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

Apr 7, 2009

Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Bride...

This post is about IED’s, I know that it is probably a creepy title given the subject matter. But I think it’s fitting. Allow me to explain.

We hit another one. Damn, this is starting to get annoying. I have also gotten used to it. Which is probably even creepier. I never thought when I got here that only 4 months later I would be to a point where a rather large explosion couldn’t even make me jump.

So here’s what happened. We were driving along with this new unit. The electric strawberries. If I haven’t explained that moniker, here it is. They are from the 25th Infantry Division, “Tropic Lightning” they are called. The division is based out of Hawaii, which is where the tropic thing comes from. However, the unit that is here is based in Alaska. Which is kind of humorous that a unit that is part of Tropic Lightning, would be based in the coldest place in the country. But whatever. Either way, their patch is some little like shriveled up piece of fruit or some shit, and in the middle of it is a lightning bolt. Now whatever the piece of fruit is, it bears a striking resemblance to a rotten strawberry, and obviously lightning and electricity are related, so we call them the electric strawberries.

Now that I have that explained, lets move on. So as we were driving them along showing them all the Taliban villages, and where all the IED’s we have hit were and how bad the terrain is and where all the possible ambush sites are and all that shit. We were coming up to a point in the terrain where we had to drive up a hill, on this hill were also a bunch of obstructions that forced us to pass over this hill at this one point. Put all that together and maybe we should have seen it coming. But we didn’t so...BOOM!!!!

These fucking Taliban, unfortunately, aren’t stupid, so they set these damn things on hills or what not because if they are lucky and we hit them with hummer, they’ll flip that thing right over on the gunner’s head. Ha, fuck them guys, we hit it with an MRAP. So nothing really happened, a little bit a damage, threw some pieces of this truck about 300 meters away, but no one got hurt.

So that makes like, I don’t even know anymore, they all seem to run together into one rather large BOOM. What got me thinking is that this was the first one that I watched from start to finish. I was looking right at the MRAP when it hit the IED. Watched as the explosion went off, listened as the boom reached my ears, and waited for the obligatory “we are fine” from the guys inside the truck. Yet, despite all of that, I didn’t get excited, I didn’t get hyped up, I just sat there, indifferently staring at the truck and waiting passively for the call over the radio that everyone was okay. No emotion really, just kind of sat there. Did the usual, started to set up a perimeter so we could clean up the mess, but I really didn’t care, my heart didn’t even start beating quicker. Nothing, it was almost like IED’s have become as commonplace to me as brushing my teeth. And they get me about as excited as brushing my teeth.

How fucked up is that? I don’t even know how to deal with that. I guess so long as I am here its a good thing, I mean there is little doubt that a whole bunch of these are going to go off between now and when I leave this shithole. Gotta look on the bright side of things. I have been around enough explosions that they don’t even get my blood pressure up.

So why the title though? Well its because now everyone in my squad, save for me and my team, has hit at least one IED. And we have the unfortunate distinction of having the only team that has hit two of them. Well I guess that is to be expected, Pigpen is an epic shit magnet.

Which means that I am always the IED’s bridesmaid and never the bride. The bride is the unfortunate assholes that have to be in the explosion. I always just seem to be around. Well sooner or later Karma is going to decide that it is my turn to be the bride. Knowing my luck that is going to be the day where they set the granddaddy of them all. Blow my hummer straight to hell, with me along with it.

It’s gotten so weird around here with how cavalier and uncaring we have all become about all of this shit that we have started to viciously joke about it. I have even come up with a little joke I am going to play when I am hit with an IED. So long as I don’t die, here is what I am going to do. I am going to sit in the truck, as long as it isn’t burning to the ground, and pretend that I’m dead. When they all come around and try to pull me out, when they finally get the door open and get their hands on me, I am going to miraculously come back to “life” and scream, boogity, boogity, boo!

Pigpen will probably shit himself, and then shoot me, all the while screaming, “Holy shit dude, he’s a zombie.” Maybe I should come up with something else, you think?

Anyway, Hilary you’ve got a degree in psychology what do you think of that shit? Am I nuts, or is this a healthy reaction to a sick situation?

Either way, sooner or later karma is going to make a bride out of me. And when it does, I hope its just a small affair. You know, nothing gaudy, just a nice little boom. Just enough to remind me not to tempt fate.

And with that, I am done now.


I love you Mom...


  1. Here's hoping that you always remain a "bride" as far as IED's go Mud Puppy. TBI's are no fun for you. Stay as safe as you can.

  2. Healthy reaction to an abnormal situation. But you my friend are taking it a step further and thereby profalactively taking care of your mental health. YOu are sharing your thoughts with others, which is a very healthy outlet, letting others in so they can support you. A secondary gain for all of us blog followers, we get to enjoy the "ride" as well. Keep it up and consequently you will not need to have a stiff upper lip because you chin will be level with the sand beneath your feet, even if they are shifting sands. damn i am poetic!!!