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 21, 2008

It's A Pretty Country Once You Get Past The Smell & The Fact That People Are Trying To Kill You...

November 21, 2008 1507 hrs.

Truer words have never been spoken. Pigpen is a sage for this age.

So here I sit, within spitting distance of the Pakistani border feeling every bit of the cold as the winter descends on us. Why do I feel every bit of the cold? Because these dick-bags who are commonly referred to as our command cannot seem to get a company's worth of rucksacks across a country that isn't even all that big. None of us have our winter gear. We are sitting here beginning to freeze and what is this bunch of shitbags doing? Making lists. That is how they respond to this. Make a list of what you are missing and the command will take care of it. Really? We have a hard enough time getting water out here and they are going to get us all this shit that we are missing before the winter hits? Well just to be clear, it gets down to like 25 degrees at night here right now and I don't know if it has made it past 55 during the day and 90% of us don't have jackets. Well thank you very much Uncle Sam, always nice to see you taking such good care of those that fight for you. Please excuse me, but the guy is a fucking asshole.

Normally, I wouldn't place all the blame square on any one person's shoulders but this time its just so outrageously incompetent that an entire company of soldiers could occupy an outlying, forward FOB and not be properly equipped to make it through the winter. Which are rumored to be absolutely horrendous here. Now we only move shit through the air around here. Why? Because there are bombs on all the roads. The roads around us are labeled as some of the worst roads in this country, so much so that we don't even use them. We leave this place we either walk or we drive right through the sand. No one has the balls or the ridiculous stupidity required to drive on the roads here. Well you would figure that if everything moves through the air they could throw all our shit onto a plane and drop it from the sky. They do it with our water and food and all of that. Why can't they do it with our clothes. I would have to say that our clothes would fare better than bottles of water when falling from the sky. Not to mention the fact that helicopters flown by contractors and locals are flying everyday. They bring the mail, they bring this they bring that. But no one seems to be able to bring our shit. Someone will have to explain to me why a helicopter that has no guns, no armor and some local yokel flying it can get out here, but the vaunted American military aviation corps, or the Air Force can't seem to move a company's worth of shit from one place to another.

Now we are making this list, which can mean only one thing. They are going to field-loss all of our shit and try to get us reissued all this stuff. Which when you are talking about military bureaucracy this could take months. So operating off the whatever sucks the most principle, we will be issued all of our cold weather gear right around the time we are going to be sweating our balls off in an Afghani summer.

Alright, sorry about that. Just had to get it off my chest. Now I feel better. Don't worry about us, if there is one thing that American GI's can do its improvise. We'll get through this one way or the other. I personally think that if it gets too cold we should be burning the commanders cold weather gear for warmth. But I digress.

So what else is going on? Not a whole lot. I got stuck on the guard platoon for the next two weeks. Mission platoon the two weeks after that. So the stories should get a little better when I start that.

But a few things I would like to point out. I was reading in Stars & Stripes the other day and I read an article pointing out just why we are here trying to help these people and change this country's direction. Apparently, a coordinated attack took place in Kandahar where 15 schoolgirls at a bunch of different schools were attacked by masked men on bicycles, motorcycles and on foot where the men came up to the girls as they left their schools and threw acid on their faces.

Yeah, let me say that again. They threw acid of the faces of little girls who wanted to go to school. Let that one sink in real deep. I think I may have to start living by a new phrase, as opposed to "embrace the suck", I might have to start going with "embrace the hate". I have never felt such a burning desire to hurt someone in my life. I don't really need a winter coat anymore, because I think that article will keep me very warm for the duration of this deployment. Warm with the hate that is now burning inside of me.

How could you even think to do that? Defenseless little girls going to school, get acid thrown on their faces by these backwards, fanatic, religious zealot cocksuckers. You know there are American soldiers everywhere here. Do they come out and fight with us? No, they attack the weakest members of the society here. Chickenshit cowards, the lot of them. I hope Islam says something about what Allah will do to those who would hurt the weak. I can barely even type this, my hands are shaking with anger.

I wonder what can make a person so low, so degenerate, so violent, so insane that they could actually hurt little girls. You know what, I don't even care. The simple fact is that someone should find all of these pricks and send one 5.56mm message right through their skull. End of story.

Then I hear other stories from the terps and other GI's. The following is one of those stories, whether it is true or not I don't know, but the story illustrates one of the more disturbing aspects of the culture here that definitely needs to be addressed by a whole lot of people who better be a lot smarter than I.

Apparently, there was a young girl in the village outside of our FOB and she had a broken leg. The father brought here to us for medical attention. He said she had fallen, but everyone knew she had been beaten. They told him they couldn't do anything for her here, but they would fly her to Bagram so she could get better care. They put her into one of the buildings outside the FOB for her to stay the night and then get on the bird the next day. Sometime during the night the father took her out of the building and drove her out into the desert and left her there to die. They found her dead a few days later. They never did locate the father again...

Women are regarded as nothing more than talking cattle here. Its a funny thing that there is a cliche that the GI's use to mock the Afghani's and their culture but it goes something like this..."Boys are for pleasure, women are for breeding". Brood mares, that is all that women are here. Girls, they are worth even less, because the men don't even want to "play" with them.

You know, I will never claim to be the most enlightened person as far as women's lib and what not are concerned. But I do know this, I can't walk through a door before a woman, and my dear old mother would bash my skull if I ever even dreamed of hitting a woman. Here abusing women is a common part of everyday life. Yeah, this is a culture worth helping.

Yet, I can't help thinking that there is no way that all these people are like this. There has to be some good here. There have to be good people here. There has to be hope. There has to be a future for all these little kids that I see everyday. There has to be a way to pull this country out of the state its currently in. There has to be a reason that all this blood was shed. It cannot all be in vain.

Looking out of my guard tower and seeing the vast stretch of desert leading to the mountain ranges that surround us on all sides, and looking up into the sky and seeing the millions of stars that I could never see at home. Seeing the sun come up over the mountains and turning the sky blood red. Watching as the moon rises against the mountains and brings the night light to the desert that illuminates the vast expanse so brightly that you can see for miles in the middle of the night. Watching as the shooting stars dance across the sky and wishing that maybe I can make some small difference here.

Then I look down and see a small boy, about 10, walking toward my tower. I give him a sort of half hearted grin, to which he responds with a big old smile. He waves at me, I wave back, he says in perfect english, "Candy!!" So from my guard tower, I move the huge machine gun out of my way, I cock my arm and launch a bag of skittles over two sets of razor wire, and 10 foot barriers. They land on the ground, he picks them up, and shouts back at me. "Manana" Afghani for "Thanks", he turns and walks back toward the village and disappears into the darkness.

Well at least for now the little man has got some skittles. But it is a pretty country once you...


I love you mom...


  1. mudpuppy...Please hold on tight to the hope.
    You paint a devastating picture, I feel nauseated reading your words.
    It makes no sense for there to be such ugliness in the world. Most of all, for children to be at the hands of such bastards.
    I'd like to send sweaters to you guys, if it would help even a little. You've got a couple boxes coming your way filled with everyday stuff and I was going out today to pick up some Christmas decorations to send your way...but truly, it sounds as though you need bodily warmth more than a warm fuzzy holiday feeling. Please let me know...wool socks? Certain colors? long-johns (or whatever they are called these days) Please accept this offer. My prayers are with you guys...I know a prayer will not provide you with a 68 degree environment.
    You guys are doing a good job out there, we need you and obviously there are way too many children who need you as well.
    Stay Strong!
    Pray Hard!
    ~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

  2. Ditto Airmanmom. What else can I do besides call my Congressman's office and pitch a fit?

  3. "There has to be some good here. There have to be good people here. There has to be hope. There has to be a future for all these little kids that I see everyday."

    That future is you and the guys Mud Puppy. A heavy load I know, but you've got the shoulders for it. One day at a time.

    Sorry about the winter gear screw-up, but hey, it's the Army;-)

    Take care

  4. MudPuppy,

    Acid attacks against women are a serious problem throughout central Asia, and are a way to silence and disgrace women, or in this case little girls. It is disturbing.

    it is also disturbing that you don't have your cold-weather gear, and I hope it arrives soon. Thanks for all you do.

  5. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 11/21/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  6. I heard the other day that some men used squirt guns to shoot acid in the girls faces as they left school. You can't always think of the bad things going on or you will drive yourself crazy. Think of the good that we are doing over there. And perhaps some day, girls will be able to go to school without fear.

    Wish I could help with your winter wear.

  7. G'day mate,

    Airman Mom sent me here. When you get back Stateside you should seriously think about writing.

    You may not have enough warm gear, but you paint an incredibly powerful picture with your words.

    Stay safe, mate ......