E Plurubus Unum, Rex Montis

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Winter night

It is cold out, my fingers tingle…

Something is tugging at the edge of my subconscious. I push it away, it is unimportant. The night sky is crystal clear. A puff of steam appears in front of me, I inhale another icy breathe. The moonlight casts long shadows around me. A crisp winter night in Minnesota. A question tickles my mind; I push it away, harder this time. I close my eyes for a moment and tilt my head back, feeling the sharp wind on my face. Another thought. NO! Leave it alone for a minute more!

Then I hear it…faintly at first; wump wump wump……wump wump wump. It’s getting closer…what is it? I don’t understand…wump wump wump…something in the sky. Moving fast. Getting closer. Stars are winking out of sight, and then re-appearing. The smooth dark body glides closer like a shark in the deep. Wump wump WUMP…it’s almost above me. I look down…mistake…the insistent tugging breaks through…I have a gun in my hand…what the….? A helicopter roars overhead. My moment is shattered. The sensations are still there…but I’m not in Minnesota. I’m still in Iraq. I’m still in the desert...............sigh......

It is cold out, my fingers tingle…

Sunday, December 24, 2006

....."You WILL be proud, that's an order!"

We are being forced to wear our redbull combat patch. A combat patch is a unit patch, worn on the right shoulder. Wearing of this patch is authorized if you were with or attatched to a unit in a combat zone for 30 or more days. In the authorization form, we are alowed to choose which of the patches we want to wear, or we can choose to wear none at all. However, commanders can add to any standard/order, but cannot take away from. So, our "higher up" commander decided to give an order that we HAVE to wear our redbull combat patch and no other.
Now the questions arrise;

#1 Why would anyone order you to wear something that you should be proud to wear? Now it is no longer simply a right and something to be proud of, it's just something we have to do, a shame, like the scarlet letter for doing something wrong.

#2 Why would any commander care if you wore a combat patch or not? Combat patches are to show that (chuckles) you've been in a combat zone. Big news flash...WE'RE STILL IN THE COMBAT ZONE! So in essence, we're telling everyone, we're "here." As if you couldn't tell by looking at me.

#3 So is it something obscure and simple perhaps? Maybe POG's (see earlier post October 27) wanted to wear a combat patch...but then they saw that the grunts weren't wearing theirs and began to fuss. Again, worried about their uniforms. (note, before this order came out it was easy to distinguish POG's from grunts......grunts didn't feel the need to show other soldiers that they had been here for over a month)

Conclusion. This might not make sense, or seem like a big deal, but when you're on the ground here, it is little things like this that bother us, erode our moral, and make a simple thing a real pain. Our moral is not " an all-time high..."

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Avoid foot in mouth

My buddy Grey posted this on his blog

"Asking a combat vet if he has killed someone is as sensitive as cutting the head off a six year-old girl’s favorite doll while cackling insanely. I don’t feel I need to explain this one."

I would write more on this, the reasons and what not, but I don't feel I could do any more justice. Just do yourself and your soldier a favor, don't ask.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Back in the sand

Hi everyone! I've been back in the box now for about a week. It seems to suck a lot less than it did before pass. All that pent up resentment is gone. Going on leave was just the thing for me at this point in the deployment. Only a matter of months and it's all over.
Pictured is one of my buddies on the flight back to Iraq. He brings great credit upon himself, his unit, and the US Army (part of a speach we hear over and over...).

My R&R was everything I hoped it would be. Lazing around the house, spending time with my family, and just doing what I wanted to do, without worrying about getting blown up when I'm out driving.

Now, the count-down is on. It's almost time to go home and I am pumped! Yes, I must still keep my head in the game, stay safe, and stay low. But I can do that and still mark off the calender when I get back to my can.