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

Nov 14, 2008

First Day, First Mission Or Hello Mr Afghani Man, I Like Your Goat…

November 14, 2008 1149 HRS.

So we actually, finally, after so damn long made it to the FOB where we are supposedly going to spend our deployment to Afghanistan.

I must admit. Not half bad. I expected a lot worse. Once again though, I would love for the vets from Vietnam and WWII and all that to see what we live in now and how we eat and all the luxuries we've got. I promise you that they would absolutely shit. But whatever, I'll probably find something worth bitching about soon, but so far I've got nothing.

We've got 6 computers hooked up to the internet. So I guess I could bitch that I have to share, but I am already getting used to the communal living thing again. My years as a dirty hippy are finally paying off.

Ah, wait...I got it. I can bitch about this. Dust, this country is nothing more than a big pile of dust. I haven't been anywhere in this country where its clean. Everything has an inch of dust caked on it. I am covered in dust. Inside and out. LITERALLY!!! The funny thing is I am actually glad I am a smoker. Because here, when I am smoking I am actually improving the air quality. But I digress.

So I poked around the FOB for a little while. Checked out the gym, went to the MWR (morale, welfare, and recreation). Found a foosball table, a ping pong table and a gigantic TV with satellite cable. Nice. I wonder what my dad would've said had he found out that we have satellite cable television in a war zone. I mean just because I am deployed doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to keep up with my soaps, right?

After all that is was like 2100 hrs. and we got notified of our first mission outside the wire. Fun for me. So we started getting everything ready. Getting the trucks set up, getting our ammunition, getting water, getting food, getting fuel, getting this, getting that, going here and going there. And if I may be so bold as to make a recommendation to any military personnel reading this. Please ensure that all the shit you need for your missions is all in one place. And if it cannot be stored in the same place, i.e. food and fuel, please put those things at least somewhat nearby to one another. I mean I joined the MP's for a reason, I don't like to walk. If I liked to walk I would've joined the infantry. But when your bullets are on one end of the FOB and your food is on the other. That makes me very sad.

Moving on, what is this mission of which you speak? Air drop. Air dropping what? I don't know. Of course you don't, why would you, you're only the boss.

The preceding is a conversation I had with my squad leader.

So anyways, we figured out who was going where and who was doing what and what was going to happen, and then they told us to go and draw our "BIG" guns. Ok, so I go and get it and bring it back and I realize that this weapon is fucking filthy. Of course it is, why wouldn't it be, whatever sucks the most.

Hey Sarge, when do we have to get up for this mission?


Wow that sucks, its 2330 right now!

Is that weapon clean?

I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count

Well clean it before you go to bed

I know, I know, can I get some help?

Sure ask the rest of your team.

Ok, I'll do just that.

That is an exchange between myself and my squad leader that happened just prior to me finding out that there are some real lazy motherfuckers in my platoon. So I asked a bunch of guys from the platoon to help us clean these weapons so we could get in bed as soon as possible. You know putting someone behind a fully automatic military crew serve weapon on little or no sleep is not such a hot idea. That is a recipe for little ole' me to end up on CNN for slaughtering an entire herd of camels thinking they were Osama bin Laden and his 56 wives.

It was like pulling teeth getting these guys to help. I'll leave it at that. I am really starting to wonder if my generation is the laziest bunch of shitbags to ever walk the earth. But I digress.

Moving on, the next morning (today) we got up at 0500 at I found out that in the desert it is as cold as penguin balls at 0500 in the morning. Then we went and got all these trucks up and running, and got moving out. It took us like 3 fucking hours just to do that.

However, just prior to leaving we got issued assless chaps. Yes thats right, assless chaps. (AKA "gunners pants") Another piece of military equipment that makes me look more and more like the michelin man. I have said this before, I am a big boy, and when you add all my body armor I become a behemoth. Now they decided to give us these gunners pants which are basically really thick chaps that fit over your uniform to protect your legs. Which made me wonder. My legs are inside the vehicle, if my legs are in danger then we are all pretty much fucked. But whatever, mine is not to reason why...

So we go. We get to the gate of our FOB and I have to admit, my heart was racing. First time outside the wire is always an exhilarating experience. Needless to say I got over once I saw just how boring the Afghani landscape is. Beautiful, but boring. Miles and miles of sand and rocks, interrupted periodically by mountains and mud huts.

So we get there and form our perimeter and I begin to look out over the desert around me. I couldn't believe how many people I saw. We saw a guy riding his bike. I mean just putting along on his schwinn right through the middle of the desert, carrying a pick axe no less. Then I got to see the goat herders, gotta love these guys. Running around with his 6 goats trying to keep them all together. Probably the only possessions he has in this world. Kind of depressing.

Then I learned a little something about the Afghani's. Apparently, they dig a shit ton of holes in the desert before the winter starts, and when the snow or rain falls they use the holes to collect the water after it melts, and then they use the mud beneath to make bricks for building. Or so the NCO in my truck says, I don't really know. Never heard that one before but I guess it seems reasonable.

Now the air drop comes, which was a blast to watch. I was like a little kid. "OOOH, OOOH, Look at the airplane!!!" You know what I mean. Then the airplanes ass end opened up and 20 pallets fell from the sky. 4 of which didn't have working parachutes. Now this just made my day. Watching something that weighs God only knows how much rocketing toward the earth with nothing slowing it down, and then smashing into the desert floor with a rather large "thud" followed by a huge puff of smoke. Good times for me.

Well then we picked all this shit up, and threw it into trailers and then we drove back to the FOB. Uh, I got all dressed up for this? I thought I was going to get to slay the huns and defeat terrorism today. Or so that is what our wonderful commander would have us believe. Well I guess picking up this stuff is part of defeating terrorism. But at least we left all the cardboard and a half a pallet of water for the locals to get. I thought that was a great idea, you know winning hearts and minds and all that.

Still how disappointing. Kind of like a "titty bar", all show and no go. So it goes.

So now I am back here and wondering what the rest of this deployment will hold. Whatever it may be today was supremely boring except for the whole "thud" thing. Now I am waiting eagerly to be told that I have to spend the next 12 hours of my life in a tower staring at the sand. Once again, fun for me.

In conclusion, I would like to say thanks to everybody that comments on my posts. You guys are awesome and your support is much appreciated. I wish I could respond to each and everyone of you, but I just don't have the time. If I did respond, I wouldn't be able to call the mom, and then when I make it home alive, she would kill me. Either way you guys are awesome and I feel a thousand times better after reading what you write.


I love you mom...


  1. Mud Puppy...always makes my morning coffee enjoyable, penguin balls too funny. Actually,it is good to hear your first adventure outside the wire was uneventful, except watching things crash to the ground. Afghanistan doesn’t seem it would be very pretty but I do read that sometimes the sky would turn blood red due to sand storms?? Stay safe over there.

  2. mud puppy...You paint quite a picture! Thank you!
    We are here for you, praying for you and your platoon. Perhaps your generation is lazy in some regards, but are heroes to lots of folks here at home!
    Stay Strong!
    Pray Hard!

    ~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

  3. I really enjoy reading your stories. I know that 99% of war is boring, but at times that other 1% can kick your ass. you are right about the living conditions in our modern Army, versus what we had in Vietnam, but all in all it's the same war, just in a different place. I was a Security Police, which is the Air Force equivilent to the Army MP. Lots of convoy escorts, which I hated. But the rest of my 21 years was great. stay safe and watch your 6.

  4. mud puppy, repeat after me.... boring is good in a warzone, boring is good in a warzone. LOL
    You continue to coz me dirty looks from the boss who really doesn't understand how so much laughter can come from my office.

    Stay Safe,

  5. Good heavens. What can survive a fall from an airplane on a pallet?? Amazing. Please fill us in, if you are allowed. Thanks.

  6. Dear Mud Puppy:

    Well, the first trip was a success. Good on you! Hang tough and call your Mom :)

  7. Mud Puppy.. I loved the penguin balls (lol) and certainly enjoyed reading your account of your first time outside the wire. How exhiliarating. Riding a bike across the desert with a pick axe just doesn't make sense to me, but then I live in Canada and am not familiar with what happens in Iraq on a daily basis.

    Dad and his brothers enlisted in WWII and I'm sure they would think you are living in luxury, but know that it isn't easy where you are.

    Enjoyed my time here and will be back. Keep your head low and stay in good health and spirits.

  8. Were those goats the ones with the big fat a$$es? Strangest looking animals I've ever seen...

    Wait till you see a whole family along with their livestock on the back of one of those motorcycles. Seriously, I've seen pictures of it!

    Sounds like you're in for lots of fun in the "Suck".

    Y'all stay safe!

  9. Well Mud I'm glad that the Army has changed since my days.

    But at least one thing is the same the Air Force still loves to give you hell!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Ok, I admit it now, I'm addicted to your blogs. Here I am in Tennessee on business and I'm tired as hell after the plane trip fiasco but I had to log in to see your latest. I truly appreciate your blogs. Thank you.

  11. Don't worry about responding to each comment- I'm sure everyone understands...making it so that a son doesn't have time to call his mom would be a very bad idea. You can make it up to us though. Get one of your soldiers to model the assless chaps and post the picture here :)

  12. Hey Dan;

    Here's a little tidbit for you to think about - Last Call Paul and the lovely Vanna making out on the pool table.

    YIKES !!

    The Post had a good turnout on Saturday night for a band called FLYTE. Paulie and Mary ran a successfull 50/50, which was won by Mark Keane, and nobody puked.

    Stay Safe.

  13. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 11/17/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.