Assumption of Command

31 March 2005

Everybody's Favorite!

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This is the Second Installment of "Ask Mustang 23!". It seems like Ms. R's 7th Grade Advanced Social Studies class is going to be sending a few questions. Today I received a message from "Lauryn and Class":
When did you go over to Iraq? What do you do for fun whenever you aren't working? Is there weather nice there most of the time?? And i was wondering if you think that the teenagers in Iraq are different than the teenagers here in the USA. Also, what kind of food do you eat in Iraq. Because you said that you were craving strouds chicken and bar-b-que. Also where are you and how long have you been in Iraq. Do you get to watch TV there?? If you do, who do you think should be voted off american idol?? I think Carrie is going to win.

Well, be safe and try to have as much fun as you can, Lauryn and Class.
You ask some cool questions. let me see what I can do with these:

When did you go over to Iraq?
I went to Iraq just a little bit after Thanksgiving, but I left the US in the middle of October, before you go to Iraq you have to spend some time in Kuwait getting ready to go to Iraq.
What do you do for fun whenever you aren't working?

Fun! Who has time for fun with all these questions to answer? Just joking.

There are a few things to do around here. We watch a lot of DVDs here most everybody either has a mini DVD player or a laptop to watch movies on. I have a whole bunch of them myself. I do read a little bit before I go to sleep. Right now I am reading "Pacific Vortex" by Clive Cussler. Cussler writes modern day ocean adventure books. I like his stuff a lot. But my Dad, "Mustang Sarge", keeps sending me books that have pictures of couples that like they are about to kiss on the cover. There is an Organization that here to help troops have fun it is called MWR (Morale, Recreation, Welfare) the have shelves and shelves of books to read. I don't want to read those "couple kissing books", so I take them down to MWR and I get a Clive Cussler book instead.

MWR also has pool tables, ping pong tables, big TVs, a little movie theatre, a gym, and some card tables. MWR also puts on some competitions between units. For example, Darts, basketball, Fake money Texas Hold 'em, Dodge Ball. Tonight we had a talent show. But to tell you the truth I spend most of my free time E-mailing family and friends or Working on this site. This is fun for me. (It is all a ploy to get my mom to send cookies, but shhhh don't tell her that)

And i was wondering if you think that the teenagers in Iraq are different than the teenagers here in the USA.
I really don't have any first hand knowledge about the teenagers here, but I do know that there are schools here and that the schools are getting better. A lot of the teenagers here help the family with farming or with work. anything to help the family.
Also, what kind of food do you eat in Iraq? Because you said that you were craving strouds chicken and bar-b-que.
mmmmm BBQ (think Homer Simpson and doughnuts) We eat about the same food as kids in school eat, but with more variety. There are a lot of soldiers here and they feed us in a Dining Facility (DFAC) the food is pretty good except the steaks tastelike Astroturf. (read that link it will help you understand a little better) I had this for Breakfast a couple months ago:
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Also where are you
I am out in the middle of nowhere. I am not in Baghdad or another main city, just out in the country side on an old Iraqi Air Force base.
and how long have you been in Iraq.
I already answered that one! Are you trying to get more than your fair share of questions? Lauryn, Do Push-ups! April Fools! :)
Do you get to watch TV there??
Yes we have some TV. We have what is called AFN, Armed Forces Network. They show us a lot of different things. We have a sports channel and a news channel and a couple of every thing else channels. What is weird about it is that they don't show commercials. They show goofy public service announcements that tell us about the history of North Dakota or reminding us to lock our cars or something like that.
Do you get to watch TV there?? If you do, who do you think should be voted off american idol?? I think Carrie is going to win.
I haven't watched American Idol since they rejected William Hung. American Idol is on, but we don't watch it much here. I do watch re-runs of Law and Order and the Simpsons. Mostly, I just watch the news.
Well, be safe and try to have as much fun as you can, Lauryn and Class.
You have my word that I will have as much fun as humanly possible.

Marine's Sister Can't hang a Picture in her class.

A high school student and her teacher, in Oregon, has been told that post a picture of her brother on a wall along with many other graduates and students of the teacher.

Shea Riecke is very proud of her brother service so she decided to post this picture:

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Photo credit: Marine Corps Moms

Shea's brother is Cpl Bill Riecke (right)

Shea is being to told that the picture cannot be posted because of the weapon in his hand. But The school's mascot, which is prominently displayed, holds a sword.

Michelle Malkin has a better description of events. including some good e-mail addresses.

This is a pretty sad state of affairs. But I think the school did this to the wrong family. Shea's mom runs a Blog called Marine Corps Moms. It is a site dedicated to the families of Marines. And they are getting a lot of support.

You should go and give them your support, before I make you do push-ups! :)

Update: RCBEEP makes a great point in the comments. I just have been thrown into a state of indecision on this topic.

95.5 The Wolf! Nashville Country

It looks like the word is getting around.

I Just noticed that 95.5 The Wolf! Nashville Country has linked here.

Welcome to to everyone In Nashville. Stay a while!

That is an Order! :)

I've Got Mail

I got a package in the mail the other day. Packages are always nice to get. This one was from my Girlfriend, FCC@V. She knows that I like to bowl and that I really miss my league every Monday Night. Every Monday I used to go and bowl with her brother-in-law. His name is "Walking eagle" because he is so full of S*** he can't fly. A little bit ago FCC@V went to go visit her sister and Walking Eagle. If you have been reading my site, you would know that I like Cookies. (Note: Mustang Mama Reports there are cookies in the Mail, They Better be!!!!) So FCC@V combined them both and sent me a package:


Bowling Ball Cookies
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YEA! How cool is this. If I can't go bowling here at least I can have bowling ball cookies.

And the picture is of Walking Eagle's baby boy, Crawling Eagle, And from what I hear he is as full of S*** as his Dad, but this time it is the real stuff. I like the picture of Crawling Eagle in front of the flag. Just like my Eagle and Flag in the upper right hand corner. Cool!



Thank you!

30 March 2005

"Zac and Class" ask a question.

In my post welcoming Star 102 listeners to Assumption of Command, Mustang Mama Strikes Again!, “Zac and Class” ask the following questions:

How do you feel about being there? Did you go there willingly or would you prefer to be in the USA right now? How do you feel about the fact that the war has fallen in the back ground? send soon.
Well, since they said to “send soon”, I better get right on it. I don’t want them to make me do push-ups! :)

First off, Zac and everybody, thank you for stopping by and taking an interest in what is going on here. I also want to thank you for asking a very good and relevant question.
How do I feel about being here in Iraq? Did you go there willingly?
I am very proud to serve my country. The United States of America is the greatest place in the world. It is truly where Freedom was born. I have never, and will never, take my Freedom for granted. I have had these feelings for my country for a very long time. When I was in High School, applying for a ROTC Scholarship, felt like the right to do. And when the country that I love so much asked me for help, I did not hesitate. I want America to be strong now and for years to come.

Iraq is still a dangerous place, but we are making some serious progress. We are very proud of this progress. It is much safer now than it was this time last year. But we still have a lot of work to do. The main focus of the mission right now is to help the good people of Iraq build their infrastructure, not only their government, but also their police and Army. When the Iraqi Army can defend the country and their police can catch the criminals without our help, we have done our job. And the quicker these things happen the quicker the US Army comes home.

But to answer your question, I am not upset at being here. There are bad days and there are good days and yes I miss my family and friends. I miss home and not having to walk 100 feet to the bathroom. But all in all I am proud of our mission and the results so far. I think it will be neat, years from now, to tell people I was in Iraq for their elections, I was part of Iraq’s great history.

or would you prefer to be in the USA right now?

Did the Fish say to the Fisherman, “you know what, I really don’t want to go back in the water, I just want to stay in the boat!” I would love to be back home eating Fried Chicken at Stroud’s and have Gates Barbeque and getting ready for our Royals Opening Day Tailgate party, (LIMA TIME BABY!) but I also want to do the job I have been asked to do. Until then I will stay here.

How do you feel about the fact that the war has fallen in the back ground?

There are a couple ways to take answer this question. First, America might be getting used to being at war, I don’t know if that is completely true. Or you could think that since most of the media attention that comes from the war is negative, maybe that means things are getting better. I know things are getting better. Truthfully, I won’t do my job here any differently if we are in the background or the foreground.

What I do know is that we have great support back home from the all over the country and that is what really means a lot to us here in the “Sandbox”. Having people we don’t even know asking us questions, like this, shows us that people do care about us here and that is more important than any attention the media gives us.

Thank You!

If anybody else has any questions I will be glad to answer them. You can leave a comment or E-mail me. My E-mail address is in the upper right of the page under the No Camels picture. Just remove the spaces.

Basil Wins!

Sortapundit Surrenders!

Congrats to Basil for winning the Blog war with the Crumpet Muncher.

Let Basil's War Flag Wave On!

29 March 2005

We are here for the childern.

Michael @ A Day in Iraq shares an amazing story of a kid he met on guard duty. If you do nothing else today READ THIS!

Ahmed:

I must have been busy with these thoughts because seemingly out of nowhere, like angels sent from heaven, two young boys appeared at the gates, beckoning us with their voices.
...
It was a note from a doctor at another FOB in the area asking if someone would evaluate the boy and give him any treatment they could. He was a 14-year old boy, named Ahmed, with signs of possible liver failure/cirrhosis in his lower extremities.
...
I wanted to give this kid something, anything that would maybe make him happy. I wish I could’ve given him a ride in the tank. I wish I had the power to get him a ride on a helicopter. I wish I could’ve put him on a plane to the U.S. with the best doctor in the world waiting to greet him as he arrived.
...
They looked at each other and laughed as they struggled to chew the big wad of gum. I tried to tell them that the bubble gum and peppermint Trident mixture might not be that good, but they didn’t understand and didn’t seem to care.

I don't know what really to say to this great story, except maybe Wow or Hooah! This is going to be a memory that Michael will not soon forget. It is amazing the strength that these kids here have and how much joy they can bring to the American Soldier.

These are the stories that do not get publicized in the media. These are the great things the troopers here are doing on a regular basis. I wish I could share this story and the hundreds like this to all of America to show them what kind of difference we are making.

(Via American in Canada)

Mustang Mama Strikes Again!

"Mustang Mama" (AKA My Mom) met Jeanne Ashley, the morning show lady on Star 102, the other day and being the proud Mustang Mama that she is, She let Jeanne know all about her son in Iraq and that he even has a website.

I asked Mustang Mama: “hey what’s the deal with the Radio Lady?” Maybe I should have added the little smiley face at the end of the question, because she thinks I am upset. Whoops! Sorry Mom!

I am actually proud to have people read this site. I am very happy to welcome listeners of Jeanne Ashley(Star 102 mornings, 1430-1900 Iraq time or 530-1000 CST which ever you prefer) and Star 102 to my site. Pull up your chair, put your feet up (just not on your mouse) , grab a Coffee, whip out your sense of humor, or bring out your emotions, because all opinions are welcome here, even if I don't agree with them. And feel free to leave a comment or 3.

But I am not the only deployed blogger right now. There are some other troopers that have great stories, opinions, and experiences to share.

Here are the ones I have been reading:

Go visit these other bloggers, or I will make you do push-ups! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Smash Takes on Pablo

Citizen Smash, an Operation Iraqi Freedom Vet, has some words for another deserter, Pablo Paredes:

Pablo is Surprised:
Well, as Red Forman might say: “Pablo, you’re a dumbass!”

You must have known that every time you opened your mouth in public someone was listening, right? Yet you never passed up an opportunity to get your name in print, or talk on the radio, or get your face on TV. And each time you spoke out, you dug that hole a little bit deeper. Didn’t your lawyer warn you about this? Based on what your old shipmates have told me, I’m guessing that he did, but that you thought you knew better than him.

Smash writes a great post here. It is well worth reading. I have no sympathy for Pablo.

The deserter sure are making the news lately.

28 March 2005

Kansas City Royals Know how to support the troops

From the Offical Royals Webpage:

Royals announce special 2005 Military Appreciation Ticket Program:

Individuals must possess a valid military photo ID. Tickets will be limited to the individual and up to three family members.

"The Royals want to recognize the unparalleled sacrifices that members of the military make to secure our freedom on a daily basis," said Royals President Dan Glass. "This special program for the 2005 season will enable us to reach out to the military community and provide an opportunity for these deserving individuals to enjoy a day at the ballpark with their families."
This is great. Thank you Mr. Glass. I hope service members will be able to take advantage of this and get to see what a wonderful experience a game at "The K" is.

Now if they can get some pitching. :)

People who don't like me!

I knew it would happen sooner or later. It appears that someone in the blogosphere doesn't like me. He even thinks I am Asinine. Funny, my friends call me much worse names at home, but that is beside the point.

So in honor of this accomplishment, I am going to start a list on my side bar of people who don't like me. I will then link that list to my post explaining why they don't like me and why I should or should not care. I usually find it funny when people don't like me. So if you are worried about my psyche, just do what I do, consider the source and laugh at it. I have had plenty of practice.

So here is the first installment of "People who Don't like Me!"

This one is worth a laugh.

Earlier I wrote a post about the deserter Jeremy Hinzman and how Canada Refused to grant him refugee status.

Well, Kevin O'Meara @ The Command T.O.C. takes exception and explains why in his post (Get This!) Another Asinine Army Officer.

Another asinine comment from a person who believes that since he is a Captain in the Army he can be the biggest playground bully in the world.
And Proud of it!
Captain Mustang 23 (Real original, everyone wants to be Tom Cruise)
He must be really grasping, if he has to make fun of my name. Tom Cruise?
Well, I would have loved to have "Mustang 23" call Muhammad Ali a wimp when he claimed CO status. My guess is that Mustang would have gone down in one punch.
The difference is Ali stood up to his critics and took responsibility for his actions, unlike what SPC Hinzman did. SPC Hinzman ran away from something he volunteered to do. Ali did not volunteer and did not swear an oath. Ali disagreed with the oath before he took it. Big difference.

BTW: The only thing he gets correct in the whole post is, Yes back then Ali would have kicked my butt.
Please Mustang, report on Iraq but leave your silly asinine comments off the blog. It makes you look bad and reflects really poorly on the U.S. Army.
I don't have a problem with Kevin writing silly asinine comments on his blog, so if you don't mind, I will write what I want on mine. And If you think it makes me look bad, I must be doing something right. And to clarify, read my disclaimer. My writing is just that, my writing.

I respect Kevin's right to have an opinion, but disagree whole-heartedly. Still, I think Kevin could have put a bit more work in to it.

Update1: Thank you to everyone for a great conversation in the comments, even if I disagree, I like to hear all well thought out views. BTW: "Mustang 23" is the callsign I was assigned (not chosen) during part of my active duty time. It means a lot to me to be a part of the history of the 8th US Cavalry. Honor & Courage!

Update2: "Hell on Heels" rides on!

Update3: MustangSarge has a great post over on Kevin's original post.

New Blog Showcase.

Everyweek there is a Showcase of Blogs that are less than 3 Months old. This week I made the list. This week it is hosted by Ted @ Rocket Jones.

There are some other nice blogs listed and it also explains how to get listed in future showcases.

Go take a look a look at it.

That is an Order! :)

27 March 2005

Chris Moneymaker I am not.

Last night, I put my undefeated status on the line for a night of Texas Hold 'em at the MWR here. I probably wouldn't have played except it was for "Unit Challenge" Points. Since Unit pride was on the line I played. I put up a good fight against 30 other guys but came up short, but I did earn some points for the unit. It was worth it. I guess I can live with once defeated :)

The Bad Guys want an Exit Strategy.

I saw this in a couple of places. I hope this pans out.

Iraq's insurgents ‘seek exit strategy'

Specializing in high-speed delivery of semi-precious metals......

Ma deuce Gunner (MDG) is a brand new deployed Milblogger. He rides around in a gun truck, and has control of the king of small arms machine guns, tried, tested and true, The 50 CAL. He describes himself as "Specializing in high-speed delivery of semi-precious metals......" Hooah!

Everything in the military has a nomenclature. My Beretta 9mm Pistol is an M9. The Blackhawk helicopter is a UH60. The basic Humvee is an M998. (the cool up armored ones are the M1114s) And since the 50 Cal is the M2, it has the nickname "Ma Deuce"

It is rumored, Samuel L. Jackson once said this:
The Ma Deuce, When you absolutely, positively have to stop every lightly armored vehicle in sight, accept no substitute!
MDG has a very demanding and dangerous job while on patrol. On the road, it is his job to make sure vehicles do not enter the convoy. We protect ourselves from rolling car bombs by keeping EVERYONE else away, and in a last resort by firing upon them. It is his responsibility to keep his unit safe.

If you look at his site he has a some of wonderful pictures. Some of them are cool and some of them are heart warming. I love the picture of the little girl. He gets to do the things I wish I could be doing. It must be so neat to get to see the local population on a regular basis. This is why we are here, for the little kids of Iraq. I am very jealous.

MDG also has some opinions about the Italian "Journalist" incident. He also provides a link to nice Handy Dandy Guide to not getting shot called: 8 Ways Not to Get Shot by the US Military.

Go take a look at his new site.

26 March 2005

Happy Easter

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25 March 2005

Milblogger Dies in the line of Duty

Francisco G. Martinez, Died on Patrol in Baghdad. His site was here

Pay your respects to the Fallen Hero's Family

This is part of the job that really sucks.

Thank you Paquito, you are a true American Hero.


(Via Smash)

Update: Huntress points out this post on SPC Martinez's site

This is my kind of Sergeant Major.

I just ran in to this posting by a former Marine Officer, ShadesOfGrey, and he explains how his Sergeant Major saved his rear end.

The Sergeant Major--A Sea Story:
It so happened that while I was in the process of killing this snake, the military variant of the Parks and Wild Life Swat Team was driving by and witnessed me in violation of some federal statute protecting rattlesnakes. The vehicle pulled up just as I administered the death knell blow, pumped my arms, and yelled “Yeah!”
This is a good story.

(via GMroper)

For One Night Only...

Tomorrow night, for one night only, I am coming out of retirement. Doyle Brunson should have no fear.

update pending...

Canada Did Something Right.

They told this guy to take a flying leap:

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Jeremy Hinzman (CP PHOTO/Darryl James)

Why? He is wanted in the US for being a deserter.

CP Online:
TORONTO (CP) - An American war dodger who fled the U.S. military because he believed the invasion of Iraq (news - web sites) was criminal has lost his bid for refugee status in Canada in a case closely watched on both sides of the border.

In a written ruling released Thursday, the Immigration and Refugee Board said Jeremy Hinzman had not made a convincing argument that he faced persecution in the United States.
This is one of the best things to come from Canada since the Mackenzie Brothers.

Seriously, this is good news from our neighbors to the north. This guy is a piece of crap in my book. He swore an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States of America, but when the going got a tough, he tucked tail and ran. WIMP!

Way to set the example for your son. "Yes I want to be in the Army for the benefits, but I don't want to do my job". Do you have no integrity? You knew what you were getting into when you signed your name. If it wasn't for his waiting justice, I wouldn't let him back in the Land of the Free.

If you don't want to do the job of a soldier, which is going to war when your elected leaders so task, than don't raise your right hand and get a less prestigious job. Can you say “Would you like fries with that?”

BlackFive needs to add this guy to his "Bust their Chops" list!

(Via Citizen Smash)

Update: Don't ever make Huntress angry! You wouldn't like her when she is angry! (See the Comments)

Update 2: BlackFive Busted His Chops!

Update 3: Somebody doesn't like me

Good Friday.

Today is Good Friday, the day after Maundy Thursday, three days before Easter four days after Palm Sunday.

I have such a great company to work for back home. It is one of the few companies that gives off on Good Friday. Which makes it a Great Friday. Usually we go play golf because the you don't have to pay weekend rates because we are the only people off work. I hope it is cold & windy as all get out back home! :) enjoy the day off boys.

But this Good Friday is a Great Friday for a different reason. My Girlfriend, better known as FCC@V, is celebrating her birthday, I better get a lot of pictures considering she has a brand new digital camera.

Happy Birthday!

24 March 2005

Calling all Grammar Nerds!

I am not calling myself. It seems the Hooah! post has generated some interest in grammar. So I found this little gem.

The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on Ok Cupid:

Here are my results:

You scored 33% Beginner, 46% Intermediate, 6% Advanced, and 83% Expert!

Your test results are extremely interesting. Though your test scores in the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels weren't very high, you got at least 75% of the expert level questions correct. Possibly you guessed very well in the expert level section? I don't know what else to say. You puzzle me immensely. But....
What exactly does "extremely interesting" mean? Yes, I have been known to puzzle people. No, I wasn't guessing.

Well, whatever.

Now I want everybody to go take the test and put your results in the comments or the trackback to let us know if your grammar is gooder than mine. :)

Eject! Eject! Eject!

I wish I could do that from this country! But since I can't I will tell you about an online essayist. Don't call him a blogger.

Dr. Dave (Resident Diphthong Expert) gave me a site to look at. It is called Eject! Eject! Eject! (Dang!) Here Bill Whittle publishes his essays.

Dr. Dave in particular wanted me to read this one:

HISTORY:
It is the slow, uneven, grasping climb toward freedom. There are markers on Little Round Top, on the beaches at Normandy, and in the sands of Nasiriyah that show us where men have fought and laid down their lives, and willingly left their wives without husbands and their children without fathers, all for this idea. It is an idea bigger than they are, bigger than self-centered movie stars, bigger than cynical and bitter journalists, bigger than Presidents and Dictators, bigger, in fact than all human failure and miscalculation.
Unless you are Dr. Dave or Harry Potter's friend Hermione Granger, Bill's Essays are not light reading. But they are really good. Go check them out.

Huge Success by a combined Iraqi and American Force

A joint force of Iraqis supported by Americans has conducted a highly successful raid. One of the best things is that the information leading to this raid come from the Iraqi citizens.

85 Militants Killed in U.S. Raid in Iraq

Iraqi officials also credited other successes to a torrent of intelligence that has begun flowing from citizens heartened by Jan. 30 elections and emboldened by film footage aired on state television that shows captured insurgents confessing their roles in attacks.

"Before, the people had a neutral stance toward this issue," said Sabah Kadhim, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry. "Now, they have turned against the terrorists."

(Via Citizen Smash)

23 March 2005

Hooah!

Check this out!
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My unit got some of these "Energy" Bars. I had never seen them. I think its pretty funny to have a Hooah Bar. I use Hooah in normal everyday conversation around here. But not everyone knows what Hooah sounds like or means. So leave the it to me to tell you.

The there a couple movies that might give you an idea of what Hooah sounds like. The most notable movie actually pronounces it wrong. Scent of a Woman has Al Pacino pronouncing it: WHO---AH! But in all honesty it isn't a 2 syllable word. For a correct pronunciation watch the movie with Danny Devito and Gregory Hines (I never thought a tap dancer would make a good Drill Sergeant, but he proved me wrong) in Renaissance Man. They pronounce it as it should be with just one syllable (okay, for the PhDs out there, I know it is spelled like it should be 2 syllables but it is just one as the OOA makes just one vowel sound) There really is no Ahhhhh sound, like after you drink a particularly good box of Pineapple nectar, or when you open up at the doctors office. The AH is an abrupt end to the word Hooah. If you want to extend the word, as it commonly is, It would be more like hOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOah. Got it? Good!

Back to the Energy bar. On the back of the Hooah bar it says:

The battle cry "HOOAH!'" is a cornerstone of military culture. It communicates energy, affirmation, can-do-spirit, teamwork, and fearlessness. Soldiers shout it as they jump out of helicopters, storm beaches, (HUH! I am not a marine) and freefall behind enemy lines. It means anything and everything except no.
My comment is in bold.

This Energy bar got me really courious, so I did a google search on Hooah. I found all kinds of Hooah things.

There are a lot of definitions out there, but I like Combat Magazine’s version the best:

A Desiderative Exegesis Concerning
Arcane U.S. Army Vernacular Esoterica
"Hooah!"


HOOAH: (whoah) (var: hooha, hoohah, huzzah, hussah, hissa, hooyah, hoorah, hurrah, hooray) (cf: hoise) [n, adj, v, adv, interj] being mil-speak vulgate slang which refers to, implies, or means anything and everything, except "no / negative / cannot / unable", being generally used as an exclamation, a declaration, an expression of enthusiasm or agreement, or when at a loss for words; variously:

  1. yes, okay, all right, agreed, affirmative, very well, certainly, without fail, can do, will do, wilco; [eg: "Yes, sir ... all the way!]
  2. sound, clear, loud-and-clear, comprehensible, understood, message received, good copy, solid copy, discern, apprehend, recognize, roger, get it, dig it; [eg: "Read five-by-five!"]
  3. satisfactory, acceptable, passable, good, fine, excellent, superb, great, magnificent, unexcelled, right on, top notch, top drawer, tip top, first water, crackerjack; [eg: "Outstanding!"]
  4. hail, salute, greet, meet, include, encompass, embrace, welcome; [eg: "Howdedo ... nice reception."]
  5. admiration, regard, appreciation, relish, esteem, respect, veneration, cognizance, esprit, esprit de corps; [eg: "Really neat ... me too!"]
  6. ignorance, obliviousness, unenlightenment, bewilderment, unfamiliarity, mystification, inscrutability, recondite, abstruse, obscurity, incomprehension;[eg: "No excuse, sir, but I will check on it!"]
  7. enough, sufficient, excessive, forestall, thwart, interrupt, interject, silence, quell, quieten, allay, nullify, subdue, check, stifle, squelch, muzzle, hush, choke off, at-ease, shut up; [eg: "That's enough crap ... sit down!"
  8. inattentive, distracted, bemused, unmindful, disengaged; [eg: "Whatever ... I wasn't listening!"]
  9. stop, halt, cease, desist, suspend, refrain, finish, conclude, terminate; [eg: "Knock off that whining!"
  10. astonishment, dubiety, confusion, suspicion, stupefaction, disbelief, mistrust, uncertainty, skepticism, incredulity; [eg: "Ya gotta be kidding!"]
  11. proceed, continue, persist, persevere, advance, progress, endure, tenacity; [eg: "Carry on!"]
  12. puzzlement, befuddlement, perplexity, confound, boggle, muddle, baffle, nonplus, turbidity, obscurity; [eg: "I'm too embarrassed to request clarification!"]
  13. achievement, proficiency, deed, exploit, tour de force, fulfillment, attainment, success, accomplishment, triumph, conquest, victory; [eg: "Ya dun right!"]
  14. wonderful, fabulous, terrific, marvelous, sensational, spectacular, splendid, stupendous, awesome, audacious, intense, smashing, superduper, bang on, bang up, cool, boss, rad, wow; [eg: "Hot S**T!"
  15. gratitude, appreciation, recognition, obliged, attribution, beholden, thankfulness; [eg: "Thank you!"]
  16. anthem, benediction, prayer, versification, hymn, offertory, rejoice / hallelujah; [eg: "Amen!"].
I even heard an officer once say: "When in doubt, Be Hooah!"

Here are some of the other things I found:

The best thing I found was a blogger who describes herself as:

Hooah Wife!

A 30 something mother of 3, politically conservative, Jewish, opinionated military wife whose husband is deployed to Iraq. You'll read my views on politics, current events & parenting alone during deployment.

Make sure to visit Greta's site because she is Hooah!

I think I am about Hooahed out. :)

Update: basil says: "Assumption of Command gives the best explanation I've ever heard. Then the comments started."

Update 2: Welcome New Blog Showcase Readers. Stay Awhile!

Iraqi citizens are fighting back

Commenter Papa Ray found a good story. Papa Ray pointed me to American Future Where they have found some great news in, of all places, the NY Times:
Ordinary Iraqis rarely strike back at the insurgents who terrorize their country. But just before noon today, a carpenter named Dhia saw a troop of masked gunmen with grenades coming towards his shop and decided he had had enough. As the gunmen emerged from their cars, Dhia and his young relatives shouldered their own AK-47's and opened fire, police and witnesses said. In the fierce gun battle that followed, three of the insurgents were killed, and the rest fled just after the police arrived.
This is good to see. I will say it again. The quicker the Iraqis stand up for themselves the quicker this country will see peace.

Thanks Papa Ray!

Comments acting funny

The comments on the web site are currently not working right. I can still see the comments in my management screen, but they aren't showing up on the blog.

It should be fixed soon. I hope.

Update: I think it is fixed

22 March 2005

A good problem to have.

By no means am I trying to make light of Sarah's (Trying to Grok) current problem. If you don't know her husband just returned from a very successful deployment here in Iraq. But, as all married couples do, she is having trouble getting used to having her husband back home.

NOT INTEGRATING
However, it feels weird to me to have him in charge of the household, since that's been my lane for our entire marriage. It's been my job for so long that it feels weird to let go of the responsibility, and I feel a little useless and not in control.
I mentioned before that the Army has programs and classes to make married couples understand what difficulties they will face. I am not saying that she and her husband have not taken these classes, (they are mandatory for him) but one truly will not know the effects of being gone so long will have. But as long as both parties know that these issues exist, they will work things out. It just takes time.

I wish the best of luck to Sarah and her husband in getting through these integration times.

While still not making light of Sarah's problem, This is an issue I wish my unit had right now. We still have a long time to go. I am looking forward to having those boring classes back stateside. "Death by PowerPoint" is terrible, but it will mean we are already home and about ready to be released from active duty. If these are the worst problems my troopers have to face, I will be a happy commander.

Sarah, It could be a lot worse. Hang in there.

21 March 2005

Protest round ups!

Ok this isn't tongue in cheek.

Mudville and Citizen Smash have good round up from this weekends protests. Also if you left your jacket in San Diego let Smash know about it.

Tongue in Cheek Day Still Continues.

Another before I go to bed.

Catscape:

Dean Wants To Starve Republicans
Dean has been working with Democrats Nancy Pelosi, Cynthia McKinney, and Barney Frank to create a nationwide database of past and present Republican politicians, which will be made available to major chain restaurants sometime in the fall.
Ok then!

Tongue in Cheek Day Continues.

Frank J is a Funny man. He writes stuff over at IMAO. But I warn you know. don't take any of his work seriously.

In My World: Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged:
"The important thing is to get our judges approved to balance out the crazies," Bush said.

"Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are coming to talk just about that," Cheney told him.

Bush looked to White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan. "I want you to stand near the doorway and hit Reid over head with a stick as hard as you can when he enters."

"I dunno about that..."

"Just do it!" Bush commanded Scott.

Scott hid by the doorway and held up a stick ready to strike. When Harry Reid entered, Scott bashed him on the head.
This is good stuff if you need a laugh. Read the entire thing.

Thoughts about Mustang Mama. (Tongue firmly planted in cheek)

Now that Mustang Mama knows about the website, I think she forgot what e-mail is for a while. She seems to be leaving random notes, in random places, telling what their weekend plans are. But that is okay. At least she is writing me :) Speaking of which, ever since I mentioned that she messed up "hi Honey" with "hi Boney", her e-mails start with stuff like "Hi Soney" or "Hi Favorite Son". What happened to "Hi Honey"? Your killing me here :)

And now she uses the excuse, "I went out of town this weekend" as a reason for not making any cookies. What is the deal with that? I might have to send my friend RCBEEP and his 2 boys over there to fix this problem! Wait a second, those three might eat all the cookies before they make it over here to me. I better come up with a better idea.

I am getting pretty creative about asking for cookies. First it was just a phone call, then it was an E-mail, now I have a website to bug her about them. But I think the best one was a couple weeks ago. I was talking to my Aunt in the old country on the phone and as we were about to get off the phone she said she was going to talk to Mustang Mama (she really said Mustang Mama) and she asked If I need to tell her anything. You guessed it! I told her to "send more cookies". I am going to have to come up with some better ways pretty soon. And I hope Mustang Mama knows that I am asking for her wonderful cookies for her own good. Seriously, I am looking out for her well being and positively engaged in my deployment, so she can feel like she is doing her part. But don't tell her I told you that :)

If you are wondering, My Mom and I give each other a hard time ALL of the time. And when she reads this she will be laughing her Mustang Mama rear end off.

I am in the lead!

I am in the lead on our company's bragging rights touney pick 'em contest. but I don't know long that will last. :)

The Insurgency is Dying.

The Belmont Club has a great report.

Is the Iraqi Insurgency Dying? 2
The possible weakening of the Iraqi insurgency is the subject of the NYT's John Burns. (Hat tip: DL) In There Are Signs the Tide May Be Turning on Iraq's Street of Fear he examines recent events in one of the insurgent strongholds: Haifa Street.
This goes along exactly with what I have been saying all along. The Sooner the Iraqis can take care of their own business the better off both the US and Iraq will be. I have had personal experience with the new Iraqi Army. They are very proud people. They don't want us doing their work anymore than we want to do it for them.

(Via: Michelle Malkin)

20 March 2005

Thunder 6

Thunder 6 @ 365 and a wakeup has a MUST READ post. He has a discussion with one of his soldiers on why he is a soldier. It is an amazing piece of work.

The SAT:
"The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools."
- Thucydides
He starts off with this great quote. Right now, there is a debate at Columbia University about the restoration of their ROTC program. This is exactly why Columbia needs ROTC. But this is not the point of Thunder 6's post.
As he closed his eyes I told him to imagine his young wife, his beautiful infant daughter and the future he wanted for them. He paused a moment and a smile slowly creased his face. As he looked up I caught his eyes and told him a simple truth. I told him that the thin line that separates the two realities isn’t a line on a map or the signature block on a document filled with hollow proclamations. The dividing line between the two kingdoms is a long line of soldiers. And that is why I’m proud to call myself a soldier. Its not about a lack of options, or the size of my paycheck. Its about what kind of world I want to leave for my children if I am lucky enough to be a father.
WOW!

You need to read it for yourself.

To tell you the truth, I never really thought about it too much. I, like Thunder 6, had help from the Army to pay for my college expenses. I, like Thunder 6, am a Citizen Soldier. I, like Thunder 6, am currently more soldier than citizen. While being the Citizen part of Citizen Soldier, I saw the war start, but I didn't really wonder if they would send me. I truly didn't worry about it. But what I did know is that if they called, I would go. I knew that if duty called, I would not back down from it. I would not try to “get out of it.” That is not who I am. I didn't go out of my way to be sent on this "Extended Desert Vacation Getaway", but I knew in my heart that I would not back down from the challenge if it was presented to me. And still to this day, I am facing the challenges of deployment.

(Via: Road Warrior Survival)

ChokeHawks!

It sure is a Shame about those Jayhawks! NOT! :)

19 March 2005

DadManly

I am in a particularly poor mood today. I get that way when I have to verbally reprimand a Senior NCO. I think the world of NCOs in general. But when I have to dress down a senior for mouthing off at me in front of troops, (BIG NO NO!) it will tend to bother me for a bit, as I expect a lot more out of them. Since I am not in a real good mood, instead of writing something of my own, I will point you to something I think is really good. Here is a Senior NCO that has more integrity and professionalism than what I witnessed and corrected today. (rant off)

DadManly is a fellow deployed soldier here in Iraq. He has a ton of good posts. Here are two of his recent ones:

DadManly talks about some of the fun and goofy things his son, "Little Manly" has been saying while he is gone.
Little Manly:
The other night, Mrs. Dadmanly didn't have have time and was running late and said to Little Manly at 7:10, "Sit down at the table, we are eating in here and let's get it over with." (Less extra preparation, less cleanup, less time overall.) As she describes it, "you would have thought I cut off his arm."
I can totally relate to this next post. Dadmanly and I share a great fondness for good steaks. The DFAC here is really good except the steaks are terrible. I think the cook them 3 hours before they serve them. it seems more like eating Astroturf. He pretty much nails it on the head with this post.

Dinner in Iraq:
Okay, not so short aside. Steak is never quite steak, which must be why they keep calling it different things. "Salisbury Steak" is a popular name for this beef, dense, kind of tough, always overcooked ("simmered"). "T-Bone Steak," same beef, sliver of bone attached. "Prime Rib," same beef. "What, you don' like meat? You don ' like MEAT?!"
The one thing I think he fails to mention is that these Pakistaninis that are working in the DFAC always have a smile on their face, they take a lot of pride in their work, especially when they have a special meal. The special meals take a lot more time to prepare but it is worth it.

For example, they have Lasagna Night, with something like 10 different types of HANDMADE lasagna. Beef, Chicken, Mushroom and Cheddar, etc.. But my favorite is the Mongolian Nights. They take one of the long salad bars and put a bunch of different raw ingredients and the trooper goes down the line and pick out what they want and they stir fry it up. Just like a Mongolian Grill restaurant that I love back home.

Back to the point you can see the pride in the eyes of the guys working behind the counter on these nights. For as many people as they feed, they really do a wonderful job.

And I thought I wasn't going to write anything. :)

18 March 2005

Operation Truth & Operation Thank You

This weekend is the Second Anniversary of the War in Iraq. In honor (or lack there of) many anti war groups are planning protest of the war. They have strong feelings that the war is wrong and should end. Although I don't agree with them in principle, I am proud that I live in a country where they can express their opinions.

Here is the problem, instead of protesting in a place where the elected officials of this country can hear what they have to say, they are protesting in front of some of the most prominent military bases. They are trying to trying to convince the service members that the war is wrong, and in turn trying to hurt morale. Besides possible being treasonous, this tactic won't work. At least it doesn't for me. It actually makes me more vigilant in my beliefs. I am a fairly stubborn person. (No Way, right!)

I wish I could have said it like this:

CNSNews.com:

"The decision makers are not at Fort Bragg, they are in Washington. Rallying against the war by marching at Fort Bragg is like protesting the cows if you don't like McDonalds," said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Operation Truth."
...
"The anti-war protesters say they support the troops. They can say it until they are blue in the face, but that's a hollow sentiment when they're protesting the busloads of troops coming and going from Bragg to Iraq every day," Operation Truth's Rieckhoff said.



Thank you Mr. Rieckhoff.

I am glad to report that there will be plenty of REAL Support the Troops Rallys to counter the Anti-War protests led by an OIF Vet, and fellow mil blogger: Citizen Smash. (check his site for more updates)

San Diego Protest Warrior Launches “Operation Thank You”:

Last March, motivated mainly by curiosity, Koenig attended an anti-war rally in Balboa Park. He expected to find many demonstrators who were passionately opposed to the war in Iraq on moral grounds, and others who generally disapproved of the Bush Administration's aggressive foreign policy.

What he didn't expect to find, however, were open expressions of support for the enemy. But when one of the speakers proposed that the anti-war movement align itself with the "Iraqi Resistance," Koenig decided that he'd heard enough.

He later wrote about the incident in his weblog, under the pen name "Citizen Smash."

...

They won't be difficult to find, he says—“Just look for the American flags.”


Thank you Citizen Smash!

When you see all of the news of the Anti-War protests, just remember that their tactics are dirty. They are not aiming at the policy makers but they are targeting the Troops!


Update: BlackFive has some thoughts on this weekends protests as well:

They Hate America:
Next, there's going to be protests at Camp Pendleton and Ft. Bragg this weekend, you can honor the troops by peacefully demonstrating your support. I thought about heading to Bragg to visit some friends this weekend and join the protest warriors, but I'm on my way to Tampa.

Washington State Senate defeats bill to help Military Voters.

After all of the problems that has faced the State of Washington and their election process after thier Goofy Governer election.

THE OLYMPIAN
Gov. Christine Gregoire, Secretary of State Sam Reed, county auditors from around the state and a recently convened elections task force all recommended moving the primary back by at least four weeks. But the measure got caught up in a larger dispute between Democrats and Republicans on other election-system issues.

"The vote tonight is a major setback for military voters," state Elections Director Nick Handy said from the Senate balcony, where he had watched the voting unfold. "One of the main purposes of moving the primary date back was to get the ballots out sooner to military voters."
Politics as usual in Washington. It looks like the Republicans were behind the defeat of this bill. There must be a lot more stuff going on up there than I know about.

Sometimes I just wish legislators, at all levels of government, would divide up issues in to smaller bills so that things that are good for all of society don't get swallowed up by partisan politics. Sadly, I don't think that will ever happen.

(Via Morons.org) Yes, you read that right. Who knew!

Veterans

Andi @ Andi's World reminds us to Make Some Time for a Veteran:
Although my Papa was quite content to hear all about me, I could have learned so much from listening instead of talking. But, I was young and my priorities weren't squared away. My priorities have now shifted - they always do.

17 March 2005

A Study of Different Cultures.

Special Forces Alpha Geek @ Nothing to see here, move along . . . has an interesting post about the differances between cultures during his deployment to Afghanastan.

Hey, pick me up a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs, and a box of rocks ... not too pointy

I am glad I was never put on that detail.

(Via: My View )

1st Cav Commander Speaks.

The First Cavalry Division Commander, Major General Pete Chiarelli, spoke recently at a Ft. Hood dinner function. He has some real insight to what is going on in Baghdad.

Instapundit:
4. His big point was not that they were "winning battles" to do this but that cleaning the place up, electricity, sewage, water were the key factors. He said yes they fought but after they started delivering services that the Iraqis in Sadr City had never had, the terrorist recruiting of 15 and 16 year olds came up empty.
There is also a letter from a returning soldier.

If you don't know, Instapundit, written by Glenn Reynolds, is the top dog in the Blog World.

BTW: I am a former First Cav Officer and at Ft. Hood they like to say:
"If It Ain't Cav, It Ain't S***!"

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

To tell you the truth I didn't know it was St. Patrick’s Day. It seems more like Groundhogs Day. (I got you Babe)

I used to have no problem wearing green on St. Patty's day while I was on active duty. BDUs are green. :) but these DCUs really cause a problem. There is no green in them at all. But since you aren't here to pinch me, I am getting away with it! :)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

BTW: We have Green Coffee instead of Green Beer.

16 March 2005

A Very Touching Story.

devildog6771 @ Hello Iraq has a very touching personal story.

Friendships and shared tragedies.!!:
My sister's friend's son was sent to Iraq in 2003. He died March 25, 2003 when his tank went over an embankment into the Euphrates river and drowned along with the other tank occupants. He was 31 and her only child.

US NavyAfter 9/11, my sister's son joined the Navay Reserves to be ready in case his country needed him. In January, 2004, his unit was activated for deployment in Kuwait. He died on March 5, 2004 at 32 in Kuwait when 2 Iraqi terrorists rammed his vehicle from behind.
This post is well worth reading.

I want to let devildog6771, an old Marine, know that I am sorry for his and his families loss. But I want to thank him for keeping 2 American Heroes memory alive. For it is Proud Americans, like him and his family, that truly have to bear the brunt of this war.

Kudos to 7-Eleven.

Besides having all of the Frozen treats and Big Honkin' Nachos, 7-Eleven has been selling "Support the Troops" bracelets as a Fund Raiser for USO.

7-Eleven 'Support Our Troops' Campaign Raises More Than $1 Million for the USO:
the world's largest chain of convenience stores, is donating more than $1 million from the sale of its "Support Our Troops" wristbands to the USO. The money will be used to support programs and services that benefit U.S. military personnel and their families worldwide.

7-Eleven is the first national retailer to sell wristbands to raise money to support the USO, pledging to donate $1 for every band sold. Since last December, 7-Eleven customers in 30 states and the District of Columbia have been lending a hand to support the troops by purchasing and wearing the camouflage-green bands, embossed with "Support Our Troops" on one side and "USO" on the other.


I have utilized USO's serevices before. They are a real class act. Thank you 7-Eleven for supporting a wonderful organization. And thank you to everyone who bought the bracelets.

Free Lebanon!

I am adding this to my side bar:



Thanks to Discarded Lies for letting me steal the button.

Where have you been

I saw this at No Pundit Intended. It sounded like fun.

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.


OK that was fun! Go and do yours and trackback here.

15 March 2005

Mom is Great!

Today is my Mom's Birthday. She goes by the name Mustang Mama!

Throughout this whole deployment, she has been great. She sends me e-mails that always start out "Hi Honey!". But I think I get my fumble fingers from her because once it said "Hi Boney!" But being the good son, I didn't say anything about it.

She also goes shopping for me. She gets my favorite vitamins, toothpaste, and snacks, and two sets of Non-Strawberry Shortcake Sheets. Then she makes my Dad pack them in a box and send them to me here.

She also makes the best Sugar Cookies. Everyone here loves those cookies. First Sergeant is always raving about them. He once had me tell my Mom "Stop being stingy with the cookies, Send a whole tub of them!" I just got the whole tub of them a couple days ago, and now First Sergeant is happy. (Its always good for a commander to keep his First Sergeant happy)

I sent her a card a little bit ago, but I am not sure if she got it yet, the mail is slow. But I wanted to say Happy Birthday here.

So Everybody needs to help me in wishing my Mom Happy Birthday by leaveing a comment.

Happy Birthday Mom,

Thanks for Everything you do.

PS Send More Cookies! :)

Update: Thanks everyone for helping Mustang Mama have a much better Birthday than she thought she was going to have. She says in the comments to "keep them coming."

I want to thank Sean @ Doc In The Box, Mrs G. @ The Mudville Gazette, and Basil @ Basil's Blog for helping with the comment drive. I would also like to thank Michelle Malkin for stopping in and wishing Mustang Mama Happy Birthday. (third Comment) If you think my site is wildly popular, you should see her stats. :)

Funny Letter.

Sgt. Mom @ SGT Strker has a funny post about joining the Army:
Dear Mum & Dad,
I am well. Hope youse are too. Tell me big brothers Doug and Phil that the Army is better than workin’ on the farm - tell them to get in bloody quick smart before the jobs are all gone!

I wuz a bit slow in settling down at first, because ya don’t hafta get outta bed until 6am. But I like sleeping in now, cuz all ya gotta do before brekky is make ya bed and shine ya boots and clean ya uniform. No bloody cows to milk, no calves to feed, no feed to stack - nothin’!!
Read it all the way to the end.

IBM Fires Reservist for being called up too many times

You have got to be kidding me.

Via Mudville:

Did his duty - then lost his job:
Michael Warren, a native of Port Jefferson, L.I., is suing International Business Machines Corp. for firing him because since 9/11 he's been called up too often by the Army Reserves.
A Big Company like IBM should have no problem with the Federal Laws protecting Citizen Soldiers. This is a real sad state of affairs. I can see how it can be difficult for small business to handle things like this.

My company has no problems at all. They are really good at supporting the troops. I am not worried at all about my job at home. It will be there when I return. And from time to time I get nice notes from some of the officers in my company saying "thank you" and "be safe". I wish all Reserve Soldiers have it as easy as I do.

Basil's Blog.

Basil, of Basil's Blog, is an interesting and funny guy. I like what he does with headline from news sites and sometimes he even notices when I do stupid things.

But he was passed a book questionnaire that is going around the blogosphere. Upon reading it I wasn't sure if I should be scared or impressed to find out that we share interests in the same line of books.

Book 'Em, Dan-O!:
The last book you read:
Those bathroom readers are really good books. In 2003, my bowling team traded fun gifts for Christmas, I got them all different Bathroom Readers. Everyone liked them. These books are full of (no pun intended) all kinds of wacky facts and stories.

BTW: Basil, Good luck with your Blog war.

14 March 2005

Marines Vs UAW Resolved.

Read this First: Support the troops. (only if they agree with you)

BlackFive reports:
The US Marine Corps Reserve Battalion Commander had already made the decision to not allow any drilling Marine Reservists to park in the UAW lot - he thinks it's "parking silliness" and his Marines need to "focus on more important things". He's right, of course. His Marines are training for their next deployment.

Then, after thinking the issue settled this morning, the CO receives a call from UAW President Ron Gettelfinger (a former Marine) who told him that he just reversed the policy.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Marines refuse to park there.

The UAW is run by a Marine! How funny! Its also good to the rest of the unit supports thier battle buddies by not parking there.

It just goes to show how strong the brotherhood of arms is. Good Job Mr. Gettelfinger. That doesn't mean I like Unions any more than I did before this.

I am glad to see this was worked out no matter where the Marines park.

The Iraqis are quick to pick up on things.

Via Citizen Smash:

Iraq the Model: Shorja announces sanctions on Syria!
Frankly speaking the story amazed me because for the 1st time I see merchants putting economic benefit in the second place and the decision was made spontaneously, unlike Saddam's orders of boycotting western products back in the early 90's which forced wholesalers as well as small shop keepers who depended on those products for a great portion of their incomes to adopt a high level of secrecy in their exchanges.
This is great news. This is one of the steps the Iraqis are making to rebuild thier country into a great peace loving nation. This might be a small step but it is a step. The Iraqi people are recognizing how to put an end to this war here. They know who is causing the problems here (Not the Americans) and are taking whatever steps they can to help. If its a product boycott that will decrease funding to the bad guys or if it is the little girl and her bear. Every thing bit is helping and the tides are turning.

The more the local population here helps end the violence, the quicker the Americans will leave. That is their goal, not an exit strategy!

I wonder if the media will pick up on this.

Who turned out the lights!

There is a big difference between basecamps in Kuwait and Iraq (besides the loud explosions). In Kuwait they have diesel powered light sets everywhere. Not only is the place lit up like a Christmas tree but it is loud as all get out. it is really hard to find peace and quiet there.

Now zoom north to Iraq. Here they don't bother to light the place up. It is harder to hit what you can't see. WOW is it dark at night. It reminds me of the old cartoons when a some poor guy has a bag or something placed over his head and says in a stupid voice, "Who turned out the lights!" literally you cannot see 2 feet in front of you.

The nice thing about the darkness is the Stars. This is the absolute brightest I have ever seen the stars. One of the first nights I was here, I was looking at the stars and almost fell into a 4 foot hole. That would have made for a bad day. It just amazing for a city boy like me to see the stars like this. I really didn't know there were that many. :) And if you think the stars are bright, go outside during a full moon. It almost feels like the sun is up.

Because its so dark, every one needs a good flashlight to keep them from falling into a 4 foot hole. There are many kinds of flashlights here. I have 2 that I use on a regular basis. For heavy duty work I use a Maglight D-Cell and for just walking around I have AAA Mini-mag. These work great. I got these from my friends in the same package that I got my sheets. One of the other popular flashlight designs are the little LED lights that clip onto the button hole of the top button, that we don't button, on our uniform. I don't know what the official brand name is, but we tend to call them "Pee Pee Lights", because they work so well as a hands free light in the Porta-Potty. But I guess you could have figured that out by the name :)

Quick Question.

It has come to my attention that my right hand column sometimes starts way at the bottom after all of the left hand column is done.

I cannot seem to duplicate this problem. I have changed my resolution and refreshed many times and it still looks the way it should.

Is anybody still having this problem?

13 March 2005

Other Deployed Bloggers

Sean, The Doc in the Box, has compiled a list of current bloggers deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III (OIF 3, as in the third rotation)

he has nice things to say about my site:
...isn't afraid to laugh at himself (I like your sheets! Little things like Strawberry Shortcake as a gag gift take a lot of the pressures out of the seriousness of everyday life out here). He's a nice guy and gives us enlisted folk a good view about what's going on behind the skippers door.
Check out the rest of the list here.

That is an Order! :)

CNN Contradicts Itself

CounterColumn has a good post about CNN not connecting the dots regarding opening fire on possible Suicide Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (SVBIED).

Unconnected dots:

But buried in this CNN story is information that by firing on a suspicious vehicle, Iraqi security forces actually caused a truck bomb to detonate prematurely, and thereby preventing the terrorists from blowing up an entire hotel.

This is a very tricky thing to deal with. Throughout our training we are told two different things.
1. Keep vehicles at a distance because they could possibly do harm. We even have rifle ranges that teach us to fire at moving vehicles.
2. Be careful of your actions as they can have international implications.

Cox & Forkum has a perfect description: Rules of Engagement

I wish this situation didn't happen, but I will never say that vehicle should not have been fired upon. In the same situation, I would have done the same thing. First and foremost it is our job here to protect and defend ourselves and our fellow soldiers. The Iraqi population knows to stay far away from us while we are on the road. Most of the time, we don't even have to wave them away, they get out of the way on their own. On the road they don't want any part of us.

If you were in my shoes, I ask you this question:

If you know that the good people of Iraq know better than to charge their vehicle up to American checkpoints or convoys, who is the only people who would speed their vehicle at us?

If I feel my troops or my life is endangered, I will act appropriately and I expect my troops to do the same.

Mubarak is Grasping

From the files of Captain Obvious:

Aljazeera:
Egypt's press is rejecting repetitive U.S. claims that its model of democracy is prevailing in the Middle East, urging it to immediately end Iraq war and withdraw its troops to prove its good intentions.
We all know what Aljezeera agenda is, but what most people don't know is that the Egyptian press is state run.

Let's review. Recently, Hosni Mubarak, having been in office since 1981, has been forced to hold open and free election by his people. The reason Mubarak has been in office so long is the lack of real elections. So now that real democracy is threatening his own power, he orders his press to attack America's intentions and accomplishments. Big surprise, Aljezeera is there to pick up on it.

Mubarak is having a bad case of Sour Grapes.

Update: Huntress has a good and lengthy post about Mid-East Politics at Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee

Syria commits to withdrawal from Lebanon

BEIRUT, Lebanon CNN) --
A U.N. envoy has said that the leader of Syria gave him a timetable for the withdrawal of Syrian troops and intelligence agents out of Lebanon, a commitment the diplomat hails as "historic."
This is good news.

12 March 2005

Andi's World

Here is anonther website that I recomend.

Andi's World

If you look at the top of her page you see the old 2nd Armor Division patch. It took me a few visits to notice that it didn't say "Hell on Wheels" That is pretty funny. She has some really good posts and is a real supporter of the troops as well as Milblogs.

Go visit her page.

That is an Order! :)

Update: Her new post is awesome: Military Spouse: The Toughest Job in the Military

Star Wars.

This Post by Timmer on SGT Stryker almost made me spit soda on my laptop. SGT Stryker is talking about the possibility of EIII being rated PG13 and the effects it will have on his son.
So Mr Lucas, damn your once brilliant soul to hell for making EpIII dark enough to possibly be interesting for me, while simultaneously making me an a**hole for taking my 8 year old to a movie too strong for him. Way to pay back 30 freaking years of being a fan.
Read the whole thing. It is really funny.

I am dissapointed that I will not be able to see the movie on the digital big screen with THX sound. I guess I will survive as long as people don't tell me how the story ends. Oh yeah! It ends after they destroy not one but 2 Death Stars.

Help out the Doc

Doc in the Box is trying to reach a milestone.

Go see what he is up to.

That is an Order! :)

11 March 2005

Support the troops. (only if they agree with you)

ResurrectionSong (via RightWingSparkle)found this article:

Parking Feud
Marines at nearby Marine Corps Reserve Center say on Tuesday morning, the director of security at the UAW told them that while they support the troops, Marines driving foreign vehicles or sporting a President George Bush bumper sticker were no longer welcome to park there.

U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Joe Rutledge told Action News, "We received a phone call from the UAW, who support us by letting us park down at their facility. They called and said they weren't going to allow or they would turn away some vehicles."

I am not the type of blogger that gets upset at every article I read. I normally like to point out positive or funny things, but this really bothers me. I am a reserve soldier. When I have a drill weekend I go from working 5 days at my civilian job directly to my unit Friday night. After that I work all weekend and go back to a 5 day week at my civilian job. This isn't as tough as this deployment, but let me tell you, it is tiresome. The last thing I need is someone telling me I can't park with the rest of the soldiers just because I support my Commander-in-Chief. Many units have college students that have old beat cars. Just because they can't afford to get new Fords or Chevys they are not allowed to park. STUPIDITY!

I don't really like unions to start with, but this takes the cake.

The UAW needs to realize there are sometimes politics should not matter. Taking care of the men and women defending this country is one of them.

Update:Marines Vs UAW Resolved

Command Sergeants Major

The Command Sergeant Major (CSM) is a very unique position in the US Army. Their job is to be the highest ranking Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) in a unit at a battalion level or higher. He or she works directly for the Commander. A CSM is an E-9 (the highest enlisted rank) , just like all other sergeants major, but due to their position they get a different title.

Because they report directly to the Commander, their orders carry the same weight as the Commander. Therefore, a CSM has more authority than most of the officers in the unit. The CSM can be a Captain's or Lieutenant's worst nightmare. Here is some one that is lower ranking than them but will tell them what to do. Just ask any officer that was "lectured" by his commander for crossing the CSM.

Sometimes CSMs will take this a little too far and will think they are all powerful. I once heard a CSM, while on a rant on a touchy subject, say, "Hey I can't make E-10, can I?"

Nobody really knows what their exact job duty entails, but here is a list of things they seem to do:

  • Mentor subordinate NCOs
  • Advise the Commander on all enlisted matters
  • Set the uniform policy
  • Enforce standards and policies
  • Head groundskeeper

Most the time, the Command Sergeant Major's job is to be a pain in the rear end. I wouldn't have it any other way. I have a lot of respect for the CSMs in the US Army. They do the things that their Commander does not have time to do, keeping the Commander focused on the mission at hand. CSMs are the pain in the rear end the Commander needs to keep the unit at the high standards that is expected.

The difference between strong army and a week army is the ability and authority of the Non-Commissioned Officers. Our CSMs are a big part of making the Army strong.

09 March 2005

Be careful what you ask for...

For some reason, I am the kind of guy that tends to receive more than his fair share good natured ribbing from his friends. Why is this? Maybe it is my propensity to start the "business giving" myself.

I have a bunch of good friends back home. I call the them the crew, the gang, and sometimes words that I shouldn't mention.

On the last weekend before I went on to active duty, we went on a camping/floating weekend and the last weekend before I flew to the sandbox they took me out to a Big Steak dinner and a night of shooting pool. The made sure to let them know if they could help out in any way.

Turn the clock forward a few weeks. I was just arriving here in Iraq and I came up with a list of stuff that I could use, because there is no PX here. The list included specific brands of soap and tooth paste, a good flashlight as it is really dark here and some pitching for a very bad nameless baseball team.

When I arrived here at my basecamp, I was pleased to find out that I got a bed. I feel very privileged. I was really glad to not have to live on a cot for the rest of the deployment. So I added sheets to my list. Because this list was primarily for my Mom, I made sure to let her know that I didn't what sheets that seemed girlie. I was trying to avoid getting a hard time from my troops. So I put on the list "2 Sets of twin sheets, and none of that flowery crap."

My Friends got a hold of the list:

Behold!


I didn't get any of that Flowery Crap. I told my friends that Strawberry Shortcake was the only girl I would get to sleep with the whole deployment.

Everyone around here got a good laugh at this. I just hope they are laughing with me and not at me :)

Happy Homecoming

Sarah's husband just made it home and there is a good picture to see. She has been waiting a long time. She has done a marvelous job of being a spouse with out her soldier.

I applaud her and her Husband's accomplishments.

Go and leave a comment to let them know how you feel.

Interesting Opinions

I have been traveling around the theatre of operations a lot recently. (hence the slow posting)

At one of the places where I ate dinner, I had a long conversation with the manager of the establishment. First let me tell you about this fascinating guy. He Mother is from Sicily and his Father is Egyptian with a little Lebanese. He is an Egyptian citizen, but I found this to be a very interesting mix of backgrounds.

When he first mentioned he was Egyptian, I immediately asked him his opinions of current Egyptian politics. If there is a Missouri in Egypt he must be from there. He really likes the idea of the open elections, but he has some serious reservations about the process. He it is entirely to difficult to get on the ballet. He is taking a Show-me attitude about the whole thing. One thing he does know is that Hosni Mubarak has been there way to long. Mubarak was good for a time but has overstayed his welcome.

When the conversation turned to Lebanon, he told his "theory" of the assassination of Rafik Hariri, former Lebanese Prime Minister. He thinks that the Israelis did it, more specifically Mossad. He says Syria had nothing to gain from killing a man that has been known for his charity work. He doesn't have any proof of this opinion but I found it very interesting that people are thinking this way. I am not sure if this is more of the same "blame Israel" for any bad thing that happens attitude or not, but he seemed convinced. Regardless of who did the deed, he thinks Syria should leave Lebanon.

Lastly, we agreed that there are so many great things going on in the middle east. All of the peaceful protests and elections made us both proud. And we also agreed that no Hollywood writer could author the drama that happens in this region year after year.

02 March 2005

Assumption of Command

Sometimes mission will dictate a slow down in posting. Check out some of the sites I have listed to the right.

If you haven't checked out Baldilocks, go there now.

That is an order. :)

Wait Over...