Archive for Iraq

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.

The 10 things I wont miss at all about the Army

Posted in Comedy, Military with tags , , , , , , on July 17, 2011 by deviant11b

With my separation from the Army a mere four months away, I decided to sit down and come up with the top ten things I will definitely not miss about the Army. For anyone thinking about joining the Army this can serve as ten reasons to not join the Army, and for anyone stuck in the Army for more than a few months this can serve as the top ten reasons to hate your life and wish you were me.

10. Waking up at 5:15 every morning. Now since the first formation is at 6:30 this may seem a bit odd, but I assure you there is a perfectly good explanation for this, I cant think of one but there has to be right? Any way if sitting around outside for more than an hour waiting to run three miles doesn’t do it for you how about this, you don’t get off work until 5 pm at the earliest. Some times you’ll stay until 7. Take into account how little money we make and your earning less than 100 dollars for 13 hours of work.

9. Never knowing what is going on. You would think that an organization such as the Army would usually know what they are supposed to do. I mean if we can launch rockets that find their targets 100 miles away, than how can we not know what time we’re supposed to be some where. Its simply really, we just don’t. Oh and when you don’t show up to the formation you didn’t know about expect to get yelled at for it, and remember it is always your fault.

8. Three hots and a cot? Ha maybe. When they say cot they literally mean cot. When they say three hot meals they don’t mean three hot meals. What they mean is you will eat an MRE that can heat up if your lucky and your heater works, which is about 50% of the time. Or you’ll be out on mission while another platoon is eating dinner and you wont be replaced until after they’ve eaten. By the time you get back the chow hall will be closed and you’ll have to buy your own hot meal.

7. Forced fun days. These are priceless there really is nothing like being told you have to show up to something that is supposed to be fun. A day at the lake can turn pretty horrible when the Army gets involved. Luckily you can drink, and I recommend you do. Nothing keeps your mind off the fact that your leadership is dressed like Tupac (before the shooting) like a cold beer… or ten.

6. Army pep talks. A pep talk in the Army is not like a pep talk from a coach. A pep talk from a coach will raise the hair on your neck and leave you feeling inspired. A pep talk in the Army will leave you wanting to buy the speaker a box set of hooked on phonics out of your own pocket, keep in mind your making less than 100 bux a day. Also the Army is the only place where a pep talk will contain the following statement. “Yall are doin good but if you fuck up Imma do you… HA yeah Imma do you.”…. Ladies and gentlemen, WHAT THE FUCK?

5. Ass kissery. Granted kissery is not a real word but this blog is family friendly so I couldn’t say cock sucking. This and back stabbing go hand in hand. For some people getting promoted is worth selling their soul to the devil. I’m not talking about everyone who gets promoted, I’m just talking about 80% of them. They are easy to spot, their mouths are always open wide so as to easily take whatever is thrown their way. Their kneepads are always on, and they are always the loudest. You have to be loud so when you yell at people everyone can know what a fine job your doing.

4. Army defenders. I don’t have a problem with people who want to stay in the Army the full 20 years, they’re better men than I am to be able to put up with it for that long. What I do have a problem with are the people that will defend the Army no matter what. It doesn’t take a genius to see that the Army has many problems with it. The health care sucks, the pay sucks, the way people are treated is ridiculous, not to mention it is without a doubt the least efficient organization in the world. However, there are always people who swear up and down that the Army is the best thing since the discover of internet porn.

3. How much my brain is always hurting. You know those old Army movies where the drill sergeant is yelling at the soldiers saying how the Army doesn’t pay you to think? Well its true. In basic training after they shave your head the barber should just take out his straight razor and give you a standard issue lobotomy. If you are a semi-educated person the Army is not the place for you. One minute you’ll be getting chewed out for thinking too much, the next you’ll be getting reamed for not thinking enough.

2. The lack of personal freedom. It seems ironic that the people who fight for America’s freedoms get to enjoy very few freedoms themselves. I’m not even talking about the freedom of speech, because it does make sense that we cant say whatever we want to. I’m talking about the freedom to enjoy ourselves when we have a little bit of downtime. There are certain places we cant go, if you want to fly home to see your family over a long weekend you have to ask permission and have a reason, as if I haven’t seen them in six months isn’t a good enough reason already. And filling out a piece of paper telling your leadership everything you plan on doing over a weekend? Come on…

1. Deployments. This one should be easy enough to understand but Ill hash it out anyway. Imagine going to a country that can get up to 120 degrees. Now imagine you have to wear 45 lbs of gear. Now think for a minute that you may be driving along one day and within a second you could lose an arm or a leg or your life. Sounds pretty fun don’t it? Now imagine your married or have a girlfriend, and after six months of dealing with all the things I listed up above she wants a divorce, or is breaking up with you because she cant keep her legs shut. Imagine you have kids and she is going to take them with her. Imagine there is nothing you can do about it because your over here in the land of the sand and she’s over there getting nailed by the electrician while she signs the papers to make it all final. Imagine missing birthdays, thanksgivings, Christmases, children being born, death of loved ones, anything else you can think of. Even if your lucky enough to not have this happen to you it’s always there in the back of your head. In the last two deployments I’ve done the issues above have got to three people enough to make them put a hole in their head for a faster way out. Official cause of death… non combat related injury.

0. I’m going to cheat here and add an 11th reason. What kind of a person the Army makes you. I cant speak to people who have an easy job or are in a better unit, but when your in a unit that makes you watch your back for four years rather than look out for you, you become pretty surely. When you have to act like everything is fine just so you don’t get bitched at you become pretty closed off. When your taught the only way to get through to people is by putting them down and yelling, you tend to become an asshole. And when you fail to follow one of those guidelines your labeled as a shit bag and your career might as well be over. The Army has made some pretty good changes in how I think and behave I cant argue that I’ve become more mature, and see things for more than face value, but is that really worth being colder, meaner, and pretty much one of the biggest narcissists ever?

IRAQ: Chick Flicks, False Alarms, and Stupid Shit.

Posted in Comedy, Military with tags , , , , , on June 29, 2011 by deviant11b

People often ask what Iraq is like, and I usually respond like a dick head and say hot. I don’t know what they expect to hear though. Maybe that its like that shitty hollywood movie The Hurt Locker, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, everything in that movie is trash. EOD doesn’t do have the shit they do in that movie, all they do is defuse bombs with robots or explosives. They don’t roll out the gate by themselves, or step in front of traffic with only a pistol, and they definitely dont meet up with a bunch of mercenaries and become snipers within a few minutes. It’s not like Black Hawk Down, although that movie is much more realistic, it’s just that there is not that much going on here. No it’s not like the movies at all.

I sat down and thought about what Iraq was really like, and I came up with this, Iraq is full of chick flicks, false alarms, and lots of stupid shit.

The chick flicks aspect is probably the most interesting aspect. We of course watch all the movies that come out, but sometimes the movies being watched the most are the chick flicks. Devil Wears Prada, Easy A, Four Christmases, Ghosts of Girl Friends Past, He’s Just Not That Into You, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Life As We Know It, Love Actually, Nick and Norah Infinite Play List, The Ugly Truth, What Happens In Vegas, 500 Days of Summer, and 27 Dresses are a few of what we’ve seen over here. I have to say my favorite is He’s Just Not That Into You because it really is true all the things that guy says in there. Although 500 Days of Summer is great to because it shows how evil some women can be. I don’t know why we watch so many chick flicks over here when back in the states we make fun of the person being dragged to the notebook by his wife, but I have some theories. My first theory is that since most action movies are military related we can so easily poke holes in them, saying how they got something wrong, or how that’s not actually how they would do that. And since most guys in the Army’s definition of a functual relationship is a $20 lap dance at the cheapest club in town we can’t poke holes at people trying to fix relationships. Although it does bother a couple of us how right before the movies end, right before they reconcile, one of them is always planning on moving far away. As if their life in New York is ruined because they got involved in a tricky love triangle which isn’t as bad as it looked, so they decide to move to Oregon. My second theory is that we are so devoid of estrogen, and so over dosed with testosterone that we don’t want to watch cock diesle men running around flipping cars and shooting people. We’d rather watch a pretty woman dump an asshole and find a nice guy only to go back to the asshole, and realize just before the movie ends that the asshole isn’t for her. My third theory is that Dont Ask Dont Tell turned the whole Army gay and now we just want to watch Matthew Mcconoughey walk around without a shirt. I’m leaning towards the first two theories, but the third one is still taggin along at 1:6,000,000 odds.

False alarms in the states are when a smoke detector goes off because you’ve been smoking in a non ventilated room. In Iraq a false alarm is when you hear a gunshot and ten guys run outside ready to shoot some one, scare an Iraqi, and finally learn the “gunshot” was just a 16 wheeler’s tire popping. With each false alarm that passes we just get even more wound up. I guess false alarms are actually bad for the bad guys. When something finally does happen we’re going to be so wound tight and ready to finally do something that the bad guy wouldn’t last longer than an ice-cube on the face of the sun. They are taxing though, the flow of adrenaline and the quick drop makes you feel like you came close to sealing the deal with Megan Fox only to be kicked off the Empire State Building… very frustrating.

Ah stupid shit, without it the Army would run so much smoother and the government would save billions of dollars, but then again it wouldn’t be the Army. Stupid shit covers all kinds of things such as bringing million dollar vehicles to Iraq, costing millions of dollars in shipping, only to sit in one place for a year. We don’t even have the ammo we’d need for them. Stupid shit is putting up million dollar camera equipment only to take them down four months later. Stupid shit is doing push ups for 9 straight hours, because some one lost a pair of binoculars. But really I love the stupid shit, it gives me something to look forward to. The days when I’m free to think and question authority, or just throw a stapler at my boss as I quit my job in a blaze of glory… and poor references. It’s not really that bad just sometimes someone does or says something that leaves you scratching a hole through your cranium.

Now if I’ve made it seem that Iraq is about a bunch of homoerotic men with guns and hair triggers with nothing to do but do push ups in the dirt all day long, that’s because it is. I think now you’ll understand why I just tell people it’s hot.