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

Nov 7, 2010

Its Like I Never Left...

So its surprising just how good one can be made to feel just by being in the presence of those with whom you went through so much.
Translation:  It felt really good to be back with my boys for the weekend.
What the fuck am I talking about?  I had drill this weekend.  Normally, drill weekends are comprised of me running this way and that trying like hell to get out of any and all work that they have for me to do.  Finding new, and wonderful hiding places to stay out of the line of fire.
Its just what we do.  Its how the game is played.  The officers give the NCO’s jobs to be completed and the NCO’s in turn get us (the lower enlisted) to do these jobs.  That’s how it works on the way down.  When you look at it from the other end you get this...
Lower enlisted soldiers basically do anything and everything they possibly can to get out of doing anything, while the NCO’s chase them around like the whacked out mother of a particularly rambunctious toddler, and then they offer up a million well crafted “reasons” why the particular task was not completed to an officer who most likely doesn’t understand any of what is happening around him/her any damn way!
But there was one significant difference between this weekend and all the others over the past year.  I was back with the good ole’ 333rd Military Police Company.  I left my other company because they dicked me out a promotion.  (No need to get into all those gory details.  Suffice it to say, I felt like a brand new 105 lb. kid in prison!)  But I made it back to the company with which I went to Afghanistan.
How did it work out?  IT WAS LIKE I NEVER FUCKING LEFT!!!
Flowed right back into the old act.  We laughed, we joked, we told stories about the suck.  We reminded each other of all the crazy, dangerous, laughable, hilarious, and downright whacky things we did over there.
We talked like old friends.  For me it was like time had frozen and we were just picking right back up where we left off and that made me very happy.  Like a puppy with two peters.  (A doughnut to whoever can tell me what movie that’s from!)
I talked to one guy in particular.  The ninja.  If you remember him.  And we started chatting about how things had changed in our world views since we got back.  I went into my traditional, tripping over your dick description of what I’ve been feeling since I got back...well nothing grabs me anymore, nothing gets my engine running, yada yada yada.
He just sat there smiling at me and waiting patiently for me to finish running my mouth.  I wrapped it up with a, “You understand what I’m saying?”
To which he responded, “Nothing feels very important anymore, does it?”  (dramatic pause as I stared at him incredulously) “Don’t feel special or anything, I think everybody feels that way!”
Talk about your moments of relief.  I knew that there were a lot of guys that felt the way that I do, and were having a lot of the same issues that I was having.  But I’ll tell you what, it didn’t mean shit up until the ninja told me that he was feeling the same way.
Misery loves company I guess.
Or maybe it just helped me out a lot that I could talk to someone that knew exactly what I was talking about.  I mean the ninja and I had been on pretty much every single mother fucking mission together.  Every minute we spent outside the wire or inside it was spent within 20-50 meters of one another.
Was it a breakthrough moment?  Not by a long shot.  I still have a shit ton of work to do.  And whether I actually do it or not is a matter of some uncertainty.  But knowing that someone else feels the same way I do after going through the same thing that I did is like a little security blanket.  Kinda makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Maybe I’m nuts (little doubt about that) or maybe I’m just fooling myself.  But it all seems a bit easier after this weekend.  Even the words feel like their flowing out of me with a little less effort.  I’m not asking for a life of ease, far from it.  I am still young enough that a strenuous life is still infinitely appealing to me.  I don’t want my life to be easy, but I want the life to flow out of me easily...does that make any fucking sense at all?
But regardless, I felt home again.  Like I was back where I belong.  Back with all my brothers...where I am supposed to be.
And that feeling is worth a million bucks...
So now, what’s next?  Well tomorrow is another day, and I have to go to work.  Ugh, what a royal pain in the ass.  But that’s life and its time to get your ass in gear.  Easier said than done?  Sure it is, but Shawshank style we all have but one choice.
Get busy living, or get busy dying.  
And I think Frank Sinatra put it best when he said, “You gotta love livin’ baby!  Because dying is a pain in the ass.”
So the Mud Puppy got to go back where he belongs.  Even if it was only for the weekend.  Maybe that’s what I needed.  A new place to be coming from.
Well I got it, I haven’t smiled as much as I did this weekend in a very long while.  And that my friends, is a good thing.
I think I’m going to stop off and visit my father sometime this week.  I reconnected with all my boys this weekend, maybe its time I reconnected with my old man.  Stay tuned...
I love you Mom...


  1. There is something very important embedded in your comments about returning to your unit.

    In the ancient days (pre WWI) it was the Regiment that was your life inm the Army. The Reg CDR controlled NCO promotions, Regiments were either State National Guard and thus fought together 9most notable in the Civil War) and, when they went home, they went there together, too. I'm aware that there were a lot of problems with the system. Most notably, if a regiment got wiped out, an entire town was affected.

    Even on active Duty, people were with the Regiment for the long haul;. They deployed together, and returned together. There is a built in support system. Less dynamic, more static, which has its problems for the Army, but was probably better for returning Solider's mental health.

    Coures, back then, everyone was a drunkard. Note I didn't say Alcoholic, cuz Alcoholics have to go to those damn meetings.

    Anyway, glad to hear you're back with your old unit. I have toi admit, I missmy old guard unit, and it has been close to a decade since I left them.

  2. Mud puppy is getting his grove back!

    Like a puppy with two peters!


  3. Thinking of you today on Veterans Day. Truly, you are a blessing to so many.
    Stay strong and pray hard!