Saturday, August 27, 2005

Don't walk on my grave

One of the Marine mothers who is becoming vocal in support of the war stated that her son told her that if he died he did not want her to be another Cindy Sheehan. He told her, "Don't walk on my grave." He feels like 99% of us over here do. We still believe in the mission and can see the small daily changes. We wonder why our own media wants so badly to make this all go wrong.

I still feel sorry for Cindy Sheehan that she lost her son. I don't know how I would feel if Tanner were killed in a war but knowing what the stakes are here leads me to believe that even though I would be heart broken I would still understand that freedom is not free and that we continue to pay for the right to protest, have free speech, vote, own a weapon, etc.

Casey Sheehan volunteered to join the Army. He RE-ENLISTED too. He volunteered for the mission in which he was killed. He volunteered to pick up his rifle and try to help rescue comrades who were under fire. Should he have just said no? He could have when he signed up, when he signed again, or before the mission. He did not. He said YES three times. He knew what was happening, we all do but he knew he was going in harms way.

His mother soils his memory and the sacrifices of all the other parents who have lost their children by her incessant whining and pandering to the far left. The left has grabbed this straw and are using her. In her blog she swooned with star worship because Joan Baez came and sang at her mosh pit of a camp. That is the very same Joan Baez who was against the Vietnam war too.

Regardless what you hear, this is NOT Vietnam. In Vietnam you had a popularly supported uprising against an entrenched and very corrupt dictatorship. It was supported by more than 60% of the populace and funded by outside governments (Remember Mao, remember the USSR?). It pitted a standing army plus a very well organized guerrilla group of indiginous persons who sought self govenerment of their choice.

This is a conflict of deposed dictatorship lackeys who want their power back. They were and are a minority in their own country and are split along religious lines. It has foreign zealots who come in and kill the locals who just want to be left alone. It has a freely elected government that is struggling to stay afloat amidst the carnage caused by these unpopular and not well supported entities. They kill each other at times and wnat nothing more than all out civil war.

The Vietnamese did not fight for this or like this. This is NOT Vietnam. So; Joan Baez, Cindy Sheehan, Kim Basinger, Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, and all you other leftists need to understand the real issues, the real fight, and the real danger here. What gets to me most of all is that every time we get in a protracted fight the left wants to remember Vietnam. I prefer to think of something much more recent. I think about 9-11. Where were all these so called experts then? Where was their outrage? Are they going to blame that on Bush and Cheney too?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

When I have Time

I was chastised by a friend the other day because I don't post every single day. I don't because sometimes I just don't have time. Sometimes I am too tired. Sometimes I just don't have anything to say. I get worn down. 12 hours a day with no days off for 4 months grinds you to where you are mentally whipped and the last thing you want to do is type some profound or interesting tid bits for everyone to read. Don't misunderstand me, I love letting everyone know what is going on with me but I just don't feel like it is a duty to post everyday.

Today is slow though and I have some time. It is not always like that. I find myself saying the same thing my dad used to tell me. I would ask if we could do something and he would say, "When I have time." He almost never had the time and it still affects us to this day. I caught myself telling a buddy of mine that today and realized that it was a lame ass excuse for really wanting to say, "Man, I am tired and just don't want to bother with this right now."

I know that sometimes Carren can hear it in my voice. We talk a lot (Thank God for the satellite link to CONUS) but most of the time it is in the morning for her and in the late afternoon for me. I am tired. I want to talk and I don't want to talk. It is important to talk. I have to shift gears. I have learned to stop what I am doing and listen. I am just too tired to multi task. I never want her to feel like I don't want to talk but there are times when I am just worn out. I never want to tell her that I don't have time. I never want to tell T-Man that either. Probably the biggest reason for me to be here is that I want to be able to be at home and not be on the road all the time like I have been the last 5 years.

Maybe I will be able to coach T-Ball or Pee Wee football. Maybe I will be a Cub Scout leader or a Sunday School teacher. I don't know but I will definitely make the time.

Friday, August 19, 2005

R&R Plans

One thing about this life is that it gives you the opportunity to have some great vacations. We (Carren, Tanner, and I) are planning our third trip to Jamaica in as many years. We are comfotable there. Noel Coward was the one who called it "Dr. Jamaica" for the sense of healing he got from the place. Sure it has crime and poverty but so does anyplace in the world except maybe Dubai. The trick is avoiding the areas where this exists. Jamaica relies on tourism so they take pains to keep the tourist areas safe.

We are trying a different Beaches resort. This time we will go to Sandy Bay. It is a much smaller resort than the last one we stayed at outside of Ocho Rios. We will stay there for 7 days and then stay in Montego Bay proper for 2 more days. Beaches is owned by Sandals and it is a first rate experience. They really take care of everything and we love the all inclusive, no tipping policy. They have all the Sesame Street stuff for the Little Guy so he in entertained while we scuba, snorkel, etc. We loved the cruise but it was all about planning around a feeding schedule wheras the beach thing is planning around a drinking schedule.

I will start by having 2 days in Dubai to drink and drown and then fly to Jamaica. It's an easy route as there are nonstops to London and Air Jamaica flies non stop to MoBay. After the 9 days in Jamaica I will go to London and stay in the UK for 4 days, taking in the last air show of the year in Duxford. Duxford is just outside of Cambridge and is only 90 minutes away from London by train.

The Dubai stop is try and make up for the last one. We scheduled to stay in Dubai for 2 days and did not get to because we were trapped in Baghdad in a sand storm. We had 19 hours in Dubai and it was a miserable time really as we were all so tired and hot. Maybe this time we will finally get a chance to do the Desert Safari or hit Wild Wadi water park.

My buddy Dave is traveling with me through Dubai and then he is just going straight to England. He has an old girlfriend in Sudbury which is also close to Cambridge. He will stay there and we will link up on my arrival. Pubs, Fish and Chippy shoppes, and WWII airplanes. It doesn't get much better than that.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

An Open Letter To Cindy Sheehan

I took the liberty of copying this open letter from Mohammed at "Iraq The Model". He tells the misguided Ms. Sheehan what the war in Iraq is all about much better than I ever could. I know she grieves but she truly does not understand that what she does is so damaging as to make her son's life and sacrifices all in vain. She met the President but demands more. He cannot bring her son back. She is being used as a pawn by those who would do anything to damage the effort here to meet their own short sighted political goals. Right now she is the #1 Poster Child for Al'Zarqawi and his kind. They want to see a lot more Cindy Sheehans.

Friday, August 12, 2005
A message to Cindy Sheehan
I realize how tragic your loss is and I know how much pain there is crushing your heart and I know the darkness that suddenly came to wrap your life and wipe away your dreams and I do feel the heat of your tears that won't dry until you find the answers to your question; why you lost your loved one?I have heard your story and I understand that you have the full right to ask people to stand by your side and support your cause. At the beginning I told myself, this is yet another woman who lost a piece of her heart and the questions of war, peace and why are killing her everyday.
To be frank to you the first thing I thought of was like "why should I listen or care to answer when there are thousands of other women in America, Iraq and Afghanistan who lost a son or a husband or a brother…”But today I was looking at your picture and I saw in your eyes a persistence, a great pain and a torturing question; why?I know how you feel Cindy, I lived among the same pains for 35 years but worse than that was the fear from losing our loved ones at any moment. Even while I'm writing these words to you there are feelings of fear, stress, and sadness that interrupt our lives all the time but in spite of all that I'm sticking hard to hope which if I didn't have I would have died years ago.
Ma'am, we asked for your nation's help and we asked you to stand with us in our war and your nation's act was (and still is) an act of ultimate courage and unmatched sense of humanity.Our request is justified, death was our daily bread and a million Iraqi mothers were expecting death to knock on their doors at any second to claim someone from their families.Your face doesn't look strange to me at all; I see it everyday on endless numbers of Iraqi women who were struck by losses like yours.Our fellow country men and women were buried alive, cut to pieces and thrown in acid pools and some were fed to the wild dogs while those who were lucky enough ran away to live like strangers and the Iraqi mother was left to grieve one son buried in an unfound grave and another one living far away who she might not get to see again.We did nothing to deserve all that suffering, well except for a dream we had; a dream of living like normal people do.
We cried out of joy the day your son and his comrades freed us from the hands of the devil and we went to the streets not believing that the nightmare is over.We practiced our freedom first by kicking and burning the statues and portraits of the hateful idol who stole 35 years from the life of a nation.For the first time air smelled that beautiful, that was the smell of freedom.The mothers went to break the bars of cells looking for the ones they lost 5, 12 or 20 years ago and other women went to dig the land with their bare hand searching for a few bones they can hold in their arms after they couldn't hold them when they belonged to a living person.I recall seeing a woman on TV two years ago, she was digging through the dirt with her hands. There was no definite grave in there as the whole place was one large grave but she seemed willing to dig the whole place looking for her two brothers who disappeared from earth 24 years ago when they were dragged from their colleges to a chamber of hell.Her tears mixed with the dirt of the grave and there were journalists asking her about what her brothers did wrong and she was screaming "I don't know, I don't know. They were only college students. They didn't murder anyone, they didn't steal, and they didn't hurt anyone in their lives. All I want to know is the place of their grave".Why was this woman chosen to lose her dear ones? Why you? Why did a million women have to go through the same pain?We did not choose war for the sake of war itself and we didn't sacrifice a million lives for fun! We could've accepted our jailor and kept living in our chains for the rest of our lives but it's freedom ma'am.Freedom is not an American thing and it's not an Iraqi thing, it's what unites us as human beings. We refuse all kinds of restrictions and that's why we fought and still fighting everyday in spite of the swords in the hands of the cavemen who want us dead or slaves for their evil masters.
You are free to go and leave us alone but what am I going to tell your million sisters in Iraq? Should I ask them to leave Iraq too? Should I leave too? And what about the eight millions who walked through bombs to practice their freedom and vote? Should they leave this land too?Is it a cursed land that no one should live in? Why is it that we were chosen to live in all this pain, why me, why my people, why you?But I am not leaving this land because the bad guys are not going to leave us or you to live in peace. They are the same ones who flew the planes to kill your people in New York.I ask you in the name of God or whatever you believe in; do not waste your son's blood.We here have decided to avenge humanity, you and all the women who lost their loved ones.Take a look at our enemy Cindy, look closely at the hooded man holding the sword and if you think he's right then I will back off and support your call.We live in pain and grief everyday, every hour, every minute; all the horrors of the powers of darkness have been directed at us and I don't know exactly when am I going to feel safe again, maybe in a year, maybe two or even ten; I frankly don't know but I don't want to lose hope and faith.We are in need for every hand that can offer some help.
Please pray for us, I know that God listens to mothers' prayers and I call all the women on earth to pray with you for peace in this world.Your son sacrificed his life for a very noble cause…No, he sacrificed himself for the most precious value in this existence; that is freedom.His blood didn't go in vain; your son and our brethren are drawing a great example of selflessness.God bless his free soul and God bless the souls of his comrades who are fighting evil.God bless the souls of Iraqis who suffered and died for the sake of freedom.God bless all the freedom lovers on earth.
- posted by Mohammed @ 23:24
To read more try the blog at:

Friday, August 12, 2005

A genuine American Hero

I am proud to know Butch Jacobs and even more proud to call him a friend. LTC (Now COL) Jacobs is a Southern Gentleman with the refined airs of the genteelness that still exists in places like South Carolina. Butch is a product of that state and that culture. He was our Mayor while in Iraq and I worked with him on an almost daily basis. He and I had many difficulties and hurdles to overcome but we managed to do so with out rancor even though conditions were harsh, we were under fire, and we had marginal support. We built a fine camp for our soldiers.

Butch is a Vietnam veteran, Gulf War veteran, and now an OIF veteran. He is a member of the South Carolina National Guard and is also a High School football coach. South Carolina and the USA should be proud that they produce men like COL Jacobs. He led his team of South Carolinians in a way that few can match. He did so with strength, humility, kindness, firmness, and care all at the same time. I took a lot of leadership lessons from him and he did not even know it. Of all the coins I have been awarded, his is the one I am most proud of.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

How would you like to see this in your rear view window?

Say what you will about the Army but they have the most lethal helicopter fleet in the world. These Apaches can take out a tank from 3 miles away with a HellFire and they can take on any infantry or APCs with the 25mm chain gun on the chin. This one came in low over me when I happened to have my camera with me. He has some rockets in pods so he is out hunting for bear. I have gotten to know a lot of the pilots of these birds and they are all either crazy or fierce and some are both! They get right down in the middle of it and they will take any fire to protect the ground pounders. This is a weapons system worth the money we spend on it. The Apache is a beast!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Shamal Season is here!

There are times when it only seems like we are in barren areas and then there are times when we are reminded that we are in the middle of the desert. We have had a few sand storms but this was a true "Shamal" which came in. They are called Scirrocco in Northern Africa but it is the same thing. Hot, dry winds carrying lots and lots of sand and fine dust. The dust just gets everywhere and it even come through the air conditioning filters. It clogs up all your pores and makes some monster "Boogie Nose".

Visibility is limited to about 25 yards of clear vision and about 50 of cloudy vision. After that you can't see at all. I took this photo of a HUMMV that was only about 3 car lengths in front of us. As you can tell, it is not that visible. Everyone has on their lamps and driving is slowed considerately. Dust gets tracked everywhere and those who have sensitive respiratory systems have a hard time with it. Oh well, it comes with the job.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Good News from Long Beach

My wife gave me some great news today.

When we left California we left behind some dear friends and neighbors that we really miss. Our next door neighbors were the perfect family. Business owners, good looking, nice home, 2 kids, one dog. After we had been in Texas for a few months my wife called to talk to them. She was stunned to find out that the couple's oldest child Tyler had died of leukemia. I too was shocked. He was such a sweet little kid and only 6 years old. He was very shy and I have this clear memory of him coming to our house on Halloween dressed in his Blues Clue's costume. He was too shy to say "Trick or Treat". He would work in the yard with his daddy fetching tools and stuff. I guess that he is one of the reasons that I consented to trying to have children. I saw how he and his daddy were together and it was a far cry from my own relationship with my father. I wanted to do the same things with my own children.

When Tyler developed leukemia and died the family was shattered. They were emotionally crushed. Tyler's dad would sit in the dark and cry. The grandmother had a heart attack. Their business suffered and so on and so on. The recovery took a long, Long time and I don't think they have ever really gotten over it. How do you?

They have a daughter Kelly, who was born while we lived there and she is beautiful and worshipped her older brother. She too was profoundly affected by this tragedy. Every time I think about it I think about how much I am missing with my little guy. There are times I will never be able to replace with him.

When my wife called our ex-neighbors to tell them she was coming to CA this week to visit she heard a baby crying in the background. We did not know. They now have an 11 month old son that is named Jesse. He was named this by his older sister. When her brother was dying they contacted Make A Wish to tell them that Tyler's favorite TV show was Monster Garage with Jesse James (Sandra Bullock's Husband). Jesse came to visit Tyler. Kelly was so impressed by this that when her little brother was born she told everyone they were naming him Jesse because Jesse James came to see her brother Tyler.

There are some heroes in this world and some times they come in unusual ways and unusual guises. Here is a rough, tough celebrity who came to see a little boy. Some celebrities would have sent a picture or made a phone call but Jesse came to meet Tyler. I am now a fan of his.
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