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 27, 2008

Spiderman Sheets, Burning Playstations, And Turkey Dinner...

Thursday, November 27, 1735 hrs.

So it is Thanksgiving here in beautiful, sunny AssCrackIstan. And it really is sunny. It was unseasonably warm today. Probably somewhere around 65 degrees and given the temperatures we have been dealing with for the past few weeks it felt like summertime around here.

We got up this morning. Our first full day as the mission platoon. Basically that means that we are the guys who have to do all the work while the other platoon housesits, err guards the FOB. I guess since it is Thanksgiving the commander decided to give us the day off. However, our platoon sergeant didn't quite see it that way. Now something that anyone who has been in the military for more than a day or two will tell you is this, when they have nothing for you to do, they have no qualms about making it up.

So he decided to have us clean out the platoon conexes. Conexes are basically nothing more than the trailers of semi-trucks that are pulled off their wheels and set on the ground. And the military tends to fill them with shit. So we headed out there at 0900 this morning and started cleaning. Now let me tell you what conexes become after a while, they become the catch all for everything that nobody knows what the hell to do with but they don't want to throw away.

We found a shit ton of office supplies, kitchen supplies, weapons, and ammunition. Yeah that's right weapons and ammunition, we even found three Sony Playstations that look like they have seen more combat than John Wayne. I could've sworn that weapons and ammunition is stuff that the military wants you to keep track of.

Then we had to get rid of all the excess shit that we can't use. How do you get rid of things in AssCrackIstan? Fire it up! Find yourself a 55-gallon drum, drop a few pieces of paper and kindling into the bottom, along with a bit of lighter fluid and you've got yourself a military issue garbage disposal. Don't worry we didn't throw the ammunition into the fire, even though we wanted to. But everything else, into the fire you go.

Playstations, markers, paper, plastic and whatever else we got that we didn't want to throw into the regular trash because we didn't want the locals giving the shit to the Taliban and them making a bomb out of it. Which is one of the things that I wonder about how I will deal with it when I get home. Its gotten to the point where before I throw anything into the trash I think to myself, "Could you make a bomb out of this?" And if I think someone could, I burn it as opposed to throwing it away. I do this automatically, kind of like breathing. I'll probably get a burn pit going in my back yard when I get home. Good God I hope not.

Moving on, I got a couple of more care packages from home. Comfort items really. I got a couple cartons of cigarettes and candy but then the mom dropped the mother load on me. She sent two pillows, you know the fluffy kind that kind of envelop your head when you lay on them, which is fantastic, and she sent sheets for my bed. What kind of sheets did she send me? SPIDERMAN SHEETS! yeah that's right. I am 30 years old and the mom sent me Spiderman sheets for my bed. Needless to say I had an absolute blast showing them to everyone. I haven't had bad feedback on them yet. I don't know, maybe I should give some thought to raising my maturity level just a tad...

Nah, that's no fun. Now after all of that it was 1400 and dinnertime baby. We got it all. Turkey, Ham, corn, stuffing, green beans, biscuits, bread, gravy, and spice cake. It was beautiful. I am looking at my watch right now which is set to local time, its 1755, and my computer's clock is set to the time back home and it is 0725. So in about 7 hours or so the whole family back home is going to gather at my cousin's house and eat all this same stuff. Only real difference is the TLC that goes into the food at home. I can see my mom running around the kitchen arguing with my aunt. I see my brother making fun of everyone there for being old. I see my cousin sitting contentedly in his chair with his skullet. (Bald guy w/ a mullet) I see everyone falling asleep watching football while my mom and my aunt clean everything up. (I should probably help them next time) I see turkey sandwiches with miracle whip and cheese. I see my brother and I drinking entirely too much beer and putting on a performance for the whole family until everyone's cheeks hurt. Then I see my mother yelling at us for drinking too much, but all the while laughing her ass off as we make fun of her for talking to a trashcan. (I'll tell you that story later) Ahh, Its only on the holidays that the homesickness sets in.

It's real simple folks; you never know just how much you've got to be thankful for until you haven't got it. I've got a whole lot to be thankful for.


I love you mom...


  1. Happy Thanksgiving mudpuppy, may you be home before you know it with lots of family and beer.


  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you and the rest of the guys with you...

  3. Happy Thanksgiving ! I am so glad you had some great food for Thanksgiving, and a care package. Spiderman sheets! Wow.

    But, did you get your coats and winter gear?? You mention underwear a few posting back.

  4. Happy Thankgiving mud puppy! You are all in our hearts today and every day.

  5. Oh man, you've got me blubbering here. Can't see the screen too well at the moment.

    I'm glad you had some good food today, and that it reminded you of home. God bless you and all the guys over there with you, and your families. I'm so grateful for you all. I love this country like you do, and I thank God every day for people like you.

  6. Happy Thanksgiving, Spiderman sheets and all.

    And thank YOU for all you do.

  7. mudpuppy,

    I'm glad you all of you were treated to turkey with all the trimmings. Happy Thanksgiving. Love it that you got a care package from home with Spiderman sheets and that your clothes arrived.

    Thank you for your service. I appreciate all that you are doing. Yes, we do have a lot to be thankful for.


  8. Happy Thanksgiving. You have a family here in the Northwest that appreciates you and all those who serve to keep our world safe and free! God bless you all. You will continue to be in our hearts and prayers!

    Soldiers Angels

  9. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 11/28/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

  10. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you there. Spiderman maybe I need to go out and get some for my son who is in Iraq...hmmm
    Your right , when we miss what we have , we truly learn what is important. It was not the same without my oldest son this year, and I know all your family learned that they do not have near the fun without you, but we are thankful just the same! Stay safe, Kathleen

  11. Hey Dan;

    Thanksgiving at the Post was very crowded. Don Homme and Dee made a great meal, although I was at my sister's house in Carol Stream, and didn't make it up there until around 8:00. (20:00)

    As is tradition on the night of Thanksgiving, Jill played 'Christmas Vacation' on the big screen. Paulie and I laughed our asses off.....again, like we do every year. Can't get enough of ol' Clark Griswold.

    Tonight is Jill's surprise birthday party. We've got the Hickey-Bava Blues Band playing. I think she'll be pretty surprised at the turnout. I'll let you know next week how it played out.

    Stay Safe,


  12. Just to let you know they're some out here thinking of you, Thank you for your service and sacrifice.

    Hang in there, stay safe.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  13. Great Memories Mud Puppy, sounds like our own family here in the Southwest. Thank You for your dedication and service along with your command, protecting our Great Nation from those wishing it's demise. One more favor; Please let everyone of the men and women you see or communicate with, we need you back here to fill every Leadership post, Law office, Engineering position, Science Lab, Educational facility, Journalists and above all Political positions all across our Nation. We are counting on the hundreds of thousands of you using your hard earned experience to replace the current Leaders at all levels. Please come home safe and ready to report for duty. We desperately need you all in our One Nation Under God, The United States of America..Stay Low, Stay Safe and Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.

  14. Happy Thanksgiving (belated) and congrats on the sheets- they sound great! Although, I do have to admit that when I saw the title of the post I thought pigpen was going to play a starring role :) Maybe your mom can send him some good sheets. I'm thinking something with a Disney Princess theme would make for some good fun.

  15. Watch out, Mom's gonna send you "Thomas the Tank Engine" next time. Better tell her to cut it out before the "My Little Pony" sheets arrive.

  16. Hey Mudpuppy! I got here through--well, I forgot her name, but she's one of your biggest fans. My son just left for Ft. Sill, OK doing BOLC II training. When he left, I think my heart went with him. Just wanted to thank you for your service to our country and let you know I appreciate what you do and am keeping you and your fellow soldiers in my prayers as well as your family because I can only imagine how much they miss you. Take care.

  17. Happy Belated Thanksgiving Mud Puppy! Sorry I was late but better late than never when the hearts in the right place.

  18. Dearest Mud Puppy:

    Thanks for spending this Thanksgiving in As ... err... Afghanistan so that I didn't have to wear a burka :)

    Glad you got some spidey sheets - too cool and I am sure you are the envy of all your brothers in arms ;)

    Take care and if no one's told you lately - THANK YOU for serving!

    All my best to you, M