the capacity to become either a great President, or the worst disaster this country has suffered in a long time. We have a man that could be more divisive than Nixon, and less inclined to use Force than Clinton. Leading us to a wide chasm of bleak possibilities.
While it might be simple personal bias, I believe that a veteran, of any war is far more qualified than most civilians regardless of experience. When it comes to crisis management, stress of the job, and the ability to make, and stick with hard descisions, you would be hard pressed to find someone more qualified than a soldier, of any branch.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
right away I had questions about my health, mental and otherwise, if I'm using drugs for my knee,and my financial situation. I got a dressing down from both the Lt and the CO. So here's my thoughts on that. STAY THE F**K OUT OF MY ROOM!!! I know that it may technically belong to the army, but I am given little space, and what little space I do have is MINE! I damm well better hoard personal space like most people hoard gold.
What truly bothers me is that the CO is sitting there judging me and he's a chemical corps. officer. The LT has never deployed and for the most part, as far as I can tell is just eye candy. So why, pray tell should I get bent out of shape if they come in here and judge me. I realize i have too much shit, and in a perfect world I'd love help to go through and get rid of what I don't need. But the absolute LAST thing I need is for a bunch of POG officers judging me.
I don't honestly know what makes me angrier. The acusation that I'm using drugs, or the attempted dressing down the LT tried to give me. I spent the rest of the day packing/cleaning, and you know what, the dam place is STILL a mess. Now go ahead and ask me if I care.
Truth is that for over a year I have been devoid of purpose or use. I have had almost no social life, and I have no idea how to interact with non soldiers anymore. And here I sit, a rolley polly, having gained perhaps 50 pounds since I got here, majorly depressed, having a hard time with, well everything, asking myself "how can I do this?" I honestly don't know. Even a talk with SSG Mathison didn't really help. All the old issues are still there just beneith the surface, and all the emotions that go with them. How can I honestly go up to 4th brigade, and get ready to deploy, when I can barely keep it together when I'm not doing anything?
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Last night I went to Chuck White's (Second) wedding. I will be fair, and say it was a good ceremony, however there wasn't that many people there, and Chuck's uniform was a bit off. Aside from the unit awards, his MEDCOM patch was crooked. During the ceremony he was crying, something which was a bit odd. Not a tear at Harelson's funeral, but her he was practically balling. I'm not going to dog him too much. Unfortunately, something went wrong with my camera, and I couldn't take any pictures. Afterwards I went to the reception. I'll be honest, Herman's wedding was a little more impressive. But I had a fair amount of fun.
I mad the tough decision to try to mend a fence with Jessi. It didn't go well. She cried. A lot! I don't understand how I always end up feeling like the bastard. Anyway Here I sit awaiting on orders, personal life, or lack there of in Shambles. But what the hell could be worse right?
Saturday, October 25, 2008
So what Do I do? Option C: Call her. It's actually pure luck that I had anything in my phone with her number on it. I talked to her for a while. My phone shut down three times. She cried. A lot. Her life is just as crappy right now as mine. Her mom is getting married, her dad is a deadbeat, and she is really freaked out about Ecuador. The really sad part is that my over reaction came at the worst possible time. So it seems in this time I come off as more than a jack ass.
So what happens now do I simply walk away? or do I try to mend things?
Monday, October 20, 2008
It probably doesn't help that it's "Brest Cancer awareness month" Not that I'd wish cancer on anyone but just why exactly should we give a rats ass about this type of cancer when there are others that are far more horrible, painful and yes disfiguring? I never hear of a "prostrate cancer awareness month" and no one wears any god dam ribbons for pancreatic cancer, or lung cancer or skin cancer. It seems so dam self centered, when this is one of the most treatable cancers around!
Then theres all the god dam bright colors. All the shape hugging clothes. EVEN IF THEIR SHAPE IS THAT OF A GOD DAM HIPPO!!! It seems like at every turn I'm acausted but extreme femininity. its hard to forget when the only shopping center nearby is jam paced with so many god dam stores for women that you think females run the dam planet. And all of it so "innocent" the giggles the smiles, it all seems like the world is having a good laugh at me. As if all the joys promised in those smiles, giggles and expertly maintained looks will never be mine to enjoy.
Worse I think almost EVERY SINGLE, EX I'm still in contact with has said, word for word almost the EXACT SAME THING when it comes to dealing with this latest heartbreak. Cheer up, better you know know, you're still young, and the right one is out there. Dear God, If I hear that one more time I will fucking scream! Lets see Lisa is getting married (to the jodi she left me for) Erika found the man of her dreams, who apparently hasn't learned how to deal with things himself and has to be bailed out of everything by his family. And now of all people, MARTHA has seen fit to swoop back into my life and give me advise on love and life in general. she's got a two year old and is going absolutely gaga over him all the freaking time. and of course all three of the aforementioned women have said the SAME FUCKING THING!!! Even Katie MaQueen has said as much.
What am I supposed to say to all of this? I feel more alone than ever. I feel hopeless, and the simple act of leaving my room has become. . . difficult. More than getting food at the DFAC, I have been almost paralyzed. I'm so glad to know that Jessi was so dam quick to move on with her life, but now, if its at all possible, I feel worse than I did when Lisa dumped me. I feel like this hopeless morose motherfucker that can't get anything right.
Perhaps the worst part of all this, is that no matter how much I throw up the "i don't give a rats ass" flag, I'm still universally described as a "good man". Its like I'm some kind of dudly do right that everybody wants in their life, and for some reason I CAN'T KEEP A FUCKING GIRLFRIEND!!! the thing that has me beating my head against the wall is that pretty much all of my ex's (maybe with the exception of Lisa, I've been a bit of a dick to her lately) keep telling me what a great guy I am. How unique and rare I am, and how rare it is to find someone as good as me. I ask this: If that's the case then why, why WHY did (all of you) break up with me? it nearly brings me to tears with sheer insanity of all of it.
The simple fact is I honestly don't know how I could hurt more. It feels like losing Jessi over something so dammed trivial is like a dam Greek tragity. What Doom have I brought upon myself that I am forced again and again to bare my soul only to have it thrown again in my face. Truly:how much more pain can I take?
so I sit and watch movies in my room and try to pretend I don't feel the cold Icy hand of Death upon my shoulder, slowly chilling my soul, and paralyzing me with fear. I might as well be in a George Romero flick for all the good my personal life has done me.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Whatever the case she said quite clearly and plainly, "I'm going to the Congo on a missions trip in 2010, you're either ok with it or we need to re think this". I can not begin to tell you how absolutely flabbergasted I got. How outrageously angry I got. My problems with this are many but I'll try to stay with just a few.
1). The Congo, such as it is, is no place for missionaries of any type. It is a violent turbulent region, due in part by the influence of European and Asian influences. Lets face it, pretty much anywhere you have Islam and Christianity together (with Judaism somewhat included in there) they're pretty much guaranteed to fight. And the undue influence of colonial European powers on Africa have left it in a state of near constant civil war. The sad truth is that the Eruo-Asain conflict of ideology, and the theocracies involved are being fought out in Africa, where nobody actually cares who wins, gets killed or how many times "ethnic cleansing" (see GENOCIDE) takes place.
2). she has neither the training, nor the mindset for either A). an active war zone or B). a survival situation. While it is true that people can be resilient, modern miracles are few and far between. and "being ok with dying" shows a complete ignorance of just how truly terrible death is, and can be. Were her group to be taken hostage she, as a white woman, and a good looking one at that, would be tortured and rapped, if she were lucky, she would die shortly after that, but seeing as white women are a comidity in the black market slave trade, chances are she'd see only the darkest side of humanity until that death came. learning what plants to eat and which ones not to, for certain regions takes months and lets face it, the Congo is crawling with things that will leave you in a bad way. were she to become separated from the group I doubt very highly that she'd have the knowledge to survive and forage.
3). She is going for the purpose of spreading religion. While I personally believe the spread of Islam has become problematic in recent years, the simple fact is that the spread of a sort of Christianity should also be taken with a grain of salt. Conversion is a strange and tricky business. If one is not careful, one will force people into things, and faith, is one of those things you just can't force! aside from the resentment you eventually engender, you lay down a host of new problems. Not the least of which is that the message you spread has a life of its own once it leaves your lips. The easiest way to put this is "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"
But perhaps the worst part is this was my girlfriend talking about doing something I wouldn't do with anything less than a rifle company. Worse the more blindly Reassuring about her Ecuador trip she got the more visceral my reaction got. How the hell am I supposed to feel about the GOD DAMM CONGO? It put me into turmoil and anger. Not even a week before our planned weekend in Chicago. Meet my mom, spent time together, yadda yadda.
I think the thing that scared me most is that when we got to talking about when we really talked about it, I realized that she was a fanatic! She doesn't chant to the tune of the Imam, her tone of voice was the same. That almost unreal joy at her faith really disturbs me. Is it because of mom? Or is it because of the Insurgents? I don't know but a person without Doubt really REALLY scares me! Worse, she would propagate the same willful ignorance in whatever children we might of had, and taught them a narrow view of the world that, sadly, would make it all to easy for them to go along with whatever the Church, State, or whomever else. Nothing scares me more than willful ignorance.
I tried (futilely) to explain that Islam and Christianity worshiped the same god, and that "allah" is not a different entity, but really just the Arabic word for "god". Big Mistake. Apparently she and I do not worship the same God. I later, trying to be clever about it, said "I never knew Christianity was a multiple choice religion". Simply put things ended there. I apparently don't have strong enough faith to be her man. So I got dropped like a bad habit.
My thoughts and feelings on Religion are. . .complicated. As am I. I was willing to change my wardrobe, my outlook on a lot of the shallower things in life, and really pretty much everything. If she'd been patient, I would have changed a lot for her. But the one thing I wouldn't couldn't change was my faith. Some one said and I don't know who "we walk by faith" and I certainly had to.
In Iraq (ironically pretty much "bible town") if you don't have some kind of faith, the doubt, fear and uncertainty will eat you alive. If I wasn't devout in my belief that God had a plan for me, then I would have been [more of] a wreck. The simple fact is that I really do love Jessi. I really do want to marry her, and I really do want to spend the rest of my life with her, but I can't change who I am. No matter what anyone else tells me my mom was right in one thing: I will regret letting her go.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Ambien for all you readers out there that are not medicated is a percription sleep aid. Well it can cause you to get a little. . . weird. I was sitting there watching things, and well I don't remember what happened after that, but she sure freaked out the next morning. Sometimes I really hate being me.
I really need to stop taking the shit they're giving me. Its not doing me any favors.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Jessi had said at some point that she wished that I'd dress up a little more. I didn't think too much of it at the time. On Saturday she asked if we should go ring shopping so I took her to the little street outside of the mall. There were at least three jewelers there and I stopped outside each one and asked if she wanted to go in, but she seemed scared so, no pressure and we went to the mall proper. So it was with great reluctance that I allowed Jessi to talk me into getting clothes. Lets just say that aside from not finding anything in my size, and since my knee was really starting to hurt, we got something to eat then left and went back to the hotel room.
I didn't think too much of it until this morning when I got back from PT she was still getting ready for work. She confided in me that the reason she didn't want to go in is because I looked like "I was going to buy a ring from Wal-mart". That she was worried I wouldn't be taken seriously. I know that looks are more important to women, and I understand that I'll never get it. But the fact that my girlfriend would over look the fact that I'm willing to make a great commitment to her, and see only a guy dressed a little like a bum, well that raises serous questions in my mind, and I'm not sure what to do about it. Its been a long time since I've really felt anything, and when I started feeling again, and realized just how much felt for her, this (admitidly on her part) shallow moment raises all manner of hurt, almost disproportionate to the actual offense.
Will I ever understand women? It feels like every step I take froward with Jessi is accompanied with (at least) a half step back. Even though I'm sure about her (more so than I've ever been, even with Lisa) and yet this morning the fact that I was likened to a bum, hurt far more than I thought possible, bringing up distant (and unpleasant) memories of childhood, where I was ostracized for being different. That feeling that I'm always an outsider no matter how hard I try to fit in. For a long time I tried to get into all the fads, and styles and after a long time I just quit trying. I was left alone. And I've felt alone since grade school.
So is Fashion so important that you must push someone away, even though they're willing to go to almost extreme lengths for you? Does how a couple looks together determine whether or not they should actually be together or not. Are we as a people truly that shallow? More often than not the questions these incidents raise leave me wondering if i really want the answers, or if, like most people, I wouldn't like what I find.
Monday, August 25, 2008
I called her to see where she was and she was in Manhattan, so I freaked out and told her to slow down. She was immediately suspicious, but complied. So first step *after checking in* was to prep the room. When the gal at the front desk saw all I was taking up to the room she did that ohhh that women always do for "cute" stuff. I quickly gave her a shhh sign, because i didn't want her to make a scene, and ruin the surprise. So three of the rosebuds and crushed the buds and laid a trail to the bed. I had the hoodie "clutching" the remaining roses, I lit the candles and rushed back down stairs to greet her.
Needless to say she liked it all. The room was top notch and so was the treatment. I can't tell you exactly what ll happened (after all there are some things i don't want to share) but let's say it was a very good night. After that we went to dinner at Famous Pete's then we called it a night, and sleeping next to her was a hell of a thing. it felt good and all that. Well i gotta run. More to report later.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Now, Jessi just so happens to have this wonderful device called a GPS unit. So even though there are some points that are probably a *little* confusing, chances are that she won't get lost, and lets face it, coming to Ft. Riley is so much easier. You pretty much stay on 70, and get off at the appointed time. Marshfeild, not so much, lots of back roads.
I have a little surprise planned, but I'm going to wait till she gets to Topeka before I actually get it set up. I hope she likes it. I'm not going to mention it here, cuz I'm trying not to jinx it, but I'm pretty sure mom dragging me to all those crappy chick flicks will actually come in handy (God help me). Well I'm defiantly pacing right now. I'm not sure what to think about it. Alright I'm going to stop driving myself nuts and head out.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
That being the case, (for the most part) I am "normal". I don't freak out often. Even when the Paladins (155MM Self Propelled Arty) are at the range, I don't scream or cry or anything of that nature. I do often jump a little, and on occasion I'll *start to* crouch. But I don't dive for cover. All things considered since I came back, I've been doing a lot better.
However tonight when I was coming home from watching a movie, I was doing 78 MPH in the 65MPH zone between Manhattan, and Ogden. I knew i was in trouble when i saw him turn, and when the lights went on, well that's when the trouble really started.
will make me do this:
The cop was a nice enough fellow. Pointed out my infraction. I quickly asked him, more like begged him to turn off his lights. At this point my hand is shaking and I'm on the verge of crying. He points out that he's seen that a lot and he'll let me off with a warning, but he can't turn off his lights just yet because of safety concerns. I didn't care what he gave me so long as the lights went off.
Well he let me go, but i made the same mistake. I started speeding on post in an effort to get the hell in my room. to make matters worse, a passing MP flashed his lights as a warning, just before I got to the WTB barracks, and parking lot. even after I was parked, I was sitting there, Death Grip on the steering wheel, taking those deep, half breaths, and feeling for all the world that I was going to die. In short i was having a panic attack.
I'm pretty sure its the first I've had in a LONG time. But the fact that I had it at all, does not bode well. Was it the flashing lights or the getting caught that did me in? I don't know, but the whole incident has me more than a little unnerved.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Lets face it, we've built up a culture in the past 50 some odd years. Baseball and Football are so "American" that for the most part Europe has tried to ignore these sports (that's saying something). From singing at the seventh inning stretch, to having the entire stadium scream out "1st DOWN!!!" people will have spirited conversations all about players and teams, and for a moment, just a moment they feel that they are ridding on the backs of giants.
The impacts can be felt, the teams are full of titans, and only the weak get injured. You'd almost think that this were some pantheon of Greek heroes battling it out to the death in the amphitheater. There is no blood but there might as well be. After it is over the fans are vindicated for their passions. The personal rituals that somehow in some way appease the Gods that dwell over sports, to allow them some small victory.
Thankfully we don't kill the losing team (as the Aztecs did with the game that *eventually* became basketball). and after its over everyone is still alive, although battered. the fans go home either exulted by the win or crushed by defeat. and all through it the roars and cheers keep it going. the excessive, insane salaries that most people can only gawk at. and talking in reasonable tones as they say a player asking for $54M is completely reasonable. Forgetting the fact that in 5 years that player will earn than a couple of them working together will in a few lifetimes.
as for the game itself, well amazingly the cardinals won. It wasn't even close. much to the cagrin of the Cheifs fans. I personally didn't care. these weren't the Chargers. Nor the Patriots. And as much as I like to see the Stealers and the Raiders ground to dust, i really can't care in the least if the Chiefs or the Cardinals win. I went to see FOOTBALL. I can't wait till the season begins. I want to watch some good football.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Amazingly soldiers in "high risk" situations, the ones that go out on patrol more and of course the weekend warriors are *amazingly* more at risk. Honest there are things that Doctors do that simply amaze me. God knows just how much they spent on a study that is pretty much common sense. Next they're going to tell you that repeat deployments will *eventually* lead to domestic violence, and the like.
Lets face it, Our society such as it is, is not prepared to deal with soldier returning from war. In fact it is almost designed to turn a blind eye to the nastier side of life. We spend so many years teaching our kids to focus their aggression in such a way that everyone is alright in the end and we hop them up on crappy happy endings, not preparing them for the possibility of bitter realities. When faced with wholesale chaos, people are unable to comprehend. They are unable to cope.
Truth is War is ugly. The most bitter hateful thing that man has ever mastered. People talk of glory, and all that goes with it, people that have never been nor understand. They will slap a soldier on the back and say "good job son" and just as quickly forget them and move on with their life. In the end it is the fighting man that will tell you the truth, and if you listen you will take away a profound lesson. We all bleed red. No matter who we pray to, we all came into this world the same way, and we are all going out of it the same way.
I think the next shocking report CNN will do, might be something along the lines of "eating McDonalds makes you fat" or "depression hits losers the most". Never one to call journalism a noble profession, I do, still demand that they attempt to show *some* common sense. Instead of just doing a bit piece with Sanjay Gupta, they should have asked soldiers we would have told you they knew this from the beginning. Hell every vet in Vietnam knew it. So why is it such a shock?
I suppose talking about it is a double edged sword. Audie Murphy, the highest decorated soldier of WWII struggled for a long time with PTSD. In the end he locked himself in a motel room Trainspotting style to kick an addiction to prescription sleep meds. After that he came out and talked publicly about PTSD, even before it was really recognized. That took courage. Now in Iraq people are re-discovering all the common knowledge that wasn't talked about in Vietnam. In a sense the Army learned its lessons, but the American public hasn't.
Monday, August 11, 2008
We went to the WI Vet memorial, had frozen custard, and generally a good time. She showed me around the camp sights she used to go to, and aside from the bugs which were out for blood, it was pretty cool. Unfortunately Friday night was a pretty quiet one, I kinda crashed hard. Saturday was even better. She showed me the place where she learned to ski (I'd call it one long bunny run, but then I'm spoiled. Mammoth this ain't). Then we sat on the tub hill just talking and eventually i started pointing out cloud shapes. Well I saw them, but i guess she didn't. Its all good.
Anywho that night, was the obligatory "meet the friends". She had to take pictures. Those "cute" pictures. Personally Cute is scary. Somehow a dog that looks like it had it's face melted off and looks miserable at being forced to wear prissy clothes, is somehow "cute". And anytime a woman starts talking about "Cute" it means some guy somewhere is going to have to suffer some sort of minor indignity. see for yourself:
Of course there is the "pose or I'll hit you"
the ever Popular "Stop trying to hide from the camera"
and finally the picture that'll no doubt be on Myspace and is already on Facebook.
I'll admit that I did enjoy (perhaps too much) some alcohol. I enjoyed some good food, and thankfully there weren't any ass making of self moments. I don't think so anyway. But folks were defiantly popping eye balls at my choice of alcohol (4 shots of jack obligatory for the 4 soldiers I lost) one Irish Car Bomb and a buttery nipple (thanks for introducing me to that Katie). I don't think I'm an alcoholic, but in a place that apparently doesn't do anything but drink and eat cheese this was a lot.
Well after that we rented a movie and went back to her place where we talked for a long time, and eventually we both settled on the futon, I actually stayed up to watch the movie (Bucket List) and i went to sleep in the wee hours (not exactly smart). I was tough to get up, but Jessi ever the smart one found a way (waking a guy up with a kiss with nothing but a towel on is sure a way to make a guy sit up and take notice)
I had a Sunday morning breakfast with her mom and we seemed to get along fine, after which Jessi went to church and I headed home. well started to. I got some bad directions and ended up REALLY lost on the back roads trying to get to I-90 I ended up on I-94 which took me more than 100 miles north of where I should have been, adding at least an hour and a half maybe more to my journey. I finally got back at 2300, but it was a close thing. Road hypnosis, a type of fatigue that strikes people on long road trips had started to set in and I was hurting. I know the last 20 miles i was speeding (well i was speeding the whole way, but I was really going then) I just pulled in to the parking lot, went to my room and crashed like the Hindenburg. All in all Hell of a weekend
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Even more amazing then the fact that the Male section was woefully inadequate the female section was almost completely untouched. I mean they actually had sizes that would fit ME! I don't know what's more grating. No matter what happens I need class A's, and no one has them!!! I'm sure there are other places that have supply issues as well but it always seems that I run into stuff like this. In Hawaii, I never got the MOLE rig, In Fort Hood, I had to buy my own ACUs (Despite being told by the army that at least two pair would be issued) and now this. I'm almost afraid to ask: what next?
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Another thing that bothers me is that I simply can't get into it. I want to believe that if I just tried a bit harder it'd be all good, but I'd pretty much have to go back to Basic. Since that's not going to happen, well I guess I'll have to try to keep myself motivated. But thats the problem. Going to the gym and sticking to strait cardio (to burn calories and cuz last time i cut loose with the weights without a spotter I hurt myself) Here's the problem: ITS BORING!!!
aside from the fact that COPS shows up occasionally on the tube, I don't care what you're doing if you're not actually into the show, or whatever it still gives you something to do while your legs go like a dam rodent. Its getting hard to keep a routine. Its not just the cardio being boring, I'm also not doing well on the Anerobic scene. Even though I love pumping Iron as much as the next guy, doing it solo sucks more than being forced to watch telatubies and gay pride parades with mandatory tolerance training to follow. In short. . . major Donkey Balls.
I feel shamed. Even in basic I still managed to do 35 push ups without being too winded. Here. . . not so much. A year without PT has really and truly taken its toll. I honestly don't know if I can pass a PT test in 3 months, let alone ht/wt and Tape test. Laymen's terms. . . I'm screwed. Looks like I'm going to have to go back to the Liquid diet.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Slight catch. I haven't taken a PT test in over 2 years. Oh and all my certifications have expired. Woops. When it comes to the PT test, I took the one that was *supposed* to get me into West Point, passed with flying colors, and when that fell through I went as FTA (Fuck The Army!) as you can get. I Quit doing PT, and when it came time for me to take a PT test 6 months later I ducked and doged using all my sham sheild powers.
Somewhere along the way (don't even ask me where) I got it in my head that it would be a great idea to re-up for needs of the army. I wasn't really thinking of the horrible thought "what could be worse than Hood?" I kinda was side tracked by that $10K bonus. Well all that is sort of ancient history right now, but the point is that at the time I probably should have re-upped for a shcool. Hell I had a slot for Ranger Training Brigade, before i screwed the pooch on that one.
The simple solution is go to a unit, get in shape, and go from there. That's not as easy as it sounds. Last time I got off flag status I had to do the liquid diet (which believe me was no picnic). I would do it again if I was assured that I'd get what I wanted. The problem is that I'm not sure I would. Retention, is a lot like Recruiting. Every once in a while, there is an honest one, but more often than not, sadly, the folks that do it are more interested in their quota. Bad Juju for me.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
For some reason this guy was fumming even before he started looking at our rooms. Here's the funny part Yost's wheelchair became a huge deal. they must've had at least five different people ask ten times or so why there was a wheel chair there. who knew that having a wheel chair would be a bad thing?
Well add to that they were really upset about the propane BBQ we had there, after all they had just made a pavillion for us. I get that. But serously, can you really expect people to leave a nice propane BBQ there if there is no way to secure it? I don't know why but the higher ups always make a big issue out of things that always seem pretty minor. We had everything from SGM on down tearing into our asses about this and that. It kinda makes a guy want to just vanish, disapear all that jazz.
So this big huge deal was made and I ended up having to move the grill up to the pavilion, and all the crap that came with that, and we had to leave it there unsecure. I kinda feel bad about it, because there are probably a million odd ways it gan get ganked. Still when the major says move it, you say "Yes sir!" and get it done. God I need to get out of the B's. Shit like this wouldn't happen if i was living off post.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Then, just for shits and giggles I found my folks home and would you belive it the view showed it in such great detail that i was just a little creeped out. I could see the boat that my dad had, the tents he'd erected to protect shit from the elements, I could almost see the dogs!!! It was freaky. Were I in a anti-US mood I could do a lot of damage with intel like this.
Now granted the photos aren't current (the one for where Jessi is has snow on the ground) but If the photos are taken with in a few months, things don't change that drastically. Our Intel photos weren't this detailed, and we lived and died by them. Hell if the FBCB2, were hooked up to google maps we'd never run into dead ends. Ok maybe thats an exaguration but not by much.
So here I am, a cyberistic satellite vouyer, and I'm seeing things that I probably shouldn't, and wondering if Google can do this, how hard would it be for those that are not the good guys, to do it? The answer is I don't know, but I'm sure I wouldn't like the answer.
I don't know if I'm that good at land nav, or what, but every single point I tried to find, I found, even if I didn't know the name of the roads. All I needed were landmarks, and I found everything from E Quad at Schofield, to where my current barraks are (they don't actually show up on the map, but they're there). There is not one point that I dreamed up that I couldn't find, making it Either google, or me that's really good.
I don't think anything else has nailed home the point that, in the information age, everything is available. It seems that there is no peice of information or technology that a person can not find or at least figgure out where to get it. I'm almost affraid to ask but at what point does the government step in and say that's a little too much information for the private sector? At what point does a really nifty tool become a serious threat?
I'm going to go to bed, just a little freaked out, and hoping that I can sleep. I get the feeling that this will probably have me a little jittery for a while. After all, if I can find it, then I know someone else can. Scary hugh?
I don't care if mommy loved you too much or daddy didn't love you enough, you have the clap, the City of Chicago sucks, a chimpanzee gave you AIDS, your tooth hurts, and no one wants to see my nasty exibitionsim. Listen people the 1st Amendment is written on PAPER! Just because someone said you have the right not to be persecuted from the government for excersizing your free speech, does not mean in any way shape or form that you have the right to force me to accept you.
Tolerance means I tolerate you. It doesn't mean that I blindly accept you. I don't care if you were offended because I used the word "black" once, or that I'm white and seem to be well off. Why is it acceptable for people to make remarks about southerners all being retarded inbreds, and yet if anyone says anything remotely observant about the rampant crime in a certain ethnic community, or the spiraling rates of single parents, and you are instantly branded a racist. A perfect example of over-reacting to percieved racism would be the "Jenna Six". Even though it was a clear cut case of six kids beating the ever loving shit out of one kid, and yet, somehow it became a racial issue. Why? Because a completely unrelated event involving a noose happened a few days earlier.
The founding Fathers for all their follies, knew one thing, the constitution, for all its literally revolutionary aspects, was only as good as the people that are elected to enforce, and amend it. When a whole society starts to lose its base values, then said society is doomed, no matter how great its starting principles are. The sad fact is I truly believe that a sort of social anarchy is fast approaching. Be it from decreasing morals, or lack of interpersonal skills, or even lack of physical contact, the simple truth is that like a traveler in the woods we have lost our path.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
It was one of the quickest visits to Doctor Repert I've ever had. I mean serously it seemed like everyone was in a rush to get me the hell out of there. I know that should have made me a little bit suspicious, but like a fool I just went along with it.
I went to see my squad leader and showed him the RTD memo, and all that jazz, and then I got really nervous when they called me cack at 1400. Then I knew I was in trouble. and just like that I was out of 2nd platoon and into the outprocessing platoon. It was so quick I didn't know what hit me. So to all I say this "be careful what you wish for you just might ger it."
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This is a link to a Washington Post Opion blog, that caught my attention while I was reading over at Black Five. I was absolutely SHOCKED that anyone would have said some of the things that he said. He insinuated that the US Army was a mercenary force, and that we should be greatful that we aren't getting bags of dog shit thrown in our faces when we return home. It kind of scares me when people criticize the war, because like I have said again and again it is only a short jump from hating the war to hating the troops
Truth is that this war, like Vietnam, is not being lost due to lack of effort. In fact in recent months it appears that we are actually winning. It can easily be said that there will always be dissent. There will always be someone playing devil's advocate. Even the vote for WWII wasn't unanimous. But to actually think that a self proclaimed former soldier would actually advocate any of the reactions from the Vietnam crowd absolutely blows my mind.
It's funny to me how the hippies said they'd make the world a better place by burning draft cards (and women burning bras) Smoking Pot, doing drugs, and listing to music, in between going to North Vietnam to tell Soldiers and Marines what assholes they were, and calling the parents of dead soldiers to say they were glad that their son was killed by the heroic "People's" Army of Vietnam, or whatever title they gave the NVA. Or telling a soldier's girlfriend to "fuck for peace" as if it was little more then exploiting them for sex.
There is only a thin line between "Neo" Hippies, and the old F*** the Government Hippies we know and despise. Music may have been good, and hey the intentions may have started out good, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We need to start thinking long and hard if the "Progressive" movement is really giving us progress or if they are leading us down a road that will shred the constitution, which is actually ironic because that just so happens to be what they claim to be trying to prevent.
I'm man enough to allow this man to continue using his 1st amendment rights. I'll just hold on to my "guns and religion" while I watch the world go to hell in a hand basket. As a soldier I am ready willing and able to do what others don't want to. I've fully accepted the responsibility for my actions, and, in peace time, my words. I know where both my actions and words may lead me. I just wish the rest of America would realize they have to do the same.
Monday, July 14, 2008
So instead of trying to meet girls in bars or hoping and absolutely praying that blind dates don't in fact leaving me wishing I were blind deaf, dumb and in all likely hood dead, I have decided that the internet is probably my best option. Now I run into a problem in my own mind. Well lets face it even in this day in age saying you met a girl on the net just sounds lame. Thats kind of like a mail order bride. No matter how its bill it just sounds kookoo pants.
But I got into it on my first tour in Iraq. I mean what had I to lose. And I actually "met" some pretty cool chicks. Some were awsome, but well as things always go I fucked it up. Well that and the whole "I'll probably die tomorrow so what have I got to lose" attitude, would be followed rapidly by "Oh shit did I (or she) actually say that?" Its been a persistant pattern. I am somehow this wonderful guy, while a chick is getting to know me. Hell even after the inevitable break-up wich always promises to be messy and nasty, I'm still a great guy. Great for advise and all the rest of the stuff that being"dependable" lands you. Did I mention I *hate* being dependable?
So After a myriad of interesting but ultimately one hit wonder sites (I met Lisa on Hot or Not, and Date.com for a few others) Katie (Our favorite Lab Tech, republican veteran chirstan) absolutly swore by eHarmony. Well I figgure she goes on about "Scottiepoo" in neasuating detail (sorry Katie but your googly-eyed talk is strait from Cosmo, which is enough to make any man feel inadequate)
Most of the times Its swing and a miss. Like this one girl Beth, pretty cool, in the coast Guard and in topika, not sure how that worked, but hey its all good. Well I really didn't mind the whole kid thing either, which is either a sign of maturity or desperation. Anyway long story short. There were no "sparks". Great to talk to interesting passing stories but that was about it. I kinda felt it was too bad.
For the most part I'm getting hit up by women that read way too much into the uniform, So Its kind of refressing that I can have mock arguments with Jessica. Its pretty funny, she's super into cheese. I guess its a Wisconsin thing. Well me being me, I provoked an argument over who has better cheese, California or Wisconsin. Well everybody know happy cows make better cheese. and frozen cows, well they aren't that great with the cheese making. Its nice to have those mock fights that aren't taken seriously. Its also kinda nice that I can talk about the war, and even though she tip toes a little on the subject she's honest and upfront about it.
Looking back, I tried too hard with Erika. Even though part of her probably wanted me to be the one the fact that I had so many issues drove her away, and the harder I tried (incidentally making me more frustrated) the worse it got. It's kinda like watching brand new Helo pilots at Ft Rucker. they always over compensate in the hover making them ge back and forth in a generalized U shape till the instructors correct it, and bring it back to a hover. Good news is that this, whatever it is is still kinda new. Haven't really broached anything too out there yet. Hopefully the drugs do their job and I'm not super crazy.
When I did sleep, it was filled with weird dreams, and well really bad ones too. The one I remember really well was one where i was surrounded by wounded, I was out of supplies and more and more people were calling for me, begging for my help. My hands were covered in blood, and in the end I was screaming like all the wounded around me. And then like Dak To, some jackass on my side drops a bomb on me and all the wounded disappear in a flash of fire. Its kind of hard to get to sleep with an image like that in your mind.
I would've talked to someone, but aside from Erika I really don't think anyone wants to listen to my crap. She's got her messenger on invisible or turned off which leads me to believe either she finally has gotten tired of my crap, she's got a new boyfriend and doesn't want to tell me or really talk to me (who wants to date someone with their ex hanging like a dark cloud) or she's simply lost service for some reason or another. Personally if the Facebook thingie is any indication I'm going with the new boyfriend theory. I won't lie it stings a little but right now I'm kind of like a 3rd degree burn patient. I've already felt a lot of pain so the parts that are extra crispy don't really feel pain because the nerves have burned away. The 2nd degree burns surrounding it hurt like hell though.
I've had too much time this weekend, mostly at night to think about things. There isn't an issue I didn't cover in my mind, and on the lecturn that doesn't exist I lectured no one in particular on the moral and ethical recourse of all sorts of issues. Abortion, War, Hippies, Environmentalism, rampant progressives, Rabid Feminists, relationships, Faith, and where I'll end up. Its too bad no one was there to listen. If you could edit things down, and keep me from jumping from topic to topic, it'd actually make for an interesting listen.
In the end it was simply me trying to avoid sleep. Its strange how you can want something so much and yet not want it at all. I suppose its the same way with relationships. So, just like when I was at Rusty, I'd wander at night. I'd go out and walk. I'd go out into the night alone, and hope that by walking I could somehow excise the demons perusing me. It never works like that. All my triumphs and failures are as clear to me now as they were the day they happened. Excluding a lot of my childhood, I am able almost with perfect clarity to reachback to important moments, and live them again. Hanging out with Erika, seeing Andrea, the CSH in Baghdad, FOB Warrior, hell even getting baptized at basic, and the moment the chaplin had talked about, when I realized that I could do it.
so I walked, and when I could drove. I drove by Coyotes, and saw all the people out drinking. I had enough time to go in for the table dance, but without Gary and Tracy dragging my sorry ass along it just didn't have the appeal. I don't think I'll ever really be a part of the life I've tried so hard to defend.