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.

Later,

I love you mom...

Nov 24, 2008

Herding Ferrets, And I Have Underwear Now...

Monday, November 24, 2008 1453 hrs.

Two things happened today. First thing in the morning we had another airdrop of water and supplies. Fun for me given the fact that I just got off the towers and had to move directly into gunning for this mission. Always good to be behind a fully automatic weapon with no sleep. So it goes.

Luckily for us, this airdrop was actually on time. I have a feeling that the Air Force takes its cues from O'Hare and really doesn't concern itself that much with time and deadlines and little inconveniences like that. Miraculously, they were not only on time today, they were early.

Which threw everyone off. So we ran out there and cordoned off the area and waited for the boxes to begin falling from the sky. And it did. Only real problem was it also seemed like Afghani children were falling from the sky as well. Hundreds of them. It was amazing. I didn't know that there were that many kids in the area. I sure as hell have not seen that many people in one place around here. So trying to keep all these little ankle biters outside the perimeter was a chore to say the least. They all wanted something. Some wanted candy, some wanted water, some wanted the cardboard, some wanted the wood, but they all were after something. I think a few of them just wanted to see what these new soldiers were all about. Bikes, motorcycles, of foot, in trucks, on camelback, on horseback, pulled by carriages, any means of conveyance you could think of they used it to get out there.

You would yell at one, or one group, "Wa Za, Wa Za" which apparently means "go away" or something like that. And as soon as you turned to look and yell at them a group on the other side would try to sneak by you. The best part was is that after a few times of doing that, like all children, these little shits started to think it was a game. I am not exaggerating when I say that it was like herding ferrets.

Needless to say our commander who was watching this whole debacle was not pleased. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall when we got back and he grabbed the LT's and senior NCO's and dragged them into a room and gave them a rather stern talking to. But really what the hell did he want us to do. Everyone knew that we weren't going to hurt these kids. They knew it, their parents knew it, and we knew it. So really how the hell could we have kept them back. I did think it was pretty funny when one of these kids started actually fucking with my team leader. Every time he would say in Afghani "Get back", the kid would parrot him. Then the boss man started yelling at him in English, and the kid would listen intently and whatever he said the kid would repeat it right back to him. Then the kid started to mirror everything "Wheelchair 2" did. Which if you have ever seen a kid about 8 or so, doing this to an adult and the adult trying to trip them up, its absolutely hilarious.

(Explanation: My team leader is one of the older gentlemen in my platoon. He is the second oldest guy in the platoon. So we refer to the 3 oldest guys by the call sign of Wheelchairs 1 thru 3)

I got a hell of a belly laugh out of the whole deal. Finally the ANP's started to help us get all these people into some semblance of order. How did they do that? Well they chased all these kids around the desert with their trucks. Not really trying to hit anyone, just trying to get them back away from where we were working.

The only real worry I have is that because the people know that we will not hurt these kids and what not, I just hope the Taliban pricks don't try and use that to their advantage. We'll just have to do a better job next time.

Made my day though when we were pulling security and one of these little Afghan kids goes skipping by and I tossed Wheelchair 2 a bag of cookies to give to the kid. He gave them to him and the little man started looking at them like he didn't know what they were. So I kind of made the motion of raising the bag to your mouth, biting it and ripping it open. The kid did it. Then he looked back at me for what he should do now, so I pretended to reach into a bag and pull a cookie out and eat it, so he did the same. He bit into the cookie and his face light up like Christmas tree. I couldn't help but feel bad for the kid, but I did get a warm and fuzzy inside. What a world we live in, when some have so much and others are happy as hell to get a bag of cookies. But I am not going down that depressing ass road again today.

Moving on, we brought all this stuff back and unloaded it. Yet while were unloading it we saw about 5 incoming helicopters. What could they be carrying? That’s right ladies and gentlemen they were carrying all of our bags that got left behind when we came down here. OH HAPPY DAY! I am going to get all cleaned up tonight, and yes I am going to put on clean clothes for the first time in two weeks. Socks, underwear, and uniform the whole bit.

Not to mention, now I have 5 cartons of cigarettes. So at least I can keep the nicotine fits at bay for a while. Unfortunately, not only did the birds bring all of our stuff with them, but they also brought our platoon sergeant with them as well. So now we are going to have to deal with him putting his two cents into everything we are doing. Even though we had it running smoothly for the past two weeks without him. But whatever, its the Army.

Well between the kid and his cookies, and the fact that I am staring right at about 5 pairs of clean underwear right now deciding which ones I am going to put on after my inordinately long shower, today was and continues to be a pretty damn good day. I got the day off tomorrow, unless that changes which would definitely suck the most so that is probably what is going to happen. So be it. But I got a new project in mind, and a bunch of us here are working on it.

We want to get a collection going for the kids in the area. There are like 5 villages just outside of our FOB and apparently from what we saw today there are more than a few ankle biters amongst the villagers. We are trying to get a hold of the following stuff.

1. Toys
2. Crayons
3. Coloring books
4. Sweaters
5. Socks
6. Shoes
7. Stuffed animals
8. Candy, and little food items
9. Anything you can think of that a kid would want or need.

So anyone that would like to help out with this just let me know and I'll email you the details and where to take it, and where to have it sent so that we can get these kids some of the stuff they need and some of the stuff they should have just because they are kids.

Anyways, I am done for now.

Later,

I love you mom...

Nov 23, 2008

The Taliban Tiger...

Saturday, November 22, 2008 1800 hrs.

I thought I might begin this post with a funny story about something that happened on my guard shift last night.

So there I was, in the middle of the Afghan mountains with nothing but my trusty S.A.W. and 9 mm by my side and my keen senses and wits to get me through the night. I was on a guard tower. Making sure that all my fellow soldiers could sleep peaceably in their beds because nothing was going to get by me, on my watch.

It was a cold night, the kind of cold that forces your balls to take up residence just beneath your sternum. So as I sat there looking out over the Afghan landscape and shivering, I heard it. The rocks beneath the tower moved. At first I thought that it might be one of my brothers in arms attempting to sneak up on, and scare me. You know, just to make his night go by quicker. So over the edge of the tower I looked. To my chagrin I saw nothing, but I did hear the rocks just beneath me move once more. I again attempted to ascertain what was making the strange noises beneath my tower and scanned the area thoroughly and methodically. I couldn't see anything that could've made that noise.

Satisfied that I wasn't in any danger, I returned to scanning my sector. Mere moments later I heard a new and more disturbing noise. A "tip, tap" rose through the night air and met my ears. Over and over again, tip, tap, tip, tap, tip, tap. Now I was nervous. I couldn't believe that any person had managed to avoid my gaze as I searched for the source of the sound, but you never know. I drew my 9 mm, you know, just in case, and asked my partner in the tower to come and help me find the entity responsible for this maddening noise. And just like when you take your car to the mechanic, as soon as he came out the noise promptly stopped. After listening intently for what seemed like an eternity, he exclaimed, "You're nuts, kiss my ass, I am going back to sleep." And with that he slammed the door behind him and without missing a beat after the door slammed the tip, tap, tip, tap began again.

Now I have looked for the source of this noise through my night vision apparatus, I have looked with the naked eye, I even went so far as to turn the lights on and look under a white light. And yet the culprit avoids my prying eye.

I have begun to wonder whether the cold, and the sleep deprivation are beginning to manifest themselves in the form of eerie noises in the middle of the night.

I return to my post, and begin to scan my sector once again. Like clockwork the steady tip, tap, tip, tap begins again. This time I try to block it out. "You aren't hearing that, you haven't slept in two days your mind is playing tricks on you." No matter what I tell myself the noise grows steadily closer until I can damn near feel the tip, tap rattling my bones.

As I stand there trying to block this noise out and scan my sector at the same time I feel something rub against my leg and before I could even look down to see what it was I heard a soft and sweet, "meeeeeooooowwwww". To which I responded, in an ever so girly voice, with, "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH", and I do believe I jumped at least 3 feet in the air and ran to the other side of the tower. I turned in time to see the face of a cute little kitty cat, which due to my screaming like a little girl was terrified and ran off into the night. Ridiculous as it may sound, I almost took my first "battle shit" due to a 2-pound kitty cat.

And that is the story of the Taliban Tiger, a cute little kitty cat sent by our enemies to scare the shit out of our brave soldiers.

Moving on, what else is going on? Well our stuff isn't here yet. Its supposed to be here on the 24th but needless to say no one is holding their breath.

Now the latest running around the PNN is that someone called a radio station back home and told them that we are short a lot of cold weather gear and so that radio station began a clothing drive for us. A great thing if you ask me. However, another one going around the PNN is that there is an investigation into whether or not the person who called the radio station broke OPSEC.

You see I get OPSEC. It is a good thing. You know the enemy doesn't need to know how many guys you've got, how many guns, how many trucks, how much fuel, food, water and what not. Because all of that is stuff that they could use to determine where and when they are going to attack us. And in this case maybe the enemy doesn't need to know that in a few short weeks we are going to be freezing to death. But sometimes it seems like the military uses OPSEC as justification for silencing those of us who tend to question the authority of our superiors. I don't really question their authority; I just question their intelligence. I mean when a private with 7 months in the Army can figure something out that an Officer can't then maybe there is a problem.

Nothing will probably come of it but just the fact that they would investigate makes me laugh. Someone calls home and makes someone in the chain of command look like a tool, and all of a sudden there has to be an investigation into OPSEC violations. I'll bet that if they wanted to they could dig up some violations in this here blog. But I haven't made it to their radar just yet, but I have only been here a month and we got a long way to go. We'll see.

Other than that it was a good day. I am finishing up with this post and I am off of duty tonight and everyone else in my room has to work, so needless to say I am going to give myself a little TLC and hit the rack. Well it’s about that time.

Later,

I love you mom...

Nov 21, 2008

Just A Little Footnote...

Hello all, I know that a lot of you are pissed about the last post. I wish to make a few things clear. This blog is meant to be therapeutic for me. Being able to vent about things that happen here is my goal. I do NOT want anyone to actually do anything or call anyone regarding anything that I write.

I understand that there are a million things that are going on in the military that I know nothing about that affect whether or not things happen. We are getting our winter gear sooner or later, whenever the military is able to get it for us.

I like my pay grade and would like to keep it. So please don't pursue any actions regarding my posts. I mean them as information for you and therapy for me. The best thing you can do is read and comment and let me know you care. The military would probably let me have it pretty good if someone called their congressman about all of this.

Thanks and keep on reading...

My apologies for the somber tone. I usually like to spice it up with sarcasm but here I guess I can't.

Later,

I love you mom...

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...

Later,

I love you mom...

Nov 17, 2008

Dogs, And Ponies, And Sergeant Majors, Oh My...

November 17, 2008 2005 hrs.

Well guess who showed up today. The Sergeant Major. Now for those of you who don't know who he is, he's the top enlisted man in our battalion and a pretty good guy from what I see so far. So I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt in reference the amazing amount of bullshit that flowed down the pipe today.

However, no one else will be spared. We had to clean everything. I mean we have dirt floors here and we had to clean. Am I the only one who thinks its kind of pointless to clean rooms with dirt floors. I mean it was like a permanent haze of dust floating in the air all day. If I didn't know better I would've thought there were Jamaican's living in our barracks. My apologies to any Jamaican's that don't smoke weed.

Then we had to clean up the MWR building. Which was humorous for me, given the fact that in an Army FOB there was Marine Corps recruiting literature. Really? The Marines recruit at remote FOB's in AssCrackIstan? But whatever, it brought a smile to my face. We had to stack all the books neatly by size, then we had to line up all the movies, and pile all the magazines up nice, and sweep the floor and wipe off the TV and all this and that. All the while the locals were laughing hysterically at us due to the fact that we pay them to do this exact same thing.

Then we had to dress right dress all the vehicles and everything in them. (Dress Right Dress=Making everything look the same) DRD does not really serve any purpose other than making things look pretty. Someone will have to explain to me someday why anything in this country needs to be prettied up, but I digress. I mean really? A dog and pony show in a war zone? You have got to be shitting me.

Then they got onto us. I mean our personal hygiene and what not. Now bear in mind 80% of us do not have all of our bags here yet, which is another story all together. But I only have one uniform, one pair of skivvies, and one t-shirt. Not to mention had the mail not come I would have no personal hygiene items but the boys and girls back home came through for me. So thanks. Anyways, these goofy ass NCO's walked around to everyone staring at their chins and cheeks and upper lips to ensure that we had shaved recently. One of them even walked around with a credit card. And was doing the under the chin swipe to see if we had shaved. Basically, all that is is taking one end of a credit card and dragging it along your face and listening for the distinct sound created by a piece of hard plastic grating against little whiskers. I was aghast. Yeah, how many of you thought I knew what "aghast" means? Am I the only one standing in sheer amazement at the Army's preoccupation with looks. Form over function as Pigpen would say. I mean really, is a man with the responsibility of the Sergeant Major really concerned with whether or not I had shaved today? Well, apparently so.

So, now he gets here. Flies on in with his entourage. I couldn't help but wonder how much money and manpower is spent sending this guy to this place and that within AssCrackIstan to make sure that everyone is clean shaven.

Now all these guys jump off the bird, turns out that the Sergeant Major brought some Colonel with him, now things really got fun. The pucker factor went up about 10 degrees.

Definition, "Pucker Factor": Any situation that causes the asshole of anyone to tighten exponentially due to the situation's probability of causing any manner of shitty things to happen. Measured in degrees.

Well now the commander is there smooching booty and the 1SG is doing his politicking with the Sergeant Major and everyone is falling all over themselves trying to make them as comfortable as possible. I was waiting for the order to come down that all the lower enlisted were to lay down in a row so that the Colonel and the Sergeant Major didn't have to get dust on their boots. But thankfully, that didn't come.

What am I doing? Hiding in my room praying that no one sees the "Combat Jack" tally board that is written on the wall directly outside my room.

Definition, "Combat Jack": Masturbating in a combat zone. Normally characterized not only by being done within a combat zone but also by the disgustingness of the surroundings in which said activity is being performed. For example, a port-a-shitter in Afghanistan.

The board is part of a running contest that the platoon males have going to see who can do it the most. Right now I made it to 5, but suffice it to say that I am in the middle of the pack. Some of these guys are going to pull the cap off by Christmas. But moving on...(Oh Dear God, my mom is going to read that)

But whatever, it is what it is. Now I manage to fall asleep for a while and apparently my buddy, Wonderboy woke me up and told me that the Sergeant Major wanted to see me at 1800. I don't know about you, but whenever you wake me up and tell me something, all I do is figure that it was part of the dream I was having and I go back to sleep. Why the Sergeant Major wanted to see me while I was on the moon with the entire USC cheerleading team, I'll never know. But these are dreams people, who knows what the hell they mean.

Luckily for me, I woke up around 1715 and was hungry as hell. I mean these cheerleaders will run you ragged. So I go to chow and my team leader says, "When are you going to see the Sergeant Major?" To which I reply, "What did I do?" He replies, "I dunno, they told me you were supposed to see the Sergeant Major tonight sometime"

So my brain kicks into overdrive again trying to figure out what I could've done to piss the Sergeant Major off today or anytime since getting in country. Well thankfully before I drove myself too nuts Wonderboy came over and told me what was up.

I would tell you exactly what it is, but once again I don't really know if I can. We'll just say that everyone was doing something they shouldn't and we told them, "Hey Sergeant Major, that's fucked up. We shouldn't be doing that." To which he replied, "I'll check on it." To which we replied, "Yes, Sergeant Major." All the while thinking to ourselves, "Go ahead, you check on it, why don't you just tell us to fuck off?" But apparently, he did check on it and he found out that we were right. And now the policy for the whole joint is changing. Not bad for a smart ass who barely graduated high school. But enough tooting of my own horn.

So we got dragged into a conference room with all the senior NCO's in our company waiting for the Sergeant Major. Now this is easily one of the top 5 most uncomfortable rooms I have ever been in. And I have been in more than a few prison cells so that should tell you something. Don't worry, I work in a prison, I was not a resident.

Now he gets there and he goes through about a 5 minute spiel about how we were able to right a wrong within the theater and all that. Interestingly enough while he was giving his speech and looking at us he was looking at our chins. I can only assume to make sure we had shaved. Then he gave us a coin. Which is what the Army does when you do something good but they don't want to do any paperwork for a BS award. I mean its nice, but this coin and a buck will get me a coke. So whatever, he gives it to us and we leave. Now I am sitting here in my rack writing this and hoping that he and his entourage are gone by now.

Tonight brings another shift of guard duty. Which basically is two of us stuck in a tower that is roughly the size of the trunk of a honda civic with a heater blowing in the window that is made to heat an area the size of a football field. I mean these fucking heaters can melt concrete. All the while staring out at the Afghani countryside through night vision goggles and wondering if and when something is actually going to happen. I have had to do this for 12 hours a day for the past two days. Not really bad duty, I got to hang out with the ANP (Afghan National Police), and the "terps".

Definition: "Terp": Shortened version of interpreter. You know the guys that speak Pashtu, Dari, and English.

So I got to pick their brains about this war, this country, our country and a million other things. Not to mention I bought a couple of ANP patches off the guy for 5 bucks. Should've seen the look on his face when the terp told him how much Afghani money 5 bucks would get him. I'll tell you some of the stuff they said when I have more time to think and a little less acrimony about this shit today.

Well the big dogs went home so everything has settled back to some semblance of normalcy. Or as normal as things will get in Afghanistan. We are settling in for the winter. Which apparently is going to be brutal. We are about 7000 feet above sea level which says that it is going to get really flipping cold, and that explains why I get winded walking up the stairs. If everything stays this boring for the remainder of my time here I will be the happiest GI ever. However, I would have to assume that the "whatever sucks the most" principle would have to apply here. That and everyone seems to think that the bad guys have slipped back over the border into Pakistan for the winter to regroup and will be back come the spring. Well I guess we need to go someplace that stays cold all year round then.

I'm done for now.

Later,

I love you mom...

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?

0500

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.

Later,

I love you mom...

Operaton Combat Blue Balls Is Continuing With A Vengeance

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 2057 Hrs.

Well guess what? We got bumped from our flight again. Yep, we loaded up all that shit again, piled into those ridiculous buses, again. And unloaded all the shit and piled it into trucks and palletized some of the other stuff and we got all hyped up like we were actually going somewhere and what happens? We get bumped. Fun for me. Fun for everyone. Or as Pigpen would say, "Gay sex for everybody"

Yeah, I am so very impressed with the level of organization in the US Army. I can't even blame this shit on the Air Force anymore. This one is all courtesy of Uncle Sam's Mean Green Machine.

So here I sit typing this, and watching "Superbad" in this wonderful little "airport" that the Army has set up here and my blue balls are getting to the danger point. I mean really, how many times could they bring me right to the brink and then leave me unsatisfied. Now I know what every woman who was ever goodly enough to sleep with me felt like.

Well moving on, what is there to talk about today. I wonder what McLovin would have to say about this. He'd probably tell these people what time it is.

Ah, my brain is frozen. When are we going to go to war with someone who lives someplace nice. Why couldn't we fight with Tahiti or some country like that. I mean we made up a reason to invade Iraq, why can't we make up a reason to invade Tahiti. I think it would be fun. Uh, probably not such a good idea. Disregard the previous paragraph.

So I managed to get guard duty tonight. What am I guarding? All the shit that nobody wanted to take back to the tent with them. All the bags got thrown on two pallets so we left a few of us back to watch them to make sure nobody fucks with them. But at least I get to sleep on some nice leather couches instead of the wonderful mattresses that they have back at the FOB. That and I don't have to lug my shit all over AssCrackIstan for no good reason. So I guess the day wasn't completely wasted.

But I got to talk to the mom again today. She seems to be holding up pretty well. I can't even begin to explain what its like talking to her when I know she's hurting so bad missing me. It would probably be a little easier if she wasn't hurting because of me. I mean how much can one woman be expected to bear. But she's a tough ole' broad and she'll be fine...she'll be just fine. Like I told her, a little CCR on the radio and I'll be coming home soon.

Ah, got to stop thinking of home. Going to make myself crazy. By the way my apologies to everyone that I haven't been calling. But its just going to be like this. Anytime I get a chance to call home, I am calling mom first. End of story.

Well we got another gem of news from our headquarters. Apparently, AssCrackIstan has some pretty severe winters. Which make air travel, i.e. helicopters pretty much impossible for everything except absolute necessities. Meaning what? Meaning we are probably not going to get any mail for about 3 months or so. I don't know if that is exactly true but if we hold to form. Which we probably will. Remember the principle of "whatever sucks the most", that is what is going to happen.

Alright, I am done for now. Maybe I'll write a bit more later.

Later,

I love you mom...

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,



MY LIFE IS JUST LIKE A CAR CRASH.



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 collective...you 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.



Later,



I love you mom...

Holy O' Shit, War Is Quite Boring...

So we got here to AssCrackIstan the other day, and it has been nothing but excitement. (Not really, I have been bored to tears for the most part). We have been sitting around Bagram waiting for a flight out to where we are going to spend the majority of our deployment here. Once again, I will eventually tell you where but for the time being I cannot. So it goes.

We got here and had to go through some IED training which I can appreciate. If there is one thing that terrifies me it is the thought of being blown up by some random bomb placed in the road by one of these assholes.

Other than that for like the past 3 days we have done really nothing but sleep and eat. And my good, good Lord do we get to eat. Bagram has chow halls that would put some restaurants to shame. I mean everything you could think of, chicken, burgers, beef kabobs, lasagna, spaghetti, salad, french fries, mashed potatoes, green beans, and ICE CREAM. These pricks have ice cream. (I love ice cream) You could not even tell you are in a war zone up here.

I mean they have a PX which is fantastic, they have new car sales, which made me laugh, but then I remembered buying a car here cuts all the taxes out of the equation. They have a haji shop here that sells houkas, you know the place that has the little signs on the shelves that says, "for tobacco use only". They have a cell phone place. They have a sporting goods store, they have a, they have a, they have a, you get the idea. They have everything up here. Which makes me so very happy to be going somewhere else. Not really...

Anyways, so now I am sitting here in this fucking tent that only has two temperatures. Fires of hell, and cold as penguin balls, wondering why I am still here. I, check that, we were supposed to leave this morning. But apparently, there was some sort of problem with the helicopter that was to take us to our outlying FOB. I don't really know what it was. The PNN (private news network, or more accurately the rumor mill) says that there was an equipment change that needed to happen. Is it just me or does that sound like military speak for "broken helicopter". But I digress.

Now we have been told that we could be stuck here for another 2-4 days. Its already November 10. Well I guess it could be worse, I could be getting shot at all the damn time. Oh, that reminds me of a funny story of what happened to us today. After we got up at like 2 a.m. to load all our shit, and take it out to the airfield so we could get on with this shit. We got there and found out that we had entirely too much shit and too many people for the amount of birds they had going our way. So right off the bat about 20 of us got bumped and told, ever so politely, "Get the fuck out of here, you're in the way." I was one of those 20. Then we hauled all this shit back to the tent and unloaded it and went to sleep for about an hour or so. Now bear in mind all that took from about 3 a.m. until about 10 a.m. Fun for me. Then it happened...

The sirens went off and the bullhorns started blaring some shit about an incoming attack. Nobody moved. We were all asleep. Good to know that chances are good I could probably sleep through this war if given the opportunity. We heard a few distant explosions and what not. Nothing worth getting out of bed for. Then the platoon daddy came in and told us all to get our shit and get to the nearest bunker. First thing that popped into my head was, "They have bunkers here? Where are these bunkers of which you speak?" So we all threw on our body armor and went to the nearest bunker. Thankfully, the civilians around here knew where it was. Thank God somebody does.

So I went to this bunker which was nothing more than an inverted concrete "U" placed on the ground. I sat underneath this thing smoking and playing the name game while this bullhorn kept blaring every 5 minutes that there was an incoming attack. "Yes we got it, just let me know when I can go back to bed"

Well if nothing else I can say that I took incoming fire. Not really, like I said, War is boring. Especially fighting with these chicken shits that we got. Fire off a rocket, or mortar or two and then they run away. I guess I can't blame them, I would probably do the same if I was up against us. But it doesn't change the fact that they are a very boring enemy to fight. I should probably be happy. I imagine the guys from WWII and Vietnam would've traded wars with me any day. But still, this deployment has been one big bag of ass thus far. So it goes, with a commander like we got who could expect anything more.

Finally, something that...I really don't know what it did yet but I will let you know as soon as I know. The first morning we were here we had to get up ass crack early and I went out to smoke just as the sun was rising behind the mountains nearby. Now with all of the jet fuel, helicopter fumes, smoke, pollution, burnt shit, and everything else that is in the air around this hole. It made the sky the most beautiful shade of red I have ever seen. Couple that with the clouds and the streams of smoke left by the jets that take off every second or two hear and you have the recipe for one of the prettiest sunrises one could ever hope to see. I couldn't help thinking, "It is truly amazing that something so very beautiful could be seen in someplace so truly terrible."

So it goes.

Later,

I love you mom...

Nov 5, 2008

Hello, Mr. Polish Man, I Like Your Hat, Not To Mention Obama Won...

So I begin today with a little bounce in my step because I got to see Obama win this little election of ours. Nice... Makes me so very happy. Not to mention I get to sit here and give Pigpen a rash of shit about it for the next four years.

And what does my friend Pigpen have to say about all of this. Well, he says, and I quote, "While you guys are having a love in, I am going to go and nuke a gay whale for Jesus." Apparently you cannot get any more right wing than that, and Pigpen is having a hard time dealing with his new boss.

Ah, but before I get too far into this let me explain the title. "Hello Mr. Polish Man, I like your hat." Well this is in reference to all the Polish soldiers that are here with us waiting to go to Afghanistan. Now the US Army has a uniformity standard. We all have to look the same, all the time. Kind of a 1984 meets your wardrobe kind of thing. Apparently, the Polish army does not have such strict standards. The Polish wear some of the weirdest hats I have ever seen. Some wear berets that are like infant sized, some wear boonie hats that are a kind of eastern European crocodile dundee thing. These guys are awesome, they walk around to smoke, and shower and what not, totally in their tighty whitey's. Not that I like to see Polish men in their skivvies but it just makes me laugh that I would never walk around if I didn't look just like everyone else. These guys just don't seem to give a shit. Not to mention one of them has a "Mo-mullet" I mean it is half mohawk and half mullet. It's a beautiful thing. And last but certainly not least there are the chin pubes. Yes that's right, chin pubes. The Polish soldiers, or at least every third one seems to have pubes growing out of their chin's in kind of a pre-pubescent ZZ Top sort of thing. And I have to be clean shaven every morning. I am so friggin jealous.

Moving on, I may not be writing for a few days or weeks, I don't know. I take that back, I will be writing but I don't know if I will be able to post. I don't know what kind of internet we are going to have at the FOB. So I leave you in the care and good graces of the Lord.

Lastly, thank sweet merciful God Obama won. Now I can give all the Republicans here a huge amount of shit. Which makes me happy. Not to mention all the guys back at "the bar" especially you Paulie and Tony, how you like them apples, baby.

But anyways, things will be getting real, real soon so stay tuned. Up to this point this blog has been driven by my rather adolescent sense of humor. It's about to get driven by the absolute lunacy that is war. So sit back, relax, embrace the suck of it all and keep on reading.

Later,

I love you mom...

Nov 3, 2008

A Line Of Angry, Smelly Joes Walks Into A Bar...

and doesn't get to drink a damn thing. That is what I am currently contending with. Lot's of fun. Everyone here is smelling like an anchovie's asshole due to the fact that the locals who clean the bathrooms choose the most inopportune times to clean them. As soon as everyone is awake and as soon as everyone wants to go to bed they decide that those are the times they are going to spend an hour disinfecting our bathing areas. Oh Joy. So I figured I would come down here and write about my hygiene misadventures and blow off a little steam.

And as far as the bar thing and drinking goes, we are on an Air Force base. The Air Force is notorious for treating their people well. The Army and the Marines will always insist that they coddle their people and treat them like little furry teddy bears, which to a point may be true. But those of us on the receiving end of Army bullshit tend to believe that the Air Force simply treats their people like...well people. Which is a totally foreign idea to anything green. So it goes. So the bar works like this, the Air Force guys can pretty much drink as much as they want. The signs say two beers per day, but if the state of inebriation that I saw that airman in last night was any indication apparently there are ways around that little rule. But the wonderful Army does not allow us to imbibe any alcoholic beverages of any kind. So we just get to sit there and watch the Air Force guys have all the fun. That and the Air Force has always had the hottest chicks. Once again, so it goes. I had a one if four shot of picking the right one when I enlisted and I lost that little lottery.

I at least got to spend all of yesterday basically jacking around and looking at all the nifty little local shops that have set themselves up here on post and are selling GI's the usual fare for entirely too much cash, and it makes me laugh that regardless of how bad our economy is they all still want American money. Interesting.

Well that being said, we are another day closer. We finally got notified of when we were actually going to be in country and that is depressing. I would tell you, but of course then I would have to kill you, and given the fact that apparently I have a reader in Siberia I don't want to have to burn all that money on cab fare, I'll just keep it to myself.

This morning we got a wonderful talk from our platoon sergeant about getting our minds right for the battle we are about to join. At the beginning it was a good talk, you know. He covered things like training and keeping on top of your weapons and keeping yourself clean and what not. But then he went off the deep end. He started telling us that we should begin the practice of taking "battle shits"

Yes ladies and gentlemen, I was advised this morning by a man charged with leading an entire platoon into battle, that I should make sure to force a movement prior to any mission with likely enemy contact. Really? Military leaders throughout history have been making inspiring speeches to their men in order to motivate them to face the most terrifying situations and the most harrowing odds and overcome all of that. What do I get? "Battle Shit" You have got to be fucking kidding me. I just sat outside, where it is balls cold, and listened to my platoon sergeant espouse the merits of the pre-battle bowel movement! Now I could go on forever about this, but am I the only one who would think that a leader would have better things to think about than the condition of his troops underwear if they ever were to come into close combat with the enemy. But I digress.

Moving on. I met a guy last night. Probably not the best way for a heterosexual male to begin a sentence but whatever. And this was one of those guys that just makes you feel lazy. Turns out that he is my age. However, instead of being a lowly joe like me, he is a flight surgeon. Which sounds a lot to me like a guy who operates on people while they are flying. Where you find people that can fly who need surgery, I have no idea, nor did I know there were enough of them to need doctors. (Alright, bad joke)

But on top of that he is like a marathon runner and all that sort of shit. I get tired driving past a gym. But whatever, screw that guy. Anyways, people like that who have had the same amount of time on this earth and yet have managed to do that much more than me, just piss me off.

With that I am going to go, Pigpen is getting antsy because his computer will not work, so until next time.

Later,

I love you mom...

Nov 2, 2008

Question of The Day...

So I am sitting here is some third world country waiting to actually go into Afghanistan and I am sitting at a coffee bar (yeah you heard me right) a fucking coffee bar. And I am futzing around on the internet and I was just pondering something as I look out over the 40 or so soldiers that are in here clogging the internet connection so I have to write this while my last episode of the "Daily Show with Jon Stewart" loads up.

So here is the question. Every soldier pretty much has a laptop, everyone has an MP3 player, everybody has external hard drives and cell phones and a million other little gadgets with which to entertain ourselves.

I want to know how the WWII or Vietnam or Korean War, or even the Gulf War guys would react if they came into a tent and they heard all the guys playing video games, talking on their cell phones, listening to music off of something the size of a credit card? I personally think they would probably be totally and completely amazed by the whole thing.

Let me know what you think, because I know I got a few old vets reading my bullshit here. And thank you for it.

In response to my man ABNPOPPA, first thanks so much for my welcome to the US Army, however I have been doing it a while and my welcome came courtesy of a rather large, and distastefully tempered E-6 at Fort McClellan, in 1998. (I still can't believe its been that long).

And yes, I always do what I am told. I wish I could say that I don't bitch, but bitching and moaning (as you know) is every soldier's God given right.

Someone smarter than me once said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step..." And then someone even smarter than that guy added, "and a whole lot of bitching!" So it goes.

So I think I am going to have a triple mocha choca latte and then I am walking across the street to the pizza hut for a slice, then maybe a massage at MWR. (I shit you not, this is all stuff I could do)

I think war is getting a bit soft in its old age. Or maybe I am just as hard as a coffin nail, but I could be wrong. I have been wrong before. (As evidenced by my 3 separate enlistment papers)

Well folks, Sometime within the next 2 days the REAL shit is going to begin. Hopefully, the buildup has not been for nothing. But we are going to see, and don't worry. I'll tell you all about it.

Later,

I love you mom...

Charlie Foxtroting Our Way All The Way Too AssCrackIstan...

So the trip over here...What can I say? Not a whole lot really because it was probably one of the larger clusterfucks I have ever been a part of. And I have been in the military for over a decade now.

We flew out of Fort Bragg at like 1400 the other day. I don't really know which day due to the fact that the time change and all that shit has rendered me completely ignorant of what time or day it is right now, but sooner or later I will get a hold of it.

We flew directly from Bragg to someplace in Ireland, which was nice. Except for the fact that we were not allowed to leave the airport. So I got to see the homeland but I could only stare at it out the terminal window or see it through the chain link fence that surrounded the smoking area. But something is better than nothing.

Then we proceeded to fly to about 20 different countries and stop every 2 hours or so on our way to where we ended up now. I can't tell you where but I can tell you that it is cold, rainy and has really poor sanitation. So we are in Seattle. Kidding...

So when we got here we had the issue of the bags. The mountain of shit that we brought along with us from the states. An entire company worth of baggage. Lots o' shit, to say the least. Now the Army doesn't do anything the easy way nor does the Army do anything the way that civilians would do it, and the Army does nothing that makes any sense so here is how we handled this little issue.

We threw all our bags from the plane into the back of a box truck and dragged this truck back to this little outpost we are staying at now. Then our leadership, in their infinite wisdom, realized that there were things in those bags that we might need. So they piled them all up in a row and turned an entire company loose on them and said find your bags, get what you need and then get back to the sleeping area. Wow, you should've seen this shit.

200 people all grabbing and bagging, pitching and catching shit all over the place. I swear to you it looked like something out of a Mel Brook's movie. So that took us about an hour and a half to deal with, and now its like 0200 or something like that. I don't really know, but its a good guess, its dark outside.

Now we are going to spend the rest of the night getting cleaned up and putting our stuff away. Which made me laugh when they told us to do that, due to the fact that we are sleeping in bunk beds that are about 2 feet apart and back to back. So there is literally no where to put your stuff, and now we have bags upon bags to put in there with us. Needless to say someone is going to lose something. I just hope it isn't important.

So I will leave you with that. I wish you all could see this for yourselves, I promise you, you would never stop laughing. But I got to go my Platoon Sergeant has let it be known that he wants everything dress right dress within the next 30 minutes so....

Later,

I love you mom...