It’s common practice these days to dismiss what’s going on in Iraq. With all of the attention on Afghanistan, the Middle East and the “Arab Spring”, and the nations economy, it kind of seems like the Iraq War has fallen off of the radar. It certainly isn’t what it was when I was here during the Surge in 2007. Here I am in Iraq doing my second tour out in the middle of nowhere in the Anbar Province nice and safe on a huge Air Base where there haven’t been any major incidents in quite some time. It’s so easy for us to come here in this type of setting and become complacent to what’s going on around us in other parts of the country.
I’ll admit it, I’m guilty of it too. We came here for this mission to help “shut ‘er down.” It’s gonna be a simple mission with no serious dangers in our way. It was going to be too easy.
Just the other day I had a nice dose of harsh reality and it had a major impact on me for some reason. Mainly because I thought we were in this fake “bubble” where nothing was going on. As I was sitting at work the other day, I opened an attachment in my email that, among other things, contained a few significant activities (SIGACTS) in another part of Iraq that we will eventually be heading to. It said that an IED hit a convoy and hit the gunners turret. The gunner was KIA.
That right there stopped me in my tracks.
Now, before I go any further, all of you barracks lawyers and military spouses that think you know everything there is to know about how the military is supposed to work regarding operational security (OPSEC), you can all calm down. This particular event happened more than a week ago and I’m sure that soldier’s family has already been notified and that route has been cleard by route clearance teams. So shut the fuck up.
Here I am, all nice and cozy in my office digs in a supporting role to…..well….whoever it is that we support. I read that a soldier has died from an IED strike and the sadness and remorse hit me like a train. I felt guilty for thinking that we are here on a mission with no dangers. All of that was in the past. All of the insurgents were supposed to be in Afghanistan. I guess it’s a reflection of what the focus is from the top down. The President doesn’t care about what happens here. He’s got priorities elsewhere. The media is bored with Iraq so they don’t cover the things we do here now. And our leaders didn’t prepare us and remind us for what we are dealing with over here.
As I read that SIGACT, images flashed through my head. I wondered what his name was. I pictured what he was doing before his mission. Was he smokin’ and jokin’ with his buddies? Did he just get off the phone with his wife or parents? Is he even married? Did he have kids? Then I thought about his wife if he had one. I saw the uniformed men walking up to her door and the disbelief in her eyes. A family’s life is now forever changed.
I know it’s happened before and it will happen again. It’s the price we have to pay for freedom. But the mindset of the soldiers in my immediate vicinity (myself included) all think that this is just another training exercise far, far away from home. I’ve been thinking about him ever since. Wondering what his name was, feeling empathy for his unit and his buddies, and coming to terms with my own mortality; almost disgusted at how some of the people I live/work with are complaining about the stupidest things.
So as we’re over here, some of us working 9-5 jobs with daily trips to the PX, and others facing the real dangers of war every day, don’t forget about us. We’re still fighting a very dangerous enemy and we still have a lot of work to do. Please keep that soldier who died and every other soldier that is here and in Afghanistan in your thoughts and prayers.
My father-in-law is a weak little man.
Well, I shouldn’t even really call him my father-in-law because he has never actually been a father to my wife. He’s spent his life devoting most of his time to being an asshole who thinks that he can do and say whatever he wants without repricutions while everyone else around him, particularly those that stand up to him, are stupid, immature and wrong for saying what they want.
In the past, I would say that he’s a pretty funny guy and that our views are pretty much the same. He certainly doesn’ t like this current administration and it’s policies but he’s beginning to lose it. Recently, he posted this little gem on Facebook knowing full well that his daughter is married to and has devoted her life to her husband who is in the military (that would be me).
I think his little comment on Facebook went something like, “reading this made me nautious.” Look for yourself.
I’m sure you were all captivated by the pretty pictures and official-looking graphs and pie charts. I know, it took me a minute to look away too.
Now, I don’t give a rat’s ass if any of that is true. I know we, as a country are taxed out the ass and that at times what the gubmint does with that money can be questionable. And everyone with an IQ that’s slightly more than a quivering blob of smagma from the underside of the balls from a water ox knows that in these times that we’re in, Defense spending is a must if we want to be kept safe from harm from abroad. If you have a hard time understanding that, then it’s time for you to relocate elsewhere.
On a personal note, I’m horrifically insulted by the fact that someone I used to call family would knowingly post something like that on a public domain. Granted, there are other members of my immediate family who do not necessarily have the same political or strategic views that I do and they are certainly allowed to their opinion.
But when you act like a child who throws a tantrum because not everyone is playing by your rules and then you “un-friend” us on Facebook tells me that your issues go way deeper than your disagreement with whatever the gubmint is doing with your tax money.
Just keep in mind that no matter what you believe, there are people out there fighting for you and your beliefs. And, not if – but when the next terrorist attack happens right in your back yard and the gubmint doesn’t have any resources to combat the culprits, just thank your stars that they cut all that defense spending that you hate so much.
I’m in the Army. Those that know me and who follow my writtings on here already know that. And for those that are in the Army or have served previously know that sometimes there come those occasions when you have to ask yourself, “Are you freaking kidding me?”
Every organization has it’s stupid policies and the Army…….(laugh to myself)……is no exception.
Usually during Physical Training (PT) formation, the Platoon Sergeants (PLT Daddy’s/Momma’s) put out pertinent information that relates to our daily activities. Make sure you make it to this promotion ceremony on Friday. Don’t forget to donate to Toys for Tots©. All leave forms need to be in by such and such date…..etc. This morning’s information was a gem.
When we formed up and were waiting for 1SG to take charge of the company and fall us in, he called the PLT Sergeants to the back to brief them on today’s announcements. When our PLT Daddy came back, he did his duty to tell us the most ridiculous piece of crap that I could stand to take at 0530 on a Monday morning.
Everyone knows that the H1N1 (Swine Flu) vaccine is being distributed nationwide and it will soon be available here on Fort Gordon. Now, the seasonal flu shot is mandatory and there is no getting out of it. It seems that it’s no different with the Swine Flu shot. Apparently we are on 24 hour “recall” with regards to the Swine Flu shot.
Are you kidding me?
Since when do Army units implement the 24 hour recall for a damn vaccine shot? Especially when 99.9999999% of the people in the Army aren’t in the danger zone (i.e. small children and senior citizens). From what I’ve been hearing and the research I’ve been doing, the H1N1 virus affects those demographic groups the most. Most of the soldiers I know in the Army are 1)between the age of 25 and 40, 2)are physcially fit, and 3)aren’t in the medical support field. This pretty much tells me that there are a lot more people out there that should get the shot than those of us that are in my unit. I find it absolutely ridiculous that they would put us on some gay alert for that shot.
There was once upon a time in the Army when personnel would go on alert for legitimate reasons such as cold war exercises and terrorist threat exercises. But since this unit can’t seem to find any good reason to waste our time properly, this seems to fit the bill quite nicely. I, for one, am going to refuse to take the shot as much as I can without getting in too much trouble. I’m not in any target demographic and I don’t feel that the shot will do much to ward off the infection. But that’s my opinion. If you decide to get the shot, by all means, get it. I just think it’s ridiculous that they put us on 24 hour alert for something that I don’t think we need.
It seems that, with all that’s going on in our Government lately and how appologetic our pResident has become to the rest of the world, that a lot of people have forgotten what happened 8 years ago and what has gone on since. The other day was September 11th and there were many ceremonies and reminders that went on around the nation to help us remember the atrocities that occured that day. Well that’s all fine and good. But…
People have forgotten what has happened since then. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been used to promote anti-war groups’ agendas and used to slam the Bush administration. Some people think that because it’s been almost a decade since any type of attack has happened on our soil, that it hasn’t been real; like it’s all been a dream or some scene from a movie. The predominant sentiment is that it’s all just been a media ploy or just some news story that’s happened thousands of miles away. Well, if you think that then I say fuck you. Sometimes it takes a blunt reminder to force people to remember that we are at war.
Well, here’s just a little reminder.
WARNING!!! Some of the images in these videos are extremely graphic. War is REAL. Don’t watch unless you think you can handle it.
In memory to all of the warriors who have fallen in defense of their country.
Nunquam Indulgeo. Nunquam Alieno.
Never Forgive. Never Forget.
Well I spent the day at the Rifle Qualification Range today.
That was fun.
First of all, let me tell you what a dumbass I am. When I got to Ft. Gordon last year, the Central Issue Facility (CIF) told me that I already had all of the equipment that I’m going to need; so they didn’t give me any. Well, turns out that on numerous occasions I’ve needed a pistol belt. So I decide that because I was going to the range today and the required uniform consisted of a Load Bearing Vest (LBV) I would go hit up CIF to pick up an LBV so that I wouldn’t be out of uniform.
My keen situational awareness and superior intelligence once again comes through for me.
Either I must’ve been thinking about how much I would love to stay at the CIF all day and bask in the warm, glowing hospitality and compassion that the wonderful women who work there dish out or I thought that I had a pistol belt lurking somewhere at home . Either way, I leave CIF with an LBV but without a pistol belt. But hey, at least I have a helmet!
We had to meet up in the B Company motor pool at 0500 hrs this morning. We rolled out at 0530 hrs. The range didn’t go “hot” until around 0800 hrs. My job on this range was as a Range Safety. I got to stand out on the firing line all day while rotation after rotation of firers would file their way onto the line to fire. If someone had a problem, I would signal the tower to pause momentarily while we remedied the problem. On the zero range, the firers shot in sets of three. Then we would walk down to the targets 25 meters away to see how they did. If their shot group wasn’t within a prescribed standard, then adjustments would be made to their weapon and they would try again. In order to move from the zero range to the qualifying range they had to “zero” or put 6 shots within a black silhouette.
The morning time wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t that hot and there was a nice fog that moved in once the sun came up. But when the fog burned away and the day dragged on, that’s when it became a pita to be out there on your feet all day. Some of the firers did pretty well. They would zero their weapons in a short amount of time and move out. Others weren’t so lucky skillful. At one point, one soldier came onto the firing line and immediately I knew this one was going to irritate the shit out of me. She wouldn’t listen to me and she had to stop the entire firing line because I had to crawl into her fox hole to kill a spider. Anyways, she gets maybe 5 shots off and at some point the tower instructs the firers to put their weapons on ‘safe’, drop their magazines and clear their weapons. As soon as I go to check the other firers in my area, a shot rings out from her position. Negligent Discharge. Not good.
So, here I am playing the role of a safety on the range and this broad decides to stick her head up her enormous ass and pull off a negligent discharge. Deciding to not think about my own safety, I rush to her postion, confiscate her weapon and apply the appropriate steps to secure the weapon from firing again. Meanwhile, all of the other firers and safeties are gasping their breaths and frozen with fear as I heroically save the entire lot.
Alright, a little far fetched, I know. But no shit, there I was…..and that shit really did happen. I hope she gets the fullest of UCMJ action. Dumbass.
Well, long story short, it takes me three damn times to qualify with a 30 out of a possible 40. It’s not the best score I’ve ever gotten, but I’ll take it. I’m so tired when I get home that I can barely stand up to make dinner. I was so sweaty that my wife said I still stunk of BO even after I had taken a shower and applied deoderant. Now that’s a hard day’s work!
I can’t wait until the next range.