[Unfortunately, this post was written for no real reason other than to kill time. FOB Sharana is easily the most boring place I have ever been. So you have been warned. This is just me thinking and fighting the boredom.]
I didn’t know you could pause a war. But it sure feels like Sharana is where you go when you need to get a taste of home with your dust. I guess Bagram is still worse, but this place is pretty bad, or pretty good depending on how you look at it.
From my point of view this place is shit, because it gives me exactly dick to write about. The best story that I’ve gotten here is that the other night the FOB got mortared and the sirens and the warning bells and whistles all went off and not one of the people in my platoon even got out of bed!
You see, that story sucks! I probably could spice it up a bit if I wanted to but why? There are plenty of fobbits here to spice up the story for me. I was sitting at the computer the other day as one of these oxygen thieves was regaling his mother with a story of how the mortars were coming into the FOB and he was running like hell to get to the bunker and how he pulled one of his buddies into the bunker before any thing bad happened to him.
Well, let me translate the “fobbit talk” for you.
Fobbit: The mortars were coming into the FOB.
English: There were mortars being launched in our general direction, maybe one of two of them made it into the FOB but no where near anyone but the guys who were guarding the perimeter at the time. (I couldn’t even hear the explosions, just the alarms. Of course I was still half asleep.)
Fobbit: Running like hell to get to the bunker.
English: (This is probably the only truthful part) He ran like hell to get to the bunker.
Fobbit: Pulled one of his buddies into the bunker before anything bad happened to him.
English: (This is a fobbit language staple, using non specific sentences and words so that the listener is led to believe that the speaker did something heroic.) Yelled to his buddy that he was going the wrong way, and that the bunker they were assigned was this way! Then grabbed his hand because it was dark and fobbits don’t remember flash lights when they are rudely awakened by all these explosions.
This is one of the reasons that I hate fobbits. First of all, they get all the best stuff, because when they get supplies they keep all the good stuff for themselves, and send the rest of us the shit. Secondly, they are usually on this ridiculously large FOB’s that have everything. Wireless internet, green bean cafe’s, a PX, real gyms, cell phones, tailors, bazaars, and what not. Yes, there is a cell phone company here at Sharana. I couldn’t believe it either. Wouldn’t want to miss that all important text message would you? Is this actually a war? I could’ve sworn it was, in fact, some dickbag just tried to kill me about 10 minutes before I got here and now some guy is trying to sell me a cell phone, to go with my mocha choca latte! Are you fucking high?
Except for the haji’s and the occasional mortar round, this place looks like Arizona! So like an Xbox, I guess you can pause a war. Because thats what this place feels like. The war stopped, so that I could get a double chocolate smoothie.
Well, Okay that doesn’t bother me so much. I needed the break, now I’m bored. Let’s go find someone who wants to blow us up, or shoot at us, or at least give us dirty looks as we drive by. Lord, give me something.
So I was on the internet the other day and I found this guy, SGT. Albert J. Merrifield. I love this fucking guy. He apparently, is either a fobbit with a sense of humor, or a line soldier with a special place in his heart for all these shitbags. Here is some of his art work which we may or may not discuss later...
(Sorry I wrote this in the barracks and brought it over to the computer lab. I'll post the pictures as soon as there is a half way decent internet connection. So I am going to have to wait until 0300 and come back. Probably not going to happen.)
I don’t care who you are, those are some funny cartoons. He explained each of these degradations of the gene pool with such humor and grace that I had to share them with all of you. Just so you see what type of people that we have to deal with in a place like Sharana.
So what has this left me time for? Pretty much the worst thing in the world, which is time to think. Bad for me. Give me time to think and I usually come up with some sort of legally actionable trouble. I mean I actually had a buddy of mine, who’s dumb ass bought one of those cell phones, call his dad who is a math teacher and get him to tell us what that word problem is where you have a 2 gallon bucket and a 3 gallon bucket and a 5 gallon bucket and you have to get exactly 1 gallon into the 5 gallon bucket or some such shit. I don’t remember, I wrote it down and will solve it for the 5000th time when I am really bored. But I did get some reading done.
I read Chuck Palahniuk’s book, “Snuff”. Oh, yes, its always a good thing for a sexually deprived GI to read about a 600 man gang bang. I bought it at 1400, I finished it at 2200. Well, the book cost me a dollar an hour. I guess that’s not a bad price.
You see what I’m talking about? This is the sort of shit that happens when I get bored!
I did find something that made me chuckle though, I bought a Time magazine at the PX. The April 20, 2009 issue to be exact. On the cover is a soldier looking pretty rough, and the title, “How Not To Lose In Afghanistan” Now the first thing that I wondered about was where this guy was, the mountains definitely look familiar, but the other thing that got me was his uniform. It looked like any soldier’s uniform does after a day or two outside the wire tangling with Mr. Taliban Man. So I got no problems with the way this dude looks. However, anyone who knows the military understands the fetish some military people have with looking the right way. I swear that some of these guys had to have been potty trained at gun point. I also wonder if they could dress themselves without a regulation to tell them how to do it. These people have a shit fit anytime that a soldier is out of uniform in any way. They damn near lose their minds when your shirt is untucked. They have an aneurism when your pants are un-bloused. Senior NCO’s for the most part take up these positions, but there are a few officers that have the same disorder. I could just imagine what the Sergeant Major of the Army had to say when he saw the picture of this kid on Time magazine. I tell you that so that I can tell you this.
We have a newsletter that they send to our families or whoever the hell else is on our mailing list. They even sent one to me, which made me laugh, ya know given the fact that I was there and all. Moving on, well they take pictures for this newsletter. Pictures of us on our missions. Pictures of us around the FOB. Pictures of us doing whatever. With our chain of command, God help you if you are not in your proper uniform. If you’re not, they’ll take your picture out of the newsletter. Or the guy who does the newsletter will photoshop the picture so that you look right! I am not making this up! If you are outside the wire doing a mission, regardless of what the mission is, or how much shit you saw, or how long you have been out there...if you are not wearing your uniform and personal protective equipment (PPE) properly then they won’t let your picture go in either the company or the battalion newsletters. They sent a few pictures up to the battalion for some reason and the guys in the pictures were not wearing their kneepads, or their eye protection. First of all, the kneepads they give us were made for a hard working whore, not for soldiers who have to run around all day. Secondly, the eye wear, is uncomfortable to say the least. Its like everything else in the Army, it was made for a midget with a raisinette for a head. So yeah, people take that shit off.
Well someone up at battalion had a baby! Why aren’t your guys wearing their PPE? What’s the matter with you guys?
Right in the middle of all this shit, this is what the Army finds to worry about! Helmet, I get that. Bulletproof vest, I definitely get that. Uniform, I get that. Boots, I get that. All the rest of the shit...to hell with it!
Second thing about that magazine that made me laugh. It was a two page article or something like that. It was supposedly outlining what we needed to do to avoid losing this fight here in Afghanistan. It was written by some guy or gal, I don’t remember, who most likely makes a whole lot more money than I do. Yet, they said absolutely nothing that any lowly private who has spent more than 8 minutes outside the wire could tell you about this place. It just never ceases to amaze me where Americans get their information from. If you want to know about the economy, ask an economist. You want to know about Mexico, ask a Mexican (a real one). You want to know about being a shithead, ask a politician. You want to know about war, ask a soldier. You want to know about Afghanistan, ask someone who is either here or who has been here. Pretty simple if you ask me, but apparently I am operating in some parallel universe here.
So anyway, there is a little rumor floating around here that we are going to have to do some L&O (law and order) operations while we are here in Sharana. Holy shit, are you kidding me? There is no way in hell I am going to pull somebody over and give them a ticket here, or any where else in this country for that matter. But that would most certainly be, “What sucks the most.” So I guess that is probably what we are going to do. At least this will give me the chance to avenge that motherf$%#er who stopped me for shitting in the wrong place up in Bagram. I’ll probably nail somebody for...sorry I can’t think of anything sufficiently stupid to compare with the shitter incident.
Strange site # 1039: Observed in Sharana. One thing that the military stresses in a combat zone is noise and light discipline. Basically what that is, is not giving away your position by either being noisy or turning on the lights. Now on the FOB, there isn’t much point to either of those. The Taliban knows exactly where the fucking thing is. They saw it during the day. But they still do this, for the most part all the lights are out at night. I don’t know, maybe they think mortar rounds are like moths, attracted to light. Anyway, they have this other thing that I told you about earlier. Uniformity, especially on the FOB. So part of the uniform are these damn reflective belts, so that vehicles can see you as they move past. Now down at Waza Khwa we didn’t ever turn the vehicles lights on. Up here, is another story (fucking fobbits), so we have to wear these belts that basically turn us from camouflaged soldiers, into walking glow sticks. I don’t know, maybe on these big FOB’s this makes sense, but I am used to little ones that have Taliban around so this makes no sense to me. Why don’t we find something that our soldiers can wear that will make it easier for the enemy to see them? That’ll be a good idea!
Luckily, some other soldiers have a sense of humor about this and have taken to writing on these big yellow belts that reflect every light within 10 kilometers. They have begun to scrawl, “Can You See Me Now!” on the belts. If you ask me that is a properly rendered, “FUCK YOU” from the lower enlisted to whatever officer thought of this shit.
Oh, hey that reminds me of a story. I think you’ll like it.
One of my cousins, who will remain nameless, had this girlfriend. A girlfriend who had a monstrously huge ass. So one day I was making fun of the copious amounts of derriere meat that this woman had. I made the comment that her ass was so huge that during the last Verizon commercial the Verizon guy was walking on her ass saying, “Can You Hear Me Now...Good.”
Come on, that’s some good shit!
Anyway, I am bored again. I am going to watch Fight Club.
I love you Mom...
P.S. This is how bored I am, anyone that can decipher this sentence will get an Afghani Flag personally signed by yours truly!
ACTUAL SENTENCE SPOKEN BY MY PLATOON SERGEANT!
“Take the RG-31, the ASV, and five 1151’s down the MSR north and conduct a TCP. Try to take some EPW’s for the CO from A Co. Make sure you follow all of our TTP’s and watch your six. Watch out for IED’s, IDF, and SAF. Engage AAF only after establishing PID. SP is at 1300, RTB is at 1900. Conduct an SI check as soon as you get back and report to the PL for your debrief.”