Assumption of Command

28 February 2005

Dear Abby

Make sure to read the Dear Abby letter today:

SOLDIER SINGS PRAISE TO HIS WIFE -- A TRUE AMERICAN HERO
I'm not saying my wife walks on water -- although she swims well -- but a lot of people send messages over here to the soldiers saying, "Thank you for your service." I personally think the unsung heroes are the ones who fill the shoes of the soldiers when they are deployed.

I wish all of the married soldiers could have spouses as good as LOVING SOLDIER IN IRAQ's. I am also very glad that he knows how much she does. Not only does the soldier need support and respect but so does the rest of the family.

Let Freedom Ring!

Syria is in trouble.

Reuters:
Lebanon's Syrian-backed Prime Minister Omar Karami, under popular pressure after the assassination of an ex-prime minister, said on Monday his government was resigning. "Out of concern that the government does not become an obstacle to the good of the country, I announce the resignation of the government I had the honor to lead," Karami told parliament in Beirut.
This is great news. For many years the Syrians have held a huge hand over the Lebanese people. The pictures on the news are amazing. No matter what country it is, I always feel pride when I see the people of a country stand up for freedom. All of the Red and White flags with Cedar trees makes for a great visual. Good for them.

Bad on the other hand for the Syrians. These guys are having a bad week.

Reuters:
Israel launched a diplomatic offensive against arch-foe Damascus Monday to lobby for international backing for its accusations of Syrian links to a Palestinian suicide bombing that killed five Israelis
The United States, which has also accused Syria of abetting anti-U.S. insurgents in Iraq, has said it may press for international sanctions against Syria.
The taste of freedom, that Iraq has on its lips, is accelerating all of this.

And I didn't even discuss Egypt.

Congrats to the Future Daddy

Major K. breaks the news that he is going to be a daddy by declaring
“Dear Lord, please don’t let me screw this up.”

Little Iraqi girl and Her Bear

Everything we do here has repercussions. If we treat a family with disrespect, that family may not want to help us, or possibly even try to hurt us. But if we do nice things for people, they will remember it and try to help us out.

BlackFive has the Conclusion to this amazing story. Please read it, including the links to previous posts.

The Heart of America - Conclusion: Tim Chavez's New Column

27 February 2005

New development in the Ward Churchhill story

Confederate Yankee: "New Ward Churchill Art Discovered"

Very Nice!

Can't Spell LosT Without LT.

Reminds me of the scene in Platoon.

SGT B. in The Gun Line: Newbie Antics...:
My Platoon Commander had been assigned the job of navigating. Folks, it didn't bode well when he tried to take a MAGNETIC azimuth from the Troop Commander's hatch of the LVPT7A1 (now called the AAV-7, basically an APC that swims), and was convinced that whatever direction he was heading was NORTH...


Its nice not to be a Lieutenant anymore.

What will you do when you get home?

This is one of the biggest topics of conversations around here. We still have a long time before we go home, but it is always nice to think about it.

Everyone has a different answer to the question: What will you do when you get home? But, there are a few recurring themes.

  • Spend time with the Wife and Kids
  • Retire (I wish)
  • Nothing and like every minute of it
  • Go to a favorite restaurant
  • Drink beer
  • Go to school/ROTC
  • Travel

I was talking with someone and I mentioned that I want to go to Vegas sometime. He smashed my hopes and dreams when he said, "Sir, Why do you want to go there? Its in the middle of the desert!"

Trying to Help GreyHawk

GreyHawk, now that he is home, has time to goof around with some of the things on his site. He needs our help testing it out.

So Check it out and lend a hand.

He says it will be faster for those with dial-up.

As for me I wish I had a 33.6 modem. Bandwidth here is terrible.

26 February 2005

Mustang Brand Decaf

Read this Coffee Post first: The Power of Coffee!

Squelch:

We are here in a remotely deployed unit's headquarters, where we have secretly replaced their normal coffee with Mustang Brand Decaf. Let's see if they can tell the difference... Hey Soldier! Yeah You! How was your coffee this morning?

uhhhhh... Helicptorrrrrr...ohhhh over... bed last night... will not survive meetings

Well I don't think he is going to be much help. Let's try that soldier sitting over there. Soldier. WAKE UP! AHHH! Why are your eyes so red?

you use the printer too much... We have no more printer cartridges. *thump*

There you have it! These soldiers can't tell the difference. Go out and buy your Mustang Brand Decaf at your favorite store today.
Not found at any AAFES outlet.

Squelch.

Next on AFN: Your Favorite 25 Year Old Public Service Announcements. (Now in Technicolor)

I am I the only guy that does stupid things?

I am a typical guy. By that I mean, Men don’t pick up on things, past or present, nearly as fast as the women in their life think they should.

Why do you need to know this revelation, you ask.

As I have mentioned before, I started this site to improve my writing. I really wasn’t planning on telling anyone about it. This morning I told my Girlfriend, AKA my FCC@V, back home about this site. And wouldn’t you know it, the first thing she mentions to me is RightWingSparkle’s comment to my Single Soldiers post.

Okay, now that I have (with a little help) put two and two together, I should have made mention of my wonderful, sweet, understanding, lovely, cute, and supportive Girlfriend quicker. Did I mention that she is understanding? :)

BTW: Desert combat boots really don’t taste bad. I seem to be acquiring the taste of them.

Wonderful February Weather

No really, the weather here in February is really nice. It remidns me of a spring day back home. (perfect for a tailgate party) Just makes me wonder how hot July is going to get.

It has rained a few times in the last month. When it does rain, it doesn't come down too hard. Maybe a heavy sprinkle at the most. But it will rain non-stop for 48 hours. About the time all of the mud dries up. It rains again.

I am being told that the rainy season (not winter) is about over.

25 February 2005

If you can get to San Diego

Citezen Smash needs your help with a peaceful support the troops rally.

I wish I could be there, but I am a bit busy right now. :)

Milblogger has soldier injured in his unit.

Major K's unit is going through something I hope never happens to my unit.

Keep you head up over there, Sir.

A good comment to the Single Soldiers post

brooklyn rooster commented to my Single Soldiers post:

The single guy has it easy. You do not have the worries eating you up all the time - family matters, etc...

BR makes a very good point. Some things are easier for troopers without dependents. Just ask a reserve soldier trying to enroll their family into tri-care. By no means was my post trying to diminish the difficulties that a married soldier has during deployment. Not all spouses are as caring or as strong as we would like them to be. I know it is tough for troops not to be involved in their family as much as they would like. I have also seen first hand what family problems can do to a troopers spirit. I had soldiers in my previous deployment find out that their significant other wasn't faithful. I don't know exactly how that would feel. But by looking at them, it sure isn't good.

Soldiers with and without families have different difficulties. I just wanted to point out the one that doesn't get much attention.

BR, our opinions do not clash they just come from different viewpoints. Thanks for responding.

Whoa.

Two days ago I woke up and checked my Site Meter and it only had about 50 hits. This morning It was nearly 2000 and rising. This is has made my day.

I better start proof reading a little better. I have been know to write in Mustang 23-ese. I started this site so that I could force myself to improve my writing ability. Now, I guess I have no choice. :)

I don't know if I should blame or thank Mrs. Greyhawk, Blackfive, RightWingSparkle, La Shawn Barber, John Schroeder, and Datter for forcing my hand.

Seriously, Thanks.

24 February 2005

NHL stands for No Hockey League.

I make no bones about it I can't stand the NHL. I like Olympic Hockey, but that is a another story.

But what is really funny is hearing what the NBA's Maverik (pun intended) owner, Marc Cuban, has to say about the lost season in his blog.

How to Lose 1 Billion Dollars

Helping basil in his blog war!

Like I don't have enough war to deal with as it is.

basil @ basil's blog is in a war with Sortapundit. Since basil is a good guy I will give him a hand. The object of the war is to make google searches on weird phrases come up with basil's blog instead of Sortapundit's.

check basil's blog war update site

every side in a war needs a flag!
Good Guys Battle Flag








here are the crazy phrases to help basil.

Gizoogle
Paris Hilton's cell phone number
The ****** at DFNCTSC Sorry basil! I have to edit that.
Strip clubs in Ohio with midget strippers
Girls big tit
Free big tit sites
Jamie Lynn Spears naked

I told you they were goofy!

[+/-] EXPAND/COLLAPSE - Read More!

Syrian ties to the insurgency, Say it ain't so

The BBC is reporting Iraq 'rebels' claim Syria backing:
The allegations made by the apparent rebels on al-Iraqiya TV would, if verified, back US and Iraqi claims of Syrian meddling in Iraq's affairs.
A man who was identified as Syrian intelligence officer Lt Anas Ahmed al-Essa said he and his group had been recruited to "cause chaos in Iraq... to bar America from reaching Syria," the Associated Press reported.
This really isn't a shock to anyone over here, but it is good to see that this is starting to get some coverage.

My Answers to a Blogger Quiz

IMAO is asking bloggers to answers questons in a Who the Hell Do You Think You Bloggers Are? Quiz.

1. Who the hell do you think you are?
-A man of pride, honor, and duty.

2. So, other than blogging, what's your job? Do you work at some fast food joint, dumba**?
-I am an officer in the US Army currently deployed to Iraq.

3. Do you have like any experience in journalism, idiot?
-No but I do have a built in BS detector. It has been going off a lot recently.

4. Do you even read newspapers?
-Yes we get the Stars & Stripes here semi-daily, usually two days late.

5. Do you watch any other news than FOX News propaganda, you ignorant fool?
-AFN news has content from all the major news channels. Right now 60 Minutes: Wednesday is on.

6. I bet you're some moron talk radio listener too, huh?
-I only get AFN Freedom Radio, the rest of the stations are in Arabic. Not much talk radio here.

7. So, do you get a fax from the GOP each day for what to say, you @#$% Republican parrot?
-I can't get faxes, we don't have normal phone lines here.

8. Why do you and your blogger friends want to silence and fire everyone who disagrees with you, fascist?
-I am answering your questions aren't I?

9. Are you completely ignorant of other countries, or do you actually own a passport?
-I don't own a passport. You don't need one to be deployed.

10. Have you even been to another country, you dumb hick?
-No more than any other Soldier in the US Army.

11. If you're so keen on the war, why haven't you signed up, chickenhawk?
-See #2.

12. Do you have any idea of the horrors of war? Have you ever reached into a pile of goo that was your best friend's face?
-Not yet. Hope I don't have too

13. Have you ever reached into any pile of goo?
-Ever time I pick up your paper.

14. Once again, who the hell do you think you are?!
-An American with an opinion. A right for which I am defending right now.

Update: Imao has the complete list posted. there is some fun stuff there.

The Power of Coffee!

Are you not sleeping well? Do helicopters hover over your bed at night? Do loud explosions shake your living area when you need a good night's sleep? Do people bother you for printer cartridges at Zero-Dark-Thirty. Are you already awake when your alarm goes off?

Here is what you do: Crawl on over the to the big pot with your handy dandy (and slightly dirty) mug and fill'er up with, not so fresh but oh so strong, Coffee.

Coffee! Its just like eye drops, It get the red out. It puts a pep in your step and helps you get through your daily marathon of meetings.

Just remember. When all else fails: Drink Coffee.

This post is not sponsored by Juan Valdez, but it should be.

Update: Mustang Brand Decaf

23 February 2005

Score one for the SECDEF

Read the whole thing for the details.

Via Mudville

Stanford Review: California Congresswoman looks plain silly: "Yesterday, Defense Secretary testified before the House Armed Services committee on a wide range of issues and, not surprisingly, the issue of Iraqi troop levels came up. California Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA 47)accused Rumsfeld of misleading the people by providing incorrect, inflated statistics on the number of trained Iraqi troops. Read the transcript and it becomes clear Sanchez is showing herself to be embodiment of Democratic partisanship by misleading the American people with numbers she fully knows are outdated."

21 February 2005

Is this a turning point?

AP reports Iraqis Launch Anti-Insurgent Drive:

Meanwhile, a powerful Sunni organization believed to have ties with the insurgents sought to condemn the weekend attacks that left nearly 100 Iraqis dead.

"We won't remain silent over those crimes which target the Iraqi people Sunnis or Shiites, Islamic or non-Islamic," Sheik Harith al-Dhari, of the Association Muslim Scholars, told a news conference.


Iraqis, he said, should unite "against those who are trying to incite hatred between us."


Initial reaction: Its about flipping time.

This is what I have been waiting for. It has been a general belief that the insurgents in this country will not leave until the locals start standing up for themselves. When the Iraqis finally get fed up with the outsiders using their homeland as a battlefield, they will push them out. This a ray of hope that the time is here. I hope the will of the Iraqi people, who like anyone else just wants peace, rises up and says "No More!"

There are two main causes for this new ray of hope.

First. The Iraqi people have a taste of political freedom. They now know that each and every Iraqi has a voice, not just a certain group. This voice felt so good and wonderful and brought so much pride to their homeland internationally that they can not let it go. Freedom is a great motivator.

Second. The Coalition has adjusted to the tactics of the insurgents. It is not as easy to kill the Americans. The coalition has been taught that if you look strong and are strong the bad guys won't mess with you. In an adjustment to this the insurgents have made a CRITICAL error. They have started targeting the Iraqis. The local population do not feel the pain of this war when the Americans are being killed. But when their brothers, fathers, sons and neighbors are dying, the pain comes home. Now the local have a vested interest in stopping the pain.

I don't know how this will all turn out, but I see this as nothing but good news.

Sidenote: Sunnis realize a whoops!


"We made a big mistake when we didn't vote," said Sheik Hathal Younis Yahiya, 49, a representative from northern Nineveh. "Our votes were very important."



Update: Mudville has a legthly post saying the 'insurgents' are on the ropes

20 February 2005

Don't Forget The Single Soldiers

A little about myself. This is not my first deployment. I spent about 8 months in Bosnia in the late 90's. When I got home with my unit, there was a whole gym full people of waiting for us to march in. Music was playing (still to this day Lee Greenwood Chokes me up), Kids yelling, Families crying, and the obligatory General speaking. I was so happy to be home and to see all of my soldiers hugging their kids. After all the admin work was done, I went home to an empty apartment.

I am seeing all this wonderful news of soldiers coming (Congrats Red Six) home from the desert to the outstretched arms of their spouses and children and it inspired this post.

These are sights and visions that can move even a stone cold rock of a human being.

But not all soldiers have the "wife and kids" waiting for their return. Some soldiers nearest family maybe one or two thousand miles away from their home station. It the cases of soldiers stationed in Germany their nearest family could be an ocean away. These same soldiers have been incredibly close to their teams, crew members, and battle buddies in all facets of their lives. Now all of a sudden all of that closeness is gone and the single soldier is possibly alone without the people he until recently relied on. This can be just as difficult as trying to get used to the spouse that now runs the household without the soldier. The Army tries to prepare us for re-entry into our families. Granted this is very important, but they don't seem to have anything for reuniting with yourself.

Just do me a favor don't forget about the single guys and gals just because they are back. Home can be a very lonely place too.

Update: I am not home yet. I still have a ways to go before I go home, I still thank you for the thoughts anyhow :) Thanks to Mrs. GreyHawk for the nice words.

Update 2: RightWingSparkle has good idea.

Update 3: A commenter makes a good point.

Update 4: Whoops.

19 February 2005

Daytona 500

Tomorrow night (yes Night) the Datona 500 will be run. It is on at 2100. It will be nice to watch it live. but the AFN Public service announcments Suck. I miss the good commercials. :(

18 February 2005

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

17 February 2005

There is no place like home

Greyhawk is home. I knew it when I saw the plane in the logo. Have a beer for me!

Columbia University Debates Bringing Back ROTC

Sarah @ Trying to Grok found this Opinion on weather Columbia should bring back ROTC Written by By Nick Rosenthal:

I am shocked as well. As a graduate of ROTC I feel I am qualified to respond:


First of all, let's get something straight it's not like ROTC was here recently. It's been gone for 35 years. After the student riots on campus in 1968, the administration agreed to ban ROTC from campus. The reasons that ROTC was removed from campus then remain true today. While the U.S. is no longer in Vietnam, it is now all over the Middle East. Most students here did not then, and do not now, support U.S. military efforts. We do not want a military presence on this campus, and we do not wish to see our school assisting the U.S. military in any way.



All over the Middle east? huh? Yes we are here in a few countries but I would hardly call it all over the place.

When you say we, who do you mean? You and Who? Maybe you don't care for the military, a fact that you make blatantly obvious, but I am afraid you cannot possibly speak for the entire campus. Do you have any scientific evidence other than "We"

...And now students in favor of returning ROTC to campus are starting to make noise, saying that they are being treated unfairly.


So there are other students that are not part of "We". I guess Nick doesn't speak for everyone. Just because All powerful Nick doesn't like something it must not be tolerated. And because I have a forum to voice my opinion Everyone must agree with him.

By accepting ROTC on campus, Columbia would be encouraging some of its students not to be great thinkers but to be warriors whose purpose is to kill.



So now all of a sudden Everyone in uniform is stupid. I would like you to say that to my History professor or my Physics Professor both or my College Advisor. All three of them are retired veterans and two of them have their PHds in their fields. Are they not great thinkers.

Supporters of the ROTC will attempt to make distinctions like, "you can train to be a doctor in the military," or whatever, but the point is, anyone in uniform is just as guilty of enforcing the will of the United States via the use of force as the soldier who actually pulls the trigger.


Whatever happened to Support the Soldier not the war. Now all soldiers are guilty just because they are doing their duty. I thought we got past this closed-minded thinking back in the 70's.

Joining the military is flushing your education down the toilet. Why would people come here if they were just going to enter the military upon graduation in the first place? It's like, "Well, I just spent four years learning about mankind's accomplishments, but all I really want to do is kill people."



I Don't want to kill people. That is not why I joined the Army. I joined the Army because I value the Freedoms this Country has provided my family since it arrived. I am first generation American on my Mother's side. My Grandfather moved his family to America in order to avoid religious persecution. My Family truly know what freedom is and that it shouldn't be taken for granted. The US has given my Family so many opportunities, including mine, that when I was called I gladly went without complaint.

The 4 years I spent in college was not wasted. It taught me to recognize your Bull Sh*t!

Seriously the combination of my 4 year degree and my military experience made me into the man I am. If this is such a waste of education, how come corporate America lines up for military officers leaving the service? Maybe they know something you don't. The combination of education, leadership, dedication and loyalty makes a great employee. I can't wait to get back to my civilian job where they welcome those traits.

I'm not really sure how the Core curriculum is going to come in handy when you've been ordered to stack a group of naked Iraqi prisoners in a human pyramid.



It all comes back to the pyramid. It must be some pyramid scheme. You would think at a much higher learning institution such as Columbia you could come up with a better argument than the pyramid. Be creative.

Meanwhile, our campus is one of the few remaining places where as students,we can be free from the ever-increasing "let's roll" mentality that is becoming so dominant in this nation.



WOW! Tread on some more graves would you. That comment is disgusting. If the "Let's Roll" mentality means: standing up for what you believe in, taking action to not lose control, protecting innocent lives while putting your self in harms way, protecting the Freedom that makes this country great than what's the problem.

Even if this does increase the amount of diversity here, this is not how the diversity should be created, with white students being doctors and lawyers, and blacks and Latinos being soldiers.

And this is further proof that La Shawn Barber is correct about the Left being racist.

I am truly sorry Nick fells the way he does. I just hope his thoughts and feelings, and others like him, do not turn into a spit on the soldier mentality. That would be a true disaster.

Everything

So I just got back from Chow. It always seems like they never have the food I really like except on the night that they have EVERYTHING I like. It makes for a good dinner just a bit large. I guess my normal Friday at the Gym needs to be a bit longer. :)

Mail Call!

No I am not going to discuss R. Lee Ermy show. (that might be fun) but today we got a truck load of mail... No really we received a whole truck full of mail. Not one of those little pick ups either. We got a full LMTV full of mail.

Besides all the work to load and unload this replacement for the old "deuce and a half". Getting mail is a lot of fun for the troops. Except those who have to sort it and keep all of the other troops away so that the mail can be sorted and organized.

It seem sometimes that the soldiers of this outfit only want to come around when we have mail to hand out. There must be a "mail is here" alarm because everyone know when it arrives. And when they get here they don't want to wait. So I have to keep everybody out of the way so my clerk can do his job. Patience is a virtue.

Mail is a very important part of the morale of a Soldier. We are here a long way from home doing things that sometimes we really don't want to do, and we are away from our family and friends that love us. Sometimes we forget about everybody that loves us back home and remember what a crappy deal we have right now. But the day that we get mail, or better yet a care package, Oh Man. We remember how wonderful things are back home and that we aren't forgotten back there and that when we get home everything is going to be okay.

Some soldiers get hand drawn things from their kids. Others get photos for the room. A lot of the time I get Homemade cookies. :) (Mommy Made Cookies are the best) A great deal of the packages I get have my brand of personal hygiene products. The PX just doesn't have any good stuff and when they do it disappears so fast that I never get what I want. But I am picky when it comes to my shampoo. (while I write this I am eating popcorn I got sent)

On the flip side of the wonderful part of getting mail is not getting mail. Everyone knows How many packages they should have received already. And most of the time people have e-mailed their soldier to say I sent you this 3 weeks ago and you don't have it yet. So not only are the families upset but that in turn makes the soldier frustrated. I have heard a lot of cussing and gnashing of teeth about the postal service here. And my clerk usually gets blamed for holding the mail. It hurts me as a leader to see troops upset at something I can't control.

Mail day is a good day! (When you get yours)

BTW: Has anyone seen my mail!

14 February 2005

Valentine's Day is past.

Another V-day has come and gone. Normally I am a very sad soul on V-day. I would usually mope around while I see all these people who have their significant others, spouses, finishes and I would be there with my car or my computer.

but yesterday was a good day. I actually have something to celebrate this year.

I have my FCC@V. She has done so many nice things for me. She sends me packages here while I am deployed. She sends me cute Power Point Shows. And most of all when I am feeling down or bad or just plain no good. She says the right things to lift me up. We have been apart for a long time but she still stands by me.

Thank you Baby!

10 February 2005

First Command (formerly USPA/IRA) is in trouble

OH BOY. This hits a lot of people I know.

COUNTERCOLUMN: Class Action Lawsuit Against First Command!

I'm not a lawyer, but the reasoning looks sound. They're going after First Command largely for unsuitability. And by comparing the SIP to the Thrift Savings Program, they're actually narrowing their argument to the point where they can quantify a typical opportunity cost that's going to be greater than the commissions paid into the program. It strikes me like a pretty solid and reasonable case. They aren't reaching for the moon here.

It's also significant that this is a class action suit, which means that they can circumvent mandatory arbitration with the NASD (Who fined First Command a paltry 12 million dollars. Pocket change for these guys), and get the case in front of a jury. Which also opens the door to some significant punitive damages, as well, I believe (maybe one of my lawyer readers can weigh in here.)


I would not want to be First Command here.



Here are some important links:
press release
The Law firm: scroll down for the complaint and an application to join the class

VVVAAAAAAAAROOOOOOOOMMM!

Wow.

Today I was sitting in my normally dull office doing my normally dull work. IE sorta staring at the screen for a bit. When without warning:

VVVAAAAAAAAROOOOOOOOMMM!

Holy Smokes. An F-15 flew by the FOB a supersonic speeds. Man are those things loud. I love. As soon as I realized what it was I let loose with a loud WOOOOOOO!

my dull office morning all of a sudden was full of energy and such. I am just very glad those guys going Mach-2.9 (because they aren't faster than my razor) are on my side.

Sometimes I wish I was a Fighter pilot.

08 February 2005

And it Starts....

The Undersigned Assumes Command of this Blog