Thursday, September 10, 2009



I say single digits but if I'm honest I'm really counting down to like 4 different sequential events. The first being when I will finally be done running missions ( more to follow on that ). Then after that's passed our chalk will leave the comfy confines of our little tin two man rooms for big 100 man tents. Tent city as its called is hell. Living on a cot with nothing to do and 100 people all around you for days sucks, especially when your just waiting to go to fucking Kuwait. The third event is getting to Kuwait. I have a date but flight dates are always subject to change. Getting to Kuwait is the start of the " I'm finally fucking going home feeling". Frustration sets in shortly after. It's almost impossible to stay giddy and excited about being on the cusp when the cusp is days long... It can be mental torture. Kuwait is its own animal. No one knows how long we will have to wait there. I've heard 1 day and I've heard 3. Last deployment I heard we would only be there for one day but it ended up being 7. Kuwait is tent city with more rules and less to do. You wait and wait until you can finally start your 22-26 hour plane ride back home. Fun..... All in all you work here in Iraq until your finally able to start your going home process. In a perfect world this process would just be the plane ride home. Instead the Army has managed to find a way to make this process a 10-20 day event. HOOAH...


I kinda feel like a douche complaining about going on missions because to be honest, I like going on missions. One of the most common questions I'm asked by family and friends in the civilian world is why would anyone like going into the streets of Baghdad? Why would I enjoy putting myself in harms way? I believe from the many conversations I've had about this that there is a common misconception that going outside of the wire is dreaded by soldiers. It's not. In my experience, most COMBAT soldiers enjoy and look forward to going out. The analogy I use when explaining this I will call the fire fighter analogy. As a fire fighter you train and train to fight fires. You practice hundreds of different scenarios, sliding down the pole, prepping your gear and truck, among many other things. This can go on for months or even years and nothing real world happens. Then all the sudden there's a house fire somewhere. Do you think that fire fighter wants to go? I bet he wants to go bad. That's his job. That's what hes been training and practicing for. He wants to go and maybe even has been hoping for a fire somewhere. It's the same for a soldier. I train and train for war. I practice different scenarios and go through different schools all to prepare me for war. Then a war breaks out somewhere. Do i want to go? Fuck yeah i want to go. Not only that but i want something to happen. I don't want to just sit back and ride it out. I want to be in the front. I want to put my skills and training to the test.

I don't know if that make sense. I know my soldiers feel the same way because we've talked about it. They like going out and hope something happens while we are out there as well. There's not a mission that goes by that my gunner doesn't ask me if he can shoot something.

Walters: Sgt. McNeil theres a rag head up ahead on the right just standing by the road.

Me: Yeah I see him Walters... Just watch him.

Walters: Can i shoot him?

Me: lol, No Walters you can't shoot him.

Walters: Well can i shoot a dog tonight? Or shoot off some of my nonlethal rounds?

Me: Nope.

Walters: Why not, you've let me before.

Me: EOD's with us and they will tell on us.

Walters: Fuck them POG's.

For the last 2 weeks we have responded to a call every night. Evey single time we gear up to go I think to myself... This is it.. Today's the day... Time to cash in and meet my maker... Tonight's the night that I will be condemned to an afterlife of.... well fuck it you fill in the rest......... The point is when your this close to the end, your done. No one wants to make 11 and a half months. I no longer want to go out. I'm done risking it. I just want to go home now. I've seen and heard to many story's about soldiers dying in there last weeks. Guys who die when they were suppose to be home already but for some reason were still in theater. I no longer hope for missions. I feel like a bitch for whining about it but it's time to pack it in. I'm done playing soldier this deployment.


opening weekend... I'm pumped... i wait for this all year long... I'm a huge cowboy fan... we won and are now 1-0... we have a tough test next week but i think we will be up for the challenge...


this post was written over the course of a few days... so the date stamp isn't correct, it's when i started this post... right now I'm looking at being out of this country in under a week and possible being home in under a week... i have one more day of missions... cross your fingers... ill go out into the wild probably two more times before I'm done.... shit it's the last day of missions, i may even wear my Kevlar this time...


MRS Jen McNeil said...

michael. david!!!!!! i made you PROMISE me you'd wear your kevlar!!! oooo your in trouble when you get 6 days or so!!
i love you!

Anonymous said...

Of course it makes sense you wanted to go out, and of course it makes sense now you don't. That's how it goes. Very, very cool you're almost on a plane!! z

Anonymous said...

I understand completely how you feel about going out on missions, then and now that you're so close to being out of country and back here stateside. I don't blame you in the least; it's what you train for. Everyone, regardless of their profession, wants a chance to put what they've learned and trained for to the test. Eventually, you want to pack it in especially when it's a lethal job that can take your life, such as an 11B or whatever other frontline MOS one might choose, such as 11C, 25M, etc. Those are the three most common Army guys I get coming through my USO station.

Don't feel bad about whining man. You've earned it! You guys earn everything, ever day you are outside the wire, when you're in theater, when you're away from your families, be it training or deployment! NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR THAT! YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST AT WHAT YOU DO! I see from the post above you made your last mission out in one piece. I'm happy! Come home man! You've earned it!