Friday, March 28, 2003


Embrace the suck...


Being in a theatre of combat "sucks", but as a soldier quoted in the New York Times, trying to smoke a cigarette in a sandstorm. "Sometimes," he said, "you have to embrace the suck." That is a military expression that is employed to keep yourself and your comrades from becoming too hopeless about a situation. Crude as it may be, it is indeed a powerful phrase to live by. It doesn't mean, by any stretch of definition, to give in, or give up on a situation. It simply means that you have to acknowledge that you are in a bad situation and deal with it the best you can. Sometimes you may have the means to change the situation, and other times you have to endure. As I was running during my lunch break I started up a hill, and the wind began to gust straight at me. As I began to break stride I thought, "This sucks..", but I kept going, pumping those harms, and leaning into the hill and before long I was at the top. I guess this just means that occassionally we need to dig down deep and keep going no matter how bad the situation is. I have felt that there were hopeless situations that came my way in the past, but somehow I managed to get through. While I did complain and moan I was able to persevere. Is it possible that I would not have had to struggle so hard had I not wasted energy on complaining and saying, "Woe is me"? Maybe, Maybe not. Who knows, but I know from now on, when things get bad I am going to think about that soldier who was trying to light a cigarette in the middle of a sandstorm in Iraq. His life sucks, he has only embraced the suck.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Shock and Awe...

These are the buzz words that senior military commanders and government officials stated in describing the effect that ANGLICO, Bombing, and Close Air Support would have on the Iraqi infrastructure. True enough Iraq has sustained quite a bit of damage, and in some places the people have shown signs that they are "sick of him". But, the number of casualties sustained due to friendly fire, accidents, and enemy fire has shocked the American people. The level of resistance experienced has surprised everyone, everyone that is aside from the troops on the ground. Any war historian, or for that matter, anyone who read anything about the first Gulf War would have seen that this war would be more costly in both logistics and casaualties. The objective is much more different, and the Iraqui nationalism was grossly underestimated by some Senior Planners. Although I personally feel that the war is a worthwhile effort, the problems that we are experiencing only serve as ammunition for the anti-war protestors and other naysayers. This shock is attributed to the purported arrogance of America in her self assessment of her combat abilities. I disagree, the arrogance lay on the part of even those who protested the war. Many people argued that bombing a helpless country like Iraq "back to the stone age", and coming in with our superior weaponry and tactics was merely reinforcing our place as the world's "bully". But, if you talk to Infantry, Armor, FSTers, Combat Engineers, Pilots, and Logisticians, you will see that while confidence of overall victory is high, the cost of the endeavor was in the back of all of their minds. The Gulf War has absolutely NOTHING on the conflict that is going on now. Though we did lose people and equipment, our forces on the whole had a much easier time rounding up an unwilling enemy. I am not sure what is in store for us once we enter the Red Zone, but I am not anxious to see it. Whether it is conventional, or unconventional weapons all of our soldiers will be in for the fight of their lives. The sacrifice, heroism, and fortitude that will have to be shown will be up there with some of the more legendary military campaigns of the 20th century. I would hope that I was wrong in my assessment of the situation, but I fear I am not. Presently there are 44 casualties thus far in our war on Saddam. I say we will see a minimum of this number at 10 fold while Baghdad is taken. But, for all that the carnage that is to come, I have to say that this is a successful military campaign that has shown nothing but progress since its start. I just don't think that it has been successful enough for those of us at home. Those of us who are really inconsequential at the moment. God bless our troops.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Crossing the river....

CNN DOT COM has an article about the 3rd Infantry Division crossing the Euphrates River in a sandstorm. Back in 91' the 24th Infantry Division crossed the Euphrates River in a sandstorm as well. I was 19 years old, noteably shorter and skinnier than I am now, and I remember thinking, "Jesus Christ.....we are getting awful close to Baghdad...when the hell are we going to stop?" At the time we had been taking what they call "sporadic" or "intermittent" fire as the 45th Republican Guard scattered and retreated. Some of the section sergeants were telling us that if we went to Baghdad, "All hell would break loose." We knew that the Regulars had been bombed for 6 months and they were hungry and tired, but we knew that those that refused to surrender would fight to the death if we went to Baghdad. Baghdad is pretty much the Capital of the Arab World. Long before the Gulf War, and the Iran vs. Iraq war, pretty much everyone had heard of Baghdad. Thousands of years old with a rich history it is worth fighting for to the Iraquis, and perhaps other Arabs......God be with our troops when they enter the gates......

WAR CASUALTIES TO DATE

Friday, March 21, 2003

Well my favorite college basketball team, UK, dispatched IUPUI with relative ease as expected. The game was a pretty easy one, so I did not bother to watch. Routinely I peeked in to CNN to see what the score was, but my mind was a million miles away. I am dreading bad news about any American casualties, I can't imagine what some of the families of the soldiers must be going through. I suppose the worst part is the not knowing. I hope that this can be wrapped up soon with a minimal loss of life. Perhaps as more and more ground is gained and the situation becomes more and more hopeless the Republican Guard will give up. I certainly hope so.
The Soldier goes to School...

You would know him when you see him, but if you saw him you probably wouldn't speak. He is from the projects, the trailer park, the mountains, and the farm. He is nineteen years old, and he has a girl that loves him real good, or maybe he just says he does. He didn't like where he was for a bunch of reasons, but mainly he wants to be thought of as a man. Everyone that knew him liked him, even though he could be a little wild. They say the military is the best thing for him. "He'll grow up, get a chance to see the world". Mama didn't like that idea, though she would never discourage him, he is her only baby and will never stand in his way. He stood up so proud and strong when he left with the recruiter. What Mama didn't know as she cried herself to sleep that night, was that her baby was doing the same. But,
Mama couldn't have been more proud.

A week turned into a month, and a month into six, he is an inch taller and fifteen pounds heavier. His cockiness has turned into confidence and there is a difference. "You sure are different, so grown!" say the people at church. The girl that loves him real good, or maybe the ones that he says see a difference too. Everyone sees a difference but Mama, she can see beneath that OD Green. She still sees her baby, but Mama couldn't be more proud. The call to arms has come, and he is sure to go after one last trip home to put his affairs in order. He walks with the swagger that he has only seen on television, he shows no hesitation whatsoever. His dad, if he has one, or maybe an Uncle or a family friend. Will introduce him to Brandy and talk about things that only men folk do. After claps on the back and alcohol laced hugs he bids everyone goodbye. His girl that loves him so well swears she will wait forever, maybe the girls that he thought about say, "call me when you get back". Mama is crying, but Mama couldn't be more proud.

He goes to a place that he never dreamed he would be. He hadn't paid attention in Geography and didn't know how to say it a year ago. But he is here nonetheless, once more a kid, once more brand new. He trains to learn all that he can, and he studies to know all that he can. Rehearsal after rehearsal until he can say his lines in his sleep. He wants to fit in, and share that same swagger, and soon enough the snickers and coarse words disapear. They can depend on him, and he can depend on them. He seems to have a family once more. His heart longs for home, but he can't say that right now, he tries to send cheerful messages back home. His pencil only has true feelings for Mama, and she can see the fear in his script. But Mama couldn't be more proud.

School is over, and its time for the real world, he checks his uniform, his weapon, and his soul. He has to stand upright and walk on his own two. He is a man that simply looks like a boy. He remains upright in the face of the storm, even as the air is shattered by smoke and roar. His body is rigid, but his soul trembles with moans of anguish, splintered bone, and the smell of blood. He stands atop bodies as if they were not there, and presses on with what needs to be done. His thoughts are never far from home, or the Mama that couldn't be more proud.

Finally as the sun comes up, and all things seem to come to light. A bullet meant for someone finds a home. He lays there shivering, strength ebbing as his life is poured out onto the sand. Through the smell of the sulphur and the haze of battle he reaches out for all that he has known. As his gaze grows glassy a tear drops his eye as he realizes he will never again see home or the Mama that couldn't be more proud.

[Just a little something I wrote thinking about the death and injury that occurs because of war. Many times we talk about how few our casualties are, but those "few" are a loss to "many". God Bless our troops]

Thursday, March 20, 2003

My body betrays me...

I am sitting here in an Excel 2 class, (Much more interesting than the introductory level), and my head is spinning. I went down to the YMCA and took a body conditioning class. The instructors name is Laura, and if I didn't know any better she was also an instructor at the U.S. Army Ranger School. The abdominal, leg, and arm workout that she prescribes is merciless. Although I do appreciate what she is doing, and am anxious to see the results, Laura surprises me by not being the spectacular physical specimen that you would imagine. While she does look healthy, she does not have the cut arms and typical "aerobics instructor physique". On the contrary she looks like a soccer mom. As a matter of fact if I saw her getting out of a minivan with 3 or 4 kids trailing behind her I would not be the least bit surprised. But when it comes to endurance, she can exercise forever! She is still doing the leg lunges, or sitting on the wall, or doing crunches long after I have screamed, "Toby!" (I am wondering how many people will get that remark!) ;-) All the while she is driving us to physical exhaustion her high-pitched motivating voice never ceases....."and 1, and 2, and 3, and hold...hold...hold...now burn from 10...and 9 and 8 and 7....."The entire time I want to scream, "And STOP!!!" I have let my physical condition wither away with the blissful comfort of being thirty-something. But, I really don't want a pot belly just yet, and I kind of feel bad when I get winded much more easily than I used to, so this is my solemn vow to be back in physical form by July. I weigh about 195 pounds now, and I think I should actually be at around 170 for my body build. When I hit the showers after class, it took somewhat of an effort to raise my hands to wash under my arms. I put my slacks and shirt back on and headed up the road back to this training class, but somehow I felt good. I have a gnawing hunger in the pit of my stomach. I am a little bit light-headed, but my body feels so loose. I know I will feel a little pain in the morning, but I think this is just what I needed. I think I am going to track my progress back to fitness. Oh well, if I don't have an entry in tomorrow you will know that I had an embolism of some sort. Well, the instructor is back, back to learning Excel.
"They are invading Iraq"

It is so amazing to watch world events unfold on CNN. It seems as if you have a ground level view of what is going on. But "We" are not invading Iraq, "They" are invading Iraq. "They" are the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces who are following through on the oaths of enlistment, and the oaths of office. It is so easy to say, "We" are doing this, and "we" won. But unless you are over there on the ground, or have a loved one or dear friend who is over there, the terror of this event is not real to you. I don't agree with all of our policies, and I may not personally agree with every thing that the President and Congress do, but I fully support the President in this campaign. I believe that people have a right to protest and show dissent, but now is the time to get the message to our troops that "we are in your corner". Despite the fact that I served during the first Gulf War, I find myself strangely detached from this situation. Please don't think that I am indifferent, but all of the feelings of anxiety that I thought I would have once this started up again have not come. I am anxious about the lives of Americans over there, but it is a completely different feeling. Now back when I was 12 years younger and 20 pounds lighter I was all fire and emotion about military duty. I wanted to go to Iraq. I wanted to fight, I wanted to be in the mix. But after a few years, schooling, marriage, and kids I want to be no where else but here. I feel a little bad about that, while I am in in the National Guard, and would go without hesitation if called again, I just want to be with my family. My oldest son was asking me question upon question what war was all about. I told him what we were trying to do and why the best that I could. But I don't think that it all set in for him. He wondered if the Iraquis could come over here and attack us. He wanted to know if part of the war could be fought here. I tried my best to put his mind at ease, but I wonder what kind of thoughts are still going on behind those beautiful nine-year-old eyes of his. I wonder how much different they would be if he were older, probably a whole lot, no matter what opinion he had about the war. I know my thoughts are much different than those of the skinny 19 year old in the picture below. I think he is a completely different man than what I am now. Not better, not worse....just different.


Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Time is running out....

In just under five hours the deadline for Saddam Hussein and his sons to abdicate their positions as leaders of Iraq will expire. From that point on we can only expect all hell to break loose. I haven't been able to relax all day.....

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Mea Culpa....kind of.

It seems that Naomi Judd of the famed singing duet "The Judds" has come under fire for making racist remarks on Star Search. Apparently she told a dancer that he was "a funky monkey robocop", and gave him two stars after the other judges had given him a minimum of 4 stars each. Of course she may not have been a big fan of that sort of dancing and that sort of music. Additionally she praised a dance team for doing tap. She said that she liked to see good tap, "especially when white people do it." Trent Lott made remarks lauding Strom Thurmond on his 1948 gesture toward winning the Presidency by saying that, "If he would have won we would not be in the mess we are now." Shaq responded to Yao Ming's insistence that he would shut him down by saying, "Tell him I said, "waakaaaa yoooooo yeeeee yyyy chooong" or something like that.

The thing that all of these people have in common is the fact that they made stupid remarks that could have been avoided had they thought a little bit before they said them. The difference lies in the fact that no matter how logically unfair it may seem, black people do not come under the same scrutiny for racial misbehavior than what whites do. Perhaps there was nothing wrong with the remarks that Shaq and Naomi made and the fact that they were meant to be fun is not being recognized. Perhaps Trent Lott was talking about Strom Thurmond's domestic policy, Defense Plans, and economic stimulus thoughts when he talked about the "mess we are now in." But unfortunately what they meant, and what was perceived are two seperate issues.

[continued...]
The most damning part of making a verbal faux paus is rendering an appropriate apology. Trent Lott can tell you that humbling yourself and saying you are sorry may sometimes bring more backlash. In these particular events I found the explanation/apology to be seriously lacking. Shaq claims to have been making light fun of Yao and his name and said that he figured Yao would take it in stride. Trent Lott says that he was making a toast to a retiring statesman and was sorry if his words were taken out of context. Naomi said the same thing that she was sorry if someone took her words out of context......hmmm. I am sure that they are sorry, but sorry does not always mean remorse. Sorry is a word that means, remorseful, it can mean that something is in a sad state, and it also means "I don't like the fact that." So undoubtedly Trent Lott says, "I am sorry that people feel this way." I believe that is true. But if you are sorry someone feels a certain way, you can be simultaneously exasperated that they don't see it your way, or the way you would like them to see it.

When rendering apologies how hard is it to set your personal feelings aside and acknowledge someone else's? It shouldn't be. But often times we see people rendering conditional apologies. "I'm sorry you feel that way, but".....In my opinion that takes the solace out of an apology when you are forced to listen to the mitigating factors that caused the person to make the harmful statement or action. All one needs to do is say, "I said this/did this at the time, and it hurt you deeply....for that I am very sorry. My original reason for saying this/doing this at the time was XYZ. I didn't intend to cause you any trouble or grief. Please accept my apology, and know that I am going to make sure that I don't leave you feeling like this again." There is no garbage about "I am sorry you felt that way/I'm sorry you feel this way, or anything like that. In a nutshell you are being condescending to the person you are offering the apology when it comes in this form. Because of that, that is why there is usually a furor, or a backlash after someone makes an apology. Especially when it is just "kind of" an apology.
So many emotions...

Sometimes we don't know what to think or feel at all. And after last nights address by President Bush, I kind of feel the same way. Some of the key statements are still resonating within me. I don't know what information is out there that is bringing us to this moment, but I also realize that I, along with other Americans are not, and should not, be privy to such information. Although this is frightening, it is quite an experience to know what is going on. During the last go round in the first Gulf War I was over there on the ground and did not have the benefit of CNN to know what was going on. Believe it or not, the Soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines only know of their specific mission, and probably do not know as much of the Big Picture scheme as we do. I pray for strength and wisdom of the various commanders in the region. I pray for perseverance, strength, and bravery for our service people in theatre. I pray for the safety of each and every service person who is going to put himself or herself in harms way. I pray for the families who will undoubtedly receive the news that their loved one is injured, or even that he or she may not return home alive. I also pray those in Iraq who are innocent, the ones who will be caught in the middle of this terrible conflice that only want the same things that every human being wants; the human desire for happiness, health, and a brighter future for their children. I pray that this will all be attainable for them some day. I am just filled with remorse that it must come at such a price.

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Sunday Morning

The weather today couldn't be more perfect. The sun is shining, not a cloud in the sky, and UK is playing in the SEC tournament. This morning I made a big batch of my world famous sausage & cheese salsa dip, so I am primed for game time. I haven't been looking at the news much this weekend, but this story kind of caught my eye. Apparently a French golfer has been ordered some extra security while he takes part in a golf tournament sponsored by Honda in Palm Springs. It would seem that some of the anti-french sentiment has spilled over into the sports world. While I am somewhat frustrated by France and some of the other european countries regarding the situation in the Middle East; I do not think that some of the "nationalism" expressed by Americans is founded.
Nationalism is a great thing when you think about it in a rational sort of way. I don't mind countries that have sort of an isolationist point of view when it comes to the world stage. If you want to worry about your own interests and not the interests of others, then you are certainly within your right. If Nationalism entails pride in culture, history, and accomplishment, then that is a good thing as well. However, when Nationalism spurs you to denigrate, marginalize, and demonize an entire country, continent, race, or population, then perhaps you have gone too far. I do think that France has quickly forgotten what inaction can result in. Though it was a mere 60 years ago when their borders were overrun and they were invaded by a German Army that could have easily been crushed by their forces a few years earlier. But now, I see Americans exercising the Patriotism by renaming fast-food side items, (Freedom Fries please, not French Fries), making French jokes, insisting upon Italian wines while dining and other inconsequential actions. But now, a golfer of all people has had people make threatening remarks to him simply because he hails from France. This man plays a sports, endorses products, and pretty much lives a life of celebrity. However, unlike some of our notable American celebrities, I have not heard him making comments about the United States and our policies. I have not heard about him traveling abroad to enemyforeign countries to speak out against OUR country. I have not heard about this man wanting to host a tournament in Basrah in order to earn a check, and serve as a human shield. I think that now as Americans, perhaps we are edging the border of actions that seperate "us" from "them". Everyone has an idea of what is right and wrong. And most of us would agree on what actions constitute "right", or "wrong" behavior, we simply have differing ideologies, religions, histories, personal experiences, and outlooks that help us rationalize which course of action is appropriate at the time. I hope that this man is not threatened, and I hope no American forgets what we stand for, and doesn't forget that poor behavior on another's part does not legitimize that same poor behavior on our part. We set the example. We have the means, the power, the need, and the audacity to shape this world into a better place. A place where "American ideals", means something great, positive, and worthwhile. So pass the French fries, have a burger, and remember what it means to be American.

Friday, March 14, 2003

Opine for the unpopular....

I am going to hold my opinons to a minimum on the whole war on terrorism/War on Iraq detail. I have found that my viewpoints on the Middle East are spectacularly unpopular to some people. I am, however, happy to see that in the article linked above, the protest has been thoughtful and considerate of soldiers. At one of the recent rallies a counter protest in support of the war began chanting, "We Support Our Troops!", and the protestors responded with "So do we!". Happily enough it seems that the GI is not going to bear the brunt of the feelings of angst that people have regarding this situation. Vietnam vets really go thte shaft during the 60's and 70's. Just imagine being spit upon by someone because you chose to serve and did not run to Mexico or Canada? I was also kind of puzzled to see that some of the protestors were saying, "Oust Saddam--Free Iraq!" I do wonder whether or not people know that the problems in teh Middle East will not go away and cannot be ingorned. When I was in the first Gulf War, it could easily be seen that the people of Iraq are sick of Hussein, however, common sense would dictate that they not rise up in opposition to him or else they will face certain death. Hussein and the Ba'ath party only control the middle third of Iraq, but that is where all of the resources lie. I for one don't want to lose focus on the hunt for Al Quaeda, and personally I really don't think that bringing them to trial is the answer. I think that they need to be hunted down and killed. Many liberal pundits feel that this is how we, "create enemies". Actually it is isn't. We tend to create enemies by supporting people when we need them, and leaving them hanging when we don't. The Peshmerga, (Northern Iraqui/Kurdish Guerilla fighters), just knew that we were going to March on into Baghdad back in 91', so they decided to attack Hussein on their own immediately after the Cease Fire with us was called. Hussein started handing their ass to them immediately thereafter and that is why we were in Iraq for so many days after we pushed him out of Kuwait. We had to make a safe zone so the Kurds could excape safely. I personally saw many Kurds who were slaughtered between Basrah and the Euphrates after the Gulf War was over. I also saw, and helped clean up the bodies that littered the ground all along Highway 8 from Doja all the way up to the Border. I know that there will be a terrible death toll if we fight Hussein again, and I am not speaking of terrible in the attrition/statistician scope. I mean that when the first soldier dies the battle, in my estimation, can be deemed as costly. Costly, but not unnecessary.

I tried to repost this blog message, but I am getting a lot of errors I will try again soon. The original post was done several days ago and I needed to make some changes.
Speechless...

I absolutely can't believe that someone would do this. I just spoke about this in my previous post and now I see this. God, these kids are with you now, and they will know no more suffering.
Today

I don't feel very well today.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

"Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate."


Psalm 127:3-5



I woke up this morning before the alarm clock went off and went about my morning routine. I woke the boys up and laughed as they pulled their "mummy risen from the dead" routine. As Robbie walked by me he paused to hug my leg and say, "Mornin' Daddy". Devon said good morning and started brushing his teeth. Once I had seen to it that they were doing what they needed to do to prepare for the day I woke up Alexandra. I took her out of her crib and carried her downstairs. She fussed a little bit, but fell back asleep as I descended the stairs. I lay her on the bed and began changing her diaper....for the longest time she just stared at me with her eyebrows furrowed. I looked at her and had to think to myself, "What is she thinking about?" I put a clean diaper on her and began to dress her. Suddenly, and without cause or warning she broke out in the most beautiful smile and began laughing a little bit. I said, "What are you laughing at Ms. Muffet?" She smiled all the more.... My wife came in the room and took Alex and began to comb her hair....I really suck at the braiding and the pony tails but I am getting better.... Upstairs I heard the playful fighting that always goes on between the brothers. It is the morning routine, but I never get tired of it. No matter whether or not we are on time or running late. Every day I am guaranteed to see a Michael Jackson "Billie Jean" dance move impression by Robbie, and I am guaranteed to hear a rendition of "Hot Crossed Buns" on the recorder by Devon... lol.... A musician and a dancer. I wonder what Alex is going to be? :-) This morning I thought about what a wonderful blessing that children are, and I had to wonder how anyone could ever do something to hurt a child. I hear about people abusing children, neglecting, children, and even killing children. I just don't see how anyone could do such a thing. People say children are a gift from God, and they most certainly are. I think everyone should take more time to appreciate what they have been blessed with.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

If at first....

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, again. Whoever said that must have always been successful on the second try.....

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Training.....YUCK...

Today I am sitting in an Excel 2000 class. Why I took the level one class I have no idea. The instructor is basicallysaying things like. "This is a computer monitor, you must look into the computer monitor to see the data you are working with. This is a mouse, this is a spreadsheet." Well, it isn't actually that basic, but you get the whole idea. I am trying to be a good student and pay attention, but I have yet to see him cover something that I am not familiar with. Perhaps I will take level 3 next instead of level 2. I just want to make sure that all of my Windows skills are up to par. In this economy being on top of your game at all levels is a must. I had a great weekend last weekend. I went home to visit my parents and saw my oldest, bestest, friend in the world for the first time in over a year. I know that the last adjectives aren't really words, but that is the best way to describe him. I met him when we were in the 2nd grade, and we have been friends ever since. It was so strange to think that the little boys who used to compete to see how far we could jump our bikes would someday be Dads with jobs, mortgages, kids, and car payments. Funny how life is sometimes, out of all of the complaining we used to do about our parents, we have both become our fathers. But you know what, being my Dad isn't half bad at all.....not bad at all.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Opine for the unpopular....

I am going to hold my opinons to a miimum on the whole war on terrorism/War on Iraq detail. I have found that my viewpoints on the Middle East are spectacularly unpopular to some people. I am, however, happy to see that in the article linked above, the protest has been thoughtful and considerate of soldiers. At one of the recent rallies a counter protest in support of the war began chanting, "We Support Our Troops!", and the protestors responded with "So do we!". Happily enough it seems that the GI is not going to bear the brunt of the feelings of angst that people have regarding this situation. Vietnam vets really go thte shaft during the 60's and 70's. Just imagine being spit upon by someone because you chose to serve and did not run to Mexico or Canada? I was also kind of puzzled to see that some of the protestors were saying, "Oust Saddam--Free Iraq!" I do wonder whether or not people know that the problems in teh Middle East will not go away and cannot be ingorned. When I was in the first Gulf War, it could easily be seen that the people of Iraq are sick of Hussein, however, common sense would dictate that they not rise up in opposition to him or else they will face certain death. Hussein and the Ba'ath party only control the middle third of Iraq, but that is where all of the resources lie. I for one don't want to lose focus on the hunt for Al Quaeda, and personally I really don't think that bringing them to trial is the answer. I think that they need to be hunted down and killed. Many liberal pundits feel that this is how we, "create enemies". Actually it is isn't. We tend to create enemies by supporting people when we need them, and leaving them hanging when we don't. The Peshmerga, (Northern Iraqui/Kurdish Guerilla fighters), just knew that we were going to March on into Baghdad back in 91', so they decided to attack Hussein on their own immediately after the Cease Fire with us was called. Hussein started handing their ass to them immediately thereafter and that is why we were in Iraq for so many days after we pushed him out of Kuwait.

I tried to repost this blog message, but I am getting a lot of errors I will try again soon.

Monday, March 03, 2003

BE ALL YOU CAN BE...Just pass the Motrin......

Yo. Man, I am so tired and sore. I had drill this weekend with the National Guard. I am finishing up OCS, I have three more drills to go and my Phase II training and I will officially be an Army Officer! Dang I can't wait! Of all of the things that I ever wanted to do with my life it was to be an Army Officer. My father served in the Army for 30 years and retired as a Chief Warrant Officer. I never wanted to be anything else except like him.....well, that is a whole other story right there. I can brag to you about how awesome my dad is another time. Anyway, getting back to being sore. I went down to drill on Friday night and ended up having to low crawl through the mud for like 45 minutes.....it sucked...it was cold, wet, windy, and dark, but somehow I got motivated. (Don't ask me why, maybe I have been eating too much red meat lately). We woke up about 4:30 this next morning and went on a four mile road march with a full rucksack on our back. We had classes all day, and did pushups and flutter kicks throughout the day any time we needed, "corrective training". On Sunday morning we did 100 pushups and 100 situps for exercise and then we broke down into "ability" groups. Unfortunately someone thought that my "ability" should put me in the fast group. So we go on a 5 mile run up and down the hills on the range road. My back started getting real tight, and I told my TAC Officer I needed to slow down several times. He did slow the pace, but my back was throbbing. It was hurting, by the time we made it back to the company area I was walking like Fred Sanford. I tried to lay down and do the hurdler's stretch, but I felt a sharp pain in my back. Not wanting to hurt myself I tried to go back to a sitting position......and that was all she wrote. My back locked up and I screamed like a "bia biaaaaatch". I was like, "AAAAAAAAUGGGGH AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Naturally everyone came running over there and I said, "DON"T TOUCH ME! DON'T TOUCH ME". (Naturally someone pulled my arm anyway.) My back had the rest of my body tensed up so bad that I couldn't move my legs without pains shooting through my lower back. To make a long story short I lay on the cold, damp, ground for like 35 minutes and an ambulance took me to the hospital. There a nurse, who obviously had been a concentration camp nurse in another life, injected liquid fire into the small of my back. I don't know what the hell it was, but it burned like hell. But my back loosened up. Despite that it was still a good weekend. Am I crazy?