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

Jun 18, 2009

Whatcha Got...

We had another one lose it today. Not a big deal, just a little breakdown. Nothing to write home about, and certainly nothing to write in a blog about, definitely not such a widely read blog as this. But I still felt the need to share a few things.

Guy cracked today. This sort of shit happens from time to time around here. Sooner or later everyone reaches their breaking point and they go a little loopy. Some of us yell and scream, some of us feign suicidal tendencies, some of us pout, some of us start fights, and still others reach out for help.

Unfortunately, this guy reached out for help. Who did he reach out to? Me. Why did he reach out to me? Fuck if I know, I guess its because I am such a wonderfully well adjusted person. (Sarcasm intended.)

So I had to talk this guy down. Gave him the standard line of shit. “This ain’t that bad, you’ll be alright, just keep your eyes on the prize, we’re almost gone.” All that kind of crap.

But I said something to him that I didn’t know I was thinking until the words actually left my lips. “Shit man, what the hell is going to faze you after this?”

Now this mutt is naturally high strung, which is definitely not a trait that lends itself to being in a line platoon in this war. So he had that stacked against him. Now did he hear anything I said? I don’t know. If I can say this without sounding callous, I don’t really give a shit. All I know is that at least for tonight he’s not going to dine on a bullet and that’s good enough for me. We’ll deal with what come tomorrow, tomorrow.

But I started to think about that statement. And then I started to read. I read some stuff from LT. Nixon, I read some stuff from GI Kate, I read some other shit that I came across while poking around the internet. There was a common thread throughout what I was reading. Oh, and it was all written by GI’s who were either deployed when they wrote it, or were recalling their time in the suck.

There was a lot of bitterness and animosity toward America, Americans, and the war. Which I suppose is justified. There is no way around the fact that unless you are directly affected by the war then you probably don’t really give a shit. There are exceptions but for the most part, that is the rule. Which explains the animosity toward America and Americans.

The part that didn’t sit quite right with me was the animosity toward the war. Now maybe my brain doesn’t work correctly, and if it is in good working order then it sure as hell doesn’t work anything like most of these guys and gals does.

Personally, I am thankful for the war. Why? There isn’t a thing in the world that can faze me anymore. Not a damn thing! Try getting under my skin. You better bring a lunch pal, cuz you are going to be working at it for a long, long time.

Forgive me, because some of this might sound like the delusions of a narcissistic personality, but whatever.

-I have been pushed to the absolute brink of human endurance. And that was before lunch on a Tuesday!

-I have been bombed while I was taking a dump.

-I have seen human beings with their limbs blown off.

-I have been paid a pittance for taking my very life and throwing it to chance for a piece of shit country (Afghanistan).

-I have watched civilian contractors make 4 times what I do for a quarter of the work and a tenth of the danger.

-I have seen little girls after the acid dried.

-Death has smiled at me. I smiled back and fired at him with a belt fed weapon!

I could do this all day!

But I won’t. Because I haven’t got a thing to prove. If I ever had something to prove, its been proven a hundred times over.

I can’t wait to get home. I can’t wait to attack the world that everyone back home seems to think is so damn tough.

One thing I love to read now is whining. Whining from job seekers because they can’t get work. Well pal, there are plenty of jobs in the US Army just waiting to get filled! If you don’t want to do that well then take on a few menial jobs. Work enough of them and you’ll make ends meet. My days are typically about 19-20 hours long with no overtime. Sometimes my work days last a week.

Whining from people about relationships and how hard they are. Try keeping a relationship going when you go away for a year at a time and come back a completely different person than when you left.

Whining about how your retirement is drying up. Tough shit. So you have to work. Quit crying and get moving. Don’t worry, a few more decades and I’ll be right there with you. Working!

Whining from the punk ass kids that are generation Y or the fucking millennials. Whining that they aren’t fulfilled by their jobs. Well, its a job it isn’t supposed to fulfill you. Its supposed to pay you! That’s it and that’s all. Job=Labor traded for money. Get it?

I’m probably being a little harsh, but you know what? The world is harsh. In the immortal words of Denis Leary, “Life’s tough, get a fucking helmet.”

So here I am. Currently serving as meat in the grinder. I can tell you for certain that unless someone is trying to kill you on a daily basis, unless you work in excess of 20 hours per day, unless you are confronted with a mountain of bureaucratic bullshit regularly, unless you are commanded by sadists with Napoleon complexes, unless you are tasked with doing with 10 what should be done 100, unless you are asked to work in a place where everyone wants you either dead or gone, and unless you can say yes to all of those conditions. Please...SHUT THE FUCK UP!

I take that back. Don’t shut the fuck up, keep talking. You’re entertaining me. I’ll listen. I’ll listen intently.

Why? Because I’ll be able to look at you and quietly laugh to myself. I don’t want to laugh at you, I really don’t. But until you’ve tried this shit for a while you just won’t understand.

But I have this war to thank for making me that much stronger. There isn’t a thing in the world that’s going to faze me now. It may sound sick, but for that I am thankful. So whatever it is, let's go. I'm sick of all the bitching, let's work. Whatcha got?

I’m done now.


I love you Mom...


  1. In working with veterans, one common theme is they just don't worry about the small stuff. And they have no respect or patience with whiners. The important things is, you realize this and are preparing yourself for what lies ahead back home. I hope yours is an easy transition. If not, give me a call and I’ll tell you to shut the fuck up - over a cold beer.

    Like your new title, too. You must have gotten it from some good looking, brilliant bilingual type person who knows everything and doesn‘t need silly help or advice from a mind numbing mundane sit like Google.

  2. That is why you are my heroes! And like Coffeypot said, "I hope yours is an easy transition. If not, give me a call and I tell you shut the f up, but over a shot of tequilla! :) Stay strong!

  3. I remember seeing the look in my son's eyes, when he returned from his first deployment. He is a different man, and that change in him is finite. As his mom, I can look deeper and always see my boy (that's what we moms do)!

    Coffeypot and Lori will tell you to shut the f up with liquor when you need to hear it, but as your virtuamom...I'll tell you let's meet at a baseball game and make a new memory, one filled with laughter (that's what we moms do)! We'll probably have a warm beer, too!
    Stay Strong!
    Pray Hard!

  4. Excellent post. Very well said.

  5. Granted I have not been in your shoes, but I've been in your parents' shoes. This war has too taught me not to sweat the small stuff. I found myself saying "in the big grand scheme of things, this is trivial." Along with "Put your big girl panties on and just do it!" Anyway, hang in there and stay strong. God Bless.
    Karen, Proud Army Mom

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