Thursday, January 29, 2009

Are You Happy Now Kegge?

What is on my mind right now?
Soldier suicides have risen to the highest rates ever for 2008. Why? Talking Head analyists say its because depoyments, I don't know if that's right. I mean I guess it sorta has to be; the simplest answers are gennerally the most correct. It just seems like a terrible waste that soldiers are killing themselves, especially in theater. I mean if they found a way to end their lives to the benefit of their Battle Buddies they'd get a medal and a 21 gun salute. As it stands... well they are just another soldier who couldn't take it. A fucking shame.
I have to remeber to stay positive. I'm on lunch right now, but when I get back to work I will be in for the second half a big bad smoking. I did something stupid, someone is over-reacting and I have pay in sweat. I'm not too upset about it, me and this person have to have it out every so often to clear the air so I'll live. The hard part is making sure that its worth it, which it is. And not just on the small shit like getting the shit smoked out of me, but on thebigger stuff. Is it worth it to be here? Is it worth it to get up every day to be in this life? Because its gonna be a helluva lot harder when I'm deployed. And I'm not saying its not worth it, but sometimes I forget, sometimes its easier to wallow in the misery.
I sure am glad I'm a soldier. All the news shows is people losing jobs left and right. I mean fuck, even Blackwater Int'l just lost their contract to operate in Iraq. If I don't re-up and head back to college I sure hope I'll be able to find work. Because it'd be a bitch to get out and find I had no work to do.
I wish the media would stop touching themselves over President Obama. Is he the President? Yes. Is every little fucking thing he does newsworthy? No. Move the FUCK ON people.
I apologize for my random writtings, I had a hard time focusing today. Stay sharp kids, and my thoughts go out to Chase who is as I write this on final aproach into Baghdad airport or somesuch. Do work and keep your head down buddy, I'll see you over there.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hurricanes And Pink Champagne

This writting may be a tad Army-speak/technical for all you non-military types, but I will explain it Barney-style.
This month I was re-assigned from a normal rifleman who carries a standard M4 Carbine (here) to a Automatic Rifleman who carries a M249 SAW (here). Technicly speaking that means I have a larger weapon with a much, much higher rate of fire. And that means I have a greater potential to kill motherfuckers, which is cool. But it is also fucking heavy and unweildy. Now it doesn't take a genius to look at a picture of a SAW and realize that it is heavy and unweildy, but unless one has hefted an M4, M16 or similar weapon the distintion may be lost between them. What I mean is that being used to an M4 and switching to a SAW is like going from the cell phone you have today to a cell phone used in the mid-90's. You know, like the one Zach Morris had on Saved By The Bell. You will find it big and cumbersome, but also you will want to use it like you used your iPhone or Razr, only to find that it is impossible. Anyone following me? In any case I am learning a whole new way to conduct myself in combat operations and while I curse the monumental pain in my ass that my SAW is, there is a silver lining on this cloud.
To be a SAW gunner a person must be able to use the weapon effectively. They must also be trusted to have to common sense that being an Automatic Rifleman is intrensic to. Therefore to be assigned as a SAW gunner the person that made me such must have at least nominal trust in my abilities and strength. This is an ego boost. I mean someone thinks I am capable enough to use the most causulty producing weapon avalible to an Infanty Fire Team, that makes me feel all warm in a Born-Trained-Killer type of way.
The final point I want to make about my SAW is true of all weapons: Once they become yours they are truely and utterly yours. I mean it. It is not a complete invention of the media that soldiers name their weapons, some of us do. I would venture to say all of us do, only some admit to it. I have named all 3 of the weapons assigned to me, and I think that in part it reflects the relationship between me and that weapon and me and that female. The M16 I was issued in Basic was the first weapon I could ever call mine. My M4 I was given here is always there for me, even though I don't see her often. And my SAW is a pain in my ass and to be honest, unreliable, yet for all the trouble she has got me into I love her for showing me how fun shit can be. Because there is nothing more fun/recklessly dangerous than a M249 on full automatic or drunk driving around Vienna on summer afternoons for no reason.
Thank you for opening up my eyes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I Have Got To Stop Writting Under The Influence

So I just figured something crazy out. "Born In The USA" (The song, not the entire album) is as completely accurate as it was when it was written. Change some words around here and there and you have yourself a stirring anthem about the late 00's. For example:

I had a brother at Khe Sahn fighting off the Viet Cong
They're still there, he's all gone
He had a woman he loved in Saigon
I got a picture of him in her arms now

Change Khe Sahn to Kandahar, Viet Cong to al-Queda or Taliban. Then switch Saigon to any American city. And the rest takes care of itself. I mean the song is about a man who goes to war he didn't see the point in and comes home to find the economy down the shitter, how is that not exactly what is happening now?
When you were in school did you ever ask your teacher why you had to learn History? Like what good does it do us to listen to you blab about dead guys and shit? And the stock answer was always: Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. Well my new question is for all the history classes we've all had, how come we are repeating history to the point where 25 year old Bruce Springsteen lyrics are still a stirring social commentary on current events?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Sneeze Is 1/8th Of An Orgasm

I am going to just list off some random things that I find beautiful. This is nowhere close to a complete list, just some things running through my head.
A cold beer on a hot day. A light dusting of snow. The pool on August mornings before anyone gets in. Sundresses on pretty girls. The Alps. A genuine smile. Shadow puppets. Roger Daltry's yell in "Won't Get Fooled Again". 12 Gauge Pump-Action Shotguns with short barrels. Air Force Girls. Deep tans. Watching fruit explode against a brick wall. The soreness after a good workout. Not giving a FUCK. Perky breasts. The smell of a wood fire on a cold night. Dinner with friends. Being able to tell the difference between the sound of a 2240B and a 249SAW without even thinking about it. VI chili dogs. Lying in bed with someone you love. The Nottaway Garden Loop in August. Roomates doing Whippetts on your couch while watching CNN.
If you have seen or felt any of these things do you think they are beautiful?

Monday, January 19, 2009

BLT's and O Faces

So the conclusion of a four day weekend without alcohol is coming to an end. What a trip that was, but not really. Tommrow we head out to the desert to practice being all Army and shit for a few days. I honestly like going to the field, it makes me feel like I am actully doing something with all the equpiment, training and time that the govenment has given me. That is why I like this job I suppose; a sense of purpose. I will never understand people who don't have a purpose. Not like a goal, I have never been one to have goals and have caught more than my fair share for that. So what if I have no idea where I'm going or what it is that I really want? I don't give a fuck. I do know that I like to wake up and know what I'ma do 5 days outta 7. I mean that is why the weekend is go great; because it affords me luxeries that I normally do without. Tantamount among them; not waking up before 6am. I guess I don't hate it as much as other people, but I think that comes from the fact that I try and get somewhere in the area of 5 hours a sleep on workdays. I mean I know some fucktards who go to bed at 2 or 3am with a 6am wake up, there is no way you will be rested and ready to do PT on 3 hours of sleep. On the other hand I try not to get more than 8 hours a night either. You ever sleep too much in a day and feel all tired and shit? Happens to me when I get more than 8 hours.
But changing topic rapidly: I fucking hate people who make dramatic 'cries for help'. I mean this may be fucked up and shit, but I am going to say it; either be a fucking grown-up about it and fucking kill yourself, or don't. And if you're not sure about it then sit down and think very hard, maybe make a list if you are a list-making type of person. But do not, DO NOT make some bullshit gesture that implies you may hurt yourself or others because you have such a fucking tough life. Everyone makes fun of you because you're some hideous chud and talk like you're half retarded? Don't bring home half a dozen 5.56mm rounds from the the firing range and hide them in an Advil bottle on your desk. Don't let someone overhear you talking on the phone about how "They'll all see..." or some shit. Because no one will pity you. Fuck, no one with half a brain will even be afraid you might actully do it. You think people will stop mocking you because they worry you might go fucking Postal one Tuesday night in the barracks? Newsflash assfuck, it will just make everyone hate you more and mock you more because we all see it for what it is: never a serious threat. Because if you had half a mind to do it you would do it when you have your hands on a gun that fires 12 rounds a second and every single one of the people you hate are standing in a tighly packed group nearby. (That is an unweildy sentence.) So either go out like a fucking man (H.S. Thompson/Hemingway style) with no chance of failure, or suck it the fuck up and roll on. Because life is hard for everyone and yet a vast majority of us manage to stuggle through day after shit-eating day and we don't need any drama-queen whiners slowing us down.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I Bless The Rains Down In Africa...

If I had a nickel for every song I should have but don't... well I wouldn't be rich, but I'd be able to buy that fucking Pepsi. I'm drunk btw, and I am thinking aboubt Toto, so there. And since I am drinking alone my mind wander's to the past; "Ohio Is For Lovers" I could have totally fucked her to that song. But I didn't. "No Handlebars" I remeber when I heard that song; what a fucking random night. Talleyville, DE... I should have told you how I felt back in '04, but I was too chickenshit. That's right, I am not afraid to catch a 7.62mm round or some shrapnel from Mr. I-Hate-America in Afganistan in the neck, but I am to scared to say "I still love you"... Why? Maybe because the Taliban has never broke my heart and soul. All he has done is kill my body, and who gives a fuck about that?


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

We Want YOU! To Be An Emu Farmer

So I just found what might be the greatest thing of modern times.

This and This

Does anyone understand the implications of this? Like I don't even know what to say right now. Bill Murray is wandering around NYC hugging people, crashing their parties and giving people knuggies (sp?) and he is doing it for shits and giggles. I mean he's telling people that no one will ever believe them because they won't. I mean I'd believe someone if they were like; "Hey I saw Bill Murray in Times Square last week." but to say he crashed your party in Brooklyn or hugged you in an elevator? Fucking yeah man, whatever.
I guess I just like the whole spirit of it all. Like he is going around giving strangers a great story to tell for the rest of their lives that is unlike anything else. Tons of people meet celebirties or shake hands with a politicans or get a sports stars autograph, but to have an interaction with a legit famous person in an atmosphere where they are not standing on some pedistal and you are looking up at them is rare. It is like he is doing a community service, or a Random Act of Kindness, but not kindness. I don't really know the word for it to be honest.
I feel that it is along the same lines as why people write "FUCK" on walls or draw penis' everywhere. I don't mean they are the same, but the motivation comes from the same place. Just an urge to do something to your surroundings that changes the dynamic in some way, to upset the status quo. I feel that way sometimes; actully fairly often. I mean we live our lives on these traintracks most of the time, just following our path and we forget that there is a whole world out there. And not just the world that resembles our own but is different, i.e. studying abroad or getting a new job or moving to a new place. I mean the kind of shit you see in National Geo. or some shit. A perfect example is when I ask people (or they ask me) what will they do when they leave the Army. Often the response is college or a union job or a cop or some shit. Who says they want to train Mafia soldiers Basic Rifle Marksmanship? Who wants to join the French Foreign Legion? Who wants to be a merc for the Tamil Tigers? Who wants to sail around the world? We set our paths and we never look from side to side. Or if we do it is more like we look back and to the side. "I wonder what life would have been like if I had just gone Off the Reservation..."
In his own small way Bill Murray is doing just that. He is breaking through the brick wall of our lives and shaking shit up. He is doing his part to save us from the monotony of our lives, are you?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dry Shaving Hurts In A Manly Sort Of Way

So this week if off to a fairly shitty start. Honestly it's mostly because my whole Company (~120 soldiers) just got put on QRF. (Quick Reaction Force) That means we have to be ready to roll out into the desert and do stuff within two hours of our commander getting the Call. Repercusions of this? Soberity. Yeah kids, we all have to be sober as Mormons until QRF ends. It doesn't end until JANUARY 29th. Fucking JANUARY. Not only that, but we have a 4 day weekend that starts Friday, so I will have to battle 4 days of no work with no alcohol. I'm on Day 2 and I'm doing alright, considering I have a handle and a bottle stashed in my laundry bag that are just sitting there, full of all manner of booze, calling to me... But I suppose a few weeks away from the bottle won't kill me.
To deal with it I have started running at night again, something I haven't done with any frequency since I left Ship. I guess I forget how amazing night running is, which is a shame. It's just that we work out every morning and afternoon, and by the time I get back to my room I'm just so beat and its so fucking cold outside its hard to get out there. But once I get out there, fucking magic I swear. I took Hauser with me last night because he needed to practice running in his Army boots for Air Assault school and he wanted me to pace him. I don't think he really enjoyed it half as much as I did, but he was smart enough to keep his mouth shut. I don't like talking when I run at night, it disrupts my Zen. Cause for me Night Running is like meditation, fuck like, it is meditaion insofar as I understand the term. I feel at peace, and calm and strong in a subtle way. I never do sprints at night, I never time myself, I don't even keep track of distance. Those are earthly concerns, something competitive runners and (fuck help me) joggers do.
I hope I never end up one of those fucking worthless wastes of road. I know its mean, I'm ok with that because I am a running elitist. And I despise those overweight, out of shape, old fogeys who amble along the roads giving everyone a bad impression of us who enjoy it. I mean I cannot understand why these fucking people do it, you can litteraly see the pain etched into their faces as the shuffle along the road. They are torturing themselves because they want to be healthy or in shape or whatever and they are doing it in public. How retarded is that? Go home, buy a treadmill, join a gym, get on the elliptical, because you are sure as fuck not enjoying the spirit of running. When I run I don't even have an iPod in, (which I am not passing judgement on) I like the sound of my feet hitting the ground, and I like the freedom of thought that running gives me. When I am out there on the road all alone I can let my mind wander so fully and completely it is unlike any other time. My thoughts don't go anywhere they don't want to go because nothing out there pulls them to some painful truth, or some bad memory. I don't have any bad running memories actully, not a single one. I have no running insecurities, no issues. I wish more things in life were like that.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I CAN'T HEAR YOU B.K. BROILER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I didn't go out last night. Last night was Friday and I stayed in the B's. (B's=Barracks) I didn't really feel like going out, and I was fucking tired. I didn't even drink. Well to be honest I had like 1 1/2 drinks, but that's like no drinks. They were Tequila and Gatorades, which arn't bad if you're in the mood for them, which I was not. I don't even like Tequila, but I have been on a nasty beer habit lately and I make an strong effort never to drink the same drink with consitantcy. I couldn't tell you why I do this, maybe it comes from those early days where we would drink anything we could get our hands on. Oh nostalgia you've done it again...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Three 24oz Corona and AC 360

So CNN just told me that two of al-Queda's leaders were killed today. Well no, BBC told me they were killed, CNN told me it was done by a UAV. (UAV=Unmaned Airial Vehicle, aka a fucking remote control airplane) The US military has now approved the use of missles on these drones and to be honest, I am not fucking happy about it.
This is the kind of Brave New World meets The Matrix bullshit that I have been afraid of for years. And on top of that I resent the idea that some fucking paper plane driven by some bitch-ass Navy/Chair Force POG (no offense Chas) is getting the credit (or not as the case may be) for the kill from some damn boat 1000 miles away while Joe is getting IED'd, VBIED'd, EFP'd and shot to shit outside Khandahar because the Pentagon won't let us off the fucking leash.
This is half the damn reason that I like international insurgent groups. WHAT!?! Yeah, calm down let me clairify. I don't like Haji or hardcore terrorists or whatever, but I do have a soft spot for groups like the IRA, Tamil Tigers, Basque Seperatists and those kooky Somali Pirates. I like the underdog, I like the spirit that these groups inspire. I'm not saying they are right, or just or don't commit human rights abuses or blah blah blah. They do. But so does the Army. So does Israel, (whom I also love) and so has every group of armed people in the history of the world. It's called Collateral Damage or the Cost of War. It sucks, it really does and if there was a way to wage a war with no one but combatants being affected than that would be tops, but its 100% impossible.
Changing topic rapidly: I am addicted to the news. When I wake up I tune to channel 31 (CNN), during lunch I browse, when I'm reading or fucking around on the net I have MSNBC on mute, I listen to NPR when possible. I love love love knowing what is going on in the world all the time. I love analyzing it myself and rooting out bias. Israel won't let forgein corrispondants into Gaza, but all Arabic news shows are the same 4 clips of dead Palestinan civilians. Casualty reports differ into the hundreds between the SLA and the Tigers. An Oakland Cop murders an unarmed man in the subway and the city riots. Who is to be believed? What is the truth? I don't know, but me and Senor Corona are going to our best to find out.
Sorry if this made no sense, we're a tad drunk here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Would Believe Was Taken?

First things first; I switched because 1) Everyone is doing it. And if you are all like "Well if everyone else jumped off a bridge would you?" the answer is yes, because I'd look like a fucking huge jackass if everyone else was hopping off shit left and right and I'm sitting all alone trying to take solace in the fact that I'm being my own person and living above the influence and blah blah blah don't do drugs and don't have sex and don't slash tires for no reason and so forth and so on.
Number 2: My old platform sucked
C.5: My old platform didn't want me to write today so it wouldn't let me so fuck that.

And now for bussiness. It has been a space between my writtings once again. This time though it was nothing more than a vacay. As ya'll know I went home(?) on leave for the holiday season and I had a fucking ball. I didn't get to see some peeps, but I saw many and had an adventure or two. But now I'm back in Texas and our training for deployment is really coming hard and fast. This week I have been in CLS class. Which is Combat LifeSaver certification class, which means I can treat the 3 leading causes of preventible battlefield deaths. (Bleedings, Obstructed Airway and Collapsed Lungs) This also means my arms are full of holes because today we did IV's, on each other. I want to stress the fact that this is not our jobs. We are NOT Medics and have none of the intelligence or practice they do. So we suck at it.
But that aside, a thought occured to me today in class that I may be one of the last people in this country to have. And while I like knew this information and it may not be a revilation to anyone (factuly speaking at least) it was to me. We are all so young!
Yeah sportsfans (did I just write that?) I know I already knew this, I know everyon else knows this, but in CLS class it really dawned on me. I mean my whole military career has had me surrounded 99% of the time with other Infantrymen or at least other Combat Arms jobs, which gives you a very different view than many other soldiers. What I mean is that in my job (and others like it) everyone has a very simple job to do, not a ton of responsibility (relitively speaking) and can be counted on to do that job because all the job asks is that you do what you're told. And you will NEVER be told to do anything that you can't do. EXAMPLE: "Run around this track 10 times" or "Shoot that target" or "Capture this man". All things any idot could do, provided they have the right mindset. But today I was being taught by my Battalion Medics, most of whom have been in the Army about as long as me. That doesn't scare me, not like I doubt their ability to save my life because they sure don't doubt my ability to protect them. It just drives home in a very real way that we are all young as balls. I mean here is a guy who is maybe 21, who has to know exactly what to do to save my life in a multiude of situations. Not only know how, but perform the action under duress, namely combat.
I fear I am not making any sense, but I still feel the need to attempt to make my point clear. It is all well and good for me to say that me and my battle buddies are the ones killing and dying for America or whatever, but the reality of that only hit me today. Maybe it wasn't just the medics, but also a class centered around our mortality that did it. I mean as stupid as it sounds we are 100% convinced we are immortal. That comes from our youth, our training and our ignorance, and to be honest even now I am positive I can't die. But I am afraid that my battles might. And what's more; they'll die because I am a shitty CLS. Kegge will bleed out from his femoral artery that pumps out 1.5oz of blood (1 standard shotglass-full) every heartbeat, Hauser will slowly asphyxiate from a collapsed lung and his last moments of life will be full of pain because I botched the Needle Chest Decompression, and I will have to look into Wong's eyes while he dies from a massive chestal contusion and I have to stop treatment to attempt to save someone else who has a chance of surviving long enough to get back to FOB.
If I get the chance to save a battle's life over there than this class was 1000000% worth it, but if I don't... well I don't know of anything else that is worth these nightmares. Because while I feel that 20 years old is not too young to die for a cause it is far too young to watch a friend die for any reason.