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 21, 2009

I Like This...

Dear Civilians,
'We know that the current state of affairs in our great nation has many civilians up in arms and excited to join the military. For those of you who can't join, you can still lend a hand. Here are a few of the areas where we would like your assistance:

1. The next time you see any adults talking (or wearing a hat) during the playing of the National Anthem -
kick their ass.

2. When you witness, firsthand, someone burning the American Flag in protest - kick their ass.

3. Regardless of the rank they held while they served, pay the highest amount of respect to all veterans. If you see anyone doing otherwise, quietly pull them aside and explain how these veterans fought for the very freedom they bask in every second.
Enlighten them on the many sacrifices these veterans made to make this nation great.
Then hold them down while a disabled veteran kicks their ass.

4. (GUYS) If you were never in the military, DO NOT pretend that you were. Wearing battle dress uniforms (BDUs) or Jungle Fatigues, telling others that you used to be 'Special Forces, collecting GI Joe memorabilia, might have been okay when you were seven years old.
Now, it will only make you look stupid and get your ass kicked.

5.. Next time you come across an *Air Force* member, do not ask them, 'Do you fly a jet?' Not everyone in the Air Force is a pilot.
Such ignorance deserves an ass-kicking (children are exempt).

6.If you witness someone calling the *US Coast Guard 'non-military', inform them of their mistake -
and kick their ass.

7. Next time Old Glory (the US flag) prances by during a parade, get on your damn feet and pay homage to her by placing your hand over your heart.
Quietly thank the military member or veteran lucky enough to be carrying her - of course,
failure to do either of those could earn you a severe ass-kicking.

8. Don't try to discuss politics with a military member or a veteran...
We are Americans, and we all bleed the same, regardless of our party affiliation. Our Chain of Command is to include our Commander-In-Chief(CinC). The President (for those who didn't know) is our CinC regardless of political party. We have no inside track on what happens inside those big important buildings where all those representatives meet. All we know is that when those civilian representatives screw up the situation, they call upon the military to go straighten it out.
If you keep asking us the same stupid questions repeatedly, you will get your ass kicked.

9. 'Your mama wears combat boots' never made sense to me - stop Saying it! If she did, she would most likely be a vet...
and therefore could kick your ass!

10. Bin Laden and the Taliban are not Communists, so stop saying 'Let's go kill those Commies!' And stop asking us where he is!
Crystal balls are not standard issue in the military. That reminds me- i
f you see anyone calling those damn psychic phone numbers, let me know...
so I can go kick their ass!

11. 'Flyboy' (*Air Force*), 'Jarhead' (*Marines),* 'Grunt' (*Army*), 'Squid' (*Navy*), 'Puddle Jumpers' (*Coast Guard*), Etc., are terms of endearment we use describing each other. Unless you are a service member or vet, you have not earned The right to use them.
Using them could get your ass kicked.

12. Last, but not least, whether or not you become a member of the military, support our troops and their families.
Every Thanksgiving and religious holiday that you enjoy with family and friends, please remember that there are literally thousands of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen far from home wishing they could be with their families.
Thank God for our military and the sacrifices they make every day.
Without them...
our country would get it's ass kicked..'

13.. If you ever see anyone either standing for or singing the national anthem in Spanish...
KICK THEIR ASS.

Apr 19, 2009

The Gay Trifecta...

Alright, so I had to share this story just because I have had nothing else to write about. This place has been incredibly boring. Not a thing has been happening since the infantry got here. Mostly due to the fact that they can’t get more than 8 kilometers outside the FOB without getting stuck. So they haven’t hit any IED’s and they haven’t run into Mr. Taliban Man yet. More the better for them, but boring for me.

As far as our little move is concerned, there is no news. Just the usual rumor mill bullshit. I have learned not to believe anything the military tells me until we are actually there and doing it. So until then I am not going to bore you with the myriad of shit floating around. So pretty soon (I hope) we are going to move from here (the 7th level of suck) to somewhere else (probably even deeper). And when we do move I am not going to be able to write regularly, nor do I even know if I will be able to write regularly when we get there so we’ll just play it by ear and see what happens. Its worked for me thus far, because if the first few months are any indication, these last few months should be absolutely hilarious.

Prior to telling you this story, I have to say that I hope you can take this for what it is. It is supposed to be funny. The subject matter is something that every GI who has ever been deployed knows all about, and probably has experienced something similar. Either way, because my mom is already going to have my ass for writing this post, I have to try and smooth things over ahead of time. I mean I am still going to tell the story, but there is nothing wrong with apologizing in advance. The way I figure it, my mom probably thinks about me doing this sort of thing the same way that I feel about my brother’s and my own conceptions. Same way she figures that “HER” wonderful son would never do such things. I still, and always will maintain that my brother and I were both immaculately conceived. No one but God is worthy!

And now on to my story...The Gay Trifecta.

Now I am not trying to say anything bad about gay people. I already told you, I love gay guys, less competition for women. Know what I mean. Another thing you have to understand, is the sexual frustration level of GI’s in combat zones. I mean we are setting world records for masturbation, and personal debauchery. We make a horny 8th grader look like an amateur. Anyway, sometimes when a GI comes across a particularly entertaining piece of pornography he feels that it is his duty to share this with his fellow comrades in arms.

Now in our case, because this is the computer age, our pornography is digitized. It makes it really easy to share, transport, and store. In addition the computer thing gives us a very easy way of circumventing the fact that pornography is illegal for us to possess and/or watch or do anything else with. (Per the US Army) I still can’t believe that the fucking Army outlawed porn. It’s a crazy world, isn’t it. In any case, it also allows some of us (myself included) to build epic collections.

Every now and then, a GI will show a piece of pornography that he feels is good, and then another soldier will come back with something like, “If you think that is good, watch this!” I think its related to my “Fuck you, watch this” thing, but we don’t have time for that now.

So in my barracks this evening was something akin to the exact situation I have described above. So one of my buddies shows something that he feels is good, and I retort, “If you think that shit is good, watch this!” So he comes on down, and due to the fact that I am most likely the loudest person in southern Afghanistan so does the rest of the guys in the barracks. (Porn is kind of like the dinner bell here.)

So I have about 5 guys standing around my cot while I punch up this particular piece of erotic entertainment. I hit play, and the show begins. Now as the movie begins a rather attractive young lady wearing a black bikini walks into the screen.

First thing I hear from a sergeant on my left is, “That is the ugliest bikini I ever saw!” Gay strike number one. I mean who does that? Guys, help me out, who the hell notices what the girl is wearing even if you are going to the prom, much less watching porn! The look of disbelief on my face must’ve been priceless.

Alright, moving on. Next and in order to save the gory details let’s leave it at this, there is “oral” being performed by this nice young lady, and for the sake of the story I have to tell you this, otherwise these words would never leave my pen...this dude was “well endowed”.

So...as we are watching this spectacle the next thing I hear from this sergeant is...wait for it... ”thats a hell of a cock” Okay, now I am getting nervous. Gay strike number two. Really? Why wouldn’t he say that? How gay can one guy be, all at one time? I mean full on, Liberachi gay. I am waiting for this guy to start serenading me with show tunes. And he is standing right next to me watching porn no less. (Good God, do we need to get home)

Well, he managed to get through the rest of the “entertainment” without saying anything else that would betray his sexuality. However, due to the fact that there was a well endowed male in this movie (and this is the most disturbing part) all the guys around were talking about “it”. Now in their defense they were more commenting on the nice young lady’s admirable handling of “it” But its still creepy. So in response to the comments on the aforementioned equipment, another one of my buddies that was there says, and I quote, “That’s not a cock, that’s nothing, come on down here, I’ll show you a cock!”

...Gay strike number three, swung on by batter number two! Where the hell am I? What level of suck is this? Did I slip through some wormhole into an episode of the Twilight Zone? And this came from a guy who is married and has a kid. I mean he has procreated, isn’t that the ultimate confirmation of your heterosexuality? Apparently not! And with that the gay trifecta was hit, and this post got its title.

I wrote that story not only for the humorous value, but also because I needed to get that off my chest and out of my head. I already deleted that movie, because if I ever tried to watch it again all I would hear was a symphony of, “Ugly bikini, helluva cock, and I’ll show you a cock.” So needless to say, I have a little extra space on my external hard drive for...MORE PORN!

So I guess it all works out in the end.

Later,

I love you Mom...and (in advance) I’m sorry.

Who Put That There...

So apparently, Mr. Taliban man is getting just a tad bolder than usual. Normally, he has set up his little exploding presents far away from our house. I mean he sets them up in places he knows, or at least thinks we might drive over, but never close to the house.

Well, today we found one. We found one about 100 meters from our front door. We found one right on the street. We found one right where we walk just about every other day. Can you imagine what kind of day I would’ve had if we hadn’t found it.

Now we have to sit on this thing until some big wig up in Sharana (the place where all the big wigs live) tells us whether or not we can disarm this thing or if we are going to detonate it in place. I am all for detonation in place. These fucking people want to let them set up IED’s right next to our FOB, then we’ll blow them up right in the middle of all their homes and businesses. It’s unfortunate, but I am beginning to think that the only thing that some of these people understand is pain and suffering. They will support whoever it is that causes them more if they disobey.

This truly sucks. Damn thing is no more than a stone’s throw from where I sleep. Which is entirely too close for me, and there is no way that the Taliban get one of these that close without the cooperation, or at least quiet consent of the people in the village. So let’s put a hurting on them. Maybe its time to show them that fucking with us is a whole lot more damaging than cooperating with the Taliban. Maybe its time to turn this country into a glass factory. Maybe its time to show these people why its a bad idea to fuck with us.

This is one of those times when my brain gets a bit wrapped around the axle. They tell us that we have to be good to the locals. They tell us that we have to win hearts and minds. They tell us that we are ambassadors of American good will. They tell us that not all of the Afghanis are our enemies.

Then they do this. They set a bomb. Ten steps out our fucking front door. I guess when they were out in the desert they didn’t bother me so much. At least when they were out there I could say to myself that these guys (the ones right here) didn’t have anything to do with it. At least I could tell myself that at least not these guys. At least they aren’t trying to kill us. At least there might be some shred of goodness in these fucks.

I guess my naivete is showing. Nope, its my never ending desire to actually believe in that inherent goodness in human nature that I was always told about when I was a kid. I don’t know.
You see, the IED’s that we run into when we are out and about driving around are one thing. They blow trucks up. Trucks that are specifically designed to take a blast. So its almost as if it is a game. We’ll set them, and you guys drive around and we’ll see if we can put them where you’ll hit them. So far we have hit seven or so of them. Worst that happened was one guy got a broken leg. Which, if you ask me, worked out for him. He got to go home and nurse a broken leg, but the key is that he got to go home.

This one on the other hand, if it had not been found, would’ve killed someone, probably a few of us, and would’ve wounded a bunch more. Maybe sent a detached arm or leg flying this way or that. How much fun would that be, send that package home to mom. Wait let me back up. This one was not an IED set to hit a vehicle, this one was laid on a walking patrol route. This one was meant to hit soldiers as they walked by. No armor, no vehicles, just the bullet proof vests that the army had made by the lowest bidder. So yeah, someone would’ve been going home in a bag had this one gone boom.

Uh, anger level rising. Faith in humanity, diminishing. Respect for human life, almost gone. Not to mention, apparently the new company doesn’t want to accept its responsibility for this area of operations and is making us sit on this fucking thing until EOD shows up. Probably in a few days. Until then we have to sit on this thing and watch so that no one sets the fucker off. Fun all around.

Well, I guess there is only one way of looking at all of this anymore. This cannot help but change my perspective on this whole thing just because they set this one right under our noses. To hell with them. To hell with all of them. To hell with this country, and to hell with everyone in it. Maybe I am the only one who thinks about this, this way. If that is the case, that’s cool with me. It doesn’t change the fact that the people of this country, more specifically the fuck sticks here in Waza Khwa, allowed the Taliban to set an IED right in our backyard. An IED that if it had gone off would’ve sent at least a few of us home in boxes, and a few more home minus some limbs. Or I could be wrong and no one would’ve gotten hurt, and it would’ve been nothing more than a loud boom, and a big scare. Either way, they set it so damn close.

See, this is why I hate wars with religious nut jobs, and I hate wars where the guys I am supposed to find and kill look just like the people that I am supposed to give blankets and candy to. This is why I hate wars that are fought with sack of shit, cowardly, wackos who refuse to face us toe to toe. Well if nothing else, this serves as a breakthrough for us. At least now we know where the Taliban are. They are right outside our fucking door. They probably work on the FOB picking up our trash, and washing our clothes. They probably watch us all day and night from just outside our house. Watching, counting, plotting, mapping, and whatever the hell else they do.

Maybe I am just being chickenshit. I don’t know, I guess its possible. Then again, maybe I am the only one who understands the secret of life. What is the secret of life, you ask? NOT DYING. Thats the whole point. Do whatever you have to do to live as long as you can.
That, and just recently after we moved into our new barracks down here on the ghetto end of the FOB, I noticed something on the wall. It’s a picture drawn by one of the countless GI’s that have inhabited this place since the beginning of this war. Its a picture of a mountain of skulls, with the Afghani countryside in the background. Underneath the picture is a cryptic Latin phrase. What is the phrase? Memento Mori. For those of you who don’t know Latin, that means “Remember that you will die, or Remember that you are mortal.” Well thanks a lot asshole, if there is one thing that I don’t need to be reminded of here its my own mortality. But I gotta admit, its a pretty well done picture.

Well all I can really hope for is that we get the fuck out of here as quickly as possible. Then the last few months I am slated to spend in this God forsaken shit hole of a country, go by quicker. Maybe if I get really lucky, that time will be spent in a perpetual state of absolute boredom. No booms, no gunshots, no nothing. Is that too much to ask? Yeah, it probably is. You know how it is, whatever sucks the most!

Alright, I’m done.

Later,

I love you Mom...

Who Put This Bag Of Trash On My Doorstep...

So it finally came down. The biggest bag of ass in the history of the war in AssCrackIstan. Well top 5 at least.

Let me say this first, if in the next few weeks you don’t see a lot of posts, don’t get worried. I already have my cousin tasked out with posting my “Death Letter” in the event of my premature demise. So unless you see that don’t get your panties in a bunch.

Secondly, here’s what’s going on. We have to move. I know that I told you that already, but we have to move someplace new. Someplace that is the epitome of suck. But we’ll get to that later. Suffice it to say, that the next few months of my life are either going to be very interesting or the most uneventful ever.

So sometime in the next week or so, depending on the weather, we’ll be moving out of Waza Khwa. Where are we going? Khost and Paktya. Look those up on the internet, I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun with that. I sure as hell did. Those are the provinces that we have to go to anyway, where we are actually going is anyone’s guess. I am pretty sure that the guys who are in charge of this clusterfuck don’t even know where the hell we are going. I can’t help but envision some general sitting behind his mahogany desk with some lieutenant standing there with a map of Afghanistan on his head, and the general just launching darts with my company’s name on it at said map.

Well, why are we leaving? Once again, I don’t know for sure but I’ll give you what we know thus far. There are these teams here, they are called ETT’s. Or Embedded Training Teams. Their job is to basically live and work with the local police and military units and teach them how to be cops and soldiers. Now given the fact that I am a military policeman I’ll give you three guesses which one of those we are going to be living and working with. Yep, the cops, and good Lord do I ever hate cops. They have always pissed me off, always saying things that are such a buzz kill. Things like, “Put down that television, you’re under arrest.” or “Stop or I’ll shoot.” You know shit like that.

Like I said, we have to go up to Khost and Paktya and hunker down and live with these pricks and teach them how to be coppers. Fun for us. However, this will offer us a whole new level of autonomy. Which, anyone who has ever been in the military knows, is a good thing. You can never be far enough away from your higher chain of command. But that autonomy comes with drawbacks. The farther away you get, the less support you can get. Basically, you are on your own.

So we are going to head out to some remote COP, which if you have been keeping up is nothing more than a baby FOB. It’ll be a FOB when it grows up but for the time being it has to learn by being a COP. I wish I could tell you more, but I don’t know any more. I guess I’ll just have to write as we go, and post it all at once when we get to wherever the hell it is we are going. I am pretty sure that this is a case of some asshole up in headquarters, who was trying to put together an engine, only when he was done he had a whole bunch of important looking parts left over, and now he is trying to figure out where the hell they go! But that’s just my opinion.

Moving on, there has been absolutely nothing going on here for what seems like an eternity but is probably only like a few days. Other than the new guys getting stuck every 10 feet, not a damn thing has been going on. Lazy days, if there is such a thing in the army. More like, leaders make up shit for your soldiers to do, and soldiers invent new and creative reasons not to do it, or soldiers find new and inventive places to hide so that the leaders cannot tell you what it is they made up for you to do.

But at least last night we got to tape up some trash and set it on the platoon daddy’s doorstep, then we knocked and ran away. Kind of an Afghani deployment version of ding-dong-ditch. Don’t try to pretend you never played that game when you were a kid. So what if I’m thirty, my maturity level is roughly that of a fifteen year old horn dog, so what the hell.

Here’s what we did. So one of our chicks was walking through our barracks, she decided to take and give one of our GI’s a titty twister, or a purple nurple, if you know what I mean.

Side note: For those of you who don’t know, a titty twister or a purple nurple is when one person grasps the nipple of another person between their thumb and forefingers, squeezes tightly, and twists in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction, causing intense pain to the recipient. This is also how doctors and medical professionals check for responsiveness in comatose and unconscious patients. The pain level borders on unbearable. In addition, this act has been known to cause vicious bruising in the areola area, giving rise to the moniker “purple nurple” Referencing the color of said nipple after completion of the act, and using a combination of the words, purple and nipple.

And we’re back. So she gives this guy a titty twister, and given the military’s rather draconian rules about sexual harassment and shit, he couldn’t give it back. I truly hate that shit. Maybe I’m wrong, it’s possible. But I would never, ever hit or harm a woman...first. And I certainly would never abuse a woman, and if you met some of the women that I have dated and/or married in my life you might wonder how I was able to control myself. I mean any woman who would sock you, deserves to get a knuckle sandwich. I don’t understand that sentiment, that women are above getting hit. I was always taught never to start fights, I was taught to finish them. I don’t know where I heard it but someone once said, “Hey if she’s big enough to hit, then she’s big enough to get hit back!” The same principle applies here. She gives titty twister, she should be prepared for one in return. C’mon ladies, if you want equality, let’s get serious!

Alright, enough of that. That was my political statement for today. So anyway, she tries to get out of the barracks before we get a hold of her, but she fails...epically. We shut both doors, lock them and start to close in on her. (I know it sounds creepy, but it’s not) We grab her, by her arms and legs, and throw her down on one of the beds. (Alright, now its starting to sound like the rape scene from “The Hills Have Eyes 2, but I digress) And we proceed to get some duct tape and wrap her arms and legs until she can’t move. We have her arms pinned to her chest like she is praying really hard, and we have duct tape around her calves, and thighs and another line going around her knees and her back, pulling her into the fetal position.

Now that that is finished, we have to decide what the hell to do with her. I mean as much fun as it would be we can’t really keep a taped up female in the barracks with us. Sooner or later we would have to feed her and let her out to do her business, and on top of that she (if the cliche holds true) would never shut the fuck up. Not to mention, how would we ever be able to have company with that in our house?

So we decided to drop her off at the platoon daddy’s door. Let him deal with it. Besides, it might be fun for him. What guy hasn’t dreamed about having a duct taped chick set on your doorstep? Granted it probably wasn’t this female that he was dreaming about (she kinda looks like a hobbit) but we have to work with what we have.

Now our barracks is at one end of the FOB, and the platoon daddy’s is at the other. Usually when I am walking from one end of the joint to the other it is not what anyone would call physically taxing. However, given the fact that now I have a 120 pounds of pissed off hobbit on my shoulder, it became infinitely trying.

It’s probably 150 meters from our front door to his. So here I go, carrying this sack of estrogen from one end of the FOB to the other. Oh, happy day! Normally I would consider myself to be a fairly strong guy. Nothing special, by no means a bodybuilder, but certainly stronger than your average bear. I had to put this little shit down like 3 times on the way. Huffing and puffing the whole damn way. In my own defense, she is wiry and she put up a helluva fight before succumbing to the tape. So I was already worn out from that.

Finally, after several heart attacks and hernia’s we finally get her to his door. After passing by all the infantry guys from the new company on the way there. Which was hilarious all by itself. You see infantry is one of those jobs that is closed to females. So these guys are not used to seeing women in combat zones. When they do, they immediately turn from your average infantryman which is not saying much, but at least you can take them out into public. However, show them a woman in a combat zone and they become a pack of drooling idiots. Watching them as I was walking by with this chick all taped up, on my shoulder you could just see the porno movie playing in all of their heads. It was priceless. (Well its their own damn fault for joining the infantry. Why would anyone want a job that keeps you completely away from females? Really, are you fucking high?)

So we lay her down in front of his door, at least she cooperated and kept her mouth shut so as to not alert the platoon daddy to our presence. Which, as we all know, is amazing, given females penchant for running their mouths.

Then we knocked insistently on the door, and ran away like a bunch of sixth graders who had just left a burning bag of shit on the stoop. (Oh yeah, I love that one.)

Shortly thereafter as we are walking down main street we hear the platoon daddy bellow from behind us, “Who left this pile of trash on my doorstep?” (Ah, apparently he knows our females all too well.) And my partner, stupidly, looks back and laughs. Okay, dickhead thanks a lot, now he knows who did it.

Now I was expecting a reprisal from him, but I didn’t expect what I got. He picked her up, without removing the tape, and brought her all the way back and tossed her on my bed. (Yep, there’s that porno movie in my head again.)

He looked at me, panting from the strain, and said, “You take your own damn trash out, don’t dump it on me.” Touche.

But that is about all that has been going on, a lot of sitting around, a lot of movies, we even started writing a song. I’ll share that one with you when its done.

So with that I am done.

Later,

I love you Mom...

P.S. We did let her out of all the tape.

Apr 8, 2009

Why Wouldn't We...

So let me tell you about my night last night. I was on QRF. Quick Reaction Force, or the guys who have to go out there and get the other guys if they get blown up, shot at, or stuck.

So about 2000 hrs they call us up and tell us that our guys are in a T.I.C. About 10 clicks outside the FOB. (T.I.C.= Troops In Contact or in layman’s terms they are getting shot at.) They don’t need us to go out there and help them, they want us to take a mortar team out about 4 clicks and provide security while they set up and rain death, destruction, bombs, and fire on these Taliban fucks.

No problem, I got this. So we jump in the trucks, get all our shit ready, and we roll out. We get about 3 clicks outside the FOB and here’s what happened...

This new company is nothing but infantry so they are used to walking everywhere that they have to go. However, in this country given the vast amounts of land we have to cover there is no choice but to drive. So they are driving one of those MRAPS that I told you about. Now when driving in this country there is one cardinal rule here. No matter what happens, no matter what you do, no matter what is going on, you never leave the tracks of the vehicle in front of you. Simple rule if you ask me. We have this rule so that if something goes boom, it only gets the first truck and doesn’t have a chance to damage the rest of them. That’s why we put those big ass MRAPS in front. They can take the blast and keep right on going, so it would stand to reason that we would want them to hit all the IED’s. (I understand this hardly ever happens, but it is what is supposed to happen.)

Anyway, so there is our MRAP in front leading the way, and then another MRAP with the new company’s mortar team in it. So we are driving along at a good clip, we are going to get there in time to bring all these mortars right down on the Taliban’s heads. So my day was getting better by the minute. We were about 1000 meters from where we wanted to set this shit up. And their MRAP driver decides that he is afraid of the puddle that our MRAP had just driven through, so he swerves off to the left.

I’ll give you three guesses what happened. If you guessed that the MRAP fell into a hole that buried the entire front wheels and tipped this thing so far to the left that the bottom of the drivers side door was touching the ground. (the ground clearance on an MRAP is like 3 feet) Stuck. Bigger than shit, stuck. Why wouldn’t we get stuck?

Well not a big deal really, we’ll just pull the other MRAP around and have it pull that big ass vehicle out. So our MRAP turns around and guns the gas to get over a little hill, then pulls out into the field next to the stuck MRAP, stops to back up a bit to get into position to pull the other one out, and what happens. It sinks down a little bit, the driver guns the engine and promptly buries that MRAP. Why wouldn’t we get two MRAPs stuck?

So now we are completely stuck. In the terrain we’ve got here there is no way that a humvee can pull one of these gigantic MRAPs out. So we have to call for the big dog. The HEMMT. I have no idea how to spell it, but that’s how you say it. Basically, the HEMMT is the Army’s tow truck. 8 wheel drive, humungous vehicle, crane equipped with a bunch of other nifty little bells and whistles that make this thing by far and away the biggest vehicle we’ve got, and allow it to recover with relative ease any truck we can get stuck. I mean this thing can pick a humvee up off the ground with its crane. Why wouldn’t we need this big bitch for a routine mission that only took us so far out that I could walk back to the FOB in the same amount of time it would take me to watch one episode of “How I Met Your Mother”?

Then they spin up two more teams, two more trucks and the recovery team with the HEMMT. They get outside the FOB and are on their way to get us. However, whoever was running this little convoy forgot how to work his equipment (spray on?) and had himself a hard time directing these guys directly to us.

Now, on to our next debacle. So far we have gotten quite a few vehicles stuck, what haven’t we done? We have yet to get anyone hurt. Well, ladies and gentlemen, we will remedy that shortfall quickly. So the driver of 1-1’s truck decides that he is going to “Dukes Of Hazzard” a hole in the route, you know hit it really fast and fly over it. I wonder if he realized that the Dukes drove a Charger and he is driving a government bought, lowest bidder built humvee? But I digress. Either way, he hits this hole, sends the humvee careening over it, and his rather unfortunate gunner, who was facing the rear at the time and did not see this coming, was bounced around like a drunk coed at a fraternity party. The force of the landing promptly injured the poor lad’s neck, and back. So they had to stop once again, and change out the gunners so that this guy could see the medic. Why wouldn’t we get someone hurt?

But at long last they came over the hills and we saw their lights. Then we saw their lights stop moving. Why would they stop moving? I didn’t know. I was curious, so I got on the radio. My call sign is 1-3 Charlie, my buddy ‘spray on’ who is running the other convoy is 1-1 and here’s how this exchange went.

1-1 this is 1-3 Charlie, over.

1-3 Charlie this is 1-1 go ahead.

Roger, 1-1 I see your lights, but they are not moving. Do you want a flare so that you can mark our position?

Roger that, 1-3 Charlie. (I shoot a pen flare into the air)

1-3 Charlie this is 1-1 I see your flare, we have your position, but we have another problem.

1-1 This is 1-3 Charlie, what’s that?

1-3 Charlie, be advised the HEMMT is stuck!

1-1 This is 1-3 Charlie, can you say again. (I heard him, I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t crazy)

1-3 Charlie this is 1-1, I say again, the HEMMT is stuck.

Roger that 1-1, Whatever sucks the most right?

That’s a good copy 1-3 Charlie, why wouldn’t we get the HEMMT stuck?

This is 1-3 Charlie, roger, why wouldn’t we? 1-3 Charlie Out!

So that is how that little conversation went. Now its about 2130 hrs and let’s take stock of how our evening has gone so far. Our guys started getting shot up, we moved out to give them mortar support (so far so good), then we get one MRAP stuck, then we get the other MRAP stuck, then we send out the one vehicle that is never supposed to get stuck and what do we do? We get it stuck! Why wouldn’t we?

Let’s take stock here, shall we. We have gotten 3 trucks stuck, and injured (unnecessarily) one soldier, and we haven’t even seen an Afghani, much less a Taliban! Only we could create such a goat fuck out of something so simple. Why wouldn’t we create a goat fuck?

So now we are really fucked. We are basically just a rather large target sitting out there not going anywhere. And it’s getting cold, and I am getting cranky. I am missing my beauty sleep, and if the pictures are any indication I need all the sleep I can get. So we sat...and we sat...and we sat...until the guys who had been getting all shot up got back. Why wouldn’t we need the guys who just got shot up to help us get our asses unstuck?

Now they get there, they take one of their trucks over to the HEMMT and try to pull it out. Now we are in business, we have enough trucks here to pull an aircraft carrier. So they hook their winch up to the HEMMT to try and anchor it and give it some traction to get out of the hole it was in. Apparently, the HEMMT was buried a little bit deeper than we thought. And the HEMMT pulled the other truck straight into the ground and buried it! So now we got another one stuck. And its about 2200, so between the hours of 2000 and 2200 we have managed to bury 4 trucks. All of which are within pissing distance of the FOB. Why wouldn’t we get 4 trucks stuck a stone’s throw outside the FOB?

So here I am, looking around and the huge clusterfuck of which I am a part, and I can’t help but smile. Alright, so the night continued on as what has now turned into 70 soldiers all trying to drag one or more of these 4 stuck trucks out of the muck. (That was a little poetic.) So luckily, after about an hour they managed to get one truck unstuck, then another and another until all 4 trucks are out of the shit, and up onto the road. So now we turn around and head home.

Could we manage to get home with no hiccups? Are you kidding?

Now remember that we are only 3 clicks from the FOB, and you can actually see the lights from where we are sitting. Kind of a “drive toward the light” thing, we have going here. We made one mistake, we allowed the new company to lead us home. Why wouldn’t we let the guys who have no idea where they are or where they are going lead us home.

So they drive us, at least in the general direction of the lights, but then they start leading us away from the gate and around the back of the FOB. Why wouldn’t they?

Well instead of waiting on those guys we peeled out of the convoy and drove our way home. Now finally, we are back, we are refueled, we have the vehicles parked and I finally lay down in my bed...wait for it...

My squad leader busts into my room, shakes me awake, and tells me that somebody lost a hand grenade in one of the trucks and we needed to find it. A perfect end, to a perfect evening, why wouldn’t somebody lose a fucking grenade?

Why wouldn’t we do all of that shit? Really, why wouldn’t we?

Anyway, I am done now.

Later,

I love you Mom...

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.

Later,

I love you Mom...

Mud Race 2009...

So its been raining for like the last week. (Be advised these events precede Pigpen’s explosive hummer!) Now this country is nothing more than a rather large sandbox with really big mountains all over the damn place. I haven’t seen pavement or any sort of developed road since I left Bagram the last time. So needless to say, what do you get when you add water to sand/dirt? You get mud.

And what is it that we do around here? We drive around looking for the Taliban, and finding IED’s. Fun for us. Yet, more so now that the entirety of our section of this country has been turned into a rather large soupy mess! Now anyone who knows the ridiculously adolescent and immature outlook on life that the majority of soldiers have, along with their complete disregard for the situation that they are in, understands that this is a recipe for a whole lot of fun, and a lot of headaches for the senior leadership.

So they give us humvees, this country gives us mud and mountains, and we provide the stupidity. Here you have 10 humvees and this gigantic MRAP. Which is a “mine resistant something or another” The thing is about 15 feet tall, with a wheel base of about 8 or 9 feet (ish). These measurements are approximate. Anyway, they are not proportionate, and this thing swings from left to right with every little bump, to the point where there has been more than one gunner who has had to puke into a gatorade bottle in order to finish the ride. (Yeah, imagine the self control it takes to actually puke into a gatorade bottle.) Not to mention, this thing weighs like 38,000 pounds. It’s huge, and cumbersome, and basically a big, rolling brick of steel. Then they throw these rollers on the front of it. Mine sweeping is what these rollers are for. The idea being that they rollers will hit the mines before we do and then the explosion won’t hit the vehicle dead on. Which to me, defeats the purpose of building this big bitch in the first place. Its supposed to be able to take like a 1000 pound blast. Either way, the rollers hinder the movement of an already titanic vehicle.

Well, they give us all of that, and send us out to play. Now getting stuck in the muck around here is a constant worry because all that happens when we get stuck is we give the Taliban a good, long time to zero in on our position and figure out just how they are going to ruin our day! So moving is always better than being stuck. On top of that we have a lieutenant who has a real phobia about using the roads around here. I know that we shouldn’t use them, we haven’t used them at all in the months that we have been here. Its gotten to the point that the Taliban have started putting the IED’s off the road. Which makes off road driving all the more fun. So a choice has to be made. What is more important, staying off the road, or keeping your element from getting stuck?

Our lieutenant decided that keeping us away from the road was more important. Personally, with that MRAP in the lead and those rollers leading it, I would’ve kept our asses on the road. We’ve already proven several times over that all of our trucks can take an IED blast. So what the hell. (Kind of disturbing how cavalier I’ve gotten about IED’s, but whatever.)

So we stayed away from the road. We went out when there was a break in the weather. So we left with no rain falling, plenty already on the ground, but none falling. We got a weather report from our battalion saying that we should have been good for about 8 hours or so without rain.

So...when did it start raining?

About 8 minutes after we left. Army meteorologists apparently suck. Imagine that!

First problem, the turret is basically nothing more than a big circular hole in the roof of the truck. Sucks for the gunner because his head and upper torso are basically getting pelted with every drop of rain there is. But it also sucks for the guys on the inside because the rain is also coming down into the truck, along with whatever drips off the gunner. This also sucks for the gunner when he has someone like me driving for him, because as the rain falls and the puddles form, for some unexplained reason my foot gets really heavy and I hit those puddles (which are about a foot deep and about 20 feet squared) going about 35-40 miles per hour, or at least as fast as all the rest of the mud will allow. Which causes a tidal wave to reach up above the truck and smash the gunner with a face full of what I like to call Afghani douche!

Next problem, some people don’t know how to drive. I’ll admit that I drive recklessly, I take a lot of unnecessary chances, I don’t obey traffic laws or military regulations, and I put the truck in whatever gear allows for my arm to rest comfortably on the console, as opposed to the gear it should be in. However, I never get stuck, and I haven’t hit an IED yet. (Wait one, while I find some wood to knock on.) Nevertheless, there are people here who couldn’t drive if they were possessed by the spirit of Dale Earnhardt.

Then there is the ever present worsening of conditions as we are driving and it is raining harder and harder. The fun never ends, in this case, mother nature went so far as to make it better for me.

So there are three guys, myself included, who are rather large. We got one tipping the scales at 280, me clocking in at 260, and another guy weighing in at 240. Big boys. Anyway, we have assigned a few affectionate nicknames to the lot of us. The 280 guy, he is “Fat Bitch”, the 240 guy, he is “Fat Shit” and then there’s me, “Fat Fuck” This is just what military guys do, we find the weakest point in anyone’s appearance and we exploit it for the sake of comedy. Probably not real good for everyone’s self esteem but hey, fuck them guys. Riding in a truck with any one of these guys pretty much guarantees that you are going to set off all the IED’s within a mile of where we are standing. But whatever.

I tell you that, so that the following will make some sense. So I was driving, and Fat Bitch was gunning. Which makes for one of the more hilarious trucks ever to leave the FOB. We set off IED’s that we didn’t even drive over because the weight of the truck shook the ground for miles around. (Kidding)

Anyway, myself and this big motherfucker are driving around. And he and I are just mercilessly making fun of each other for being fat. Which is probably one of the stupidest things you’ll ever see, one fat guy making fun of another fat guy, for being...fat. What the fuck is that?

So as we are making fun of each other, I decide that I will use my position as the driver of this truck to punish this fat bastard. (Yeah, another fat joke) Now I have told you previously that the terrain in Afghanistan is probably the worst in the world. Nothing but huge hills and mountains, with jagged rocks and wadis, followed by large valleys that are nothing more than sand dunes with soft sand everywhere and the artificial bumps made by the locals to separate one pile of shit from the next. And all the accompanying shit that goes with that sort of terrain. Rocks, holes, ravines, canyons, goats, sheep, and donkeys... So needless to say its a bumpy ride.

Now the driver can be kind to his gunner, because we all know that speed is your enemy when you are hitting bumps. Or you can do what I did.

Which is hit every dip, every bump, every crevice, every rock, every thing on and around the road with as much speed as the convoy will allow. Now in a truck that weighs in excess of 17,000 pounds, even going 30 miles per hour is an adventure. Not to mention the brakes on this truck that I was driving had just been replaced. So they worked REALLY well. When you hit a bump at 30 miles per hour and then race up to the ass end of the vehicle in front of you and do a brake check where you stop this big ass truck in about 10 meters worth of space, what happens to the gunner is unfortunate, but hilarious.

This big mother was flopping around in the turret like a pinball. Every bump sent his upper torso flailing this way and that, bouncing his helmeted skull off the gun several times, knocking his body into the walls of the turret and just generally throwing him around like a rag doll.

Finally he got pissed off enough that he picked his foot up as if to kick me in the side of the head. I sensed the incoming blow and swerved to the left and slammed on the brakes all at once. Which sent this fat bitch careening head first into the turret and causing him to lose his balance and completely fall over and actually sit down inside the truck with a loud, resounding THUD!

He immediately released a stream of profanity that probably would’ve offended Caligula. To which I responded by calmly turning to face him, looking him dead in the eye, gauging the caliber of his rage, smiling cockily, and saying, “You aren’t going to do that again, now are you?”

So I laid off the bumps and shit for the remainder of the ride, but as I said before the rain had began to saturate the landscape and the puddles, which at home would be called ponds had begun to form. Now instead of bouncing him around the turret, I figured it had been a long day and he must be thirsty by now. I started hitting every one of these puddles that we came across. Hitting them with ever increasing speed and frequency. To the point where I think what was happening to him was somewhat akin to being water boarded. By the time he had caught his breath from getting hit with the first wave of water, he was getting blasted with the next.

Suffice it to say, he was really pissed! Fun for me.

He climbed back into the turret and continued his pinball like day. We finally made it back and he probably needed a chiropractor and a Swedish masseuse.

So that is it, this is what we do. We are here supposedly fighting a war, and what do we end up doing? Using the war machines that the US Army supplies us with the endlessly entertain our rather juvenile brains by torturing an unsuspecting and undeserving gunner. Well, he shouldn’t be making fun of me! Game, set, match...Mud Puppy.

Anyway, at least it was a fun day. Life is way too short to be pissed off all the time.

Later,

I love you Mom...