They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...

These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Aug 18, 2008

T Minus 7 Days and Counting...

Well I've reached another milestone. Less than one week till this deployment kicks off. Terror level rising to critical levels. Pucker factor is in the red. Holy Mary, Mother of God am I scared.

The title of this post begs the question, what the hell does it mean when the NASA guys say T minus, what is T, and why are you subtracting from it? But whatever, doesn't really matter. I have entirely bigger fish to fry right now.

We are one week out and I still have not received any word from my company as to what the hell we are supposed to bring with us. I mean I know that I should bring all my military crap, but how does it need to get packed. Some of it is getting flown down to our mobilization station, and some is getting sailed over to Afghanistan. So the question becomes which box or bag should go to which place and what should each box or bag have in it. You would think that this is something they would've gotten on top of a long time ago but apparently this is a low priority on their radars.

That and the fact that I don't really think that our company actually has a mission or a purpose in that god foresaken country yet. I am pretty sure they are just sending a whole bunch of us over there and figuring that they'll just send us to wherever we can do the most good when we get there. I suppose there is some logic in that but it doesn't change the fact that we are still heading off into the wild unknown lead by the blind, deaf and dumb.

Admittedly, this has been getting harder and harder as the time draws near. I haven't slept for shit in the past 2 weeks. I mean I have been pretty much consistently drunk for the past week and I am still only sleeping about 3 or 4 fit filled hours a night. That and I have been listening to a lot of really depressing music lately. You know Amazing Grace on bagpipes and funeral marches and things like that. Probably not the best choice of fare for a man about to embark on the journey that could potentially end his life. But I digress.

I wish I knew how to make this easy. I wish I knew how to not be afraid. I wish I knew how to not question the wisdom of my leaders. I wish I knew how to not question my own sanity in volunteering for this. I wish I knew how to ease the pain that I am causing all my loved ones. But I think if I were to write a book about this experience it would have to be called:

EMBRACE THE SUCK: A year's worth of unanswered questions in Afghanistan.

I have never been a part of something that caused so many questions but offered so few answers, and I haven't even left home yet. Will my questions be answered when I get there? Or will they be answered when I get back? Will I finally have proven myself and by so doing be able to hang up my boots and live a nice quiet life with my family afterwards? Sweet Jesus I sure hope so.

But I guess that these feelings are all normal, at least I sure hope that they are normal. Talking to the other veterans they all say the same thing. "You did WHAT!!!!???" (Referring to my rather unfortunate decision to volunteer) "Why the fuck would anyone actually ask to go?" I am beginning to wonder just what was going on in my mind at the time. But none of that matters now, the why of this whole thing is a moot point. What we have to deal with now are the other interrogatives.

1. How, as in how the hell are we going to get through this year without anyone getting hurt or dying?

2. When, when are we actually going, and when are we coming back?

3. Who, as in who is going with us, who is going to be there when we arrive and who is coming back with us?

4. Where, as in where the hell are we going, I got the country down, now we need to narrow it down?

Once again, more questions with no answers. However, at least I know that all of these questions will have answers. Even more terrifying is that these questions will all be answered very soon.

So next Monday is the day. I guess it is fitting that the worst day of the week is the day we leave. I think that it would really suck if we had to leave on like a saturday night.

Well, I'll be writing a lot less very soon so hopefully you all stay tuned because I imagine that I am going to have some very good stories to tell in the near future...but regardless thank you for coming along with me thus far and...'s to unanswered questions.

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