Sunday, August 30, 2009


Once a year we celebrate with stupid hats and plastic plates the fact that I was able to make another trip around the sun.

And the whole clan gathers around and gifts and laughter do abound and we let out a joyful sound and sing that stupid song.

Happy birthday… now I’m one year older
Happy birthday… my life still isn’t over
Happy birthday… I did not accomplish much… but I didn't die this year so I guess that’s good enough.

So lets drink to my fading health and hope that I don’t remind myself my chance of finding fame and wealth decrease with ever year.

It feels like I’m doing laps and eating food and taking naps and hoping that someday perhaps my life will hold some cheer.

Happy birthday… what have I done that matters
Happy birthday… I’m starting to get fatter
Happy birthday… its down hill from now on… ill try not to remind myself my best years are all gone.

If cryogenics were all free then I could live like Walt Disney and live for all eternity inside a block of ice.

But instead my time is set this is the only life I get and though it hasn’t ended yet sometimes I wish it might.

Happy birthday… I wish I had more money
Happy birthday… life’s so sad its funny
Happy birthday… how much more I can take… fuck it, my friends are hungry so I’ll cut the stupid cake.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


The finish line is in sight. No longer are we running towards an invisible end. It's so close we can almost reach out and grab it. A month and a half from now I'll look back to this moment while watching a football game on my big screen with one of my friends, either Jack or Beam. I'll be sitting on my couch with my feet kicked up, and some home made chicken wings on the table. I'll be wrestling with my boys during commercials, and giving my wife that "stop talking to me during the game" look while watching my cowboys wreck havoc on the opposition. I'll sit there staring at the screen and at some point during the game my mind will wonder back to this place. I'll come back to this moment in my mind and say to myself, that went by quick. Time flies in hindsight, but I also know that in the moment it can be an eternity. I remember when i was at the 90 day mark. That seems like forever ago. Now I’m down around the 30 day mark and the times going ungodly slow. It seems like for the last 30 days I’ve been between the 30-40 days left mark. The logical side of my brain tells me there's not a difference of 30 between 30-40 (lol, I can count), but physically and subconsciously my mind and body feels as if I've been stuck in a time warp of sorts. Maybe it's because once you get down to the last month you can start counting weeks by default. Or maybe not. Maybe I’m just trying to understand this time pause so that i can unpause it metaphorically speaking. Whatever it is i just want it to be over. It's like for a year I’ve been running at a nice comfortable pace and now that I can see the finish line i want to sprint it out.

A part of me is telling me to slow down though. Don't be in such a hurry to have all of this end. It's telling me to soak it all in and let it resonate with in me. A part of me knows that these last 30 some odd days will probably be the last I ever spend in this country. Like it or not, this country and the two years I've spent here have become a part of my soul. It will all end soon and all I'll have are the memories. Believe it or not, they're all aren’t bad. The bonds formed through tribulation and the friends turned brothers are experiences that I will never forget. As the years pass we will all take different paths through life and disconnect. I'm going to miss my brothers. If i live to be an old man I'll look back on these days and truly feel sad. I'm going to miss these guys. There's a lot to be say for going through a shitty situation while having the luxury of being surrounded by some great people.

I miss my family more then words can express. That's what makes this deployment hard. I'm mentally strong by nature, but not being with my wife and children for a year has the ability to push the limits of my resolve. Soon I'll be with them again. I'll awake to them in the morning and be there when they go to sleep at night. After a while it will become routine and I'll start to miss the guys with whom I've lived with for the past year. Some of them will still be in my life, while others with drift away into the shadows of my memories. It's inevitable. It's a double life that i live. One with my brothers in arms and the other with my love and seeds. I wish like hell the two could merge into a hybrid well balanced life but I fear any attempt of mine to have this wish realized would be fruitless. I know there isn't a way for me to assuage the anguish of the situation. So I'll choose my family..... but miss until my days end the men with whom I stood shoulder to shoulder with in the face of an adversary hell-bent on destroying us.

Friday, August 14, 2009


All of you who follow my blog know that im on the cusp of ending this bullshit ass year long sentence. My release from this prison is imminent. I'll do my best to keep the blog going while back in the rear. I'm sure there will be plent to bitch about. But the Iraqi trail doesnt end here. Theres a new crop of rookies and seasoned vets embarking on another deployment of their own. Probably the last major cycle of deployees in this country.

I've found one new bloger named Jason whos in Kuwait right now days away from making his second push up to this shit hole. He's a good writer and from what i can tell from the few post he has on his blog, a good guy.

The end of a war is just as signifigant historical as the begining. He should be one of the unlucky ones who gets to wrap this pile of shit in to a nice and neat package before he steps off. I urge everyone to stop by and check him out


Tuesday, August 4, 2009



Government sanctioned monopoly... They are the only major company allowed to sell on military post world wide. To those not in the know... The PX and commissary are aafees run businesses. Other then the Pog scam they run in Iraq and Afghanistan I really have never had a problem with them... But now they are forcing all the little cheap Iraq shops off the bases in Iraq. The main target of aafees is the DVD shops. All acrossed Iraq you can get pirated DVD's that in some cases arnt even in theaters for 2 bucks a piece. These shops are extremely popular among soldiers. I would guess that movie time in Iraq occupies the majority of down time for soldiers. But aafees isn't selling any DVD's. At 20 bucks a pop and 2 months lag comparatively with their new movies, they sell next to none. So they decided to play the piracy card to force the military to stop the sales of their competitors so that they can force soldiers to buy their 10X more expensive products. They can claim all day long that their plight is legitimate and that piracy is wrong, but the bottom line is that these stores are cutting into their profits. Aafees has always claimed to be for the soldiers. But its clear that the soldiers interest take a far back seat to Aafess mission..... PROFITS.......... FUCK AAFEES.


Through the course of contemplating this I think I've been able to identify a pet peeve of mine. Stupid rules for the sake of having rules really bugs me for some reason. Huh, imaging that. Rules are restrictions. The more restrictions places on a group of people the more opportunity you give them to do the wrong thing. Restrictions in my mind are directly correlated with stress, moral, and overall happiness with the situation you are placed. I've found that in situations with alot of little stupid rules the moral is way down among the people affected. Stress is way up, and no one is happy to be where they are. Contrary to that, when in situations where there are no little unimportant rules moral is high, the stress levels are considerably lower and most everyone is happy to be where they are. Now i understand the need for rules, but I think you need to balance the importance of the rule against it's effects.

SITUATION: In our CP we have two entrances. A front and back door. They both lead to the common area inside the CP. For the longest time everyone was allowed to come in and out of both doors to enter and exit the CP. After a crack down of sorts on our platoon, the back door to the CP was designated for squad leaders and above. That's 4 people out of the 30+ in the platoon that are allowed to use this door. At first this rule felt like any other rule that's spurs from an impulse pissed off rant. I figured the door would be off limits for a week or two, then everyone would slowly start using it again until everything went back to normal. Much like when i was a kid and my parents would impose a dumb rule that affected my day to day norms because they were mad about something else. After a while that rule went away. All it took was a cooling off period and the rule would dissipate. Well it's been like 2 months in this rule is still in affect. What bothers me is that it severs no legitimate purpose. All it does is make those who are allowed to use the door fell superior to those who arn't. It's funny cause when a lower then squad leader level soldier comes and goes through this door the important guys ( squad leaders and above ) actually fell slighted. They have a look on their face that suggest that your in some way challenging their superiority or that you in some facet are putting yourself on their level. It's amazing how insecure some people are. That is why i have dubbed this door the IMPORTANT PEOPLE DOOR, cause it makes those who can use it fell important. Bottom line, if my avenue of approach is from the back of the building, im coming through the back door. It's absolutely ignorant to suggest that i walk all the way around the building to come through the front door just to satisfy to parameters of this asinine rule. To date i haven't been called out by any of the important people for use the door but a couple of privates have corrected me for using it. "Sgt McNeil, that's a E-6 and above door.... We arn't allowed to use it".... [ I smile back ] "I know".