31 December 2007

End of the Year Wrap Up

1.) Where did you ring in 2007?
Downtown Orlando

2.) What was your status by Valentine’s Day?
Happily in love.

3.) Were you in school (anytime this year)?
I did a few Army schools, but not actual school.

4.) How did you earn your keep?
Learning how to make war with Al Qaida, then going to Iraq and doing it.

5.) Did you ever have to go to the hospital?
I think so maybe, I don't remember.

6.) Have you encountered the police this year?
Yeah...I got pulled over for not slowing down enough at a yield sign. What's that all about.

7.) Where did you go on vacation?
North Carolina, St. Augustine...I think that's it, I don't vacation often.

8.) What did you purchase that was over $500?
My car, my computer, and today I bought a new scope for my rifle (yes Mom and Dad, I do need it, and I can afford it :) ) and the best purchase I've ever made, Carlisle's engagement ring.

9.) Did you know anybody who got married?

10.) Did you know anybody who passed away?

11.) Have you ran into anybody you graduated high school with?
None other than the usuals.

12.) Did you move anywhere?
Yeah from Fort Stewart, GA to the beautiful suburbs of Baghdad.

13.) What sporting events did you go to?
I went to one TFA football game, that got rained out.

14.) What concerts did you go to?
The Super Bowl of Hardcore (Ramallah, On Broken Wings, Madball, a bunch of other FSU bands), Bury Your Dead, Make or Break

15) Are you registered to vote?

16.) If so, did you do your patriotic duty on Nov. 7?
No, I was in Kuwait.

17.) Where do you live now?

18.) Describe your birthday:
Wake up at 0400, throw on some ACUs, run out to the truck. Roll out on an EOD mission. While out on that one, get a follow-on mission over the radio. While on that one get 2 more follow-ons. Finally pull back in around 2000. Pass out.

19.) What’s the one thing you thought you would never do but did in 2006?
Get blown up and walk away.

20.) What is one thing you regretted this year?
Not spending more time with my friends.

21.) What’s something you learned about yourself?
Death doesn't scare me. And I wasn't all talk about it.

22.) Any new additions to your family?
Does Cali count?

23.) What was your best month?
September. Easy.

24.) What pop culture event will you remember 2007 by?
Paris Hilton going to jail.

25.) How would you rate this year with a scale from 1 (crappy) to 10 (amazing)?
This year has been up and down. Much of it was around 10..since November it's been in the lower half.

Survey Says

So today hasn't been too bad. One of my best friends has been rolling out with us the last few days. It's good to talk to him. We've been able to talk a lot about our families and home and what we're going to do when we get back...you know, what everyone talks about in Iraq.

As usual the talk turned a little dark, and we talked about getting killed. I told him to make sure I get his wife's phone number in case something happened. Then he tells me, out of nowhere, if something happens to him, I'm in his will. Me and Cali get his son (who by the way is the coolest boy on EARTH).

So that kinda made me happy. Someone trusts me enough to let me take their child..that's pretty awesome.

But that's not why I even started this entry, it just kinda came out. I was posting to see who all is reading this. If you want to participate just leave me a comment, let me know where you're from, who you are, whatever. I'm just curious to see how many people are reading.

30 December 2007

"This is What They Die For"

Your lips move, but no words come out
That was then, This is now
The past is the past
No need for looking back.
We're not affected at all
By what goes on in the world
You'll ignore your ways alone
This could be a living hell
You think that just because you were born
You won your freedom by yourself?
No acknowledgment to the fact
Your life was bought for a price.
It could be us who's dying in the streets!
It could be us who's overrun!
We're the ones with it all,
But we don't know it at all.
We have no clue of war,
That we're the ones they're fighting for!
They fight and die,
So we don't have to shed our own blood.
This is what they die for!
We live like kings while they fight to protect freedom,
We live our dreams while they fight to protect freedom.
They fight for you!

- In Due Time

It's good to know that not every band in the world hates the military and doesn't care about the soldiers over here.

Some days, are really just...ugh. This is one of them. It started out great. Then we came back from our mission, and they put us on stand-by (again). So we sat and waited and waited and waited. Then apparently the mission got scrubbed. Which is fine, cause I don't really like rollin' at night, means way less sleep.

But being back here also means getting back to the stupid Army games. Like you can't go anywhere in groups smaller than 4. And study hall every night. And going to the motor pool (the worst thing EVER.) And I'm always in the motor pool.

I drive the front truck in our convoys. We often times drive on the wrong side of the road. Fast. And hit stuff.

So I go to the motor pool a lot. Replace side mirrors, fix transmission, replace tires, reattach doors, fix the turret, fix the siren, fix the lights, add lights, fix the new lights, replace side mirrors (again), fix the siren (again), fix the seat, fix the siren (again), fix the heater, fix the AC, fix the power steering, fix the alternator, fix the spare tire mount, fix the headlights....the list goes on.

All of these repairs are not because of faulty equipment, it's because we drive these trucks through hell and back everyday.

Ugh..my head hurts. And I need to turn in laundry. And take a shower. And I haven't heard from Carlisle since Christmas....

Sweet Tea!!

So today we went to a different FOB for one of our missions. We got to get out and walk around which was nice, cause usually our missions are pretty fast paced, but this one we got to relax, more so than we do on our own FOB.

Anyway, I spent about 3 hours sitting around and talking to the guys in my section and just being lazy. Right when we were getting ready to leave I was sitting in the truck reading a book (My War by Colby Buzzell, buy it. Read it. It is Iraq exactly.) and someone knocked on my window. Look out and all I can see is a can of Arizona Sweet Tea.

Now let me tell you all a little something about me and sweet tea. I'm sure most of you know me, but by now I'm aware that I have readers that don't know me at all (which is pretty gnarly!).

I LOVE SWEET TEA. End of story. I have a tattoo on the back of my arm that says "Sweet Southern Style" this comes straight off of the label from Arizona Sweet Tea cans. So as you can imagine, seeing a can of this in my window, I could hardly believe my eyes.

I have been going through withdrawals from sweet tea. It's terrible, back in the states I'd go through like a gallon a day (literally, at least a gallon) and I have had none since I October 24. And then today, out of nowhere, a can appears. It was the greatest thing to happen since I got to Iraq.

I got me some sweet tea. Today was a good day. Oh yeah and it's only 1640! We still got like another half hour of daylight, so who knows what can happen yet!

29 December 2007

A Day in the Life


Life in Iraq is very strange. It's almost like home. At least we try and make it like home. We have bonfires. Smoke hookah on the roof. Play Xbox and Risk and watch movies. We all talk about our girl back home. Why this dude joined the Army, why that guy dropped out of college to come to this place, how much it would suck to be stop-lossed. And then occasionally someone will bring up the war itself. And for about 5 minutes everyone will sit and listen while one or two guys talk about how depressing it is to be here dying and getting blown up when the Iraqis don't even care.

And then someone says something along the lines of, "Yeah it sucks, but whatever. I'ma kill me some." And inevitably the conversation will start over again. This time a little darker than when it started. What about getting hurt? Would you want to come back to this place? Would you mind getting hurt if it would get you out of Iraq, or the Army? I wonder if we'll get blown up again, haha yeah yeah, I wonder when it's going to happen.

What do you have to worry about, it's not like they're going to hit your truck. I roll first truck bro, I am the magnet. It's cool though. I'd hate to be anywhere else. I earned this slot. Yeah you're right, we'll all get hit.

Then the radio crackles and hisses and someone says something about Bravo Troop. Hope no one got it. Whatever, we'll probably never know. Dang. Who's going to chow? Grabe me a to go plate dude. Oh come on, I always have to go. Whatever, I'll just eat tomorrow. What are we doing tomorrow? You think EOD will get called? Hope not. Wonder what Alpha is up to. Who cares. I'm gonna go clean my weapon.

28 December 2007

Believe it or Not, It's Working!

Today I went to Baghdad, like the city. And this war is working. It was amazing.

As soon as you cross the bridge over the Euphrates (which was rather awe inspiring I might add) it's like driving into a whole other world. On my side of the river, there's trash piled all along the road, no one goes out after dark, and everything in the road or next to it, just might be an IED. You cross the bridge, there's none of that. There's even streetlights!!

Baghdad was amazing. We all just like looked around in awe at how relaxed it was..and everyone there looked at us like aliens. We stuck out like sore thumbs though. We're walking around with our IBAs (bullet proof vests) and night vision and rifles (yeah, these guys don't even have their weapons). It was weird. Made me proud to be a regular joe though. At least I earned the right to wear a combat patch and a CAB.


19 December 2007


I wish I had my camera with me right now, but they are taking my pictures to squadron so that the dudes up top can see what it is we do everyday.

Iraq is a beautiful country. I cannot even begin to describe the natural beauty of this place. It's rather depressing because the people who live here don't recognize it for what it is. They just throw their trash on the ground and when the pile gets too big they burn it (sometimes).

If this place ever settles down (it will, we're making amazing progress) then I encourage every single person who reads this to go out of their way to come here. It's amazing. I almost wish I could live here. The people here are so kind and peaceful it's hard to understand where IEDs come from.

I am beyond busy. Running missions all day and almost every night. I miss you all terribly, and I will be home soon.

13 December 2007

Not Dead. Promise.

Don't worry. I'm NOT dead. Just stupid busy. Like 2 hours of sleep a night busy.

I'll update and email you all later.

By the way, thank you all so much for the packages. They've been great!

04 December 2007


So just so everyone knows, we had a brief and we're not allowed to really tell about what happens here. Like we can tell you "oh, I went out today" but not "Yeah, we got nailed today." Soooo....unfortunately you will all have to wait until I get home to hear all my stories.

But don't stop reading! I'll still update, there's plenty of things that happen here that are worth writing about and definitely worth reading.

I have gotten so many packages from you all! Thanks to everyone soo much! Just so you all know, we use Q-Tips to clean our weapons, and they're always dirty. I clean my weapon at least twice a day. We also use them for personal hygiene and stuff, but almost entirely for weapons.

I have been more than busy. Running several missions a day. To sum up the last 24 hours I'll use a quote from an excellent movie:

"For a few seconds, this place was Armageddon. There was a firefight!!"