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 11, 2008

Operation Combat Blue Balls Is A Go...

Before I start today's tirade I'll let you know that since I am going to have a hard time getting on the internet for the remainder of this adventure I am just going to start every post with the time and date so you all can know when I am writing this...

November 12, 0200

Operation Combat Blue Balls: Mission is stated as follows, commanders will continually raise their soldiers expectations of the importance and imminence of their mission only to bring them right to the cusp and force them to return to their tent. To continue sitting around doing nothing. Just a playful little name we came up with for this clusterfuck.

Well where to begin. I am in someplace called Sharana or some shit like that, we just flew in about an hour ago. I am already missing Bagram.

I got to tell you though about something that happened to me this morning. I always sleep with my iPod in my ears, it plays pretty much all night, every night. So I fell asleep last night with it on shuffle. So I awoke this morning a song called "My Life To Live" By Lars Frederikson & The Bastards. The first line of that song is,


I couldn't help but quietly chuckle to myself and say, "How fitting".

Now a recap of my day and the wonderful avalanche of douchebaggery that flowed my way today.

First we laid around all day again, after the flight line debacle that I told you about in my previous post. But around 1200 today we got the word that we were leaving at 1600. No problem, they actually gave me advance notice of what I was going to have to do. Wonderful, I can be ready and waiting for the bus when it gets here baby.

So we load up all of our shit again. Always a joyful experience. Loading an entire platoon's worth of shit once blows enough, doing it for the second time really sucks. But whatever, I am getting used to the rather large purple dildo that this unit continually shoves up our get the idea. Why is it purple? I have no idea.

So we get to the airport...again, and we unload all of our bags there and the Air Force pukes palletize them. Which basically means they stacked all of our crap on a pallet then wrapped it with plastic and tow straps.

Wait, let me back up. Everyone knows that soldiers have to wear a ton of stuff and have to carry around all sorts of shit. Weapons, body armor, tools, knives, ammunition, food, water, and whatever else the soldier deems necessary. (Cigarettes, pornography, skittles, iPod's and what not.) So when you have all this stuff on you are significantly larger that you would normally be. Now the buses that they used to transport us from the tents to the airport were the school bus kind and we are going to have to fill every single seat with 2 GI's who are loaded down with about 60 pounds of gear and have expanded a few dress sizes due to the wearing of all this shit. Now I am not bitching about this stuff, I am eternally grateful that the government has realized that keeping us alive should be a priority. But cramming us all in this bus really sucks but makes for a really funny ride.

Now everyone manages to push and shove and cram and jam their way onto the bus. Amidst this chorus of cries of pain and exclamations of "It doesn't fit there", "Get off my leg, asshole", "Who's touching my ass", "Get your hand out of there you aren't my priest." (You get the idea) Pigpen threw out a few gems that are worth sharing. Someone yelled out "I can't fit it in there", to which Pigpen replied..."Spit on it and push harder!" Almost immediately after that came this one. "It's not the right size." To which he said, "If its not the right size, just grit your teeth and close your eyes." I have said it before and I'll say it again...I flipping love this guy.

Finally, we are all in the bus and seated, sort of. You have all of us crammed right up against one another doing our best sardine impressions. Anyone who wants to move their leg has to lift the weight of the person to their left and right just to pull it off. So try to envision a platoon of soldiers literally sitting on top of each other, weapons, bags, equipment and all piled on top of them. What do they do? Do they bitch? Do they moan? Do they try to sleep? Do they fume? Do they curse the Army at the top of their lungs?

Nope, non of the above. What do we do? We sang. We sang Bohemian Rhapsody, we sang Barbie Girl, we sang I Will Survive, we sang It's Raining Men. Yeah, I said we sang Its Raining Men, what are you going to to do about it?

Don't worry ladies and gentlemen, I have video of this which will be posted once I edit it and get a reliable internet connection.

In any event, seeing a bus load of soldiers looking as pitiful as we must've looked, singing all those songs would really be a sight to see.

Where was I, the airport. We got to the airport and sat around for a few hours, got some chow, I managed to get my last post up at the USO and then we got called out to the flight line. So we loaded up into another bus. Yes it was more of the same, but you already heard that story so I will not bore you with it again.

We get out there and we pull up next to a plane that we correctly assume is the one we are going on. But they won't let us off the bus. Why? Because apparently the pallet that the Air Force made for the Air Force Plane with Air Force equipment and Air Force personnel...didn't fit in the fucking airplane. Really? You have got to be shitting me. Nope, it took them another 30 minutes of us crammed on this bus before they got the thing to fit. That's right, they left us sitting in this bus while these d-bags figured out how to fit this pallet on the plane. My compliments to the US Air Force.

Next problem. The plane has enough room for all of us, but not all of our weapons. So here's what we did. Personal weapons in your lap. Crew weapons on the floor behind the seating area, (A few hundred pounds of weapons just sitting on the floor not strapped down, Brilliant!) carry on bags hanging precariously above your head, and once again we are sitting cheek to cheek on this plane on seats that are nothing more than tow strap webbing. Good times. Even the crew chief on the plane said, "I have been doing this over here for 8 months now and I have never seen any unit do this bullshit."

Well finally after about an hour of fluffing and stuffing we manage to get all these people and all this shit into this plane. Interestingly enough the plane sitting right next to us was humongous, while the one we were loading was a little baby plane. Now I know that there was probably a million reasons, and good ones, why we were taking the little one instead of the big one. But it was just like a nice little, "up yours" from the Air Force to have to be sitting here turning this plane into a clown car while this big ass plane sat there damn near laughing at us.

Moving on, now we take off. Military planes are always fun because first of all they are built by the lowest bidder and secondly because that bidder had absolutely no concern whatsoever for whether or not you could hear after riding in this thing for an hour. I mean this mother was LOUD. Propellers going, hydraulics pumping, lights humming, and the climate control shooting you with either hot or cold air. Fun for us.

Not to mention I do believe that the plane was cocked with the ass end of the plane down and the nose up. It felt like the plane was climbing for the entire flight. It even felt that way when we were descending to land. How is that possible? But of course I was on the end of one of the rows and had about 14 soldiers plus all their shit's worth of weight bearing down on my right shoulder.

Then we get here. Where I am now. We land and are immediately shooed off the plane. Not a grand idea given that all of us had just been compacted to the size of garden gnomes with body armor and big guns and jammed onto a plane, and we had some cramping issues to deal with. I jump out the back of this plane and am immediately greeted by not only the cold but the brutal stinging wind coming off the propellers. I mean when wind can move my big ass you know its going too fast. Not to mention we are all carrying all of our shit and I look up to see...

That the damn buildings we are headed to are about 300 meters off. Why wouldn't they be. Remember, whatever sucks the most. We get a bus that pulls up to within 20 meters of the plane in Bagram, here we get some Air Force guy with his glow stick pointing that way, and saying "Start walking you'll see it".

Curiously enough, I was in a fabulous mood all day. I guess its probably because I got to talk to my mom. Hopefully someday she'll let me tell all of you about her. She's a lunatic, but she is the best mom a guy could ask for and just talking to her made my whole day.

Then after all of that we got here. I'll leave it at this because I have rambled quite enough for today. These billets have been slept in by 8 years worth of soldiers from God only knows how many countries, and it has NEVER been fucking cleaned. So it goes. But I can't complain too much. They have 24 hour MWR so I can use this computer to post this and talk to you all.


I love you mom...


  1. As always, you make my morning cup of coffee routine interesting. You have a great way with words. Stay safe and look forward to your next posting.

  2. Hey Dan; this is the first time I've checked-out your Blog. I didn't even know you could read and write....let alone compose a blog like that. I'm truely impressed.

    You should have been a Marine instead.

    Is it true that ARMY stands for; AIN'T READY for the MARINES YET ??

    Anyway - stay safe and keeping up the good writing !!

  3. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 11/12/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  4. Made me laugh out loud three times. I'm glad you're safe and have an internet connection. Keep up the good work.

  5. I truely doubt my boss appreciates me ROFLMAO from my office but oh well.
    Glad you are safe and can't wait to here more.


  6. Dear Mud Puppy:

    Huh. You don't say. Singing it's "It's Raining Men"? OK ... is that covered by don't ask - don't tell? It is a classic though and now I will always think of you when I hear that song.

    You take of yourself!

    PS - Next bus trip should be: "Ain;'t No Mountian High Enough" by Diana Ross and the Supremes :)

  7. Reading your posts is always and adventure for me. Keep you helmet on and your butt close to the ground.


  8. You know, I will never figure out what it is about being crammed into small spaces that makes Army sing. Though for some reason every time I've been somewhere where that's happened, it's always been "Lean on Me" to start off.

    I saw you're a fan of Fight To Survive, though you're reserving judgement currently. Is that about both Iraq and Afghanistan, or have you made up your mind on one but not the other?