Friday, September 18, 2009

I've been published. . . sort of

Well I wouldn't have believed it, but indeed I am in a book. Not me as a charictor. ME. The person. I'm even quoted. This strange moment of celebrity is not without some doubt. I'm almost affraid to see what is written about me. See when I was deployed LTC Kauzralich or however you spell his name (we just called him "Killer K") always had this reporter at his hip. Almost always. Some said that he was writting a book to make the col look good so he could get his chickens. Fat chance I thought till I saw in army times that the SOB had actually managed to get promoted. I guess they'll promote anyone in the Army these days.


It's so weird though. There are the words. There is the scene. I remember them. It was a distant memory, long forgotten, and yet reading what David wrote, the words I said came right back to me. Dear God did I really say that? Yes, yes I did. Did I really talk about that? Yes, I did. What do you say to that? There are your words. "I feel sick all the time when we go out. I know we're going to get hit." Its weird. And reading what March said. . . It made me realize that I wasn't the only one that was suffering inside. I especially liked the end of the chapter about us.

"Phill went back to his ambien

Lt Hammel went back to his furnature

Bailey went back to his long loops around the FOB

Wheeler went back to his 'what ifs'

and March went back to his slideshow."

It seems strangly fitting. In the end he didn't talk about chargin down hundreds of insurgents, or saving babies. In the end he seems to suggest that the ultimate act of heroism was simply putting the vest on again and going outside the wire. Does that make me a hero? Does that make me brave? or stupid?

It inspired me to do something to aleviate some guilt. I called the New Haven register. Its time to set the record strait. His family has a right to know. He didn't die becuase he was tired or because he was given a bad mission. He died because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He died because you never see an IED till its too late. Never. I hope that I can convey the sense of loss, that he was loved, and that his loss hurt us too. That we hold on to him each day in our dreams.

Friday, September 11, 2009

8 years later

Now we stand. 8 years after the face. There have been tributes, and people have largely moved on. Kids now in college, too young often to remember or understand the events of September 11th 2001. Few are the people as directly affected by it. The families will always remember, as will the soldiers. But the public, in time will forget the horror the pain and the fear.

I can not, at this time tell you what i feel about that fact. Perhaps it is good in someway. Perhaps it is good that the public is not constantly tearing at the scab trying to relive the pain, but to me, the lack of somber attitude or, worse, awareness, is grating to the worst degree. I can not help but feel disheartened. The world saw the best, and the worst in humanity that day, things that ought not to be forgotten so easily.

I find that listening to women gossip about what clothes are worn or who goes out with who, on a day like today to be nearly intolerable. And yet, this is the very innocence I've fought to protect. Hearing one friend was going on a "Fascist America" bike ride nearly sent me through the roof. Such fools would allow such tragedies to happen based on narrow views that are far more intolerant than those they claim to oppose. That a dear friend, and one time lover, was doing it. . . really hurts. How? How can anyone think such things? If they had seen what I'd seen would they call Jihadis freedom fighters? NO! They would call them what they are, except I have yet to find one word in the English language filled with enough contempt and scorn for honorless thieves, murders rapists and cowards.

I've spent two 9/11's in a war zone, and 6 in the Army. I've been on staff Duty, and even went to a church service that day. and where, in all of this does the peace come? Where does the peace of mind come from knowing AT LAST this tragedy has been avenged and prevented from ever happening again? It doesn't come. It probably won't ever come, because sadly it is just as likely today as it was on 9/10 save the one key factor, we're aware of it now.

I know this war won't last much longer. It can't, but the thought of losing is just heart breaking. Especially when so much was sacrificed to get it done. Islamofascism can not be allowed to win or the next thing you will hear is "allah huakbar" on the city streets of New York itself.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wish I knew someone here. . .

I think I can safely say that the biggest problem with college is simply put, THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE!!! How anyone can make "lifelong" friends in an institution this size is beyond me. I suspect that it has a lot to do with Fraternities and Sororities (the "Greek" societies) but even then, how the HELL does a person make friends with classes that take place in small amphitheaters!

This is no doubt the "culture shock" that I was expecting, but still. I'm surrounded by people and I feel pretty alone. I think that's just odd! Still, I do not feel empty. Not like I did a few short months ago. Is it because this is not Kansas? Or is it because I have a sense of purpose? I wouldn't know which. Still, it is good to get out from under the heel of oppressive PA's and giant not so there PSG's.

Classes are difficult, and my old friends heartburn and insomnia have returned with a vengeance. I was strangely asymptomatic before I got here, now my rhythm is all sorts of wacky. Some days I go to bed at 8 (2000) others I don't close my eyes till 0400. It really is in-freaking-sane. Something I wish I could fix.

The good news to come out of that though, I have begun hand writing (because my computer is broken ARG) one of the many stories that have been bouncing around in my head. I hope i can fill up the journal i bought before I lose interest again, but I'm sure I'll not be that lucky. Hopefully I can send it to Niki who can edit and type it, so i can add in other things send back to her proof read and whatever. End goal. I publish. I get PAID THIS TIME!!! (I'm still simmering about "Don't Quit" I can kind of see why Napster caused so many artists grief) and hey maybe my financial woes will be over. . . not likely but we've all got to have dreams don't we?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

A New Day in A New Place

Well sports fans, I'm out of the army. Ironically my last day was the 29th of april exactly 6 years 3 months after I joined. I'd like to say i did all I could to fight it but by that point I was tired of arguing with the Army. I kind of got steam rolled by the great beuracratic machine that is Uncle Sam. I'm also not going to lie and say that i wasn't a little glad to be out. Lets face it Ronny "I'm a Captain in the United States Army" Brock, for all his psudo concern made my life a living hell. I'm glad to be away from it. Now if I go back i go back on MY terms. Not theirs.

So what, you ask have I been doing with my life? Simple I've started college. Now this suave 25 year ols Freshmen is starting where? why West Virgina. WVU isn't the most prestigious college eever, nor is it the biggest, smnallest or a lot of other things. In ints own way however it is great. Only two weeks in WVU has welcomed me with open arms and for that they have earned my loyalty. (perhaps thats whty alumni are so proud)

What am i studying you ask? well. . . that's a matter of debate. See I wish I could say that I kne wbut the truth is I just pain don't. I haven't the foggiest on what the hell i want a degree in. But at the end of the day I know I need that degree. So get it I shall. More to come but for right now I've got to get to class.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Women. . . *sigh*

I find myself in the enviable position of being able to "choose" women, and yet it really means nothing at all to me. I have tried again and again to reconsile my feelings, but the truth is that after both Jessi and Lisa, I'm not even sure if I can feel anything despite the fact that everywhere I turn it seems I am eliciting strong emotional responses from women. I have most of my adult life a serries of relationships of what could have been and what should have been. I do not have contact with my first girlfriend but from Martha right up to Andrea, pretty much all of my ex's are married and have kids, the only exception (that I know of) is Lisa, and really, I don't expect that to last long.

And then there's me. Standing here feeling intensely alone trying not to actually notice just how isolated I am. Saturday I had a woman (who was drunk at the time) tell me she loved me, and . . . nothing. I didn't feel a damn thing! In fact if anything it made me feel even more alone. Adoration I don't deserve. Affection I can't return. I'm always seen as this great awesome guy in the beginning, but in the end they all hate me, and then as time passes the hate turns into pity. I'm left with a vague sense of what *should* happen, and I know I am nowhere near that.

I asked Lisa about it yesterday, and she was thankful that she wasn't the cause of it. I didn't have the heart to tell her that this feeling of emptiness started when i found out about her boyfriend, Shane. I don't really have the heart to tell her about the hell I went through after the break up. I put on a brave face, but God alone knows how I tore myself apart inside.

Then there's Jessi. I've tried to engage her in even "hello". I await the day the restraining order comes in the mail. In one of those rare moments when you realize how badly you've screwed up, and are willing to do anything to undo the damage done, those moments usually come right before the restraining order. In my case when I fall over backwards trying to apolagize I come off as a stalker. Just my luck. The woman who was everything I could have possibly wanted, booted out of my life because I am a freaking moron. Now I can't even get her to acknowlege my existance as more than an annoyance. Dear God its depressing.

When I went with Robinette and Rice to the pool, there was some good natured horse play, but I saw how those two interacted. I know Rice has a boyfriend but body language doesn't lie. She was doing a lot more than innocent horse play with him. I sat and watched them, certain to give them their space, but in my own heart I felt more like a sniper, or an observer then, than an actual participant. I felt like a watcher, a vouyer, and the theought at once left me disgusted and feeling ever so lonely. Is this how my life is going to be? Will I be forced to watch others live their lives? Shouldn't this thought fill me with dread?

Then there's Nicole. Truley, aside from Smitty (SSG Smith to all youse bozos) and Jessica (but less so) she is the only friend that I've kept in touch with throughout my military career, and tonight she said simply that she felt she failed me. I said to her that it's not her responsibility, that the only way she could have helped me is if she had married me. Honestly there is no she could have helped me in any meaningful way other than as a supporting role unless she wayhad married me. I get the feeling from her response that the thought had crossed her mind, and indeed there was a breif period where we had "dated" but it was more one of those "the road not taken" type of things. I think that she would have married me in a heartbeat except that i had been a staple of her life and she didn't want to lose me. Isn't that weird?

Finally there is Laura. Sitting somewhere on Ft Bragg with a marriage that probably won't survive her deployment. She to has feelings for me, and I find myself walking a dangerous tight rope. I never want to be a Jodi (dude who steals wives) but the more I offer support the more it is clear that I might become just that. What's funny is she's got just as many hang ups as me. Her history reads like a case study for a psychology paper, and she has medical conditions I didn't even know were possible before I "met" her (thanks to the wonderful Facebook). There's enough in common (Both medics, both with a signifigant history, both with relationship problems) and a few common interests that there is potential. That's even more dangerous because as her marrage starts to fail she might look to me, and thats not good.

So what the hell happened to me? there once was a point that I would not date women on moral grounds. Now any ol thing and it A-ok. I feel like my life is spinning out of control, and whatever there is of me that is the concious mind (the part that says "I think therefore I am") seems like a passenger on this ride. I feel like I'm someone else when I'm with a woman. I want so desperatly to feel and mean what I say, but I just don't anymore. What happened to the hopless romantic? The poet that belived that love would conqure all things? I'm starting to question if love is even real, or worse as more and more of my friends find happieness and get married, that I was never meant to love or to be loved. I fear that I am some wreched creature that I'm only beginning to comprehend.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hard work, and a well earned rest.

This last week was absoulutly insane. There was not a single day that we did not get released late. Worse than that, *most of* the platoon busted it's collective ass, right up till we were released. It did not help that the higher ups constantly had something to say about things. Lt was good about staying out of things for the most part (Gotta love an Lt that doesn't micro manage things). But SFC Hall. . . not so much. Every time his name was uttered I shuddered inside, for it usually meant more work for the poor souls that remained.

If it wasn't already painfully obvious, Wednesday was an absolute disaster despite the fact that, for the most part we managed to get the Conex packed, there was a lot of waiting that was beyond unnecessary. At every chance I got I tried to hurry the process along, but towards the end when the big heads got together to "figure things out" things slowed up, it was like a train wreck, once the front car stopped, every subsequent car would leap off the rails. First it was the inventory, then it was the insert boxes, then it was the spare Class VIII, then finally it was all the extra stuff laying around.

Thursday was worse but for other reasons. First off we were minus Sgt Sutton, and well for the first half of the day we were pretty much sitting around looking at each other like a bunch of idiots. There were some videos that we had to watch, about Blue on Blue fire, UXO, and things of that nature. They were made at the height of the 80's and it was kinda clear that someone had put a lot of effort to make it look cool, but was horribly out of touch then, now it was just plain laughable. Now it wasn't until the later afternoon that something was comming down the pipe. The FLAs were all stripped except for three, one was on mission and two were in the shop, and it looked like we were going to get out of there on time.

Then there were radios. Any time a high dollar or sensitive item hand recipt is being signed you know you're in for at least *some* pain. But this. . . this was insane. After he personally inventoried the radios and equipment SFC Hall and the Lt were signing for, he had us take it up to the aid station were we did it again!!! The worst part was that he was slow as hell, and he'd constantly miscount menaing everything had to be counted again and again. But that wasn't the end of the day. I had to go out to the AHA to drop off a weapon for AGT Sutton, and off. the day ended at 1810. Just in time to get to the DFAC before it closed.

Of my four day weekend I pretty much burned my first day with just sleeping. Now I've got Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. I'm growing more and more desperate to escape this insainity. Why is it so hard for me to walk away again?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Why am I doing this?

Today is part of a short week, only three days long, but its one of those short weeks where they're trying to pack at least 7+ working days of work into three days. There are so many moving peices right now its not even funny. Now I'm *somewhat* exempt from this, seeing as I am chaptering. I'm pretty much detatched, and I've gotten short timer's syndrome pretty bad. But even though I'm somewhat insulated from the stupidity I am not Imune to it.

Today i had an appointment at 0900, which was good because I missed out on the initial handing out of details. But not so good because I was sitting there a prime target for a particularly boring detail, where I had to highlight names all freaking day for people going through the "brain scan". It was some kind of test for people that sounded suspiciously like a TBI test.

I really might have been fine with it had it not, in fact been a COMPLETE WASTE OF MY TIME!!! I men despite the fact that I was getting people to highlight their names all day I wasn't there for the first two groups that went through, so the list was inaccurate. The best part, at the end of the day I simply took the list from the people running it and photo copied it so that the acting 1SG could have a copy. Essentially I wasted a whole day up at Battalion, annoying the shit out of people for something that I could have gotten at the end of the day!

I think even more important than that is the question of why on Earth I would be involved with packing a conex that I will absolutely not have anything to do with for a rotation to NTC which I won't even be here for, and I'm finding it hard not to ask "Why should I care?" Truth is that no matter what I do, no matter what I say this is going to be a hundred times more painful than it needs to be. SFC Hall has a nasty nack of getting involved and making things far harder than they need to be, and I can already see it now. I'm sure half the Connex will be packed and he will have forgotten one critical detail or have miscomunicated it to the junior NCOs, and we'll have to stop what we're doing, rearange it . . . really why should I give a crap.

I ask, in all honesty, what is the point of my assistance, seeing as I'm not trusted to do anything. This chapter, is, well Bull. I know DJ down at the hospital could have gotten me a Med board, and if they'd let me do my job I might actually be less mopey. I mean really, you take away my purpose for being in the army and wonder why it is that I act all down? really? and the Sleepwalking thing, you know its a common side affect of Ambien.

Its getting harder and harder for me not to find a shamtasctic reason to just skip out for the week, and not be involved period. If they think I'm not worth keeping around, why do I care about them? I can't answer it. I keep doing what they ask even though I want to bitch and moan more than ever. What really scares me is that, now at the end of this crazy ride, part of me, a quiet but large part of me, doesn't want to give it up. That thought is, somehow terrifying

Monday, April 6, 2009

Operation Homecomming

There is a documentary called Operation Homecoming. It is a a collection of OIF, Vietnam, Korea, and even WWII veterans talking about their experiences and, perhaps more importantly what it means to write about those experiences. There were stories narrated by Hollywood legends, and something of a photo essay describing the events talked about. Every single one of these stories are powerful, as powerful as if I had said them.

I found myself crying as people I don't even know talked about what it ment to talk about their experiences. How can I explain how I feel? How can I respect myslef if I do not tell my tale? There are things that people need to know, and yet, no one will listen.

I think the story of "Taking Chance" and the one about the MedEvac flight, well there were things that touched a nerve deep in my soul. I know people will not listen to me now, but I can not hope to quiet my soul if I do not at lest try to tell something.

I highly advise, if anyone wants to know about war, or what its like to be a soldier at war, get this movie. Watch it, and learn what it means .

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Oakland shooting, a sad sign of the times.

Any Cop will tell you, its usually the routine trafic stops that turn nasty quick. From disgruntled socer moms angry that the police are making them even more late for whatever pressing engagement, to the drunk that is just plain pissed off and doesn't want to go to jail, a routine traffic stop can be anything from just that: routine, to out and out deadly.

Today in Oakland 4 police learned how deadly it can get. One man, an ex-con wanted for parole violation in regards to a Assault with a Deadly weapon charge was stopped by to bike cops. He then opened fire killing one and wounding the other. Immediately after that Police went on a manhunt for the man and in the process two SWAT members were killed in the attempt to arrest him. The suspect died of a fatal dose of hot lead. In all four officers were injured three died and one may not live very long.

Now some important parts to take from this story first, the two motorcycle cops were probably wounded by a pistol, second it is quite clear that the SWAT team was dealing with nothing less than an assault weapon. I'd be willing to bet it's our old friend the Kalashnikov, which is powerful enough to take down a lot of things at close range. Even if SWAT had the same body armor I wore, and even if the suspect were going to "spray and pray" chances are that he probably got the three wounded SWAT officers at the door to whatever room he was holed up in. That's the pure tactical situation as I read it.

But I have to say this. IT SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED! Doesn't matter which part, this whole thing can be broken down into a few parts.

1). the suspect didn't want to follow the rules and though he was above the law. He did things that society does not tollerate, and didn't want to pay the price for his actions. Worse, when given a second chance, his parole, he couldn't follow simple instructions, which, while a hastle would have prevented a need to run.

2). the suspect should never have been released if he were that much of a threat. "Good behavior" doesn't mean you don't just get into fights, it means you attempt to change your life. California has a soft spot for criminals and it cost four policemen their lives

3). while hardly mentioned in the article I read on Fox News (you can bet CNN or MSNBC didn't run it) the idea of 20 or so onlookers sticking around and jeering the police as they struck a manhunt for an obviously dangerous criminal is disconcerting. Even more disconcerting is the idea that some of these people were probably in some small way happy to see the cops injured. For every mistake the Police make there is a bunch of media attention, and with an ROE that's more confusing then the new Stimulus Package, its really no wonder that cops will draw a bead on "unarmed" kids. the simple fact is that it's dangerous to be a cop, and sometimes if the "innocent" harass the cop enough that he feels a threat to his life, or to the lives of others, is he not then justified in his or her actions. What bothers me the most about the "Police Brutality" issue is that its almost always blacks that are the focus and the "innocent victims" but we never see or hear what happens before the cameras start rolling. Even worse, because the suspects are almost always black and the cops are almost always white, it almost ALWAYS gets turned into a racial issue.

4). Obviously if I read the tactical situation right, then why weren't other urban pascification methods afailable? Flashbangs, and the like. hell they used Tear gas for the Embassy crissis durring the Tet offensive. If this target truly was a threat then why weren't other measures used to avoid choke points and prevent him from being able to think see or shoot clearly being utalized. It's not like we don't have the means.

5). Finally, while I don't know the situation, we need a quicker way to acess threats. Are they or aren't they threats? Before they even walk up to a vehicle they need to know who it's registered to and if any of the first tier (ie: Mother brother sister father etc) ascociations with the regristry are known/suspected offenders. Before the cops even get out of their car, before the walk even begins there should be a way to tag, querry and ascertain this information so the Police officer knows whether to go "hot" or "cold". I honestly think that if the public has a "right to know" how a soldier died a gruesome death and gleefully put that all over the news for the family to see, then a police officer has the "right to know" if someone in the car might be a bad guy!

I am sad to say but I feel a certain despair at the certainty that someone in the respectable news organizations will try to paint the dead shooter as the "victim" in all of this. I don't care how you spin it four people who were good are now dead for one low life sleeze ball. I count that as a loss any day. I fear matters will only get worse.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Memories





This was during my first tour to Iraq in 2004. The F-16's had pulled out that day, and a mortar round started a grass fire that set off the whole AHA. misses, captured ammo, 500 LB, 1000 LB and even one 2000 lb bomb. Katie Mac will attest to the fact that it was scary as shit! So when you ask if I've seen any big booms you know that yes indeed I have.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

DAMN THAT WAS QUICK!

So we're officially on "block leave" and it has not been good so far for 2-16. Within the first thirty-six hours there were fights with a Cop, DUIs, and a near fatal accident while running drom the Cops! Of course the BC wasn't happy with that. Not at all. The funny thing is that the only company that didn't have an incident was Delta! Wow, that is deffinatly a first.

So Tuesday started with a bang. Aparently there was a while lot of organizing of MES chests that needed to be done. I know it has to be done from time to time, but christ alighty it seems like every other day we have to do these things. Muy Muy Mal. What really stung was that I found out that after the eval I did on friday, they had already decided on TUESDAY, to go ahead and push the 5-17. The most amazing thing of all is that they were talking weeks not the usual 2-3 months. That completly threw me for a loop. There is no way that I think I'll be ready for that kind of major transition in the timeline provided.

As if to proove the point, my chaper physical was the next day. Thats unheard of. In all my time in the Army, and dealing with chapters, I've never heard of the initial steps of a chapter foing through that quick. It is really making my head spin. Baisically over this 4 day I have to start cleaning all my TA-50 (not too hard as I've only really used it all once) and really start to plan out my transition. How am I going to make Car payments, How am I going to get home, how am I going to get to WVU, how am I going to pay for that, and far more important than that, what am I going to do after that?

I know neither how to respond to this, nor how I should prepare for this. There is something that feels just plain wrong about this, and yet for all the fear this sudden change induces I have to wonder if it is not, indeed, for the best. What have I really gained by comming back. Is my life really better for trying to continue to be a soldier. Perhaps my honesty is my own Acheles heel. Could I do another deployment and not return so absolutly Mind f***ed that I could carry on *some* kind of life? It is terrifying in a way and yet part of me is so used to being the viscious wolf. The hunter of men, ready to kill.

How can I walk away, and how can I find peace after this?

HOLY CRAP!!!

THE NEW STAR TREK TRAILER IS AWSOME!!!



video

Saturday, March 14, 2009

A sign of the times.



HA HA

The S**T has hit the fan!

I don't know if I talked about it here ( I know I talked about it in my paper journal) but Ambien can make me do some Bat-shit crazy stuff. Officially called sleep walking, or sleep talking, your cognitive centers of your brain check out, and you become. . . well fruitier than a nut cake. I've called people, eaten food, and even had sex (one time) and had no memory of it the next day.

So last Sunday night I was trying very hard to sleep. I had about three or four Ambien left (couldn't for the life of me remember how much) so I thought now would be a good time to take some. Right? baaaddd idea. I not only went koo koo, I *might* have taken more and I ended up in Robinette's room. Bad juju. Well I did what I thought was right and explained the situation to the seinior medic at the course. Another mistake.

Somehow it got reported as a drug overdose, instead of a reaction, or a common side affect. Someone, and I have no idea who, said I took alcohol with it. Someone, and I don't know who, got the bright Idea in their heads that I was suicidal. and thus the pain began. Lots of pain.

First I got an escort to take me to the hospital, and well that was a fat load of fun there. Four hours and in the end they didn't listen to a thing I said. I tried to tell them over and over again that this was a reaction to the Ambien, and I honestly had no idea WHAT happened Sunday night. The whole process had me more and more worked up because no one would listen to me!

I think the worst part of all that was, when it was over in the Hospital, it was out to the field, of a suicide watch. I mean REALLY? It was like Basic or AIT all over, but it was something that I tried to tell people over and over was a common side affect! Well I tried to sleep, but *amazingly* I wasn't able to sleep at all. Worse it was humiliating. I eventually got to sleep. Chemobo helped me out some, but in the morning it was, get out of here, we don't want this dirty little secret out in the open.

I took the hour long ride back to post, and Sgt Morrano took me to CMH. Of course they told me to wait. I went, and they told me I was RTD (they always say that) but that I was definatly showing signs of depression/burn out. He was the second person to tell me that. I go back to class, and the very next morning I go to the head shrinkers again, so that I can have the pleasure of some sort of sleap med. Ambien is out, and some of the ones that doc talked about. . . well she's the first one that really told me what the side affects were. Horrifying what type of things these pills will do to your body. Addiction, weight gain, sleep walking, Lucid states, fatuge headaches, my god just listening to the side affects made me want to just shut up and deal with the insomnia.

That afternoon as I was about to take a shower (stripped down to my boxers) i got a knock at the door. I had to go to the company, and get read the "official" mental health thing. I had no idea there was any talk of chapter in there, just if you want to go to JAG or IG, etc. I didn't think that there would be a problem so I made my concerns known, and let it be. I'm a complete Re-Re

After that I went to picking up the Lunesta (one whole milligram stronger then the last ones I took), I got a phone call from Sgt Morrano that I had to beet feet up to Bn. I wasn't going to jump out of line at the pharmacy. Even when the place was a ghost town it still took me over 45 mins to get my meds (Imagin if the freaking place had been packed!). I found out through Facebook (of all places) that it was the meeting to tell everyone that had an ETS date that was anywhere near now, essentially "you're screwed". Stop Loss is in affect until Dec 2010. Which means I will miss two years of college. That little gem is real motivating.

And then, there was this morning I went to see the doc I first started seeing when I first came back. It was supposed to be a competency eval, but I did not know that the commander wanted to do a 517. A chapter for mental health reasons. My GOD. I'm horrified at the very thought. If I'm going to leave I want to walk away on my own time, and not be chucked out like some lepor. After 6 years 2 months, this is what it comes to?

If I take the chapter, then I'm a shitbag that took the easy way out. I'm abandoning my friends, or at least people that *might* count on me. That is if they ever let me do my job. If I fight it, I'm hit with stop loss and I lose 13 more months of my life, that I'd bargened for, and have to be tail end charlie in the sandbox. I hope anyone that reads this can see my delema. I'm screwed either way, and I have no idea how I will deal with either situation. Either way it feels like a final crushing defeat. I'm almost tempted to look away hand my packet to someone above me, and resign myself to whicheve ghoulish fate is before me.

I think the Psych chapter is punitive and is the command smacking my pee pee for asking for help, and worse for being a different type of person. I think the Stop Loss, is a reall shitty thing to do to short timers, especially if their ETS is right at the beginning, or even before the deployment. It feels like the Army in all its collective wisdom, or maybe more specifically 2-16, likes kicking Joes when they're down. I know one thing for sure, there's no WAY I'm getting another damned counciling for my motivation. Pretty much everybody is operating on Zilch.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Shirtless Slack Jawed Fagitry"

Going to the feild isn't really a bad thing. In some cases it can actually be kind of fun. Those cases, tend not to happen if there is any *real* supervision by the command group. Lets face it when you've got majors, and colonols and seargent majors breathing down your neck about how you train, you tend not to have fun when you're training. You also tend to do things in a way that is far more difficult than needs be.

Having said that, the absolute worst thing you can do is go to the field simply to say that, yes, you have indeed gone to the field. Such was the case with our last WONDERFUL FTX. I'm not going to bore you with details, of what we did, and even if I tried to, well I'd be bored to tears. I again fell into the role of the unmotivated come along, not allowed to touch treat or otherwise look at a patient, which, of course was the whole reason for being there in the first place. I litteraly sat in a tent for five days and did . . . NOTHING. . . Worse than that, I actually asked, begged to do some kind of training. Let me clear a house sit on a gun, SOMETHING.

Alas, it was not to be. At the end of it all I felt like a complete fool, having done a better job training to do my job IN IRAQ than I did in this bs FTX. I can not honestly decide what agrivates me more. The fact that I'm not being given my fair shakes, or the fact that I'm being compared to the battalion idiot that just happens to be my god damned room mate!

As for that incompotent POS, well he left his weapon in the latrine, which eventually ended up in the S-3 SGM's hands. I'd have felt sorry for the poor bastard if he didn't have it comming. he had to dummy cord EVERYTHING! I mean it. His flag, nametape, eyepro (eventually) gloves, weapon, K-pot, all his ammo pouches. I mean EVERYTHING! It was actually kind of comicle, but really it was sad.

In the end, the sole highlight of the week was going to the range on friday. Even though it was 0 degrees outside. I almost froze off my fingers. Oh well. In the end there was absolutly nothing in this whole week that would have let me feel in anyway that I acomplished more than re-reading a Dune book.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Snazzy new PX

ok so I gotta say, the new Ft Riley PX which has been under construction forever and a day is pretty sanzzy! After exploring it for five seconds I thought to myself (rather stupidly) "I may never leave post again". Now I've never understood how Ft Sam, a small post, (but still home to MEDCOM) managed to warrent such a large PX and places like Riley and Schofield had such tiny ones! Still the new PX is a step in the right direction. The direction of not making Fort Riley suck so much.

I mean a game stop that looks like it has more stuff than the MALL! and patriot outfitters (an overpriced but still very good gear store) is right there with a fair sized shop. I'm seeing things in this little mini mall ad pretty decent prices that outside would cost about 10%-15% more. now if its just a dollar that's not but it adds up after a while. Bestr of all everytrhing has that new smell to it. I mean really when things are brand spanking new they smell AWSOME from leather to clothes to a whole damned store!

Unfortunatly you can't change the simple fact that YOUR IN KANSAS!!! I mean if you're into ag, more power to you but the young and the bold don't really like this rustic lifestyle, and most of the people that live here can't wait to get out to a faster pace of life. I mean it might have been fine in the fronteer days, but those days are long over, and any road trip on the back roads of Kansas will show you old broken down homs that look like they haven't seen maintnence since the Great Depression.

Lets face it. Ft. Riley, the Big Red One, whatever you want to look at it, no one wants to be here. However, modernizing the post, and making sure that people have at least *some* of the amenities of that faster pace of life is a step in the right direction. Now if the Army would actually make sense we'd all be a lot happier.

Friday, February 20, 2009

This will end in tears

Ok so I saw Doc Shomaker, and he's the first one to say it, I'm burned out. I suppose when its staring you in the face its kind of hard to deny. He does have a point in that I keep replaying things like a bad looping tape, but lets face it, if you were totally lacking purpose in your life, would you be doing much better?

Well today (friday) is a day off. We (FINALLY) get the three day weekend we were promised for AUSA subscription. $20 for a day away from the med platoon. . . TOTALLY worth it! I mean the last two weeks have been a nearly constant peepee smacking, and when that's not happening I'm sitting on my ass. SSG Tyra said it best, its hard to take pride in something when there's a lot of sitting involved.

Even though the Bn was on red cycle, we were still doing crazy training feild problems, and i guess i can understand why. We go to NTC soon and deploy soon after that, but the Med platoon can barely keep up and, really no offense or anything but Cpt Brock ain't exactly helping matters with the near constant panic mode. Lt Carmen is ok, but, well like most Lt's there are days when you have fantisies of violence that you can't really make happen.

So while the rest of Evac is neck deep in stuff sans Foxworthy, I am sitting on my ass not only feeling useless, but worse pointless. I don't honestly know what is worse. I am trying, but the hope and the giddyness I felt at comming back has fadded and I find myself close yet really far from my goal... being back on the line. It is beyond frusteration and the fact that I am just a wall fixture to my PA don't exactly help matters.

Now, there is an ill defined feild problem, which no one really has any idea what exactly we are doing. Worse than that, we are going for a week, and it seems no one else is going to be doing anything. Since I am not able to drive, and since I am not able to treat patients I am forced to conclude that I will be sitting on my ass in the feild for a week, and praying a stray bullet somewhere takes me out to end my misery. What am I talink about, I'm praying for that now.

I do not think this will end well for the Med platoon, and frankly I think it will end in tear for someone. Not exactly the tiumphant return I had hoped for. God I hate my life.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Getting away *finally*

Ok so presidents day is a 4 day weekend for soldiers. Its a good thing too, if they didn't have four days, I'm sure that soldiers would kill eachother long before we ever got in contact with the enemy. I asked my mom to come out on the 29th of January, and this past weekend she came out and we spent time in Kansas City. In truth I asked her out here on possibly the worst day in the unit so far. I was literally to the point of tears. I just needed someone to get my mind off things. All I can say is thank God she came. I was about to go absolutly batty.

She came on friday evening and left monday. We spent the whole time in the greater Kansas City area, right next to the Kansas speedway with that huge mall and the Cabellas. friday night was mostly just getting settled, and figguring out what we were going to do. we settled on going to see two plays, which were the cultured thing to do and something I wouldn't normally do.

The first one was at the "heartland theater" and it was called "Murder by the Book" it was a comedy about an author, and his wife who were trying to off eachother, and a secratary and a nabor that got caught in the middle. The publisher also had a part to play, but in all it was a horribly complicated "who done what to whom" and it was pretty funny. I actually enjoyed it. It also helped that they served booze which you could take into the theater. I don't think I'll ever get over the novelty of that.

The next day was definatly. . . different. We went to see Arabian Nights. Lets face it anyone that knows me and has actually read this blog knows that was probably a really bad idea. But I went anyway. It was not long before i was figiting and generally having a hard time. More than once I wanted to bolt for the exit, whcich isnt's too good because it was actually a good play. . . sort of. By the intermission I was having real trouble, and I just had to get out. Mom understood sort of but I could tell it really broke her heart. This was a hurt that no one, mother, friend or otherwise will ever be able to fix. she suggested we leave but i insisted we stay. the end they said as one "and the nights of Baghdad became brighter than the day" and they retracted the lights, and there was the sound of sirens. . .that really got to me. what am I supposed to say about that. . .

well skip foward to monday. Thankfully it was going to be a short day. We saw some sights, and got totally lost. Kansas City is not well marked out. Its one of those cities where you really need to know where you are and where you are going or you're going to get totally lost. the Union Station there is really interesting. Amazing archatecture, and the liberty thing right across the street is also something to see. It comemorates the end of WWI and is really an artistic masterpeice. I think we've lost something important, because you just don't see monuments designed that way anymore. After it was all said and done, I took her to the airport and drove home to get ready for the next week of FUN. The valuse of the weekend wasn't in the sights or sounds, it was in the concept that for just a little while, I was able to pretend I was a normal person.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Some kind of hell

I know its kind of really been a while since I posted last. Since then I've had just about the worst month of my career. Not only am I sucking at PT I also got an Article 15 for ammo in my room. Aome how 15 rounds of 5.56 mm got me 14 days of extra duty, when a year ago I had 210 rounds AND a weapon. I know it's a violation of article whatever whatever, but really who cares? The thought that it really matters is forign to me.



So for 14 days I was busting my ass at work and in my free time. Thankfully I didn't lose any rank or pay. But what really gets my goat, is that I confidded in my squad leader SGT Sutton, and he took it to the Aid Station NCOIC SSG Tyra, and i got a stern talking to about my motivation. As if I alone were the only one lacking motivation. It really pisses me off. I've gotten counciling statements about lack of motivation, and quitting on pt, and yadda yadda.



Then there was the thing with the mortars, and the "cold" injuries, that somehow got my status as an active medic revoked by Captain Brock. The only reason I came back to 2-16 was to take care of soldiers and HE TOOK THAT AWAY FROM ME!!! Worst of all there was no face to face, no explination, a simple "you're not practicing medicine in this battalion until the doc says so." WTF does that mean!?!? I'm so angry about it. The man is a mennace!

Well my life has turned to shit in record time. So I had to ask for mom to cvome out and visit to take my mind offf things. So far just the fact of her visit was enough to make it a *little* better. God I hate the army right now. I really can't wait to get out.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year and an Old Familiar face

I think that its somewhat ironic that I begin this year exactly where I started the last one. 2/16 Rear D. To be sure I'm satying in a different room (by far the smallest I've had YET) but essentially I'm in the same position I was in before. It's kind of funny, before everyone left on Block leave (and wasn't there a flood to get the hell out of here) I saw SFC Hall, and CPT Hampton. The reactions were predictable, but amusing none the less. CPT Hampton lit up like a Christmas tree, and there was a lot of smiles all around. SFC Hall's expression said something akin to "oh no, not again" (just like that bowl of petunas)

Well the last two weeks have seen a lot of action. . . who am I kidding. The most stressful thing I had to do was fill out a leave form in 30 mikes or less (also had to add a pin to Mypay). Show up at 0630, do a little PT (and I do mean little) and then show back up at 0930, get talked to, and leave, final formation 1130 and for some reason a safety brief. . . EVERY DAY! Really I couldn't be more underwhelmed. But I know not all is roses. I get the distinct fealing that this is the calm before the storm.

I think the Highlight of my holidays was the package I got from Mom and Dad. The shotgun shell christmas lights were a real kick, and I liked them so much I put them up right away. I aslo got the Audio book for "Paul of Dune". Nice to see my folks still remember my obsession with the Dune Chronicles. The satalite radio. . . broke, but I'm going to buy a new one. Hopefully that will be the end of it.

CPT Brock is (somehow) still the PA, and SFC Hall can't have forgotten my "antics," there is also the matter of getting back into the PT regamin. Being on a deadman profile for 10 months, and the genral apathy that happened after that really didn't help matters any. Also though I think I am remembered fondly there are undertones of people thinking I'm a shitbag. Sadly this unit has a long long memory.

I've *tried* starting the liquid diet. The Medifast plan is five shakes a day a shit load of water and moterate excersize. It works, you drop pounds like a crack whore. . . but keeping to that diet is not easy. Its rather like tourture, and sadly the last time I did it the result was some. . . butterness. I hate to admit it but aside from women my greatest vice is food. I keep trying to eat things I know I shouldn't. *sigh* well lets hope it works out.