Friday, May 30, 2008

Strange peice of mind.

I was talking to (Formyely PFC) Price the other day. We went fishing the sunday before last, and I had asked him, very tenitivly, if Harrelson had really been screaming. That was something that hadbothered me the most about that day, that Harrelson had been alive and no one was able to get him out. He told me that it was in fact Drew that was screaming, and that he had checked inside the window and that Harrelson was pretty much killed instantly.

I know it sounds bad but this feels like a great burden lifed off my chest. I felt like I had failed him for not even trying to save him. In truth, when I got there even if he had been alive there would have been no way to get to him, but the thought of that really sweet kid burining alive. . . well you can see why that would disturb me. But from what Price says he actually bore the brunt of the impact and he was dead before the Humvee even hit the ground.

I suppose this does little to comfort his family, or to engraciate myself on all three of my readers, but truth be told it really doesn't matter. The though of Harrelson suffering a fate that I would only wish on my worst enemies, disturbed me, and if you read some of the posts from when I had gotten back I had a LOT of nightmares about that.

I also found out today that I did in fact receive an award for my part in 2-16. I suppose this is the last little bit i needed for closure. One of the most bitter parts about my first deployment is all I got was a stinking COIN!!! I know no one will ever pin this ARCOM on me, and to be honest I don't need it. I just want to have something to point to and say "see I did my part and I got recognized for it!" 8 months of sand blood, sweat, and yes tears. I think I earned it. I'm not out for the medals but it does feel nice to get recognized from time to time.

I think its really strange, that it took so long for me to FINALLY get over a lot of the issues facing me. Doubtless the shakes and nightmares, sleepless nights and the works will plauge me for the rest of my life, but at last I feel like I can put at least some of this all behind me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

WTF Over!?!??

If there's one thing I can not stand is screwing with my emotions. I hate the fact that people have in the past and continue to think that "playing a little joke" on me is just fine. It's one thing if it's a small joke like people in the army usually play on eachother. Tying eachother up in sleeping bags, and things liek that, but one thing we never did is lie about our situation to garner sympathy. Now I'm not sure what people heard back home. I often said things to the folks that I suppose were an exaguration. but I never said I was going to die.

Tonight Erika had me going, thinking that she had an inoperable brain tumor. She had me believing that she was going to die in a year. For perhaps ten mins or so, she had me believing that the reason she can have such wild mood swings is because of the tumor, and that she doesn't love me because she doesn't know if its the tumor or not. Then she just out of the blue says PSYCHE!

Those that know me well know that I was lead on a lot as a kid, and I got hurt pretty badly. Being a child of middle class around kids that were most definatly upper class, i was the subject of more than a few cruel hoaxes like this. Everything from homework to girls that liked me, etc. Now, I find anything of the sort absolutly revolting and it makes me angry in a way that only Haj has managed to match. that deep smoldering fire that manages to make everything dark. That terrible place where all the potental for great harm lies. In short my own personal Dark Side. A fire that if ever inspired to burst forth, would burn all in its path.

I just about lost it then and there. I was going to suggest a lot of things, and I truly wanted to help her, but the fact that she had done it all as a joke to put me off guard. . . well just goes to she she doesn't really know me.

If I have one real enemy, it has always been death. It is the one subject that I don't play around with. If there's a chance someone might die, I go into crisis mode, and my whole way of thinking changes. Ever since I was young, and watched "Grandpa" Bill die of lung cancer, Death has been the one thing that I have hated above all others. I have seen the slow decay of death by cancer, and i have seen the *relitivly* quick death by trauma. I've seen 19 year olds with their cervical vertabre seperated, and babies dead from SIDS. If there is one subject for which I NEVER make light of, it is Death. That Erika stil thinks this was funny, and that I'm just overreacting is part of the problem. For now I don't want to talk to her. Call it what you will, but I will not have someone that claims to love me play with my head. I've suffered enough at women's hands and I refuse to allow them to get inside my head and twist it around like so many have in the past.

For now I will not do anything. Let her think about this. Let HER worry. I don't care. If she wants to play games then so be it!

Monday, May 26, 2008

memorial day blues

Most Americans are apriciating this day as a day off, a day to relax. Kids are thinking about all the fun they'll have on a three day weekend, Parents are thinking of BBQ, and picnics, and load of young adults (somewhere between their teens and their thirties) are drinking themselves stupid. But for a select group, this means being honored. It means *some* people taking time to look at them and say "thank you"

This group are called Vetrans. They come from all walks of life, poor to rich, Highly educated to Barely educated, they even come from all over the world. Almost every country in the world has had at least one of its citizens considdered an American Vetran. What binds these men (and now women) together? One of the most horrible things imaginable. War.

There is little harder for an actual vetran than remembering the scarafices of his/her brethren. For the vetren these are not names and dates or distant foggy memories, these are the most vivid and painful memories imaginable. Men you lived with, and learned everything about, men who were still becoming men, or men who are older and far wiser than you are, are torn apart almost literally. Bodies what had once been the height of physical prowess turned into lumps of barely recognizable flesh more reminicent of fresh meat from the market than a human being.

Some people like being the center of attention. Some like the parrades and the attention heaped upon them in this patriotic environment. Most, don't. In Baisic we had to learn the "Nightstalker Creed" I can't remember the whole thing, but i do remember clearly that we were "quiet prefessionals". To me those are usually the people deserving of praise. Not the ones with the best war stories, but the ones who are always ready to go, gear imaculate.

There are no shortage of Heroes that deserve remembering. For my part I can remember four very clearly. On this day, I do not ask for ribbons tied around trees, or for thank yous in an airport, I ask for silence for those that did not come back.

I supposes it's just as well that I slept through this day. I do not need to see a marathon of war movies, or false platatudes of rememberance. I do not care for people to tell me the importance of this day, or for a chaplin to talk to me about the sacrafices made, and continue making. For me ther was the blissfull ignorance of sleep. I keep thinking back to "a clean well lit place". Sleep is easiest for me when the sun comes up. When the sun is full in the sky. Then I know it is safe, and the night will have no power.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Elope? Are you kidding?

I have come in contact with two main forms of feminism, and have come to find both equilly distasteful. One is the "liberated woman" that feels that the world is her oyster and that all the pleasures of the world are hers and hers alone. She LIKES being the center of attention and dresses and acts in ways that catch most men off guard. Somehow all the men in the world are hers to play with and choose like some dinner buffet, and that this selfish attitude makes her anything but a slut. The other is the "power of Woman" your baisic alpha type personality and ego with all the arrogance ascociated with a man with scorn cunning and yes cruelty that only a woman can bring to bare. She dresses in a way that is almost masculine, and is either not pretty or is and wants to be taken "serously" affraid of any hint of sexuality in the work place or anywhere else for that matter. This Feminist WILL be noticed, and who the hell cares how many toes she steps on to get that way. The irony is that while this is the more recognizable as the "feminist" this particular brand is at odds with the other, and often comes into conflict either for reasons of jealousy or because they feel that it is "women like that that give women a bad name"

In recent days I have seen far too many of both, and my faith in almost all women (A few notibale exclusions of course) has sunk to a level somewhere about where the Titanic now sits. In the past three days in Agieville, I've seen both at places where I usually haunt. I have watched in dismay as a gaggle will come in and almost point out which men are theirs, and if that doesn't work well they'll just make men drool over them as they grind on eachother. It's the proverbial fruit of knowlege and serpant all wrapped up in one. A coregraphed life that seems almost hell bent on ensnaring those poor fools that are prone to drool.

But I have also run into the other. I have had to listen to lectures while all i wanted to do is eat my food in peace. I have heard women go on and on and on about how their boyfriends or all the "dumb boys" just don't get it. They talk about all manner of things and how none of it is theri bleeding fault! It really is astonishing to hear them talk about Roe V Wade as ESSENTIAL! I have never been able to see it as anything more than a sensless waste. But I also had to listen to a rant about how army BOYS are the cause of all womens problems. . .something about how they're all stupid red necks. . . and somehow I finally managed to tune it out and eat my burger in peace.

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Being right next to a college is bound to bring an increase of misguided and excessive political activism. But listening to all this brought my spirits down. I had hoped for so long that a woman would be able to finally use those "feminie whiles" in a good way and soothe this raging storm of emotion inside me. I had hoped against hope that maybe there would be some sign that there is more to women these days than a screw and a "good luck with the rest of your life". But as each encounter with "post modern feminism" berings more pessimism about the whole sex, so too does hope fade that some day I will have a family of my own.

Part of this pessimism has to do with Erika. The whole "i love you but I'm not IN love with you" thing and of course the "open relationship" has me all twisted in knots. I can not really wrap my mind around the concept. Love is pretty simple. You love someone like a brother or sister or other relitive, and you'd do anything for them but you won't be doing any of the naughty or romantic bits cuz lets face it they're like siblings, Or you Love someone like a lover and you do all the things wou would for a sybling and the romantic and naughty bits. It's pretty simple and strait foward. I'm a complicated person, but I never, NEVER want complicated matters of the heart. Part of the reason the whole fiasco with Lisa hurt (and continues to) hurt so much is because when I love someone I do it unconditionally and when someone says "I love you" I expect, no hope, that they will be as die hard as I am.

Erika has the amazing ability to throw out "signals" and then a second later back track. One second she asks if I'd change my religion if we were together the next she talks about how she isn't dating me and wont. finally I just had enough. The WHOLE thing of marriage, kids all of it. The more i want it the more the thoughts of it hurt me. So I just accepted it. The post modern feminist has won. Congradulations. Families everywhere thank you for the broken homes and the daughters lining up to be the next cracked out celebrity slut.

Strangly this attitude seems to have made Erika into a cheer leader for marriage saying that hey we're going to get married (maybe not to eachother) but yadda yadda yadda. She even suggested eloping. I don't know who she'd suggest I do that with since clearly no one even thinks of me that way, and most of the women I know aside from her are either far far away (and not interested) or are getting married (and not interested). I am so sick of all my friends that are happy and rushing to the alter telling me to cheer up that she'll come along soon, and then all that sappy crap will happen. WAKE UP!!! There is NO woman in the wings waiting for me. There is no wife in my future. If I'm lucky I'll have a (relitivly) quick death by some IED or some Sniper, rather than ending up as a broken down and oh so very alone old man. I am so sick of the reassurances and hollow plattatudes and romantic notions. Haven't women made me suffer enough!?!?!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Shakes

It happens to some people. They start shaking. It's a combination from and overdose of adrenalin and very stressful situations. The vervous system literally goes into overload at some point and there will be times that you see muscle tremors and other psychosomatic symptoms that appear. For me my right had shakes and i sudder visibly. For those that don't know I'm not nearly as bad as Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan, but it's pretty bad.

Three weeks ago I had started feeling better, I wasn't depressed and for the first time since I came to WTB I started feeling a sense of hope. But somewhere along the way in the past week it all started going south again. Part of it was sleep. I wasn't able to get to sleep at night even with the ambien. Part of it was my imagination running wild. Sadly part of it had nothing to do with imagination and everything to do with things that actually happened.

My case manager DJ asked me if I was really ready for duty again. She almostt looked at me as if asking wheather or not i was truly ready or if I was just bulshitting my way through. Truth is I've come to the concluson that though I truly despise Iraq, the brown and all that goes with it, I am in my own way trapped there. I've left peices of my spirit in that place and now it always seems to be right behind me. If I just turn around there will be Jaysh al-Mahdi rearing for a fight, and I'll be just as ready to kick ass and take names.

I want to belive that there is more to me than the War. I want to belive that when this labor is over there will be more for me to do. I tell myself that there are a ton of things I'll do AFTER this is all over, but the truth is I don't want to do those things anymore. I can almost feel the Colt manufacturing's m-16 or the M-4 variant. Its almost liek it's still on a sling attached to my chest or shoulder. I can lamost feel the IBA, the K-pot. Part of me hated those things so much. Everywhere I went there they were, they became my second skin, andsomehow made me invincible, and now without them I feel weak and vulnerable.

Part of it is stress. The thoughts about the future always fill me with such fear. What if I take the wrong path? What if the path I take leads me to the conclusion I know I want to avoid? But more than that it's the question of if I can still hack it. Can I be depended on again to have peoples lives under my responsibility. Can I take the heartbreak if I lose another?

Whether I get an answer to these things now or later is a moot point. Sooner or later I'll have to face what it is I have become. I fear that these breif resbits between deployments will become the only way I count the time between missions.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The New GI Bill

If there is one good thing that can be said from the Global War on Terror. It's brought almost unparrelled attention to the life of a soldier (or marine if you're a Jarhead). Some of this attention is unflattering, the recent youtube video of a marine throwing a puppy for example, and the "masaqure" at Haditha (which I honestly think was a "fog of war" incident and should NOT be compared to My Lai). And of course who could forget Abu Graib.

But it has also brought attention to some of the problems facing soldiers sailors arimen and marines. Namely concerns like Equipment, College, Living conditions, Deployment lengths, and a host of other issues that face soldiers all the time. The amazing thing is that people actually care! One would think that since this is an unpopular war (like Vietnam) and organizations like BOTH NOW and Code: Pink have sprung up (eerily similar to the Vietnam war protests) people would noth only tunr a blind eve to the plight of soldiers but they would also go the other way and hate the very people that defend them.

Strangely though some sectors have done this, for the most part, people do not turn against the soldiers. If anything there seems to be MORE support now than there was before. A recen YouTube video showing how bad the Baraks were at some posts recieved imeadiate responses and massive renovation projects spang up almost overnight. Other examples like "Operation Homefront" and "soldier's angels" provide support in ways that are frankly overwhelming (belive me i know)

Recently Congress started passing a serries of measures that will increase the curent GI Bill to the point where an SM can almos do the full 4 years, and also recieve a small stipend for living expenses. This is absolutly astounding as the current GI Bill is such that it covers 36 months of school and about 75% of baisic college. Most folks have to go into loas or other jobs to make up the expense, but not nearly as badly as some civillians do.

My personal feelings on this matter are such that going to college seems a little easier. Part of me thinks that most of the measure will be defeated, after all where is the money going to come from? But it seems like there is hope after all. Hope for my future. If I want to get out and get an education that option is there! Is there any gift I could ask for that would be better recieved?

Saturday, May 17, 2008


The CMB, Combat Medical Badge, is an award given and worn by the US Army. As the name suggests, it is an award that is earned in combat, but unlike medals such as the ARCOM (Army Comendation medal) this is one of the few awards that are worn on the normal duty uniform (usually ACUs). I is a cadusus (the medical symbol for those that don't know) with a silver verson ofthe red cross where the ball is, and a feild litter in the backround, surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves. The dimensions are 1"x 1 1/4"


It was originally created in 1945 as a way to recognize the Medics that had served alongside the Infantry in WWII. Originally there was a $10 a month pay bonus added to it. Later the award was amended to allow for multiple awards, not for multiple deployments, but for seprate wars. To date there have been only TWO known recipeints of three CMB awards (denoted by two stars one on top one on botom)

According th AR 600-8-22 a person must be assigned to an infantry regiment (brigade) or smaller, be COL or below, and not only be engaged by hostile forces but must also treat the wounded WHILE under hostile fire. Neither the CIB (Combat Infantry Badge) or the newer CAB (Combat Action Badge) are that restrictive. In fact many medics that were under hostile fire but did not treat anyone were not given ANY award, and some like my Lab Tech friend, Katie, are not eligable at all.

Thus far in the Global War On Terrorism (GWOT for short) there have been over 26,000 CIBs awarded, and 27,000 CABs. While these sound like a lot, when you take into acount that the CAB was not created until 2005, and the award was retro-active, there are a lot more that are probably eligable that either don't care, don't want it, can't get their unit to give it, or are out of the Army.

no compare that to just over 9,000 CMBs awarded. Almost a third of each one of the awards and put together far less, yet it is these individuals that have kept such a high save percentage. Over 95% of those injured in Iraq or Afghanistan survive. Sometimes the injuries survived are so traumatic that miracilous is the only word that can be used to describe it.

I feel that while it is important to recognize medics doctors, PAs, and Nurses with this badge, I think it is far too often overlooked. I have bristled when asked "what's up with the weird jump wings" and often when passing by the PX or other places I see almost NO pride type novelty items for medics. Oh there's many for the infantry, hell whole sections almost, and even for the many MOS' that get the CAB, but the CMB seems almost like the forgotten cousin. I have shared the same risks as the infantry, and sometimes it feels as if the army is trying to elbow out the Medic with the CLS (Combat Life Saver) course.

What bothers me most about CLS, is when I get non-medical types second guessing me, or worse getting in my way when I have a job to do. While it is nice to have the extra hands durring a MasCal, it is also infuriating when i get second guessed by people.

It took me a long time to accept that my role will forever bee seen as "support" eventhough I was out there as much as the LT or PSG (in fact it is usually standing policy that as a medic I HAVE to go on EVERY mission, which has often made my life difficult). because i was "valuable" I was often "protected" or held back. If I kicked in a door or tried to "stack up" I was often barrated for placing myself in unnessisary risk. I don't know which is more frusterating being told I had to be protected or realizing that my input would only be accepted within the scope of my speciality, and in the end often ignored when making descisions.

I chose my profession, and I love my job. I love being a Line Medic, and I love being "Doc" but, unfortunatly at every turn I am reminded that I am NOT infantry. My heart may be True Blue, but I will always be apart. While this distinction can often fill me with pride, it also can make me feel isolated.

Disgusting Politics

I find nothing on this earth more disgusting than "politics". I have no problem with the art of compromise, but Politics is act of willfully ignoring what is morally right, and what the common good. I have watched with growing dismay as "political" causes have become a lightning rod to those that had less interest in what was right, than what was popular. In Iraq I watched CNN with growing dismay at the vein that politicans were taking.

More and more it became clear that the people leading this country were more interested in themselves then any of the actual causes they were championing. I watched people make politcal grandstanding more important than the war, or the death rate of american troops. I watched incredulous as groups like "Code: Pink" and the greensboro baptist church do absolutly dispicable things in public forum. While the man who was leading the effort in Iraq was telling the senate exactly what was working and what wasn't with the "surge" code pink "crashed" the senate hearings. I was risking my ass and I didn not appriciate this display on my "behalf"

There are other displays, all too reminicent of those durring Vietnam, that I find particularly disturbing. Back then people would yell things like LBJ was a war criminal and then turn around and attack the very troops they were "protecting" with their protests, many of whom were draftees whos only crime was actually showing up.


Many folks in the army simply shake their heads. This particular form of protest while attention getting, and sadly socially destabalizing, is nothing more than the hurtful rants of the impotent. It is one thing when you believe in a cuase, whatever that cause is, it is entirely another thing when you allow that cause to consume you so that you believe that anyone that does not believe in that cause is evil in some way.

I watched the many things that disturb me about politicans. While I do not expect people to be imune to the temptations of power I would hope that in some way shape or form they would be able to at least TRY to resist the abuses of power that I have thus far seen. While Media coverage is slanted definativly to the left, it is clear that there are just as many scandals going on on both sides of the isle. From hiring hookers to dirty text messages and retroactivly changing the rules so you don't get in trouble, to far worse things like earmarking, esentailly bribing the powerful for votes. Devoting money to nosesicle projects that are unnessisary and frivilous.

But perhaps most disgusting of all are the personal attacks. Is it just me or does it seem that to get anything through congress you have to almost bodily attack the opponents of such bills. This is not the Korean senate (where literal fights break out all the time). We as a superpower are suppose to set an example to all the bickering squabbling peoples of the world. I wish someone had the power to say to people "Hey lets all stop shouting and actually LISTEN to eachother."

Far more troubling than the Congress' inability to pass even simple laws, are the courts. Unchecked, judicial activism has begun making policy. Somehow institutions like NAMBLA (North-American Man Boy Love Acosiation, a group that defends men having sex with underage boys) has become protected. The Gay Marrage ban, was lifted without any voter say so. All around laws that seem to be comon sense are being overturned as unconstitutional on grounds that are anything BUT constitutional. Justices have talked about how they feel on subjects. They're only duty is to follow and enforce the letter of the law, not to make it!!!

I hate to say it, but in my personal opinion there is no insult worse than to call someone a politican. The word carries with it all the slanderous dirty and irreverant hijynx that seem to have turned the three bodies of government into a three ring circus. It is absolutly dispicable and I want nothing to do with it, yet as an implimenter of US policy, I am bound to follow the policies that are laid out by body of people whos egos are the only thing bigger than their bank accounts.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Breathing Easier

I can not say what it is exactly but for some reason, over the past few weeks I have felt better, or at least more content, than I have in a very long time. I suppose the sun being out for large portions of the day, or the fact that it isn't always so cold i feel like something important (like my testicles) will fall off. I swear, the ACUs were NOT made for cold (or really hot for that matter)

Anyway, I'm not going out to Bars, though I'd like to, I long ago learned two things: 1). I can't dance and 2). It sucks going by yourself. I suppose part of the reason I don't like going out by my onsies is that I always have those horror stories in the back of my mind, but largely, I really don't have fun when I'm alone. I'm not too good striking up conversation with new people, and I tend not to be able to trust people I've been haningin out with till I get to know them.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Back to duty. . .er soon.

so I had my appointment with my PCM on the 13th, and I THOUGHT, I'd be RTD right there. Well I guess not. Seeing as the pain happened again, he wanted one more test, just to make sure, but its pretty clear to me, and everyone familiar with my case that this is not an inflamation case. If it were it would not go away after spurts like it does. But he said one more test (a Cardiac Stress Echo) just to be sure.

I'm pretty sure that this is not going to show a dam thing. I've had all sorts of labs, and tests and procedures. So far absolutly nothing, NOTHING has reared it's head to be a smoking gun a cause of what is going on. There is a CT report from Baghdad, and some labs that were alittle off, but that is it. Honestly I don't know what is more frusterating, that this keeps happening, or that no one seems to know what it is.

Anyway long story short, after all was said and done, DJ (my case manager) was a bit incredoulus that I hadn't gotten the full RTD stamp from my PCM. Personally I don't really care. It saves me a bit of time to figgure out what to do with all the dam boxes I have. My concern is getting deployed again. I'm not against it anymore, but really please not with MECH!!! I think I'll ask if i can go to Afghanistan this time.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Well the replacement for my Samsun L 73 finally came in the mail. I'm SO glad, I had tried another type of point and shoot, but the dam thing was pissing me off and bleaching everything, and I just didn't like the result. When i compared it to pitures i had taken in Iraq, it just plain sucked. So I went to Amazon and ordered a new one.

I like the features and the result of the pictures I take. The only gripe I really have is that sometimes i want to focus things differently, and also not having an eye apature can make things difficult. It's nearly impossible in some situations to see what your looking at on an LDC screen in certain sunlight conditions. However I think that the work speaks for itself.

I think, as far as "point and click" cameras go, that is the cameras thet fit in a pocket and are used by the average everyyday person, the L73 is by far the best one I've found yet. While certain brands may come with more features, which also increase the complexity of use, or like Kodak "easy share cameras" are so user friendly that they tend to lead to people acting like Japaneese tourists and snapping pictures of nosehairs. The L73, in my opinion manages to balance the two extremes. The features are there and not overly difficult to use, and if you tweak things a bit, you can take all sorts of interesting pictures. I'm also going to say it's pretty dam durable. Any camera that can last more than a month and an half in Iraq with ME is worthy of praise.

Last sunday I went to the "River Walk" a long meandering path that leads to Milford lake. It is an easy trail that gives both the impression of being in nature, and not being too far from civilization. While I personally thought that some of the "civilized" elements were a bit too close (a rock quarry across the river) Over all it was an interesting walk, and lead to some interesting pictures.



Nicole, ever the photographer was gracious to point out some of the downsides to photographing nature, without being overly critical. Of course she has actually had schooling in this feild, AND she has a better camera. I'll stick my tounge out at her later haha.

Anyway after wandering down the path for about 2 miles, a few times leaving the path and heading down to the river through run off trails, I got back in my car, and headed back to post. Along the way I stopped in Junction City (after lunch at Sonic) and took a few pictures of Heritige Park. there were all sorts of memorials I even took a picture of the Foutain there that came out alright.


I took the long way back to WTB, after all Sunday was such a nice day, and I really was in no hurry. I was just absentmindedly driving, when I made the sudden descision to finally visit the cemitary. In a way I'm glad I did. Even though there were all sorts of butgs there I got some really good pictures, and I also found out some history. I saw two Medal of Honor winners, two American soldiers that had fallen under CSA colors (they're still Americans!!!) It was pretty interesting and Solemn.



Over all a pretty food day. I took something like 100 pictures and most importantly, I had a good day.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Silk and Steel: a thesis on faith.

Faith is not a solely Christian force, nor, does it belong really to any one faith. Faith as a whole can actually be ascribed as part of the human charictor. Even die-hard aethists can be said to show faith in somethings. I have come to the realization that it is the people that lack faith that are dangerous. The socially destabalizing affect they have is evident in the slow decline of this nation after Vietnam.

People have a frevent and almost Die Hard lack of faith in government and their leaders, and that cynism about everything makes life very difficult. People see Faith as a bad thing. It can be, if it's blind, but far worse is the is the lack of it. Watching the race for president makes that clear.

For me faith is something that must be soft, and flexable in times without strain. The Greensburo Baptist church and their ardent anti-american protests at military funerals is an example of inflexibility in the wrong time. All the insanity in the middle east doesn't even need to be mentioned it's so insainly obvious. As the Bible says "God is Love". It is not your place to judge people. Obey the laws of man, but in the end we are all judged by God's law. In my opinion people should be allowed the right to self determination, and I am a firm believer that you can neither support those that won't support themselves, nor can you turn a blind eye to those in need. Although this seems contradictory it's really not.

Faith in my view, needs to be soft in times of tragity. The loss of a child, wife, brother, friend, or even when the world seems to have turned agenst you, but that same faith should be harder then steel when you need it. When you can't find the strength to go on. When you can't walk anymore and can't find the strength to crawl. When you stand against insurmountable odds, and sometimes, perhaps most especially when you chose the hard right over the easy wrong. When you know that you're doing the right thing even though it's going to hurt.

I am not espousing that you HAVE to have faith in the God of Abraham (i will not say the Christain, Jewish, or Muslim God, becasue, really they are all one in the same) but you have to have faith in a higher power. When Faith is in solely worldly things, then atrocities are all too easy to commit as see in the communist states of the world (especially the Soviet and Chinese) but you can not allow your Faith to blind you. That leads to tragities like September 11th, the crusaids, and all the varrious Jihads past present and future.

It is perhaps strange that Faith is such a paradox, but then if it weren't it would not be a human thing. If you think about it closely, all of humanity is filled with paradoxes that defy logic, both from an internal and external point of view. Faith, Love, Hate, and yes even Logic, are all part of what it means to be human. You can live without some of the myriad of complexities that make up a person, but somehow it makes you less. We as humans, and subjects of intelligent design must embrace our Faith, and our Humanity, if we as a race, are to survive.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Powerless to Change

This morning before moring formation I watched an episode of House, in which repeatidly House said people don't change unless they have to. The patient was suffering from a "hanging kidney". The patient went from being a hit Pop producer to a devout practitioner of an orthodox version of judaism. The sub plot (or perhaps the main plot) was trying to let his friend date a former romantic interest that was as caniving as he is. While prime time drama is to say the least complicated, it did get me thinking. People don't change unless the need arises.

I can certainly attest to that. I did not change my ways till i was backed up against a wall, and I almost HAD to join the army. Many people are that way. I know people can change spontaniously, but that is so rare that it could almost be said to be a non event. Almost everytime people have had to make a dramatic change in their lifestyle, or their outlook on life, it has been because that change is forced upon them. New Parents, soldiers at war, etc.

i was faced with yet another example on the A&E documentary "intervention". Baisically a show about a family or a group of people comming together to preform an "intervention" and force an adict to go to rehab. The ones featured today were all Meth users, but again both the ones I saw didn't go willingly, they were in a sesne, forced.

I realize that while I am highly adaptable, able to go into any environment, from sparce to opulant with equal grace, and little complaint, but that adapitbility only goes as far as the surface. I can adapt to the environment, and the situation, but there are limits to the amount of change I can bring about.

I am and will forever be disorganized. While it is usually seen as a negitive thing, it has allowecd me to think unconventionally. However, when the situation requires me to be organized, I often fail at the task presented. The problem I have with sequencing, while better now then it was when i was a child, is sadly not ever going to simply go away, and has in certain instances been crippling. While I admit being set in my ways, I am also able to see what those ways are for the most part, and steer myself into situations that are benificial to those ways.

Seeing old friends from 2/16 today did help, it also illistrated the differences in my life. Stern, a PFC when I left is getting promoted to Seargent, which in its own way stings a little. People are different in some ways but the same in so many others. It would motivate me if I were not stuck so firmly in this stangnantory spiral. I can see the change, and yet I stay the same, or my perception of myself stays the same.

Perhaps one of my worst habbits is to cling to the past with such vehamence that you'd think it was my only sourse for life. It is a sad pattern in my life that I refuse to believe that things are changing, even though things can, do and often drastically change right in front of my eyes. With Lisa, Nicole, and a dozen other Ex girlfirends this is painfully evident. I didn't get over the hurt of Martha looking down on my service until I had a more painful psychological wound from my deployment. When I am alone I cling to these fantisies all the more desperatly. Sadly this has made things so much worse for me. In all honesty while I would like to think I have been a major part of all their lives I admit that I am at best, a footnote.

Now, the letters I've written, with as much fire and passion as I could muster in a warzone, (and later in a hospital, and finally back at Riley) now seem very inapropriate, and though they were asked for, it seems almost wrong to send them. Wrong to to get rid of them. so the nessisary change, can not happen because I am unsure what outcome I want. Perhaps there is some small part of me that holds on to them for posterity, so that when the time comes I will not be remembered as a crusty tired bitter old man, but a young man with fire and passion.

So now I am on the verge of change yet again. I will soon be forced to give up this stangnant life anf go "back up on the hill". But behind that is Erika. Although there is nothing set in stone, and she sometimes vehimently denies I am anything more than a friend, there is something there. There is chemistry that is undeniable. But the thought of my job makes her uneasy. Very uneasy. She recently wnet to a friends wedding,a wedding she didn't approve of because the guy was a jerk, but also because he is a soldier. I think at the heart of it, she saw herself in that position and wondered if she would have the strength to be a military wife, or even a military girlfriend. It is not a glamorus life as movies might suggest and it is harder than most. She says that I would be perfect boyfriend material if I weren't in the army, but that is one change i can't accept just yet.

Have I really been in so long that I have become instatutionalized? Somehow the thought of getting out is less agreeable than the thought of going to war (again). It is understandable ecinomically, but on a more personal level, though I have often fought it and many a tirade was directed at it, I have found Purpose. Not the signifigance of Destiny, no that is reserved for a recurring thought I dare not utter aloud, but i have found a place. It is hard, but it is mine and in it's own way it provides comfort to me. Could I give it up if i had to? I don't know. But as i think about it, would anyone but a few individuals shed tears for my passing? Maybe it is time for a change that will allow me to be remembered by more. maybe it is time for change. But what change must I now make? If only I had hindsight on this one.

Monday, May 5, 2008


The fields were beautiful as any the eye had seen,
The meadows full in bloom always,
Always in full long summer days
It was a land so full of green.

The mountains were snow capped, and grand,
The streams were calm and brooks babbling ever fore,
The waterfalls were a sight to shame lore,
Capped with beaches with glistening sand.

Twas said if any laid eyes upon these grounds,
Tears would not be enough,
Through this nameless land, not one inch rough
The birds, streams and waves the only sounds.

Nay na’er but these eyes have seen these views.
If ever a place more peaceful, I have not seen it,
I spent many a day there, in a land where all was fit,
Untouched by scorn, bias or news.

But the distant drum beat called me to fight,
I left thinking to return,
But soon did I yearn,
Would I return to life, and right

Many bloody adventures did I enjoy,
My armor drenched with friend and foe,
Bringing swift justice wherever I would go,
A hunter I became, my pray but a toy.

Time came for my service to end,
And I left to return to my land,
Where the views are grand,
Where I could mend.

Across the seas I traveled followed
By some tempest that never seemed to strike,
But I was not worried I had my pike,
And I was leaving lands hallowed.

I set foot upon the Land at last,
Ageless and timeless still,
Unbent by any will,
I took a deep breathe of clean air at last.

The tempest stalking as ever grew,
But I could not care, it was far,
I could not care, even if it was like a scar
Some distant trouble I knew

But as the days passed it grew near,
Lashing the meadows with fierce winds,
Felling trees with thunder like a cannon,
A howl was all I could hear.

The skies grew dark, a great churning menace,
The air grew thick with debris and stinging rain,
Trees collapsed and fell from the strain,
And still the roar grew louder.

I drew away, towards the mountain,
But the tempest was already there,
To my horror the peak erupted,
Casting an awful orange glare.

The tempest followed my flight,
All the while destruction filled my sight,
The Maelstrom filled the air with stringing clods,
Whole Forests ripped free to fly through the air,

All the while I heard the Howl,
A voice on the win like some evil predator,
Stalking me ready to pounce and end it’s evil prowl
I heard it call to me, from the mount.

I turned toward to the peak,
My arms stinging and torn, filled with cuts too many to count,
There the Tempest sat on the mount like a throne,
Hot molten flying into its core to fuel it’s furry.

I raised a fist and bellowed a shout,
No, my land would not die like this,
I turned to the peak murder in my eyes,
Ready to fight this monster bout for bout.

Each step was a battle, the winds blasting me to my knees,
It grew, consuming everything, making my vision blurry,
Closer I got, the howl was everywhere deafening,
I approached the lip, and then all was still.

I dared not look back, the land was ravaged,
But as I drew near, fear bit at me,
For even though it was hot as Hades,
A cold chill filled my soul, nearly breaking my will.

There at the summit the air was still,
A great cyclone of molten filled the sky,
drawn up to feed the cry,
An in human scream, that shook the ground.

Fear quaked my soul, the fires lashed my body,
On my knees I fell, powerless before the tempest,
But out of fear came anger, I drew strength,
And reared up as rage filling my whole length.

Into the tempest I gave one loud roar,
A challenge, as I bore my chest arms wide,
Come forth and face my might,
To be cast out like a cheap whore.

No words left my lips yet the fire moved near,
Hell’s hot breath upon my face,
The flames made a shape, that gave me pause,
Then, slowly turned to fear.

Twas my own face twisted in cruel hate,
Through the land mocking laughter could be heard,
Laughing at the small and absurd,
Gleaming eyes looked down upon me with irony.

I sank to my knees and wept, for there was only defeat,
The wind whispered in a mocking voice,
“Isn’t this what you wanted?”
I tried to deny, but I was beat.

The face grew with it’s win,
“this is what you are”
And I wept for my great sin,
Realizing I had fallen far.

I closed my eyes and wept bitter tears,
Unable to look at the face anymore,
Oh how I wept on the mount,
For hours, days maybe years,

When at last I opened my eyes, the tempest had gone,
And as I looked down on the mute scene,
All was black grey, not one blade of green,
Earth was all scorched, and only a husk was left.

Smoke still raised from once pristine forests,
The beautiful beaches, now wrecked with debris,
And the air, once so clean was now choked with sulfur and ash,
Making it impossible to breathe.

I went out into the land my rage had created,
Destroyed by my anger’s hot blast,
And amidst the desolation, at last,
I found Peace.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

weird ass dream

ok last night I had one strange ass nightmare, I'll try to relay it while it's still fresh in my mind.

ok first off I was not myself I was more observer than particapent. The main charictor was a female secret service agent in charge of protecting the president, but somehow she was treated more like a beloved child. Both he and the First Lady were very gracious and treated her well. At some point there was a really nice white dress given to the woman and she just started crying uncontrolably. They took her to a ball and that's where it gets strange.

At somepoint durring the ball there is a comotion. Enter the undead. The rotting corpses were of the sort that were really unplesent to look at. They were somewhat more skeliton like and the flesh seemed like an afterthought. It was actually scary. at somepoint the nice and fancy guests were all devoured, much screaming, and trying to get the president to the chopper waiting. I was tols that I would meet them on the other side of the river or some nonsense.

At this point the female whatever her role was kind of vanished and it took over the first person point of view. I kept running past houses kind of like overlarfe wooden freamworks wrapped in plastic with tim burtonesque skellitons running around inside. Long story short everyone turned into a decaying corpse and tried to eat me.