Sunday, December 9, 2012
I got out of AIT in March and the first day I was at my unit I left for a training exercise out in the New Mexico desert. When we got back we had a sit-down with our Battalion Sergeant Major and he told us that before we know it we would be in Afghanistan "blasting hajis and pinging motherf-" Well just know he's a man of strong language and ideals. At the time it seemed like a long ways off since we still had 9 months to go, but after 2 more field exercises and countless hours of doing stuff that made me hate the Army, we're finally getting ready to go.
Not a lot has happened recently that is really worth talking about, or would be funny, and unless it's funny I really don't ever think it's worth talking about.
Anyway, I just wrote this so that I could tell people I like them. I never really tell people that I appreciate them. There are a lot of really great people in my life that mad it a whole lot better, I just wish I'd told them more often, not that I plan on dying, because I can totally just tell them later, but that's just something that I've been thinking about lately. People need to talk more, let one another know that they're worth a damn. So if I send you some long passionate message about how much I love you, that's why.
Oh, and Winnie the Pooh is a timeless classic and can describe every emotional latitude that ever existed, so I added that.
All in all I hope that didn't sound sappy, but I really do like people.
Friday, November 9, 2012
This is the first time I've ever written anything that wasn't just factual and spoken of lightly, so if it's too somber just let me know, I can always write some complaints about my roommate and the lack of proper restaurants on post.
In the last 14 months I've been in the Army I'd have to say it's done a decent job at teaching me how to survive. I know how to control major bleeding from extremity wounds, react to near ambushes, drive a dozen different vehicles, and plenty of other general tricks of the trade.
The Army has taught me how to survive, at the cost of me forgetting how to live.
Yesterday I came home from my pre-deployment leave. 21 days at home with friends and family completely void of the Army's bullshit. It was the most relaxed I've found myself in over a year. Now I'm back in Fort Bliss. Even as I signed back into the post I was reminded of why everyone hates it here. On top of my leave form someone had left a Post-it note telling me that I was to report for a 24 hour Charge-of-Quarters shift tomorrow. That's how shoddy our unit is. My orders are passed down on Post-it notes.
But that's beside that point. The real reason I thought I'd sit down and take the time to write something of substance is because 30 minutes ago, I was sitting alone in my room, eating Chinese take-out and thinking, "This is the most 'alone' I've ever felt."
Now I'm not one to say that I'm depressed or anything like that. I'm too proud for that and could never admit that I have enough problems to be depressed about them. The poor bastards that fought in the Great Wars, Korea, and Vietnam, those guys had issues. I just feel sorry for myself sometimes I guess.
I really think that this upcoming deployment is the thing that's starting it all up. I'll sit around with the guys and we'll all joke about which of us is going to kill someone first, or who is going to lose a leg, even sometimes guessing which of us is going to die. Then we'll get word that someone from a sister unit on post just lost the fight and the mood becomes quite somber.
I feel like we all walk a fine edge, emotionally at least. A man can't sit around and contemplate the impending possibility of his death all day or he'll go crazy. It can be just as bad for a man to sit around and joke like nothing could ever happen to him and breed a lackadaisical outlook on his mission and get himself or his buddies killed.
Now I'm just rambling. I guess in short I just wanted to say that sometimes the biggest obstacle a man faces is himself and his mind. Yeah, that sounded educated, I'll go with that.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
I'm on my way to BCT. Thus far it happened like this.
Yesterday all the recruits that were either shipping out or just going to MEPS checked into the Radisson and had a briefing at 8. Lights out was at 10. Our wake up call was at 4:30 and I've been awake since.
Typically everyone takes a chartered bus to MEPS in the morning but today they lost the bus. The hotel instead called a few cabs and shuttled us there a handful at a time.
Upon arrival to MEPS we all went through the motions of medical screenings and getting travel arrangements. Mine of course went awry. For some reason my name kept getting locked out of the computer system and I would have to wait for 10 minutes each time to try again.
The MEPS was short staffed and everyone was stressed, the one who most easily showed it of course was Scott. A civilian that was of equally bad demeanor the last time I went through MEPS.
Eventually I got on my way with my "travel squad." There are six of us that are all going to the same base and we all travel together.
The only real problem I encountered was when I showed up to the airport and my reservation was under the name "Manuel T Towse." With the wrong birthday to boot.
After making a call to the travel liaison who made a few more calls, the reservation was changed and I was on my way.
On our flight from Salt Lake City to Denver I sat next to a National Guardsmen, who had been in for 42 years.
Once we got to Denver we took out meal checks and went to the nicest place we could find. We were all allowed 23 dollars and all but one of us went over the limit and had to pay the difference. But 3.42 for a full rack of ribs isn't so bad...
Now I'm sitting at the gate waiting for our flight to St. Louis. Upon arrival, as far as I understand we should be getting on a bus to take ua to the reception center at Fort Leonard Wood. It is at the reception center at which we will all get to spend a couple days filling out paperwork and getting shots.
I don't know if I'll have any time to add a last post but I want all of you to know that I am going to use the restroom aboard this flight and cross that off my bucket list.
Monday, August 29, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Just recently I think my friend Paul Sanchez decided to join the Army Reserves, I say maybe because it's not really in stone. More of a maybe than a hopefully even. The biggest reason he has decided to take this step in his life is for the money he will receive for education, which in this economy is a large factor for a lot of people that are deciding to enlist. My recruiter Sergeant Anderson gave him the packet to fill out and said bring it back ASAP. Hopefully he goes through with it. I feel like he needs the Army just as much as it needs him.