Friday, July 27, 2007

I'm jealous of stupid people....

I have lived my entire life with the burden of consequence and repercussion looming over my shoulder. Obviously as a child, these concepts came in the form of "Mom and Dad". There were so many things that I wanted to do that I never tried because of these parameters. There were some things that I tried and managed to keep from them in order to avoid the penalties that came from "Mom and Dad". Other times, these "book ends of severity" were right there when I stepped off of the trodden path and decided to go my own stupid, adolescent, irresponsible way. They quickly got me back on the straight and narrow. Now, as an adult, I may not always make the best decision, but I look at consequence and repercussion and I appropriately weigh their possibilities before making a decision.

Since I have been here, I have had an epiphany, I realize that there are some people here who have NEVER been hampered by the confines of common sense, consequence, repercussion, or rational thought. I thought about that as I was spending my entire day trying to look into a situation. There are some people in their twenties, thirties, forties, and older who have never thought once past the action that they were making. I thought about that, and in an odd way I felt a little jealousy. A "well-grounded" person is perhaps someone who has never "flown", I thought about the individuals I had to deal with today and I realized that in an odd way, to be completely freaking ignorant and devoid of logic must in some odd way be liberating. Hmmmm.....I guess some people are tragically free.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

35 is not 18......

Last night I was entering a compound with a couple of my squads and squad leaders. It was surrounded by about an eight foot wall. In order to breach it, I sent a dismount over with just a pistol to unlatch the gate from the inside. He climbed the wall, lowered himself down by his hands, and dropped. I climbed up on the wall to over watch for him. Once he was inside, he said, "Aw man, it's got a chain on it with a lock." About that time, several dogs started barking. My dismount turned around and pointed his pistol in their direction. In hopes of giving him more support, I jumped off the wall into the courtyard to provide more security. It sounded like a great idea in theory.....until I hit the ground. It was roughly an eight foot drop, and when I landed I was painfully aware of every joint in my body. A weird "ZING" went from my feet to the top of my head, and I crumpled over into a PLF to try and absorb some of the shock.

My dismount said, "Sir, are you alright?" I said yeah, and immediately got up and started scanning. I shined my Surefire at the dogs and they moved back. My dismount tapped me and handed me something. It was a battery from my NOD that I had attached to my rifle. The impact of hitting the ground had jarred the battery cap loose. We called for a breach kit, and cut the lock and did our mission. My hip felt "funny" while we were walking around on our patrol, but it did not hurt. We remounted our vehicles and traveled to a couple more locations, but my back started getting tight. When we got back inside the wire and I did my debrief, it felt like my neck was getting stiff. I got back to the hootch took a shower and lay down for the night. When I woke up a couple of hours ago, I had to negotiate with my legs in order to swing them out of the rack. I am hurting........

I look at myself in the mirror, and the image hasn't really changed all that much in the last 10 years. I am physically fit, my last P.T. test I did 83 pushups, 74 situps, and ran two miles in 13 minutes and 24 seconds. However, something has changed since August 14th, 1990 when I first went to basic training. My recovery time is not the same. As I type this, I have a dull ache in my hip, and my head refuses to turn all the way to the left. Could it be that I am getting old?

I laughed it off and said that it was an injury that could happen to anybody. Hell, I eat right, exercise and keep myself in great shape. As I hobbled to the shower this morning, I looked up and saw a runner coming by who waved his hand. It was my dismount going for a run.......damn, I am getting old.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


100 things about me. If they appear to be random and shifting, then you are 100 percent right. I actually wrote these out in my real journal over the course of about a month. I would think about something, and then I would jot them down....1, 2, 3, 7 at a time. So..enjoy if you aren't too bored.

1. My oldest sister used to call me her “chocolate Billy” when I was young.
2. My earliest memories are of Stuttgart, Germany.
3. My first dog’s name was Blacky, I got him in 1978 when I was in first grade.
4. He died in 1992 when I was 21 and stationed at Ft. Knox.
5. I cried for two days.
6. I think soccer is the world’s greatest sport.
7. My older sister Carolyn is the smartest person I know.
8. I love to play Jeopardy and I am good at it.
9. I have a crude working knowledge of Spanish.
10.I had my first girlfriend in 4th grade.
11. She could run faster than me.
12. From 1st through 6th grade I only liked my 3rd grade teacher Ms. Coffman, she was strict but fair. Fairness. Something I didn’t always get in Hardin County Schools.
13. I hate it when black people call one another “nigger”.
14. I am a Democrat, but I am somewhat conservative when it comes to social issues.
15. Being a good Dad is the most demanding job that I have ever had.
16. My father is the best man that I have ever known.
17. My mother taught me how important respect for self and others is.
18. I want my children to be all that I am not.
19. I have always thought that Sean Connery is the coolest actor to ever live.
20. Audrey Hepburn was timeless. I will watch any movie that she is in.
21. Ella Fitzgerald is my favorite singer of all time.
22. I “know” good money managing techniques.
23. I “exercise” bad money managing techniques.
24. I love spending time in the outdoors.
25. My ongoing project is to be a better man.
26. My wife inspires me to be a better man.
27. My wife reminds me when I am not acting like the best man I could be.
28. I love being in the military.
29. I intend to always do things that I love.
30. I know that some people die doing what they love.
31. I would rather die with people that love me standing by.
32. Having sons makes me feel as if every move I make should be a move that they should be proud of.
33. Jesus Christ is the world’s greatest hero.
34. My oldest sister is the best people person I know.
35. My older sister Neekie would be a great mother.
36. Actually I think my oldest sister Neekie has been a great mother. ;-)
37. Sometimes I wish I was a child again.
38. My biggest fear is letting people down that depend on me.
39. I used to take my wife for granted.
40. The only time I don’t love the military is when it takes me away from the people I love.
41. I need to a make a list of people that I admire. Everyone that has ever lived at 544 gates would start the list off.
42. I only have a few “friends”. I wish I could spend time with them more often.
43. I want my children to have a dog. I probably won’t get attached to it.
44. Sometimes I hate the language I use.
45. Sometimes the language I use is necessary.
46. Sometimes I am afraid of dying.
47. Sometimes I could care less.
48. I hate it when I can’t call home.
49. I liked being a Signal Officer.
50. I love being an Infantry Officer.
51. I am ready to leave Iraq.
52. I am not alone in that sentiment.
53. I’m scared that one of my Soldiers will die before we make it back home.
54. I’m upset with the Army because I am going to miss another wedding anniversary.
55. When I leave Iraq my daughter will be in kindergarten.
56. When I leave Iraq my oldest son wil be a freshman in High School.
57. When I leave Iraq my other son will be in 4th grade.
58. My platoon sergeant is my lifeline.
59.I hate that I will miss my daughter’s pre-school graduation.
60. I have a fear of letting people down.
61. Iraq has made me appreciate my family more.
62. Iraq has made me appreciate life more.
63. Combat has made me appreciate God more.
64. Combat has made me appreciate Life more.
65. Combat has made me appreciate Renee more.
66. Combat has made me appreciate Devon more.
67. Combat has made me appreciate Robbie more.
68. Combat has made me appreciate Alexandra more.
69. I feel as if I have more in my life than what I deserve.
70. I hold grudges against people from my childhood.
71. Autumn is my favorite time of the year.
72. I like to watch falling leaves.
73. I haven’t seen falling leaves since 2005.
74. My favorite wine is Merlot.
75. My favorite beer is Killian’s Red…it is too filling.
76. My favorite mixed drink is a Maker’s and Coke.
77. My wife’s favorite drink is an Absolute Grey Goose and Orange Juice.
78. She will only drink one per night.
79. I have no limit. :-)
80. I am going to Miami when I get out of here.
81. I am going to forget that I was here when I am in Miami.
82. I am ready for my promotion.
83. I think I am ready for the responsibility of a promotion.
84. I hope my next duty station is one that my wife and kids will like.
85. I love patrolling.
86. I hate patrolling.
87. I love Neekie.
88. I have three months until I leave Iraq.
89. Three months is a lifetime.
90. Three months is a short time to make a mistake.
91. I love Carolyn.
92. I don’t like crowds.
93. I don’t like busy shopping centers.
94. I love having quiet time to myself.
95. I love art and indie films.
96. I love Renee.
97. I love Devon.
98. I love Robbie.
99. I love Alexandra.
100. I love my Father and Mother.