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

Oct 17, 2008

I don't know what the hell to call this one...

Well today was our last day of real training. And I got to spend it sleeping. How fucking wonderful is that. I had to go to sick call today for that little burn that I suffered yesterday afternoon, and when I got back there was no one around to take me out to the training areas so I got to plant my ass in the tent, turn the air conditioner to "chicago winter" and I went to sleep! For like 8 hours, straight, with no interruptions. What better way to spend a day of training than horizontal, in your rack, with no one else around...

So now things are winding down here. They turned the lights back on for like the first time in about a week, everyone is running around in their PT uniforms (shorts and t shirts), everyone is clean, everyone is fed, and everyone is happy. Which, admittedly is bad for me because then nothing really funny happens because everyone is in a good mood and they are thinking straight. But we will be in country soon enough and the fun will begin again.

I took a 20 minute shower today, which I believe is the longest one I have taken since I got here. With the way things are in the military most guys have learned to just wash the 4 key areas. Armpits, asshole, crotch, and teeth. I have learned to save even more time by just using the same brush on all four areas but I digress on that one. (Note: That joke was stolen from the recently deceased, George Carlin)

My hand is fine, I got one little blister on my index finger and one big one on my middle finger. Other than that its fine, I can move it and everything. So no worries. Moving on...

Now all that is left for us here is to clean all this shit up. Which needless to say when a company of soldiers has lived on top of each other for six weeks the place gets mighty dirty. I mean my tent smells like a combination of kitty litter, gasoline and ass. We have 3 days in which to do this. Clean all of our own shit, clean all the company's shit, clean and turn in all of Fort Bragg's shit, and clean and turn in this FOB of ours. Suffice it to say that this is at least a week long operation. But the Army has an ace up its sleeve for this one and I swear that they must teach this little trick in Officer's school because I have seen this done about 100 times since I have been in the Army.

It goes like this...

Step One: Ensure that your soldiers know they have an extended pass beginning on a certain date. In our case the 19th.

Step Two: Finish training prior to that date. Make sure that the recovery operation (cleaning everything) will take at least twice as long as the time you have available.

Step Three: Make sure you circulate a rumor amongst your soldiers that if the recovery operations are not complete they will lose a day or two of their pass while the recovery is completed.

Step Four: Allow that rumor to circulate for about a week.

Step Five: Circulate another rumor that if your soldiers manage to complete 7 days worth of work in three days that their pass will begin at close of business the day prior to the actual pass beginning.

Step Six: Watch in absolute amazement as your soldiers think of some of the most ingenious ways to get things done that anyone has ever seen. And some of the laziest people you have ever met (namely, me) work their balls off to get things done.)

Step Seven: Go to higher command and take full and complete responsibility for the astounding manner in which your soldiers performed recovery operations twice as fast as any other unit in the brigade. Even though you spent your time getting a haircut, relaxing, and having other people carry your shit for you.

Step Eight: Forget about rumor number two and still release your soldiers at 0001 on the 19th...

This is how it usually goes but who knows maybe they'll prove me wrong, but I doubt it.

So next up is recovery which starts tomorrow, followed immediately by our four day pass, then its off to AssCrackIstan.

How much fun can you have in one lifetime? I don't know how everything is going to go from here on out. I have no idea about access to the internet after the pass is over, I have no idea about living conditions except for the fact that the Army calls them "austere". Which makes me laugh, who would use a word like that when the majority of the guys here are, like me, dumb-asses. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this deployment is a huge pile of unanswered questions. But I'll be fine, I am gonna be juuuuussssst fine.

So I guess this little adventure of mine is about to start. I, like all the soldiers here, have successfully embraced the suck of it all. Am ready, willing and able to fight this little tiff we've got going on over there. Hopefully you all stay with us. I have noticed that lately, and it depresses the living shit out of me. I was talking to a buddy of mine, and during the conversation I said, sarcastically, that "I am defending this land from all the evil in this world" and he shot back, "You ain't defending shit, you are making the big dogs money" Can I argue with that sentiment? Nope, not even a little bit. But it doesn't change the fact that some of the guys here haven't even gotten one piece of mail, they haven't called home once, and it seems like some of them are forgotten by the folks at home.

I know that this will never happen with me, but I wonder about the whole thing. Has America become so comfortable, and gluttonous, that we lack the capability to maintain our vigilance against this enemy and with our soldiers? I start to wonder...

Now make no mistake about it, I am just as bad as anyone about things like this. I sat around, drank beer and didn't do a whole hell of a lot for anything bigger than myself. I mean I joined the Army, but I did that for selfish reasons. Patriotism was part of it, but it was more about getting out of the house and getting some money. I admit that, and am accepting the consequences thereof. But now that I am part of this I realize why there is such a strong bond of camaraderie amongst soldiers. Its because for a good portion of us, this is all they've got. This is the only family they have. And its depressing to know that there is so little interest in what is going on over there back home. Unless it is something bad. But whatever, I don't pretend to be holier than thou. I am probably going to be one floor down from you in hell anyways.

But think about it sometime. When was the last time you did anything for someone other than yourself. I mean really did something, not just sent a $20 check to the fucking (insert random charity name here). I wonder what the world would be like if instead of saying that its always someone else's problem, each one of us stood up and took responsibility for one thing wrong in our world each and every day. I could go on forever with this shit, but maybe you could think about it. I don't mean to be preachy but it happens.

Maybe we could actually get some of this shit handled? Then again maybe not, there's probably a sale at the mall tomorrow anyways. Alright, we'll start this the day after...

Love you mom...


  1. Dear Mud Puppy:

    Where to begin? First and foremost: there are many people from all walks of life who have not forgotten what some are doing for the rest of us. If you have guys in your unit not receiving mail that is tragic in my opinion and I implore you to go out to (or soldiers angels) and sign up for support.

    I currently have a Sgt who sent me the name of one of his troops who was not receiving any mail from anyone while they are in Iraq - trust me, this kid will feel supported throughout his deployment! To the Sgt's credit he signed up on anysoldier and I found him that way - so remember we can't support you if you don't let us do it.

    Remember your service is appreciated and important beyond just "you are making the big dogs money". Enjoy your 4 day pass - you earned it.

  2. mudpuppy...with your permission I would like to link this post on my blog. It's kind of ironic that my post today was about giving back to our military, pointing the direction to Granted, I know I am not the most read in the blogisphere...hopefully I reach a few who care.
    Your service and daily sacrifice is deeply appreciated. Each and every one of you are in my prayers throughout the day.
    Make the most of your four day pass.
    Stay Strong and Pray Hard!

    ~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

  3. Sorry about that......
    Anonymous is AirmanMom!

  4. Feller, I just found your blog on a link from one of the other ones I read. To say I can emphasize with you after I served for 29 years may seem somewhat of an irony, but I do.

    Your writing style keeps me in stitches, and, between the lines, I have to shed tears occasionally at the truth contained.

    Keep it up. I'll continue to enjoy.

  5. Feller, I just found your blog on a link from one of the other ones I read. To say I can emphasize with you after I served for 29 years may seem somewhat of an irony, but I do.

    Your writing style keeps me in stitches, and, between the lines, I have to shed tears occasionally at the truth contained.

    Keep it up. I'll continue to enjoy.

  6. Mud Puppy,

    Fear not you will not be forgotten as long as American's are alive and breathing. We support you in every way we can regardless of what you read or hear or see in the liberal news media.

    Keep your helmet on and your butt close to the ground.

    They call me Pops, Proud father of an American Fighting Soldier.

  7. I wish you the best my brother...and I call you brother because you are about to join an extensive brotherhood reserved for us that have dodged bullets for our country.

    When the shooting starts you will find that it is not the defense of the country you are concerned about nor the reasons you are there.. watching your brothers back while he watches yours is your priority. Good luck my friend..and I thank you.

    MSgt USAF Retired

  8. I found your blog through Airman Mom, and I intend to follow your exploits and adventures. I spent my youth in Vietnam, your is the same war, just with a different name. Remember that 99% of war is very boring, but you make up for it in the other 1%. Keep your weapon clean and your powder dry. If you don't mind I would like to link yor blog on mine. I am not a big dog blog, but I catch a few at times. We got your back, never fear.

  9. Hello Mud Puppy...I have a son in Iraq as I write this, so you can believe that I never forget about all of you guys over there. Hopefully, once you deploy, you'll be able to continue to post so that we can keep up with you. Keep your head down, soldier..... :)