So I went and did it. I took the blog public again.
Now let’s be clear. I didn’t make this blog private because I had to. I did it because I buckled. I did it because I was scared. I did it because I was chicken shit. I don’t want to be chicken shit anymore.
How many voices from the front lines are out there. Fuck, where are the front lines? Oh yeah this is one of those creepily weird wars where there are no front lines. There are no uniforms on our enemies. There is nothing to tell friend from foe. There is no line in the sand.
I figured I would write this as a sort of reintroduction to me, and what I am, where I am, and what I am doing.
I’m a soldier.
I’m in Afghanistan.
I’m fighting the Taliban or al Qaeda, or whoever the hell is shooting at me at the moment.
When I started writing this it was simple. Tell stories about this place so that my family knows what the hell it is I am doing. Kind of like writing one letter for all of them as opposed to writing letters or emails to all of them. In short, it was a solution to my own laziness problem. And it worked out famously...for a while.
Then things went a little haywire.
People started reading my words and liking them. Sharing them. Forwarding them. Following them. Pretty soon I had a bunch of followers, and over 10,000 hits. Which was a little overwhelming to say the least.
Well, Uncle Sam didn’t really approve of the things that I wrote.
Suffice it to say, I called some people some things that I was fully justified in calling them, but some rule says that I can’t say that.
I was given a talking to from a senior ranking NCO, and I buckled.
I took it private so I could keep writing and keep talking the way that I wanted to. Because believe it or not the military has a rule against using profanity! I’m not kidding.
The most profane organization on earth, wants me to watch my mouth.
So I have been in Afghanistan now for a little over 7 months and I’ve got about 3 to go. I’ve seen pretty much all there is to see.
The shooting stars.
The machine gun blasts.
The IED strikes.
The flaming footballs that they throw at us. (RPG’s)
This whole thing is winding down for me now, and I just wanted to share the final days of this little adventure with the world. Mostly because I couldn’t stand the idea of having given in to their shit.
So what, if anything, do I think of this war? First of all, lets make one thing abundantly clear. I believe down to my very bones in defending my nation. Its my job, and I will do it. I have done it for over a decade, and I will be doing it for years to come. I look on being a soldier as so much more than politics. Politics don’t even enter the equation for me, when it comes to whether or not I will serve. I go where I am told, when I am told to go. That’s it.
You can call me a simpleton if you like, but I assure you I am not. My nation, is my nation regardless of who is running it. I have made a choice to stand up and defend her, and I will not apologize for that.
That being said, I do reserve the right to say whatever I like about how the military conducts its business, and I do reserve the right to criticize whatever I like about this war. If its fucked up. I am going to tell you its fucked up. Simple as that.
So here I sit, listening as the 155’s blast the living shit out of some far off place. Wondering if I was actually trying to go somewhere with this.
Oh yeah, what do I think of this war? Hell if I know. I’ll tell you what. I’ve written 435 typewritten, single spaced pages and 208,696 words about this shit so far and I still can’t make sense of it all. But we’ll get to that. Right now my mind has wandered home.
Stop thinking like that. We have too much shit to do before we leave. Not the time to lose focus. We’ve made it this far and everyone is still breathing. Don’t let your mind wander now and fuck that up.
Tomorrow is another day. One day closer to the door. One day closer to home. One more day where someone will try to kill me. One more day where we might go boom. One more day off the calendar. One more day...
Right now I am at one of the biggest FOB’s in country. I am pretty safe here. Relatively speaking of course. We are moving soon. Of course, why wouldn’t we be.
Its our final mission. Its going to be tough. It always is. The military could make a grilled cheese sandwich a tough mission. We’ve got about 2 months to go. Hopefully, I’ll have some time to process all of this and sort it out in my head.
But then there will come the day, when I get to say, “This is the day, its over.” But that’s not today. Today we found out about some fun new bombs the bad guys are using. I’ll let you know how that works out for us.
I love you Mom...
P.S. Somebody do me a favor. Find out how to write, “Embrace the suck.” in latin. That’ll be fun.