Tuesday, October 13, 2009



I've been home for a few weeks now and I'm starting to fall into the normal routine again. I'm not having flash backs or nightmares, I'm not waking up looking for my weapon or digging trenches in the back yard with Kevlar donned and knife in hand, but I do feel I'm missing something... I can put my finger on it but something doesn't feel right. I have these moments or blocks of time where i feel out of place, or like I want to be doing something but I don't feel like doing anything. Lol, that can't make sense to anyone. It's an antsy, uneasy feeling that creeps up on me and I just walk around with a constant feeling of uncomfortability. It's like I have an internal compressed spring inside me and it's broken. It doesn't decompress on it's own like it should. So I feel it's constant pressure. It feels like the feeling you get inside when your riding a roller coaster, but the feeling doesn't dissipate shortly after. It stays and lingers for hours. I feel it everyday, and I'm ready for it to go away.

I think now I'm going to jump all over the place a little. I want to express my complete disdain for a couple GARRISON rules that erk the shit out of me. These rules were present in Iraq, but here they are fucking PREVALENT.

1) No smoking AND WALKING at the same time.

yeah, no shit... honest to God, that's a fucking rule. The reason for the rule I'm told, is that it presents an unprofessional appearance. Now that's absolutely absurd. Anyone who has bought into that bullshit ass line is a moron and isn't capable of independent thought. How the hell is smoking stationary (allowed) less professional then smoking and walking (not allowed). I see them one and the same. To me your either smoking, or your not.

I think the rule was conceived as a way to punish smokers or hinder their smoking. The army isn't shy about frowning on tobacco, and that's fine. tobacco is bad and it has a negative effect on health. Hey Big Army, if you don't like tobacco and want to hinder those who smoke cool, but lets call it that. Lets not hide behind a bullshit ass unprofessional label that tells me that smoking and standing still is more professional then smoking and walking.

The bitch of it all is that it's enforced alarmingly consistently. It fucking baffles me. I could give a fuck if private Joe Snuffy is smoking a cigarette while walking to his car. Who the fuck really cares man. Can we as an organization not see the lunacy in the rule. Can we really not turn a blind eye to an easily agreed upon dumb rule. Their are many dumb rules in the army that aren't enforced. rules about who sits where in vehicles based on rank. who gets out first and in which order everyone else gets out. We have rules about where your suppose to walk in relation the ranks of the soldiers your walking with and we even have a rule that says that your cargo pockets cant have anything in them that presents a bulky appearance. NONE of which are enforced.........EVER. No where in any regulation or publication are we told as soldiers that some rules to be enforced and others aren't. It doesn't even specify a level of importance on rules... How am I to know that smoking and walking is much more important then walking on the correct side of the soldier I'm walking with based on his rank. Come on man, lets give it a rest. Leave people alone.... It's not that serious.

2) No hands in your pockets.

Now I can't for the life of me even fathom where this came from. Once again it falls into the unprofessional category.... REALLY..... Well now I beg to differ. I don't see how sheltering your hands from the cold by putting them into your pockets is unprofessional. It's plain smart to me.

Who decides whats professional and whats not. Is there some authority figure that makes these determinations, and if so whats the criteria involved when making these determinations. I would really like it to be completely broking down to me. I pride myself on being a little smarter then the average bear, but this is a huge conundrum to me. I just can't find how it connects to professionalism on any level. On top of that, how cruel is it to give a soldier a uniform with 12 pockets and then tell him he cant put his hands in them. Those seem like contradicting ideas to me.

Whats funny though is that because this rule is strictly enforced, when it gets cold soldiers will tuck their hands into their pants. They will either tuck them in the front down by their balls to keep them warm or they will tuck them into the back on their ass. This isn't corrected because their is no regulation that stipulates that you can't do this... I see this a whole lot. Now isn't this much more unprofessional then putting your hands in your pocket. I would think that someone with rank who sees this might say to themselves " hey, wait a minute.... this doesn't make sense.... If your going to put your hands on your balls to side step this rule that deems you unprofessional by putting your hands in your pockets, well for the sake of the intent of the rule, lets scrap the enforcement of it and just let your hands go in your pockets... Hey everybody listen up... If you have your hands down your pants to keep them warm right now because you can't put them in your pockets just pull them out and put them in your pockets.... you'll look much more professional if you do." ....HOMERUN.... Put another point on the board for Nught.


NUGHT--------- 4567 POINTS

I'll leave you with a few pictures of me with my kids... man it's good to be with them again.


Anonymous said...

Glad you're enjoying the time back home. Don't worry about the something missing. It'll go away in due time (hopefully soon)! Both of those rules are absolutely asinine!

Anonymous said...

Good to hear from you!!
What if you are introduced to someone after "keeping your hands warm?" Are you supposed shake hands with them? Or wash first?
That uneasy feeling you get is from how your nerves got rewired for survival while you were in Iraq. The nerves actually hardwire pathways so you don't have to make individual decisions constantly. This gives you quicker reaction times. However, you don't need it now... and it's still there. Hopefully, it will eventually reprogram without to much fuss or artifact. Don't be surprised at any feelings, there can be a huge gamut. Just try to relax and enjoy your new surroundings! Good luck!!!! z

Anonymous said...

Oh, the pictures are wonderful! z

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your experience of getting back home too Mike. It's good to see you with your family, and as always I love to read whatever you write. I'll keep checking back and you take care.

And obviously I'm not in the army but who takes the time to think of rules like that??? Yeah I think your hands belong in your pockets...and um as far as smoking well just don't...

Take care and keep writing..

Anonymous said...

Amen brother! Beautiful Kids, You must focus on the family man...they are the true meaning of life...

And, for your dumb garrison rules...I had an E5 bitch me up one side and down the other at Irwin a while back for just shuffling side to side in front of the PX when I was talking on a cell phone...WTF??? I waved him on ...LOL

Anonymous said...

Good blog! How did you choose the title of your blog ("The Harder Wrong")?

Anonymous said...

Where you at, man?