Archive for Fort Hood

A Year Ago

Posted in Military, Politics with tags , , , , , on August 3, 2011 by deviant11b

      As of today I have less than 3 weeks in the great county of Iraq. Today I packed up all my gear, took off all the gadgets on my weapon, and stripped my vest of all the mag pouches. I put everything into boxes and duffel bags, and now my room looks as empty as it did almost a year ago when I got here. A year ago, when for the second time myself and some of my closest friends got on a plane and endured a 18 hour stretch in planes, followed by an even longer 11 1/2 month stint in the hottest, most boring place in Iraq. A year ago when the new guys thought that maybe they just might get into a big firefight and have a Black Hawk Down moment. A year ago when I remembered that another two years prior I was having the same thoughts as I went on my first “rodeo”. Well if these last two deployments were to be called a rodeo, than it would be a rodeo of the mechanical bull sort, set on easy. Of the seven people I deployed with last time, all of us had girlfriends or wives a year ago, now there’s only one of us standing. A year ago when we had our last beer, and a year ago that we were already looking ahead a year to when we would come back home.

      A year ago we got our mission to man checkpoints for a year straight, basically meaning pulling guard from a tower and occasionally searching vehicles. Now for some of you this may seem un-mundane, but to a platoon of infantry men, who joined the Army when the bullets were still flying this was a miserable task that ended up being no more exciting than sitting in on one of Nana’s quilting sessions. A year ago I knew this year was going to suck. But the year passed and no ones dead so we did good, by the Army’s definition of doing good. Is Iraq going to be any better off than when we came? No. When we leave will Iraq be able to defend itself? I don’t know but I’ll be watching it on the news from a Laz-y-boy, with a beer in my hand.

      A lot can change in a year, and it seems like even more changes when you’re not immersed in the “real world” every day. Places you used to go at night shut down or move, leaving you sitting in a dark parking lot feeling like an ass hat. A year ago people I graduated High School were still in college, now they have jobs… or will soon be called DR. People change, or maybe your idea of the person changes, but regardless of which it is a rift is caused. Relatives fall ill, children are born, and life keeps going. The world’s number one most wanted man is killed within a span of a year, the most followed court case since OJ is resolved, and not how people thought either. And favorite hometown teams go from the top to the bottom in a rather inglorious season, leaving me oozing blue from the artery. A year ago I wasnt accepted into college, now I am. A year ago I had a year and a half till I was out of the Army, now I’ve got less than four months. A year ago it was hot here, and that still hasn’t changed, but a year ago there was an American presence everywhere, now…not so much. Even the Army itself changed, no more beret on our heads, capturing the heat and frying our brain. No more ancient PT test, we now have two different physical fitness tests. New MRE, same shitty taste, different shitty color. A general gave an interview, and SUPRISE!!! bashed him and took Obama’s side. Oh and DADT is gone, or at least very soon to be gone.

      As much as things change, some don’t change at all. There are still bills to be paid, making the transition from Army to civilian a bit tricky. The economy hasn’t changed much. We still have the same president, and the same nut jobs with lame excuses calling him a fraud. And as  much as the Army progressed in a year, it still can’t seem to do simple things like lose paper work, get supplies the soldiers need, provide them with clothing. Winter PTs don’t do a whole hell of a lot of good when its 90 degrees out but thanks anyway. The Army is still very good at wasting tax dollars, no matter who is in charge.

     Yep a year ago we left civilization, and soon enough we will be returning to the land of beer, strip clubs, and $3.50 gas. A year ago we stepped on a plane, a year later we step off a plane, and never get on again.

       

All the original 2nd platoon guys while still at Ft. Hood.

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