Friday, December 28, 2007

You can call me stupid now.

Last night i made a complete ass of myself. It tends to happen frequently these days. In fact if making an ass of yourself were a sport, I should go to the olympics. So what's happened since my last post. . . well i've not done a damm thing. and of course going to work durring the holiday season is not shall we say motivating.

I think the highlight of the work week so far was going through a deserter's stuff. Most of his clothes were nast as hell and they went into the dumpster. No skin off my back. I really don't like deserters. I don't have any respect for people that run unless there are extreame extenuating circumstances (ie death in the family). i took a LONG shower after that.

So work isn't really all its cut out to be. Big surprise there. But the real surprise is what i did last night. I had know nicole for a long time and really aside from Katie McQueen (the office troll haha) has been my only constant confidant. Really to be fair she's been the voice of reason when i get. . . well like me. I traced back all the times i had been most miserable since I'd joined the army and it was the times we weren't talking. We've had a long history, and I've always hinted at it, but last night i really bore my soul to her.

BUT (isn't there alsways a but) my timing is (of course) terrible. she's got a new boyfriend, and it sonds pretty serous. I think that it was the impidus for last night, but really I know that part of it has been the on going transformation. I've begun to reintigrate. going to bars and acting like a normal 24 year old (i think). I've started to relax a lot, learned to have a good time with people, and most of all stopped pining over lost love.

The thing is she once told me of her dream. a ranch somewhere. I think is was when we tried breifly dating. ever since then it had taken hold of me and become something I fight for. that "some day i'm gonna. . . " dream that you always see but never think you'll live long enough to see. i had mentioned that i wanted to work on that ranch some time, and she said i'd always have room and board there but hinted that she'd be making it soon with someone then told me about her bf and then it hit me and i felt sick. Again i had waited too long. Again i had goofed. Simply put I had missed whatever oppertunity i might have had

So what now ytou ask. Nothing. I can't ask her to scrap a promising relationship for one she already turned down. I dunno i guess i wait. Katie said that i should wait for her to react. i don't know. i get the feeling that i've got as much finesse as an ogre. I just hope that when she finds mr right she'll still be my friend. That and i hope it doesn't hurt too much.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Blah Christmas

I will say going to topika on the 24th was good. I mean i hadn't been out in god knows how long. Its strange but the doctor i saw, well let's just say i wish i'd seen him three months ago. I won't name any names because i'm sure my original GI doc wouldn't like it, but lets face it i got less face time than than the dude in a porno. Brittany, Searle's wife, took me, and to repay her we went to the mall. I didn't think it would end up being an all day event but it did, and I'm not sorry it was.

To tell thr truth simply going to a (decent) mall and seeing the throng of humanity was great for me. It was nice to see that yes, in fact people still exist OUTSIDE the army, and yes, said people do have lives. I got to hear all manner of issues from the feminine view point, which is interesting. I think the whole shoe/purse issue is quit frankly halarious. The important part is that a friend and i had a good time browsing the mall. the sad part is this was the highlight of my month.

But christmas day. . . Blah is all i could say to it. it started off with the need to NOT get out of bed. The highlight was going to Anja's house for turkey, but then after that the million odd kids going crazy trying to get my attention really put a damper on the whole thing. To be hones it was enough to make a guy want to get the big V.

I pretty much spent the day texting and calling everyone to wish them a merry christmas but i really didn't feel the christmas cheer. Say what you will but this year just didn't feel like christmas. I wanted to go home, but of course that was too much for rear D made my life miserable and i finally just gave up. I want to go home. . . sort of. Well truth be told i don't know if i do or not. I do need to reconnect with the people that are important to me, but i'm not ready to do that.

I can only imagine what great introspection will occur in the comming days but i bet it will be interesting.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Peace at last

I've finally made peace with the things i've felt about lisa. My anger is gone. I realize now (by making a few mistakes of my own) that she was human and she needed some companionship. It took making a mistake, a type I'd never once even considdered before to realize just how human she is. In that moment i understood, and though it does not erase the sence that it was wrong, i felt so much sympathy for her. I can only imagine what she felt. fear self loathing.

How strange it is that it takes the advent of christmas and a LONG talk with a preist for me to get it. Joe (aka blade runner) was right you have to chose the path of forgiveness. It's slow going, but I have finally forgiven her. I've made peace with what happened. It is hard to think about still, but it is getting easier. I guess it simply wasn't ment to be.

Joe had told me a lot of things. things i needed a friend to say. In the end i morned for this relationship like i did for a lost soldier. I went through each stage of greif eventually stopping on anger. Perhaps it is kind of like a death. it certainly felt like one. Here's what i have to say. You have to learn to live with who and what you are. You have to tell people what and how you feel. If you hold your tounge you will lose

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Betrayal is such a subtle thing

Some examples of betrayal are dramatic. Many people agree what Lisa did is "fucked up" and probably the extreme, but the Army's betrayal of its soldiers is often far more subtle. Two months I've wasted, waiting, hoping that i will go back to Iraq. All the while on lock down. Now I found out I will not go back. My frustration and anger came boiling out and when it was over, and my room was a mess, there it was. The raw hurt. Everyone and everything I had belived in, or fought for has betrayed me.

Lisa has shattered my faith in people. I look aroung and all i see are people looking for the next latest and greatest screw. Everybody is going around looking to fuck eachother over. Nothing is sacred and it's like a bunch of monkeys swinging from vine to vine. I realized suddenly when i was at the mall the other day, I'm disgusted by the people i tried to protect. Nothing seems sacred anymore. When someone gives their word, it doesn't mean anything anymore. Worse, everytime i try to move on, every time i think she's in the past. Lisa is there. not physically but in my mind. Random things will remind me of her, and some things, will bring images of her mid coitis and having forgotten me completly. I have come to despise women, pretty much all women. even casual conversations are colored with my disgust. My anger is such that i would wish a sort of reveng upon her. I wish she'd see my face everytime she has sex, i wish she'd hear my voice, when she feels down. I wish i would haunt her as much as she haunts me. But that will never happen. I hate her for being happy. It has come to the point i wish I'd never known her so i could be spared this pain. How sad is that?

The army's betrayal is one that is sadly an old story. "Fight our wars" they say, onward, you push and push until you are of no more use to them. If you fall into a catigory of not useful but not so horribly scared (physical or psychological) that you would notice. It's easy to forget people that are simply hurt. 2/16 for all it's faults has some good people. Although my feelings towards the BN chain of command are clear, the company level, and especially platoon level, there are some GOOD people. So you can imagine how much it hurts to be, well forgotten.

I have 5 fromations a day (oh don't dare miss one of these!) and what is the great work that needs to be done. . . ? NOT A GOD DAMM THING!!! It's simply a place to put a soldier so you don't have to worry. I've been jacked around delayed and treated like shit. The medical system has failed me. in two months i've had a grand total of six meetings with anyone working my case. Total amount of actual face time perhaps 3 hours at most. I WANT to go back. I didn't want to leave! I can't believe that I ended up here. It's like from the CSH to here people were just like "well i don't know what to do, send him down the chain". It's so maddening

So last night, while taking a shower a stray thought went through my head, "if I were to disapear tommorow, no one would notice." i felt cold and VERY affraid that I'd even think that. Has it really come to this. I can't tell what people feel about me, and suddenly with Lisa's betrayal everyone seems so two faced. I didn't want to feel this way. I wanted to believe in her, I wanted to believe that nice guys don't finish last, but somehow staring down this feeling of abandonment, i realize just how cold and cruel the world can be, and it breaks my heart.

Monday, November 12, 2007

One vet that wishes he weren't

Alright ladies and gents, here's the skinny. I DO NOT WANT TO BE A VETRAN!!! All that i've gotten for my troubles is an empty room in the barraks, an empty life, and a lot of memories I DON'T WANT! I stayed away from the parades, because simply put if another person thanks me for my service I'll scream. Truth is folks, it's NOT FUN. War isn't cool, and playing soldier isn't a way to honor me. Here's a thought, instead of acting like jackasses, TAKE SOME DAMM RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS. The sickening part of returning home is seeing every part of the culture trying to absolve itself the consequences of their mistakes.

Honor is not dead, nor is chivalry, but at times I feel I'm holding a banner in the middle of a storm of chaos. Is it really so hard to do the right thing? Don't lie, and don't make excuses for your actions. You did something you knew was wrong, you might as well live up to it. If you can still look at yourself in the mirrior good for you. It is just sad, I think, that this nation is so quick to run from mistakes (the current war in Iraq is a perfect example) that they forget important lessons. I can not fathom it all.

What did I do for this 4 day. Well I went down to the Emporia area to see a lady. Although it could not be considdered a dats, I think we hit it off, the bad part. . . flashbacks. They've been comming more and more frequently. Hearing Drew scream as I shoved the Kirlex in, seeing SSG Beaumont's dazed look, Price. Even the moments that weren't traumatic. The first time I let myself cry after Craig made it to the loyalty aid station. and. . . Lisa. I won't lie, part of this rant is infact directed at her, but it also is directed at society at large. There I was holding another woman in my arms and for a moment my mind convinced me it was Lisa. I'd thought I'd rid myself of this but apparently my subconcious delights in tormenting my concious mind.

On the way back yesterday, I was listinening to audio version of Harry Potter, and screaming at no one in particular. Shit I hadn't said since I got back. It's like the slow spiral into madness. My obsession with Lisa is sad and unhealthy, but every time I try to break away she says something that makes me feel ashamed for trying to. What the Hell.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

I guess I DO still have a gag reflex.

Endoscopy. Baisically shoving a camera down a person's throat to see what they can see. Now I was told in the CSH that they'd probably do this in Germany. That was a whole MONTH ago!!! Not that I'm at all bitter about the treatment I recieved at the hands of the army. Or the past MONTH, of nearly unmitigated HELL!

So first they won't let me start until i call my unit. So i call someone and let them know what's up, then they put the IV in. Now i only vaugly remember the surgery I had at Scrips Childrens hospital, but I do remeber they numbed me up before sinking the IV. So to, did they do that here. I din't feel a thing, and when i saw the blue cathiter I laughed. "Sink a 14" I said "22 isn't manly enough" the nurses all had a laugh. They weeel me down, don't ask me why. Then I warn them I come up heaving, so on goes that most joyous of drugs phenagrin. Ahhhhh. then of course while I'm cracking jokes the vancamiacin goes. Next thing I know I'm waking up somewhere else. Ahhh vanc.

After that an MRI, which I find out later is all clear. I have no idea what all this means because right now the Vanc still has me all messed up, and it hurts to swallow. But good news is, (hopefully) I'll be heading back to war, and maybe just maybe i'll be able to put the whole month of october behind me.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Happy (?) Birthday.

Another year older. 24. It kind of scares me to think I'm almost half way through my 20's and I really have nothing to show for it. Most of Americans have gone to college or at least started it by this point. Some are well off, most are not. BUt in my case, I've got almost 20 moths in a combat zone, 13 months in an ER, and a load of memories I DON'T WANT!!!

Dad had come out to be with me. we decided, after a while, and a lot of indescision on my part, to go to Colorado if nothing more than to see the moutains. We drove most fo friday night, and stopped at a hotel on the 3rd. My birthday. If I'd been in Baghdad, I'd have gotten a pink belly and maybe a few calls to family, but it'd have been just another day. This birthday followed without a doubt the WORST month of my life.

On the way to USAFA (the Air Force Academy for you unmilitary folk) Lisa calls and asks for help. She got a No Pay Due, and was without money when she was getting groceries. She said that she knew it was kind of messed up because she'd been a "bitch" to me (her words not mine) I Told her I'd see what i could do. Now at this point a whole can of worms spilt out. For some strange reason I was filled with a sense of urgency, but I also started really having floashbacks.

Enter one Colorado State trooper. Apparently I'd been going 92 in a 75 MPH zone. I don't know how fast I was going really, but I do know that there are some things that happen when your focus is elsewhere like combat, and this wasn't the first time I've gotten a ticket, because my mind was "over there". My dad was furrious at the trooper. I personally think he went a bit far questioning his patriotism, and he was to the point of tears, trying to sway this trooper. Of course that made the guy act even more like a hard ass.

After that we (finally) got to the USAFA stadium. Well it was near half time and it was sold out. I wasn't in the mood for this so i kindo of paced while my dad tried asking everyone under the sun for tickets. While doing this i Happened to glance sidelong at some AF cheeerleaders. What a terrible thought that I might actually take orders from them. After much haggling we got in, and after much waiting Helen (my God father's second daughter) showed up. It was strange seeing her again, all grown up and (somewhat) mature. It reminded me of some of the things she had done in childhood, and I knew she'd grow into the person she is eventually. It was good to see I can still be right about SOME things.

After the game, well, I went to the local BX. After some trouble with the Western Union I spent $265 to send $200 to Lisa. The second time I've helped her out this way. Strangly doing something good (helping her) made me feel WORSE not better. I won't say what was said between us after I sent this, it was obvious that she was thankful but i have a feeling that it's back to "giving her time". I want to believe she didn't use me, but the more i try to defend her, the more feble my arguments become. There is a terrible truth I do not want to face, that despite the goodness I've seen in her, she's givin in to a side of her that. . . well a side that will lead her to much grief.

It's strange. There is a numb feeling in my heart. Like I've just been drifting. I can't tell you what I'm going to do. I'm not going to do "something stupid" but by the same token, I'm far from "ok". If there were one year I wish I could "do over" it'd be this one. On my last birthday in a drunken depression Lisa, trying to cheer me up sent me a pin up pose picture. It was funny to wake up to it. A month from now. . . would have been a first "aniversery" People keep telling me I'm better off without her, but memories of her keep surfacing, much the same as my nightmares don't go away. Dammit all.

One final thing. If not for my friends, I honestly don't know how I'd keep from sinking into a catatonic state. All the issues I didn't have time to deal with durring my deployment, have come crashing back, far worse this time than last. If it weren't for Katie, and Anja, and a few other notable mentions, I'd be toast right about now. I'm another year older, and yet at times, i feel like I'm 44 not 24.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Slow Recovery

It's not easy moving on. If it weren't for the constant Txting of my friends I'm not sure how well I'd do. Strange as it may seem, this event which should seem consequential compared to all the suffering and death I've witnessed should have been just another thing to add to my list of disapointments. I will not speak ill of Lisa, nor do I allow my friends to. It seems odd. Most in my situation would curse her, and call her all sorts of names. I don't think I could be mad at her if I tried, Just hurt. Even though she has a perfect rationalle from her point of view, it still feels like a betrayal. I suppose i can not fault her. Someone is there and offering her love, where as I have so much doubt and uncertanty it's hard to love me even in the best of times let alone when you're filled with doubt and uncertanty yourself.

The raw pain is slowly abating. It's hard to think that I'll be able to feel good again, but for a few moments today I forgot my hurt. It's funny, if I didn't have my cell some of this wouldn't have happened, and yet, if it weren't for my cell, than I'd have simply sunk into an unconsolable depression. I was very near simply checking myself into the hospital. I had never in my life serously considered suicide. I had always said that it was only cowards that took that rout, but the pain became so great I could barely do anything.

Halloween was painful because images of her in the halloween costume she describbed, and knowing I not only wouldn't see it but that after whatever party she went to. . . well it sux to have an active imagination. I simply couldn't bare to get dressed up and go out because thinking about Halloween just made me think of her. Even seeing little kids running around trick-or-treating didn't improve my mood, and I love kids.

Katie, is a good person, and I really do appriciate that she holds her tounge more than she normally would. Her scathing comment about Lisa while often delivered with far more spite than I could

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lost Love (a manefesto)

I'm Tired as hell and havn't been sleeping well so if this seems disjointed bare with me

There are always cause and effect. There is always a reason for why things happen. I have spent time wondering how the hell I came to this point. How did my relationship with lisa seem to end up on such a lousy note. God knows i pour my heart into everything I do, and my feirce love for her never abated, if anything it just got stronger. So how did we end up here? I took time to identify what happened and this is what I learned. Though neither would admit it at the time we were BOTH at fault.

To be sure i may have marginalized my share of the blame on this blog. A point which enfuriated Lisa more than I had acounted for. When i thought I was acounting my side of events I tried to be unbiased, but sadly that is nearly impossible. That wasn't the beginning. The beginning actually happened AFTER Lisa left baisic. She went for letters all the time, to no hand written letters and only scarse few e-mails. This was confusing to me. I didn't understand. Ultimatly Lisa had lots to learn and a life again (or something resembling it) but unbeknownst to me, everytime I called kept her going.

Ultimatly, asking others for an explination for things i did not understand, I got advise from men (and women) who had reason to be jadded in their expeirenceses with the oppisite sex, and finally talking to mom and her "she doesn't know what she wants yet" speach, while it seemed like wisdom at the time and seemed so true (it is in a way) Led me to make a SECOND major mistake. The first was not telling Lisa how important her letters were to me and asking her to continue. I did the "just friends" line.

Time passed and i realized my error and i tried to hint (but did not tell) I wanted her back. Even though conversations with her seemed strained again i can not fault her, because she had "a life" to live. It's hard to drop everything for someone that, even though very dear to your heart, is far away. Ultimatly there are no easy ways to sum up the comunications problem. Part of it lies in the fact that there were days, I'd stay up till 0200 or 0300 in the morning with a mission maybe shortly there after, just to hear her be somewhat distracted as she talked to me. It hurt. But i didn't say anything and I should have. What's worse, it hurt that she'd only say "i miss you" occasionally, and i guess she was really trying to tell me I love you.

There was also emotional problems. I will not even guess what type Lisa has, but it is clear she had a hard life and was never valued as a person. I wish only that i could find some way to show her i never stopped seeing her worth, or hoping that I could be there for her. There is such goodness and tenderness in her. That the world has not noticed it is a tragity. But my emotional problems are the focus here. Depression is the first and easiest to spot. Though I often Play it off, I have bouts of deep depression. Guilt, Fear, Doubt, and the emotional scars, not only of my service in Iraq, but from my life before. My social awkwardness, borne from a childhood spent on the "outside" looking in. I've always felt alone. For a few brief moments Lisa gave me hope, and made me remeber what life is. Sadly it is far too easy to get lost in your own pain, as I did, and ignore just how much others care. If anything the response to my post "taking a break" on myspace, makes it clear that I am loved. I just couldn't see how much.

Finally The foolish feeling that Lisa didn't want to see me leading to an entry on this same blog that made it seem that no woman wanted to see me. I was a fool to think that because she didn't post didn't mean she didn't read. I unknowlingly drove her to the arms of another man. It wasn't till I got home I realized the gravity of my errors. But sadly again lost in my own pain I ignored hers. And again drove her to the arms of another man. Now that all my cleverness has been shown to be foolish pride, and i realize just how monumental of an ass I've been to her, I simply gave into despair. Even when I thought that I was better off, I realized I wasn't. Since my last conversation with her I've felt numb one moment, then full of something close to panic (I have to fix this!!!) followed by utter despair (It's too late, she's already gone.). When I tried to call her, i was one click away from going AWOL, and trying to fix this in person, which would have been the worst mistake I could have made I think, for more than one reason, but her new boyfriend answered, the rest is history.

Perhaps the worst part was last night. Every time I closed my eyes I say Craig. Broken Jaw, sputtering blood all over the back of the driver's seat in 2-3. But it was different, He'd open his eyes, and ask "what have you done to deserve a second chance". Then I'd see the awful fire that engulfed 2-2. I'd hear the rounds cooking off, I'd see Hasi running up to extinguish the fire, but he stopped and asked "aren't you gonna try Doc?" and Instead of LT saying "Harrelson's KIA" he said "you've got to get in there Doc" "I can't it's too Hot" a round wizzes by my head. "He's got someone he won't blow it with." he shouts "But I can't get close!" i screamed in pain. the fire burns my hand as I try to reach in. Spanky is still screaming in inhuman pain. then his black and chared face looks at me, his eyeballs starting to melt "I would have had a good future doc" he said it ever so calmly as the flesh pealed away from his bones. And then there was Lisa, she was in Drew's place, a bad wound to the leg, and I'm trying to save her shoving Kirlex in, she keeps screaming for me to stop hurting her, but i have to do it I say, I realize then that i'm not packing gauze at all but stabbing her. It was a long night to say the least.

It's taken a lot of friends telling me to be patient to finally calm me down. Some of these friends I had lashed out at, and been forgiven by. This is the true test of friendship, and despite the fact that at the time I felt completly alone, I was not, by any stretch of the imagination. I am amazed at how forgiving people have been. I may not have realized it at the time, drunk in mustangs, but there are a lot of GOOD people around me, and in the world in genral. I do not know where this leads me but it's good to know.

At first I simply didn't know how to cope, so i did what always made me feel good. I hit the gym, and i Hit it Hard. I'd sprint on the treadmil for as long as i could stand, then imediatly went into a strenious workout. I'd focus on a muscle group and lift till i could barely lift my arms let alone the weights, then i'd switch up and lift some more, and just for shits and giggles I'd do abs afterwards. But this was not a good solution as my pancreatic "attacks" returned, with a vengance. Over Four days I hit every major muscle group, and all four days I ended up on my floor withing in pain. Not a good solution but at least i had a physical focus for my pain. Even if the docs told me it could kill me.

Finally my thick skull absorbed something. She made her choice. In the end it took three of my closest friends, and one of my battle buddy's fiancee/ex-wife (LONG story and not mine to tell) to make me see this.

Katie, who left a scathing comment about Lisa and really pissed her off, even though she does not know Lisa doesn't like her for a veriety of reasons. It was a personal dislike I think. Part of the reason Katie disliked Lisa so much was the affect Lisa had on me. The confusion doubt and uncertainty, in a place where such things can kill you. Katie also disliked her for what she called "waffling" but I honestly am not sure what that means. True this makes Lisa seem like a horrible person which is not correct in any strech of the imagination. She's a lonely person, and sometimes lonely people are so desperate for love they'll take it from wherever they can get it.

Nicole, who I had lashed out at in a drunken rage (and subsequently been forgiven by) took a similar view of Lisa, again not because of any of the things she had or hadn't done, but because of the affect on me. She took a more religious approach. She told me that if it WAS right that I'd be with Lisa then (eventually) it would happen. She told me i had to listen to what my heart told me, which actually might be a bad thing because at the time i was thinking about going AWOL or certan more extreme options. (i think deploying WITH her or extending to stay on the same FOB as her is a BAD idea, but i can't help but feel if she goes before I make amends then it really and truly WILL be over) Over the years she's always given me sound advise, if it has been a little bizzare at times.

Anja, the Ex-wife/fiancee of Sgt Johnson helped me out a lot this morning. when i was still serously contemplating going AWOL to see her and do. . . something. She told me that I couldn't just sit in my room txting her all the time (woops). But I have to give it a few days (um maybe more?) and she MIGHT talk to ME. She told me I needed to take a break from myself, because all that is going through my mind would drive me nuts (i think she's VERY right) That friends would help me out by keeping me busy, so I wasn't just sitting around. She knows about *complicated* relationships and she didn't imediatly question my rationalle only advised that I temper it. She told me that If I really thought Lisa was worth it, I'd find a way. Anja gave me hope that it's not all over, and eventually I may get another chance. Anja offered to call but i think having a laundry list of people i know calling her would be a BAD idea. still I really do apriciate the thought.

It was the last one, Andrea, (ironically one I'd hurt almost exactly one year before lisa and I started dating) who had gone through a whole range of emotions, before finally simply being a friend, that said it best. We BOTH made mistakes. Browbeating myself about it isn't going to do anything, and even though I was willing to lay it all on the line, it simply wasn't in the cards. And although I really did ephasise my foul ups, not even knowing Lisa, or the situation Andrea said simply that it's hard to be a military Girlfriend, and sometimes you have to accept that. In closing she said that Lisa was faced with a choice and took the easier of the two. She asked me if faced with thad descision again what would she chose. I know it's hurt Lisa, but the truth is I simply don't know.

I do not know the whole situation with "shane" nor do I want to. I know simply that the desperation to get her back is slowly being replaced with a sadness, a deep sadness at the inevitablitiy of things. That my conversation with her about the little spring at the top of the pistol grip may well be the last i have with her. I don't know if I'm ok with that. But I really don't have much choice in the matter.

Gertrude, often seen as a semi-antagonist to Hamlet (she was his mother) did give him one truly sound peice of advise "Hamlet, this above all things else, to thine own self be true." I have not been true to myself. I swore as a matter of Honor (you may break all my bones and strip my Dignity away but when I surrender my Honor I am truly Lost) that I would NEVER even THINK about dating a married woman. I made an exception for Lisa because it was a "contract" marriage, and had little meaning to the man (seeing as he is gay). I made so many exceptions for her. My "rules" my ethical code, is something I cherish because it keeps me from giving in to my darker elements. It keeps me in the right. I say this not as a testament to how far I've fallen, but as a testament to just how much I love her. Even after he tried to kill me I put the life of an Iraqi man above my own because eventhough I would have LOVED to see him die, he became my patient, and I was going to do my dammedest to save him.

Many a good, and I suppose more importantly interested women have I turned down on the sole basis that they were dating someone, or worse married to someone. Even if i had the key, the one idea that win Lisa's heart, I can not do it now. To try to break up another's relationship because "I was here first" or "she's mine" or even simply because I love her, would be wrong, no matter how much I care. No matter if I can no longer even look at her picture without a deep gnawing sadness and longing, I WILL NOT DO IT!!! It is who I am to always at least attempt to take the hard right, over the easy wrong. Some may see it as stiff and rigid, but it is simply who I am. I must hold my tounge. And should she ask for help repairing her relationship with him, I am obligated to help. Chivalry is not dead.

This morning I spoke aloud. As often happens one does not know where these words originate from, but I said "I will spend the rest of my life with her or I will spend the rest of my life waiting for her." It is not an oath as such, so I am not bound to it, but for now, I will follow that, until such time as I am forced to either swear it or disavow it.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

You Win some, but Lose More

I have literally lost just about everything I cared about. The sad fact is that whatever the hopes I might have had i had long ago lost lisa and it wasn't until last night that it became truly clear to me. When her new boyfriend answered the phone my last, tenious hope was ripped away in one of the most horrible fashions imaginable. The hurt was so intense I couldn't think, or see or really do anything. I don't know how i called for a cab or even what was talked about on the drive.

And thus I ended up at Mustangs a partially nude strip bar. Ironically it's where i go when i WANT to be depressed. if there's anything more depressing than watching semi (and sometimes not so) attractive females dry humping a bunch of horny soldiers or desperate middle aged men, I sure as hell don't know what it is. It's actually kind of sickening. the feigned interest and the lack of any real meaning to any of it. Strange that I should despise so much a place I frequent. I started off with 4 shots of Jack. One for every soldier I've lost. It's something of a tradition, when I drink. I'd say "to. . . " raise it high and down it. after that the night became a blur. I kept drinking, and at one point durring the night got into a heated conversation with lisa. It was somehow clear to me in my inebreiated state that there was something akin to disgust with me.

I trashed Nicole, and Marissa, who both for the most part want to help. Nicole for finding it so easy to leave me, and marrisa just because her "hang in there" attatude got annoyning. I trashed my mom for all the bad advise she had given that slowly poisoned my dealings with lisa, and in the end I silently raged at the world. Finially when it was clear to me just how over it all was i went out back behind the club and let out what could only be descrived as a howl of rage. For the first time since Harrelson's memorial, I cried. I had thought, tears would never again flow from these eyes but I guess I was wrong.

I staggered into "the Q" a sports bar right next to mustangs and continued to drink until closing time. I know this might sound odd, but it was a good think i was as drunk as i was. If i had been a little clearer i am certain (now) that i would not be here writting this entry. I saw no worth to my life, and saw nothing worth saving. I saw a man that inspired others to betray and leave when they were needed. Picture if you will a rock climber giving out rope to others, so that they could scale some moutain. When finally the rope was needed for himself there was none left. Litterally at the end of my rope.

But there was an intervention of sorts. A soldier from 1/16 gave me a ride back to the B's. And there we talked about a few things (couldn't tell you what because i was so drunk) but it was a good thing. The kindness of strangers can save a life. I crawled to my room, which by this point was spinning. I simply stripped and started taking a hot shower, but i passed out.

When I came to it was to puking and a lot of hot water beating down on me, but something was different. The pain was gone. All the pain and anger and fear that had been so apart of my relationship with Lisa was gone! No longer would the love i felt for her torment me. Hell even that was gone. All I feel now towards her is the saddness, and pity, that comes from inevitibility. I know now what she will miss and what she will go through. It amkes me kind of feel sorry for her. But I am free. And as I sat there vomiting up all the bile in my soul as well as my body, one word went through my head. . . Destiny I can no longer shy away from what I was born to do. I can see it so clearly now. I know what steps I must take to start. There is nothing to fear now from my call to greatness.

Be that as it may i can not simply march off and declair "I am great" if it weren't for the army, I'd go into imposed solitude in nature. Go out and comune as it were. Unfortunitly I can not do this. In one night i have severed all my contacts to what I was, and I need time to decipher what I AM. I can not rise to the occasion if I do not know what I have become. It truly is a shame, that i can not simply walk out into the hills and disapear for a time. I will do the next best thing. I will disapear from the net. I am not going to post another entry until i have found answers. Nor will I use myspace, facebook, or really ANY form of e-mail. Even my phone will remain largely turned off.

Until then. Goodbye. Good Luck. Farewell, and Amen.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I think it's over for good. God i think it's finally over forgood. I'm pretty sure it was Katie who left one really nast comment about lisa. So fo course Lisa read it and was furrious. As such she won't believe me. I WAS at the PX surfing the net when it happened, and I honestly don't know how i had the energy to even make it back to the barraks. She hates me so and i feel crushed.

At one point i simply couldn't walk anymore, and i had to lay down on the grass and just look up at the sky. It was still blue, but god almighty do i feel empty now. Once i got back to my room my feet took me to the internet center. Cursing my foolishness, I sat down and mapped out a plan to fly to Seattle and rent a hotel for one night next weekend. I was one click away from acheiving that when i tried to call lisa and tell her the plan. i called three consecuitive times, and a dude answered.

jesus i really did push her into the arms of another man. AGAIN. i feel so cold and numb. If i didn't take such a dim view of suicide i'd probably walk right in front of traffic right now. I think i have litterally lost EVERYTHING that's important to me right now. i can't believe i bought the ring this afternoon. god what was i thinking.

i havn't had more than a few beers aside from the first night when i actually did get drink. My pancreas is starting to hurt again and i'm off to go get absolutly drunk to make it hurt more. god dammit. how could thisd happen? i really have lost her. oh god no. no. please

the Breaking Point

there comes a point where there is no turrning back. Where all your hopes and dreams are completly out of your hands and you are at the mercy of Fate, that cruel mistress. If you have invested yourself enough, if you have put all you are into a course of action, then you are bound to it, and must accept the consequences. For many, they know this fear only once in their lives, and yet, time and again, whatever power I have, I invest completly into one goal. My life becomes wrapped up in this, to the point that I simply CAN NOT divorce myself from the consequences of my descisions.

Whatever it is, the Army, life, Love, drinking, I ALWAYS accept the consequences of my actions, and put all that I am into whatever I do (of my own accord). Sometimes the result isn't what I'd like or even expect. One can not predict what may happen if other people are involved. Be that as it may, I do not turn back, until it is clear that there can be no going foward. Till all aveues are exausted and hope was lost three streets back. Some call me a fool for thsi view point, but I can never turn my back on what and who I am, just as I can never turn my back on those around me.

I have taken the first step today towards a moment such as this. A breaking point from which there can BE no return. Dare I go through with it? I will not say what exactly I did here, but only that it wasn't cheap, and that it is something I can not turn away from, once enacted. For half an hour I stared. Enthralled that it could mean so much and yet be so small. It called to me as I stared. "I am the one you need" it seemed to say to me. "You know this is what you should use". Even though it was an inanimate object, I was still enthralled and somehow it called to me.

It seems like utter insanity now that I have it. WHY? WHY THE HELL WOULD I EVEN WANT TO DO THIS? I can not answer my own question. I felt so much misgiving, and my heart pounded like a beat of a war drum. The rest of the world seemed to fall away. My voice seemed not to work at all as a helpful woman tried to tell me about the item. Her voice seemed a distant muffled mumble as my eyes could not tare away from it. even when i payed for it, everything seemed distant and muted. BY GOD I AM REALLY DOING THIS! I can not belive this. Part of me is screaming for reason, and yet, yet, this is the path I know I must take. What had seemed like a good idea just a few days ago, now fills me with doubt confusion and fear.

I have taken the first step. There is still time to turn back. I can still pull away. I can hold onto it and never use it. I could take it back, say i had changed my mind. But i know that i won't do that. I can't do that. My actions and the actions of others have led me here. Despite the protests, I am going foward. I wonder now, if this will lead to "riches" or ruin. I can not answer that, I can only say that this feeling that I had only a few short hours ago hasn't left me. My hands tremble and shake. My ears seem deaf to the world. My heart thunders in my chest barely contained by the bone and sinew. My lungs burn and ache for the cold biting air. It is as if I had just wrestled Mighty Hector. No insurgent has yet put as much fear in me, and no near miss has made me feel so alive. Strange that should feal such fear over something so small.

Friday, October 26, 2007

What I Failed to See

It is strange. I read them a million times, but looking back on the things I've written (and some of the comments left) i realize there was a pattern I simply didn't see. I feel like a jackass for not seeing it. I feel like a fool, for allowing my perseptions, clouded by the feeling of hoplessness I felt, to lead me astray. I can see now where all this went awry. Of course Hindsight is always 20/20

Can anything unto damage done. Somehow, i don't think so. I just don't know anymore. I don't know anything anymore.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Well Shit

so a lot has happened since my last post, and I'm not sure where to begin. So I'll start with the news:

THE FIRES: Well as everyone knows there are major fires in SoCal. in my home town of Fallbrook, there was a masive evacuation. The entire town was emptied. Most of the roads out were cut by fire. So they were sent through Camp Pendleton, the entire town. I was told that the average speed was between 5-10. I can not imagine this, I am not sure if there was panic, but my mom has been watching Fox News nonstop.

It is a small sidenote that the response to this disaster has been phenominal. In COMPLETE contrast to the Katrina response. Both Local and State officials in both cases are polar opisites. Add to that the People are vastly different. While there are some people taking advantage of the situation (looting is nearly impossible to stop) it is nowhere NEAR the pre/post Katrina looting. Also people are genuily being charitable towards eachother.

So what does this tell you? I think that despite the fact that Katrina was a longer drawn out disaster (once the fires are out it's pretty much rebuilding) the people in New Orleans didn't try to help eachother nearly as much as they should have. The Local government went to peices and didn't evacuate till right before the huricane hit. the State government. . . not much better. Now years later we still hear "Katrina Katrina, Katrina. . . " as a warcry of those who feel that everyone else failed them. Although i am not mitigating the tragity. . . it didn't have to be as bad as it ended up being. Look at San Diego.

LT Michael Murphy: All that can be said about a MOH winner, is simply "they were Heroes." I will only say this: Heroism is not uncommon. Yes you can find a lot more of it among the military. It is shameful that this isn't remebered. As amazing as it may seem people honestly see people in the army as dumb stupid, and that honor is a concept for fools. Be selfish if you wish, in the end if there are no selfless people the country WILL collapse. If you do not fight for your freedoms, then you will lose them.

It sickens me that we that take up arms for our home are forgotten so easily. It terrifies me that some people in america do not even know what a Medal of Honor IS! How did we come to this point? Politics sickens me, but I fear that I mucst (eventually) take up arms for the cause of descency, so that men like LT Murphy are not forgotten so easily.

Ok so on to personal things. I had my Psyche review yesterday. As I keep trying to tell people, I am not entirely crazy. But if you read my write up I have "chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder", "Adjustment Disorder" and a few other notables. Wow. I never knew how fucked up I am. It's kind of funny. I am not sure if I am cheering for the crazy, or the sane. Well It doesn't matter. I've been given the "All clear" from psyche.

I am not sure if I am glad to hear this, or if i am pissed that i'm getting short changed. I think it's kinda funny that I might be crazy. Part of me uses it as an excuse for all the things that I do that might be considdered . . . strange. Haha it is something you'd have to know me for.

Last but not least, Lisa. It is a saga, damn near an epic. last night, while she was on CQ we were texting back and forth and after she said something inconsequential, that reminded me of an earlier incident she asked for my help, I lost my cool. Something, sadly that has been hapening all to often. what i said, well since my phone doesn't store messages, i can not repeat. But how i said it is what's important. All the hurt turned to rage, and boiled over.

This morning brevet my anger, I had only the dismal sinking dispair that has come to color my conversations with her. I baisically said goodbye. To which she wanted to know why i was simply walking out of her life. Even after the hurtful things i had said she still wanted to know. I tried to explain how much it hurt, why I was so angry, all these things. Finally she asked the question she had been repeating. so i told her what i had been planning on doing.

Against the advise of friends, family, leaders, hell pretty much everyone I talked to, I had a plan. As usual with my plans, It was half cocked, but I was going to ask her to marry me when i went home on R/R. The only reason I put on a previous post about no one wanting to be with me was because some of those people that had told me to "dump her fast" or "cut slingload" or even "fucking run" read this very blog. In my presumptions i hurt her and drove her into the arms of another man. As if it weren't complicated enough this other man was also with another woman, adding to her confusion. When she told me about it a few days ago it became clear just how much this hurt, but it wasn't till this morning that she realized just how deep the pain runs.

The tragity here is that we never comunicated how we felt very well. Not until after it appears this relationship is hopelessly wrecked. I think it's funny in a tragic sort of way, and to tell the truth I'd have cried if i were still capable of it. This whole while it's been emotionally draining, and I simply don't know what to do anymore. This morning I would have gladly jumped headlong into a firefight. Tonight, i am confused, and unsure.

If you had asked me yesterday what would happen between Lisa and I, I would have told you eventually (probably soon) i would fade to a distant memory. I was sure that there was no chance in hell that she and I would EVER get together again. Now, i am again filled with doubt, but this time i doubt the certainty that there is no future between us. I simply do not know, but i need to clear my head and think about it.

It's strange. I haven't done anything dangerous today. I havn't come close to anything remotly scary, and yet i have this feeling like I'd just come off an adrenalin rush, or that that deep fear you get when you hear that SPREE as a bullet wizzes by. Perhaps I had invested myself so much in Lisa, probably more than i realized, that the near loss of her friendship (and love) has me feeling the sameway i feel when i realize how close I might have come to meeting the "Big Man upstairs". My hands have been shaking all day, that cold chill keeps going down my spine.

I do not know where i go from here. I do not know how I got here. I only know that "Here" is NOT where I want to be. Like I tried to tell Lisa, "every complexity is only a number of simplicites woven together." i need to unravel this but I do not have the faintest clue how.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

the Worst Type of Limbo

of all the things that have happened to me in my career, this feels like one of the lowest point. I mean I am now in a place that I didn't think i'd see. I am now in limbo in every way possible. I have almost no attachments. How this happened I have no clue. How did I get here? only a few days ago things were as close to fine as could be. I had my mission i had my job and i had a certain level of peace of mind.

This couldn't have come at a worse time. this couldn't have happened in a worse way. I am told that i am going to be here for at least 30-60 days. that's if I'm lucky!!! It's as if a great hole opened up and i fell into the seventh circle of hell. I can't even really belive i'm here at all! I'm in some strange state of shock, and i have no idea what to do.

Can it be that this is karma gone bad? I suppose there is a lesson here, but what it is i have no clue. I can not understand why this is happening to me like this. It is like my body betrayed men and the Army quick to see weakness zoned in on me and off i went. But in reality for whatever reason it chose this moment to fail. It is painful and i'm trying to "cowboy up" as much as possible but the pain is so bad at times, it's not like before it won't go away, and to tell the truth it scares me.

Lisa. . . i can not blame her. She apollagizes, but the truth is none is nessisary. How sad is it that as crushing as this SHOULD feel, aside from some disquite i feel nothing. It's just another thing to ass to a long list of heartache. Like a last gasp from a dying man my heart felt one little hichup and nothing. My list of heartaches are too long to list. What now? what am i to do?

Despite it all the distant flame of hope is still alive. Dim like a distant memory, but it lights up this long and endless night. The way is still unclear. Where I go from here, is unclear. I don't know what to do. Whare do i go from here. where indeed.

what's the point?

I arrived at Riley last night. What did i get when i came back. Not what i expected. Even though riley is beautiful by my standards (8 months in iraq remeber) i feel empty. Being here is not what i want. I am alone, even though there are familliar faces I feel more alone now than ever. So i want to go back. Sad as it may sound, it is where i belong now.

Lisa doesn't love me. I know she cares but i knew when she got to AIT, I lost her. It seems that this relationship was kept up because i was in a hellish place. I knew it was comming but now i feel even more hallow than before. What is there for me here? It is so sad that the only place I belong is a warzone. Ug

I should talk about the c-130 ride, but to be honest my damm pancreas hurts too much. For some reason it just won't cut out, and it's really annoying me. Nothing and i mean NOTHING is going the way it's supposed to. WTF!?! I just don't get why everything always seem like an uphill struggle. I hate how everything is transitory. Is there nothing in my life that will be perment? DAMN DAMN DAMN!!!

Maybe if Katie comes and visit's I'll be able to relax some. It's always good to have an old battle buddy around. but in the mean time, here i sit here i stay, wondering who i pissed off in a past life to deserve this life i live. ah well at least i get to kill something every once in a while.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

SNAFU: Situation Normal All F***ed Up

So a little back story is needed for this one. When i was 13, i was getting terrible pains in my upper abdomen right below my chest. They would make it imposible to breathe, and they would come out of nowhere. usually they'd last anywhere from 15-30 mins then be gone almost as soon as mysterously as they happened. Many tests (to include weekly blood tests, stool tests, ultra sounds and God alone knows what else.) and weeks later i was diagnosed with galbladder disease. if you don't know what that is it's a littl pear shaped bladder that holds bile prodiced by the liver and squirts it into the small intestines.

so in i go for surgery. It was removed and i got ot stay in the hospital for three days having popsicles at all hours of the night and day (for a kid that's really important) and also my dad got FIFTEEN blockbuster movies. Before it was always one or two, but this was a whole stack (to which I though "man i got to get sick more often!) and some of them were R reated!!! lol the things that are important to kids. . .

Fastfoward to a night in mid march 2003. It came back with a vengance in the middle of the night at BCT. i went to the latrine, and damn near screamed it was so bad. but again it went away. I thought i was clear. WRONG. in AIT it happened again this time in the middle of formation, the Drill Sergeants thinking i was faking left me there. Now OIF II. In the middle of lunch on one of those happy runs into Warrior, to get chow and burgers, and of course whatever the PX had to offer, it happened again. this time i went to a little stall in one of the shitter trailers and waited for the pain to subside. It happened once more in the desert, and twice when i was at the ER at Ft Hood (NEVER get sick in your own hospital!). Thoug this whole time i never got more than a routine examination, becaus as i expected after the attacks were over there was no evidence of anything wrong.

Now. 06 October 2007. While sitting at the Mishtal Gas station, contemplating the vomiting i'd had the night before (i still blame the beef brisket) I suddenly had to puke. out came what was left of my dinner, and of course all the water that had been consumed in the meantime. So yea not plesent but back into the truck i go, and for about two minuets i feel fine (strangely enough) then it hits again. this time i simply can't wait it out. I get out of the truck again and try to just act like i'm going to puke again, but i couldn't stand. I collapsed and started screaming in pain.

Bless the souls of my guys. they may not have had a clue what was going on, they treated me pretty well, their limited feild of knowlege in the subject not withstanding. in a strange way it inspired pride in me. It made me belive that if i were ever wounded they'd be able to save me. of course it was small comfort when i was puking out strait bile all over the conferance table at the JSS. One short trip to loyalty later, it was clear that i wouldn't be staying. so tordol (ketrolac) and phenagrin were injected into my system and i was flown to the CSH (Combat Support Hospital) in Baghdad. They told me it was pancreatitis, and told me i was Germany bound.

For the CSH (pronounced "cash") i'll say this, they treated me with such dignity and respect that I felt sure if I were ever wounded that I'd be well taken care of. But also sadly there was the knowlege that Craig , and SFC Doster had died there, or at least been pronounced there. I stayed one day, and then off to the CSH in Balad, for a short stay before being loaded on a C-17 for Landstul Germany. And again I have to praise the medical staff along the way. They saw that i was well taken care of and that i did not suffer, of course i may have gotten too much morphine along the way, but honestly it made the pain disapear.

So tommorow i head back stateside. Nearly everyone is happy about that. Maybe i just hadn't thought about it but people have been amazing in their responses. The kindness shown to my by the "chaplin's corner" will astound people, or at least it did for me. but that is for another entry. Lisa, when she found out, i was alright, was obviously relieved. It's an odd way to find out just how much someone cares. If anyone reads the comment she left on my last post, you'll figgure it out. I just read it myself. So what do i say? In all honesty, she is the person i go to most when i'm hurt, and she is the one that's (almost) always there for me. all the drama aside (like a rollercoster on steroids) she really does love me, even if she doesn't say it, or may not know how to say it. The scary part is when she was talking to me today and mentioned something about Cassy saying she wanted to plan the wedding when i got home she laughed about it but not actually getting married to me, just the fact that she was already married and in the process of getting a divorse. semantics sure, but also a semi freudian slip.

I can not help but feel guilty. Every step of the way i have been treated as if i were special, as if I were one of the many wounded. That i have no wounds, or indeed no imperical data to back up this pain that i felt, only makes the guilt worse. to see some of the young (and not so young) men broken from this war i can not help feeling that such attention is misplaced with me. I have no wounds, and I was never injured, yet still i recieve such treatment.

Perhaps the worst part is that while i have been living in relitive comfort my guys are back out in sector and here I sit powerless to return where i am needed. The frusteration at the entirely logical reasons why i shouldn't go back (spoken by Lisa, my parents, the doctors, nurses and everyone else) only worsens when i think of that little onramp i know them must pass by. Damm this sickness, my weakness. If i can not be told what it is return me to my place of duty! There is a small fear that this will keep me out of the fight permently. Talk about lousy timing.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Distant Shores

Leave. R+R. Time off. Call it what you will either way it is simply put time to myself, to do what i will, and unwind from all the things this place has done to me. 18 days that i can actually call my own. A gift that can hardly be taken with a grain of salt. While most soldiers look foward to alcohol, sex and in some cases drugs, I look foward to clean air, matress that don't poke you, no raids, and no fear. To let the tension go. . .

What to do? well mom wants to see the Macy's thanksgiving day parade, or a cruise to mexico. I want to see the moutains, and maybe snow, if there's any to be had. I want to explore new places, see the beauty of places i've never seen before. But i also want the comforts i've come to know from home. I'd love to see the new puppies Windy had, maybe the new dog (Fred). All in all it'll be home.

But female companionship? i wouldn't mind it. I'm so hopless when it comes to hook ups, that it'd probably end up being a mercy screw for whatever lady that happened to fancy me. I doubt that there will be any sex for me. Drinking sure, but sex, not so much. Love is in such small quantities these days, that it's hard to really make a conection. Rare is it to find a woman that would be willing to drop everything and say "yes i'll sacrafice my time for you when you deploy." people's eyes wander too easily these days

So i have some Christmas shopping to do when iget back. I'll of course leave presents fro my brother with my folks. For everyone else i'll mail it all out the day before I leave. Otherwise i can not think of anything else that i need to do. oh how nice it will be to feel the spray of the sea on my face, a cool breeze that doesn't have raw sewage in it. Ahh sweet comforts.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Peace of mind

It hurts to know trhat in some small way the lives lost here might well have been wasted. Gaurding a gas station for several hours strait while people act like idiots can certainly feel that way. Also having the BC called "killer K" well that adds a load of confidance. but in the end you can only look to your platoon for answers and peace of mind.

Comming in for refit feels good, especially with the prospect of no expectations or missions for the next couple of days. But of course that won't last forever. Eventually you have to "get your shit on" and roll out for more pointless missions. It doesn't help to know the facts, the simple truth is that in my sector at least what is politically prudent has replaced what is tactically or reasnonably prudent. oh hell

The truth is, depite the trouble i always find myself in at the hospital, it is always a relife to come back to rusty. I can get away, and i often do. Though roaming the FOB may seem to some like a lonely mans way of passing the time, it's actually a great way to blow off steam. of course, as i always do, i keep a running monolouge. All the things I'd LIKE to say, and never will. All the Angst and frustration said aloud, but ultimatly drowned out by the droning sound of the generators that never turn off.

Talking on the internet is also important. It is not that i don't get it out at the COP, but having a bunch of dudes breathing over your shoulder can put a damper on any conversation, intamte or otherwise. Alos it's nice to find out what's going on in the world, and even better, it's noce to see all those sites that were blocked by the web monitors. To those prudes reading this yes i am talkign about PORN! i'm a soldier not a saint.

Finally, it's noce to have no need to report in. You can come and go as you please. the whole battle buddy thing was way over rated. If you got hurt by a mortar attack, chances are your battle buddy got hurt to. beside your CoC will find out soon enough anyway.

It's not much but any chance to get peace of mind is a Godsend in this hell hole.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

six years later

I can still rember where i was, and what i was doing, my expressions, and the disbelief i felt on september 11th 2001. If i hadn't deployed to Iraq twice part of me might think it had been just a bad dream. But the truth is that in two of those six years i was in this country. I was in VERY hostile teritory, and it was a direct result of September 11th. Where do we stand now? one can only hope that things have changed for the better but the truth is it has become apparent to the people of America, just how widespread and terrible this "Global War on Terror" can be.

The question was put to me "do you think we can win" i didn't respond at the time, thinking that i wanted to talk about something, anything else, but the truth is that eventually we will. My reasoning is simple, extremeism in any for is it's own worst enemy. Eventually the followers will become disenchanted. It has already happened, suicide bombers are chained to the Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED) and sedated so they are not fearful for their life, so they don't rethink their position. But just incase that is not enough there is always a secondary arming mechanism that can be remotly triggered.

Another fine example is Sadr. In recend days Jaysh al-Mahdi has fractured. Some wanting to fight the US till the bitter end, some wanting nothing more than to kill sunnis, and some others that want to set up a fundamentialest government. All are at odds with eachother, and eventually some will find Sadr lacking the nessisary qualities. It has happened to Malcom X, and (though he wan't exactly extreamist in the current use of the word) Mahatma Gandi. The lesson history teaches us is that if you leas extreamists you should damm well have a target you're ready to unleash them on, and if not you better have a plan to deal with them.

Although the war seems so widespread (it has baisically become an "us vs. them" of the three abrahamic religions) the truth is that eventually it will falter unde it's own weight. All the West needs to do is engage hotspots, and put out a message that there is a better way. It's not hard, as anyone from the former Soviet Union will attest, many were the lectures about the evils of America but in all the news reals shown they were all driving cars so how bad could it be? Ignoring a fundamental truth. . . people WANT to be comfortable. In the end hate is a temporary thing. Though at a moment it might be easy to feel, it is far more difficult to maintain.

Unfortunatly as The US embassidor to Iraq pointed out yesterday, there will be no clear "we won" moment and turning points will only be noticed and understood in retrospect. So it will be with this war. Iraq is a front, nothing more. It may be looked upon as a focal point, but soon i have no doubt it will move elsewhere. The world may seem a far more dangerous place since the "Iraq War" started, and since 9/11. It's not. It was always this dangerous and deadly. Americans just woke up to it, and sadly they need to keep being reminded. Eventually they will return to the blissfull ignorance that is part of the American experience, but in this world, there can no longer be such a thing as isolationism. If our ememies know this then we to must accept this as fact or we are doomed.

There is always a tragity that occures before upheval. There are no words to convey the horror of that day, or the monumental evil that caused it. I fear America will grapple with this tragity for many years to come, but eventlually we will move foward toward the bright and shinning future we all hope for, and get a little bit closer to with each generation.

Friday, August 31, 2007


The worst fear of anyone over here is being forgotten by loved ones, the country, or really just simply fading away to the backround noise, which in this place can be anywhere from a whisper to a strait roar. I suppose these fears can be irrational, but let's face it, when you live even the drama studded, often crazy life of a comfortable american, who gives a crap about a person half the world away? out of sight out of mind. Perhaps it is a good thing that people can go on, but when i put my armor on day after day with a repressed groan, i have to wonder, who still actually gives a shit.

The news will often spend more time on Paris Hilton's "ordeal" than the real life and death strugle of young men and women who for whatever reason chose to serve instead of being served. Is it vainity that makes me ask? Watching the news only pisses me off. But sometimes it is the silence that gets to me the most. I have attention from people I want nothing to do with, idiolizing me for being some kind of fucking hero, and the people I want to hear from, are silent.

I used to ask "is jodi fucking my girl" now I wonder if she thinks about me at all sans my e-mails. It is just too damm easy to forget. And i feel myself walking alone again. The long dusty trail, devoid of anything but the ruck on my back and the unknown ahead. It is sad, depressingly so, and worse i have only myself, a decidly flawed person to face the varrious hurdles ahead.

Worst of all, those men with familes. . . I sit there and watch them. They have people that are eager to talk to them, wives that plan their whole day around when their husbands might call. Of children who squeal with delight at the approach of "daddy" of all the myriad of stories from home. Stories of humor, stories of love. I look at these men and deep down I feel the worst sort of loathing. I envy them. Their lives, flawed though they may be. That empty cube i call a room in the barraks is all that awaits me. No woman, not even my so recenly ex girlfirend will be there, and so in the worst way this world, cold unfeeling has simply forgotten me, and it is the lonliest feeling i have ever known.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another night in Iraq

It started off like any other night, and like many other nights in the dead of night we got attacked. It was slightly impressive because it came from two directions.; Still it was easy at first to put off the *crack* but for their intensity. they were definatly shooting at us. then the RPG hit. well you just can't take that lying down. So I doing what every good soldier does, got my crap on and prepaired to throw some hot lead down range. The 240 B opened up. And i always love it when those fuckers light off. But to see tracers goin g both ways, then seeing the entire mortar platoon open up from the roof, well it's weird but it's amazing how something so destructive and deadly can be so pretty.

I sat there enthralled by the destruction being loosed by our side, to the relitivly inept Iraqi attack. Still it nowhere near approached the pure orgy of destruction when the last raid was on. We had .50 cals, Mk 19's, 240 B's, 249's, m-4's and a few 203's. Baisically every weapon system short of AT-4's. The shher mass of fire was overwhelming, and there i sat in the middle laughing. As if this were some grand old adventure. But it was deadly serious.

I suppose that there are some things in life that can not be explained. But it was as if i were surounded by trigger happy fools, and i was just as trigger happy. to revle in the destruction, the sheer destructive potential, daring Hajj, Come, Come to me you little bastards. Come and meet your death. Until you are the cause of that kind of onslaught, you can not appriciate the feeling. people might say "how callous" or "that's horrible" but to be on the rising tide of destruction, you can not help but smile. I am power, I am the sword, and where i swing limbs will fall away, buildings will fall, and i will still stand stong and silent.

It was not until after it was over that i realized how keyed up i was. Weather it was from nerves, or sheer adrenalin, i was shaking all over. I didn't feel fear. I felt a child like wonder, followed by a need to know if anyone was injured, and hoping that they were iraqi. The saddest part about this is that there is a feeling that well if this shit is really lost (as the democrats would say) then we should at least rack up a respectible body count.

I wonder at times, did they feel like this in Vietnam? did they revle so in the destruction of the enemy, has it always been like this. Once the fear leaves and you have only the mission you have to complete before they'll let you go home.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Gaurding Idiots from stupidity

It has often been said that that one of the greatest woes in the Iraqi theater is that the iraqis, are just plain stupid. Now i don't think the society as a whole is stupid but there are times that really make you scratch your head. You always see it on CNN, some soldiers treating iraqis shall we say roughly. What you do not often see is the other side, from the soldeir's end. Often times it is much like dealing with a bunch of children. Having to tell a 30 year old man to shut up and act like a man often gets tiring.

Now we are gaurding a gas station. I think this is by far the worst detail I have yet been on. It makes me honestly wonder, what is better, getting blown up or gaurding the gas station. The sad part is i do not know. That we have to watch the IPs and Oil Protection acgency gaurds (baisically rent-a-cops) actually do their jobs is tiresome. Telling the attendants time and again that they are only supposed to give out a certain amount of gas. even going to the extreme method of having them count it out on their fingers, only to have the attendants do it again ten seconds later, and then look at us guiltily.

Worse, the "jerry cans". eveybody comes through with these cans trying to fill them up. It is hard for these people to understand "NO". after they are thrown out by the Oil Protection guys, these idiots tryo to go and pick them up. On more than one occasion they turn and point to us, again making us the bad guys. So we've gone from policing the streets trying (although not suceeding if the release rate is any indication) to provide security, to policing a gas station trying to make sure that the money goes to the right pockets. More than ever I feel like a pawn in a game that no one really wants to win.

No mission up till now with one or two extreamly notable exceptions have taken almost 12 hours (I will not for securtiy reasons say the exact time we come and go, but the point is somewhat moot because we're pretty predictable in our timing sadly). Worse yet we sit there, do absolutly nothing. You could put a brain dead vegtable in the same spot and the same thing would happen. I routinly do anything i can to "zone out" but having little in the way of AC does not help. Taking a piss is a bit of an adventure too. It's a sniper's paradice. A predictable target with two-three story buildings all around. Do i feel much entheusaim about the mission? in a word no.

Perhapes the funniest (though sadly predictable) part of recent news, is that my parent brigade lied about combat strength to get out here. so now there is an investigation underway. It kind of makes sense in a sick sort of way. They put TRADOC people in key leadership positions (CSM) and a cdr that keeps getting in trouble. This Bn, is fucked. How sad is it that we bust our asses only to find that the fruits of our labor, are sadly like old rotten apples. that first bite is enough to make anyone sick. It's alright in a strange sort of way. Even though I know my efforts under this chain of command will be useless, I know this is where i belong. laughing about how badly we're getting screwed i felt a sense of belonging i havn't come close to in a LONG time.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Paying for your misatakes

The hardest part of life is admitting you screwed up. To myself as well as to others, admitting i screwed up is hard. I screwed up big time asking for a break. I had the rather niave view that people here could be professional in nature. That past grudges would not boil over. I was wrong. That was made oh so evidant this morning. I also made a mistake with Lisa, I was a fool to believe Cassy. Worse I was a fool to not see sooner that my anger was misplaced.

Faith, not so much religious faith, but faith in almost all other things feels broken. The Med Platoon, seems intent on their little games, and i want no part of it, even though i seem to be a key figure, or perhaps it's just paranoia that makes me say that. The more i try to pull away and distance myself from them, the more they try to pull me in, and honestly i am sick of it. How can anyone WANT to live this way? i used to belive that people would do what was right, that they would always aim for the common good, and not stoop to petty bickering. I was wrong.

This morning was a perfect example of the petty nature of the med platoon. I had NO idea there would be a weapons inspection, so of course i didn't clean my weapon, hell, even if I had known, i wouldn't have busted my ass, because my weapon is a bravo weapon, and thus not technically under their control. I was wrong to assume such a thing. He asks was i told, no i say, he asks Dollins, not the brighted bulb in the basket, and he says yes he di, askes correy, and he says yes (a whole 1/2 hour before). Am i calling them liars he says. . . i was close to punching him right there. If he had been clost to me i would have. Then of all things he tells me i better toe the line!!! are you fucking serous. if that ain't some baisic training shit i don't know what is.

Clean it, he says. Clean it i do. Cosmeticly it is as clean as it's been in a long time. dust on the outside of an M-4 is not nearly as worrysome as dust on the inside. Clean it was. I brought it back to him and he pulled some more baisic training shit. The dude serously called "inspecion arms" are you fucking kidding me?!?! he notes there is dust in the nooks and cranies. he says report tomorrow and any faults will be paid for in pushups. I'm sorry but no. I WILL NOT DO PUSHUPS FOR THIS POG MOTHERFUCKER!!! Shrek can kiss my hairy ass.

Add to that that i also have to go to mental health tomorow, and talk about how i fucking feel, well since the comand is going to get it, i'll tell them everything! I am furrious. Last night the PA was in true form. Throwing me off a table and calling me a shitbag (in essence if not words) , And acting like it's a first time doing an art line. starting it, then getting befuddled, and having to get someone else to do it, what a fool. I want to rip those damm nose hairs out, they are always stickig out and pissing me off everytime i look at him. He is such a POG that i want to beat his ass for acting the fool. Tell me he counts Harrelson and Craig as a loss will he. did he FUCKING KNOW THEM?!?!

My tirade about the hospital, long in coming seems improperly vented now. I feel the real venting should be directed with all due effort to breaking everything in sight. My anger only made worse because i asked for this. How then, is it that i cam to this point in life. Hating everything, and wishing that if it is to end that they would hurry up and get it over with. No i won't kill myself, but if Haji is going to do it i sure as hell hope he'd get his act together. No thoughts of glory enter my mind, only this long poinless struggle. What bother is it to wash blod from your hands, and know it is not from a villian but a saint! what cruel evil is this that good men are spent so!

finally my ex. Well i was a damm fool for listening to Cassy, there is no way around that. I took lack of comunication to mean that she was no longer interested. To be fair i wasn't taking much time to get online when i was in AIT, but i let my doubts and fears get the better of me and i pissed away something good. I don't believe in second chances. not anymore. Craig didn't get one and Harrelson certainly didn't. I am so angry at myself over that, that i can no longer see reason. That all the advise given was in essence "dump her". I bounce around feeling streched like a bad ruberband. For weeks i cursed all things femine, now i curse love for abandoning me, and leaving me at the mercy of war.

Lisa was good to me, better than most, and she understood me. That i was so blatently fooled by a woman that has no scruples, that i knew lied before, that i knew was not the best person in the world, that i listened to whisper in my ear makes me want to scream with rage and despair. I can not repair the damage that has been done, and it makes me weep for what is lost. In the end all i can do is move on. It's all I'm able to do. this is the price you pay for mistakes. I ask only what crime i have commited to earn this punishment.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

POGs Just don't get it

Far be it for me to say that Things should be a certain way. I mean after all these high strung dolts like their world to be full of shouting and screaming. I am just so pissed that they have this feeling of "us and them" which they make worse EVERY TIME THEY SPEAK!!! You rip a guys ass that has been up since 0400 about not shaving? what kind of shit is that? the dude JUST got out of sector. So yea. that was all assed up.

Second, when you got a trauma, CALM THE FUCK DOWN. Getting all hot headed and trying to do everything like speedy gonzalez just ain't going to work. You have to manage the stress and adrenalin. My vaunted PA is such that he is so high strung in normal situations, in a trauma, if he weren't a PA and my boss. . . i would have told HIM to step aside, as it was he IS my boss and he told ME to step aside. It's enought to make a medic throw up his hands and say "screw you guys i'm going home"

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Fine Print

So the Loose cannons rolled out today. Without me. It was a bit of a shock to me to find that i had been command refered to Mental health. I really don't care, but still i thought i was past this. that's OK, really. But the fine print of "taking a break". In essence there IS. . . NO. . . SUCH . . . THING!!! i would have thought that there'd be a little leeway given to me, after all it is not bullshit details that stress me, but life limb and eyesight.

I was wrong. Dead wrong. Apparently they see it as a 1 for 1 swap and I should resume the duties of the man that assumed mine. Um. . . sorry bro, but i really needed rest and relaxation NOT MORE FREAKING stress. So for one week i will in essence be in close proximity with a group of people that while lothe might be a bit strong, let's just say whenever i have a choice i give them a wide berth.

I will be in EXTREAMLY close proximity with Captain Brock, which if anything makes this whole situation WORSE. I also had to listen on company net as my own guys did a raid without me. It was one of the worst feelings i've had in a LONG time. Worst of all, my mental stability in question i have this sinking feeling this may become far more perment than i had anticipated. This though fills me with dread. Indead, it fills me with a near panic. I am terrified of that morbid, petty existance i have tried time and again to escape. MEDCOM is full of these environments, sadly most of the people in the medical feild do not have enough line time to appriciate this.

How ironic, since i found out that they deem me arrogant that i now, of all times, feel haughty. I AM supperior to them. Though their lives are filled with boring slaveish work they do not know the same fear, mortal dread i know. Before they begin to judge my quality they should bare that in mind. Worst of all, i am treated like i carry some unplesent disease. Often kept at arms length, worse i feel the people around me are two faced. Not at all like the line. The PA has lied to me, in my face, and worse, he has comented on my lack of balls. I had an urge to slug him for his presumption. but i sat there choking on humble pie as always. Taking in his dressing down, and telling me i'm a fool. Right in my face, he baisically threw this.

For one week. . . I feel the urge to go postal already. FUCKING POGS!!!

F*** me SIDWAYS!

I asked for atime off. maybe one part of a rotation. What i did not expect is the HUGE deal it would become. For the record i am stressed. Not hyperstressed fearful for my life, well ok myabe a little, I am not depressed, and i am not a babbling idiot. But apparently i have raised eyebrows. If i am showing signs of an adverse stress reaction, guess what i am adversly stressed.

The low down. . . i got command refered to Mental health. I was perfectly fine taking 1SG down there and signing a release, and all that jazz, but really, i do not think I need to be seen, it's not like i'm drink screaming the ranger creed at 0300 (again). It's ok, it gives me time to catch up on some tings, like my room (ug) or the sleep i've been lacking, ahhh sweet sleep.

while i do not think it's quite fair, i will of course comply. It always makes me wonder though. When i feel normal people see things in me i REALLY don't see in myself. If i try to say "i love you" in a creative way, people are like "wow that was amazing" and not always the target of my affections, though sometimes, they say that too. If i feel fine, people think I'm depressed or pissed off. If my face is nuetral (that is i am not using ANY facial muscles) i'm somehow pissed off. I really don't get it.

I'd like to think that this is just going to be another, show up answer stupid questions, and walk away, but i somehow know this isn't going to be good. Oh AND i have to study for morphine. I'm not going to go into how stupid i think this is, that's a horse that is more like pulp now. But needless to say, while i am aprehensive about my platoon going out without me, I do look forward to a break. which i'm not ungreatful for.

Soon i'll write about the day Harrelson dies, but, my last post really drained me emotionally. I don't think i could write another one too soon. well take care.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

My side.

Here is my account of 25 June 2007, and the events that happened to me that day. I have to put it out there because people have to know. please understand these events are painful for me to recount.

It was a normal day like any other. We were all excited to be getting back, but i was exuasted having pulled a 4 hour gaurd shift right before getting off. We all sat around and joked. I could hear people laughing about the game "company of heroes" that Craig and WillieBo had played. They'd gone for 5 hours only to get their asses kickedby the germans. I was fretting over Jubi. I was a little upset, because he was supposed to have been evaced the night before for (what i would find out later) a slipped disk. I had given him morphine right before i thought he was going to go, he didn't and i was bracing for the ass reeming i was going to get. I had spent all night fretting about a patient, and in the end i was pretty damm tired, everyone else on the otherhand were lively in a way only the loose cannons can be.

Like always we had details to do, and things that needed to get done. Clean the pisser, sweep and mop, make the "gym" look pretty, Mop the mats, sweep the sleeping bay, and of course pick up cigarette buts. we did these, with the usual amount of bitching complaining and griping. It came time to load up and off we went.

I am sorry to say that i was pretty tired. It is not unusual for me to sneak a short minute or two nap, but of course i never stay out long. I still try to watch for IEDs (but i have since learned that it is nearly impossible to spot them) but on this day, as we were nearing our old COP i was fully awake. I remember taking these same streets through our old AO many times and the street corner itself was well known. I saw a dirt mound on the right and "grandpa time" as we call him, was pointing it out. Lewis called out a white chair just after the mound. Sgt Johnson the TC, and reently come down from s-3 asked for an explination, and lewis was telling him about the intel we got about white chairs being used to mark IEDs. and then . . . BOOOM

the vehicle behind us got hit with an EFP. "SHIT" while there were asking for confused reports on the radio, i screamed "SGT Johnson get me back there" and then we heard "Craig is dead" over the raidio "FUCK" i remeber screaming out the curse in pure frusteration. We continued to roll. for another hundred meters we rolled.

"get doc back here"

"craig is KIA"

"he's breathing"

"alright dismount"

I need no further incentive. I remember throwing the aidbag on and running full tilt to 2-7. the back of the turrent was destroyed. and the doors were all open. I saw imediatly that the crew was moving around, except for craig. I saw him crumpled, sitting on the radio mount. It is not the first time i saw this pose. Doubtless it will not be the last. His left leg was bent bak behindhim in a pose that, had he been at all responsive to pain would have jared him a little bit. but he was unconcious. At that moment extractaion was thr priority. I went to grab under the armpits, and his right arm cam flying out, or what was left of it. The bloody nub of his severed right arm almost smaked me in the face, it was severed right abovethe elbow. I was trying to pull him out of the TC side dismount door, when i saw Bishop on the other side.

"GET HIS CAT(tournaqet)" i screamed.

I ordered bishop to get Craig's legs strait, and then had Fig help me pull him out. Once on the ground, the CAT was in my hand before i had to ask. i put it on his arm and started to really examine him. His jaw was obviously broken, and deformed, his chin resting almost on his trachea. Every breath sounded like a wet slobbery snore. He was choking on his own blood.

It seemed like an eternity. I called for a backboard, and littersrtaps, when they didn't have any i called for a tallon (collapsable litter) Fig was holding Craig, and crying. I did not have that luxury, yet. I gut the rest of his gear off and began to bandage his arm with kirlex. the litter arived and i screamed "get him on." fig moved to the legs and we counted together 1,2,3! we lifted craig's lipm body onto the stretcher. I called for 2-3 to come up, and to their credit, they drove right up. We had trouble getting the streher to fit. and in the end we had to jusy right something. I was stancing on the TC side dismount huddled over Craig, baisically holding on to him, as he spattered blood all over the driver's seat. I was aksed if i was in, and i said "yea go" then they slammed he door on my foot.

The ride to loyalty was quick, and it was terrifying. Leo was lighing the way with his 240, andat first we thought we were being shot at. I remember holding on to Craig. Holding onto his chest. Willie BO was gunning and relaying for me. About the time we got to loyalty his breathing got really bad. i tried to relay that they needed advaned airway ready, and that they needed an assload of suction. From time to time i would look up, and see nothing but brown, as we twisted and turned. how Aeti got us there without crashing is a mystery to me.

We pulled up to the aid station, litter barers ready. They came to my door, and i screamed "no the other side" they didn't ask they just ran over there. I remeber they asked me if i gave anything, and i replied no time. i walked with them all the way to the doors of the aidstation. Once he was out of my hands i walked around and as if i had to catch my breath i took two deep breathes before i collapsed into tears in the corner. I really don't want to talk about (here) some of the things that happened in the time he was at the aid station. But i knew the prognosis wasn't good.

When the bird landed they took Jonny out. andasked the bird to wait for craig. The chaplin held me. There wasthis eery build up and i remeber a sense of dread comming upon me. when he rolled out, they were doing CPR on him. I would have collapsed right there if the chaplin had not caught me. we were gathered up, told it was "very serous" and eventually we got ready to go. The ride back to Rusty was a quiet one. No one spoke.

When we got there LT was waiting for us. he toldus to gather around.

"I want to thank you for all your hard work, but unfortunatly Craig's injuries were too severe, he didn't make it"

Bishop screamed, March cried, LT barely got that sentance out. I couldn't see anymore after that, because of the tears in my eyes. Everyone hugged me, many expressed that if ever they were hurt they wanted me working on them. still bloddy, i went into my room dropped my gear ans simply cried my eyes out.

we were told to gather round the CQ desk, told to getour heads right. It was at this point that the BC was ordering a ham sandwich on battalion net. It felt like a slap in the face, but then the whole day had. I couldn't really deal with it all, but i had work to do. I went up to the hospital, blood still all over my ACUs, despite people telling me to take a shower. i gave my report on Jubi, and walked away beaten and battered. I can not begin to describe how empty i felt. Right then i wished i had never re-enlisted, and wished Lisa were there. I wished everything, simply if i could not be there. But eventually (2 hours later) i went and took a shower. You know it is truly amazing how a hot shower can makeyou feel.

I want to end on this note. I felt Craig's death was my fault and that i failed him. The irony is that after Harrelson died i began to accept that it wasn't my fault and that it was simply "his time" from impact to loyalty was 7 minuets. that's unheard of. i did eveything humanly possible for him. In the endthe chaplin told me simply (but firmly) "you are NOT God, you CAN'T save everyone, and eventually EVERYONE dies. a lot of medical people have this messiah complex, and itmakes them good at their jobs, but you won't always save them" I will not be able to save them all. I didn't have a chance to even touch Harrelson. Four soldiers have died under my care. It makes me realize how precious life is, at any moment it could be your last. I will "live it up" as much as i can.