Thoughts from the front

I'm a soldier in Iraq and I call em as I see em.

March 27, 2007

Another Birthday Passes

Its not often I have been outside the States when my birthday rolls around. I was suppose to be back home by then (did I mention that yet?) and it passed with very little fanfare. I received cards and emails and letters and such as well as a couple of packages, but all in all it was very uneventful and if I didn't mention it no one said anything. This is true about most of the guys here. I asked if I could go to Qatar on pass but the dates for March had already been handed out. That's fine since my civilians clothes arrived the day after I would have left.
The only real special "event" that happened was having the praise and worship band telling announcing my birthday to everyone in chapel service, note to self; telling the Chaplain today is your birthday ensures everyone will sing happy birthday. I was a bit embarrassing but it was nice to be remembered here. After service I went back to my room and slept since I had a 12 hour shift later. I enjoyed some very healthy Chicken wings and cheese sticks as well as a bowl of ice cream in the chow hall and around midnight or so I had a pizza. Nothing like eating oh so healthy on ones birthday. It was all so good. I've had about dozen or guys in my unit wish me happy birthday as well.
So how does it feel to be thirty-one? I really don't feel any different now than I did when I hit 25. The only time I fell old is when I start talking to some of the guys in my unit and they talk about turning 20 or 21 while we are here, there are few of us in the over in this unit. The other time I feel old is when I do a PT test and run two miles, its either being old or out of shape.
I'm looking forward to next year when Iraq is once again half a world away and I am looking into my wife's eyes over dinner. Oh what joy that will be!

February 11, 2007

A Big Change

I have decided to change my format on this blog. I get very upset and riled up and I blog about it. Reading my blog you may think I'm angry all the time. I am frustrated with congress not coming up with a better strategy for this war. Look, as many of you know, I've been here in Iraq for almost a year and I still have about six more months in Iraq because of the surge. We the soldiers do not need a vote by congress on whether or not they support the war, we need a plan. We are following Bush's plan because they dont have one. Like I have ranted and raved about for months, either come up with your own strategy or shut up. To all the Congressmen running for President I want you all to know that I dont trust a single one of you. Your agenda is to further your own political career and your use of anyone in the military to further your cause is despicable and dishonest. As a closing remark on this issue before I go onto far greater and more important things I plan to vote for Dr. Michael Savage in 2008! He is mulling over running and if he does, and I hope he does run, I will vote for him. If he doesnt run I will still vote for him!
With that said, lets move on to more pressing matters like Pouncy Kitty! I have a little friend, a beanie baby, who has been deployed with me for this entire time. Pouncy has had several adventures, like pouncing Superman, pulling guard duty in a tower, rooting on the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. He also has taken a trip to Baghdad and was featured in his own dramatic photo adventure "Pouncy's adventure home," when I went on leave. There are so many fun things you can do with a sidekick, especially if you really dont care if you are laughed at or laughed with. Well last night Pouncy was kitty napped and taken to the air force side of the base where he was forced into "the wet." He says this blue stuff was smeared on him and he was put under a water fall. the the lights went out and he was spun around for awhile. Cold and tired his kitty napper moved him to another area and he was tossed and thrown about in hot dankness. He says something happened because usually he can use his "darkternal vision" to see but alas it was useless in this cave. (Yes darktenal is a word, not only did I invent it I used it in a sentence. No, its not Scrabble legal but then again Liz and I dont play Scrabble anyway). He was overjoyed when I rescued him from the hot dark cave and he noticed that he smells better now too, not like Iraq but like clean. Did you have any idea that washing a blanket, sheets and a stuffed animal could be so exciting? Yes I have been here to long but I'm no longer focusing on the news, cuz it just angers me. Instead I will focus on what else is happening to me these days. I leave you with this piece of advice when restarting a work out regiment, especially a "full body workout," just because you use to do calf raisers 25 reps 4 times at 395 four months ago doesnt mean you should start out at 295 pounds 25 times. Dont forget you still need to walk the next day!

February 02, 2007

The will and resolve to win

With everything that is going on in the United States, Florida was hit by a tornado this morning. Boston thought it was under a possible terror threat thanks to Ted Turner and the stupid cartoon network. Not to mention the New York Times had the audacity to show pictures and the video of a fellow soldier being shot and killed, they are sorry they hurt the feelings of this soldier’s family. I’m sick and tired of the media rooting for defeat in Iraq as they did with the Korea Conflict and the Vietnam War. The tide is turning on two fronts, the frontlines here in Iraq as well as the home front.
What do I mean? Well newsflash the bad guys are fleeing Baghdad because here come more troops to root out the terrorists, THEY ARE FLEEING! Why? Because they know we will defeat them. The Iraqis, defeated 250 Shiite terrorist in an all day conflict. Yes they called in American reinforcements but that’s what you do in war, use every resource you have to defeat the enemy. Two Americans lost their lives, verses 250 bad guys. In the “bloody math of war” the ratio was 1:125! One American per 125 bad guys, that’s a huge victory. Another news flash we are winning over here! Hello where is that coverage on CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, New York Times, LA Times and all of the rest of the media that is bent on the United States military losing this war!
Instead its more doom and gloom on how poor the Iraqis have been trained and how poor security is in Iraq. So basically the media is saying that not only are the United States soldiers over here incompetent of fighting this war, we are also so incompetent that we cant even train Iraq soldiers and police on how to do our job. Is that what you are telling the American people? That Senator Kerry was right that we soldiers, many of whom are college graduates and many more will be once we get done with this two years of hell are to stupid and incompetent to train someone to do our job? That is almost as insulting as CNN and the NY Times showing video of snipers killing my comrades. Its sick!
The media tells us the reason the republicans lost so many seats in congress is because of the war. They show the anti-war protesters how defamed the nations capital by spray painting on the steps, as the right-minded people. Do the peace activists really think that Iraq is going to become a peaceful nation after we leave and Iran and Syria come in and try to take over so they can use Iraq as a terrorist training ground? When will American wake up? Do we need to be attacked on American soil again before we have the will and resolve to defeat evil? What would have happened if the “greatest generation” would have said oh the cost is to high. To many lives are being lost in Europe and besides this is something Europe needs to deal with. We need to talk to Mr. Hitler and find out why he hates the Jews and what we can do to maybe help stop the holocaust. They would not have been the greatest generation. Now their children of that generation are in power and they don’t have the same resolve their parents did.
They decided to undermine the Korean conflict and Vietnam war. My father in law, who I love and respect dearly, and his generation should have come home to a heroes welcome instead they were called baby killers, they were spit on, and discriminated against when they tried to get jobs. They were disgraced terribly and I fear that the way the media and other are portraying how awful this war is going, it will not be long until the vets of Iraq, will be treated the exact same way.

January 17, 2007

Goals for this extention

As you all are aware by now, my tour in Iraq has been extended, along with the rest of the MN National Guard. I am a little down as we were around two months away from getting out of here. We were all very disappointed with a certain person in the Pentagon who decided, for political reasons I'm sure, that it was more important to contact the media and break the story to them before anything was said to a single soldier. The units morale took a big hit because we all found out through worried family members asking us "what do you mean your getting extended?" To which our response was, what are you talking about? We finally get the official word today that we are being extended and we will be here until the beginning of August at the latest. There is talk of leave being available as well as a four day pass.
Many of my fellow soldiers have decided that this news calls for a new toy or something to help us cope with the fact that we are going to be here about another seven months or so. I'm no different; I enrolled to retake two classes from Northwestern College that I failed. I could most certainly have bought a PlayStation 2 and sat in my room and played baseball all day. This idea had crossed my mind when I was home during Christmas. I just no longer have it in me to just sit in front of the TV all day and play a game, especially when I stare at a computer screen when I am at work anyway.
My motivation and morale are low (which is not to be confuse that with my morals), as is everyone else’s. It’s hard if not impossible not to feel a little depressed. But here is my fix and what I have decided to do; first is to go work out everyday but Sunday. My goal in the next six months is to lose thirty pounds and come home with “six pack abs.” A six pack is a lot lighter than this “party ball keg” I’m dragging around right now. I will require a lot of work, eating healthy as well as commitment and dedication.
Another goal is to read and blog thru the Bible from Genesis to Revelation in the time left. I also want to pass my to courses, New Testament Archeology and Church History with no lower than a B, an A is what I am shooting for though. By doing these I hope to deepen my relationship with God and strengthen my walk with God as it has slipped a bit over the past three and half months. I must spend time daily reading the Word of God, (the Bible) and spend time every day in prayer, at the very least once a day.
My language needs to change as well as my attitude. I have six months to make this transformation and build a more solid foundation of faith. (As I write this I just ripped open a small bag of candy, tisk, tisk, tisk, I say. That’s what I have to stop, especially since I have a good dinner waiting to be heated up. Like I said, I must work on my self discipline.

January 13, 2007

Official sponsor?

I have been informed that my Brigades official sponsor for this tour is
Not going anywhere for a while?