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

Feb 20, 2009

So We Got All Dressed Up For Nothing...

Remember that part in the movie Braveheart where the big ass Scottish guy said to William Wallace that he hoped there was a fight that day because, “I hope we didn’t get all dressed up for nothing!” That is what we do here all the damn time.

We get all dressed up for nothing. Anyone who has ever tried to put on all the shit that soldiers have to wear to go outside the wire knows that it is quite an operation. Boots, long undies, uniform, patches, ballistic armor, gunner’s pants, gunner’s harnesses, helmets, gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, knives, ammunition, weapons, sunglasses, ninja masks, and all the rest of this shit. It takes forever to put on.

So this morning we got up at 0300 for some real big mission. We put on all this shit, get out to the trucks, get them ready, get all the guns, all the ammunition, all the radios, all the food, water and fuel, all the shit...and at 0445 they tell us that we aren’t going because of inclement weather.

I know why we don’t leave during bad weather, it’s because the birds won’t fly in bad weather. So we wouldn’t have any air medical evacuation, or air support. I get it, and it makes sense. However, it doesn’t change the fact that it is funny. The vaunted US military machine, the most technologically advanced military in the world, the best trained soldiers the planet has ever seen, the greatest military juggernaut that has ever walked the face of this stopped dead in it’s tracks by a little bit of rain! I don’t care who you are, that’s funny.

Now I am sitting in my room typing away wondering when we are going to do the mission that was scheduled for today. Supposedly tomorrow. Which pisses me off, because that means I have to get up at 0300 two days in a row. Apparently, if we don’t leave before the sun comes up we lose the element of surprise. Anyone besides me find that hysterical? The element of surprise? Are you fucking high? We are going to roll out of here with about 20 vehicles that weigh in excess of 30,000 pounds a piece. All of which run on diesel engines that are notoriously quiet. Not only that but these vehicles have a guy with a really big gun sticking out of the fucking roof, and they are driving out into a desert. A flat desert. For about 10 kilometers in any direction it is just flat, right up until you hit the mountains. So this humongous convoy, of gigantic trucks, with all the subtlety of an aircraft carrier is going to drive out to somewhere that you can see us coming from about 5 miles out. Yeah, we’ve got the element of surprise.

Besides all that, the commander has pissed off the locals to the point where they probably call the Taliban every time we spit on the ground.

Ah, the joys of modern warfare. Well at least all is not lost, something will happen for my team and I today. We get to go and provide security for a medical clinic that the company sponsors in the village right next to the FOB. When I say right next to, I mean we share a wall. So at least it won’t be a long walk. Not to mention, the last time we were there they delivered a baby. Which was pretty cool, I love babies.

I can’t think of any transitional devices to use here, so I’ll just tell you...NEXT Subject.

So my platoon sergeant was walking by me yesterday, and as he was going by one of the local workers was also going by, I said hello to my platoon daddy, and I waved at the local. Most of the locals that work here on the FOB are pretty cool guys. My platoon sergeant waited until after he had gone, and asked me, “Why do you wave at these guys, it gives them hope, they don’t need that, their life is always going to suck!”

All I could do was chuckle. And I hated myself for that. It’s been said that humor is equal parts truth and pain. If there isn’t enough truth, then it won’t be funny, but if there isn’t enough pain it won’t be funny either. So I guess using that logic, what he said is funny. I still wanted to punch myself in the throat for laughing.

Well maybe I’ll have something more to write about after this clinic thing, maybe today we’ll get to see an emergency boob job. Probably not, but it’s worth daydreaming about.

Tomorrow we’ll get all dressed up again and hopefully there isn’t any rain, because apparently American military vehicles, soldiers, and equipment are water soluble!

I am done for now.


I love you mom...


  1. mudpuppy...from what my sons have told me, military life is a whole lot of 'hurry up and wait'. They both learned it at MEPS. It's too bad you can't look out before you get dressed, see it is miserable out there and know the final answer...but that will most likely take away somebody's big decison for the day.
    Hang in there!
    We appreciate you!

  2. You ol' softy, I like babies. All this rough, tough GI talk and machismo and it all just came to a screeching halt. You ol' softy!


  3. Hi MP,
    Awwwww...I am so glad to hear you like babies and you like puppies too! The miracle of birth is usually a great reminder of the joy that we can have in our lives. And these little creatures usually deliver on that promise! Sorry to hear about the weather complications to your mission. It does make one wonder...maybe the best weapon would be some kind of weather maker??

    I have never been able to imagine dealing with all the gear you guys have to wear, clean, keep track of, and lug from one end of the earth to the other. Take care MP.