Monday, May 30, 2005

Long Days

As I get closer to my R&R it seems that the days are just getting longer and longer. I know that the hours of daylight are increasing because we have not reached summer solstice yet and that is not what I am commenting on. What I mean is that each and every day seems to last 30 hours. I try and stay focused but after 100 days straight about all you can think about is getting out of here for a while. There have been a lot of changes here lately and I don't agree with all of them and maybe this is what has me itching to get away.

I'm ready for vacation!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Saddam got me! Posted by Hello

Weather Report From Iraq

It's hot. It's real fucking hot and it will remain hot until it is followed by a cool spell some time in October.

It hit 110 degrees in the shade today. It will be only 99 tomorrow. The OIC at the BUB today said we were looking at a cooling trend!

Friday, May 20, 2005

The weirdest war

This war sometimes just floors me. I have buddies who go outside the wire every damn day risking their lives and when they get back on base they are just happy as a clam to have a hot meal, a shower, a gym, PX, etc. The damn Fobbits (Those who never leave the FOB) drive me nutty. They always want to complain about something and it is usually something trivial. Let me give you a couple of examples.

An E-5 (3 stripe Sergeant) that I know was out side for a night. His unit took on an IED, two drive by shoots, three foot patrols in Baghdad and then drove back on highway 1 which is without a doubt even more dangerous than the 405 in LA at rush hour. When he got back in it was between meal times so he sent a specialist to see me to find out if they could get something from the DFAC. That was the easiest thing in the world, all I did was make a phone call and order it. You would have thought I had given these guys $1000.00 each they were so greatful. That is what makes my sacrifices worth it, the smiles and the gratitude of those who are defending you.

On the flip side another NCO who wears pressed, starched DCUs (Where she gets this done is beyond me!) is all bent out of shape because this very same DFAC runs out of Baskin Robbins Ice Cream and lettuce on a frequent basis. Mind you, it always has lots and lots of food but we run out of perishable and popular items like this because of the convoy system which is wat beyond our control. No matter how many time I explain it she still thinks I am trying to pull a fast one.

What a weird war. The media thinks we are losing and we are not. The public thinks the soldiers don't have enough body armor and they do. The Iraqis think we are all rich and we are not. The soldiers think we should be out and in the public more and we are not. The contractors all think they are safer in the FOBs and sometime they are not. Its just a weird war. You can't read the local language as it is not in a Roman or even Cyrillic alpahbet. The people have no cultural similarities to us and we really don't understand them very well some times.

Its all just weird. I can get the new Star Wars movie on DVD 3 days after it premiers anywhere in the world and yet I can't get a beer. I can smoke a cuban cigar any day of the week but I can't own a Playboy magazine. I have to drive like a maniac when I go outside the fence but I will get fired if I exceed the speed limit on post.

This all makes it hard to readjust when I go home on R&R. I involuntarily flinch every time I hear a door slam or a "pop" of any kind. I can tell the type of round that has impacted by sound alone. I can tell if it is a 60mm or 82mm mortar. I can tell if it is a 122mm or 105mm rocket. I can tell if an IED is made from an old artillery shell or from harvested explosives.

I don't know what TV shows are popular. I have no idea what is in the Top 20 of new music. I don't know half the celebrities that are listed on the web. I try and fail at following baseball. I try and fail at keeping good line of commuincation open with my wife.

I can call home anytime I want and can email anytime I want but the company firewall will not let me use a video link. Even with all the technology I find us growing more and more distant and that just will not do. I didn't come over to this weird war to be alienated from my family. I will finish what I started but I will come home. I hope I do before I get too weird.

Monday, May 16, 2005

My oh my! It be a mortar! Posted by Hello

Saddam and Me! The last untagged Saddam portrait in Taji. Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 14, 2005

A friend sent this to me and I just HAD to post it. I agree with George and I too am a Bad American!

YES, I'M A BAD AMERICAN by George Carlin

I Am Your Worst Nightmare. I am a BAD American. I am George Carlin.

I believe the money I make belongs to me and my family, not some mid level governmental functionary be it Democratic or Republican!

I'm in touch with my feelings and I like it that way, damn it!

I think owning a gun doesn't make you a killer, it makes you a smart American.

I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized, and does not entitle you to anything.

I believe that if you are selling me a Big Mac, try to do it in English.

I think fireworks should be legal on the 4th of July.

I think that being a student doesn't give you any more enlightenment than working at Blockbuster. In fact, if your parents are footing the bill to put your pansy ass through 4 years plus of college, you haven't begun to be enlightened.

I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God when and where they want to.

My heroes are John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers, and whoever canceled Jerry Springer.

I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor.

I know wrestling is fake and I don't waste my time arguing about it.

I think global warming is a big lie. Where are all those experts now, when I'm freezing my ass off during these long winters and paying, paying, paying?

I've never owned a slave, or was a slave, I didn't wander forty years In the desert after getting chased out of Egypt. I haven't burned any witches or been persecuted by the Turks and neither have you! So, shut-the-Hell-up already.

I want to know which church is it exactly where the Reverend Jesse Jackson practices, where he gets his money, and why he is always part of the problem and not the solution. Can I get an AMEN on that one?

I think the cops have every right to shoot your sorry ass if you're running from them. I also think they have the right to pull your ass over if you're breaking the law, regardless of what color you are. And, no, I don't mind having my face shown on my drivers license. I think it's good.....and I'm proud that "God" is written on my money.

I think if you are too stupid to know how a ballot works, I don't want you deciding who should be running the most powerful nation in the world for the next four years.

I dislike those people standing in the intersections trying to sell me crap or trying to guilt me into making "donations" to their cause. These people should be targets.

I believe that it doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes two parents. And what the hell is going on with gas prices... again?

If this makes me a BAD American, then yes, I'm a BAD American.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A child's mind

I have always wondered what Tanner might be thinking about me being away all the time. It finally dawned on me that he thinks I am in an airplane all the time. He sees me come and go in airplanes and he has been in quite a few himself so he thinks that is where I am.

The other night Carren put him on the phone and he took it into his room to talk to me. This was our first ever "private" phone conversation. While chatting about his bed and his speedy track he just about floored me when he asked me if I would bring my airplane and come to see him. I started to shed a tear and he said that I could come because it is my house too and that he wants me to see his new cars. I told him I would be there in 5 weeks. He asked if that was tomorrow. I said no, that it was later but that I am coming and we are going on a big boat to Mexico. I was crying in full bloom by this point but he can't see it so he did not know. he was aksing me if I could see his new cars. I told him no at first but then I started saying that yes I could, and had him describe them to me.

He is growing up so fast. I am missing so much by being here but I still have some time to do. I am guessing that in about 16-18 months I will be done with all of this and I can stay home for good. I hope so.
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