I've changed a lot
Quiet day today. Nobody dead or severely injured. I watched the news long enough to see the debacle about Scott Peterson and the NBA players fight with fans. That world seems so far away.
When I was home for leave, I had a very difficult time adjusting and just being a citizen. I don’t know why or if it will be like that when I’m home for good. All I know is I have changed a lot. Yeah, I still have my sense of humor and make people laugh. But I feel more disgusted by little things. Like the NBA players saying they were fighting for their life. Hey, Ron Artest: Strap on a pair of boots, grab an M-16, say goodbye to your family for a year and take a little trip to the desert, and I’ll show you fighting for your life.
Before this deployment, I was very apathetic about political issues. Now, every chance I get, I read the news or find out what policies are being decided. Especially during the Presidential Election, I paid close attention. “We need to train the Iraqis faster,” said Sen. John Kerry during one of the debates. Hey Kerry, when was the last time you saw the Iraqis train. Did you know that during the Saddam regime, regular soldiers only practiced with their weapons once a year? When they did fire, they shot three rounds. Just to put it into perspective, I’ve fired more than 2,500 during my eight-year army career. Kerry, did you also know that the Iraqis never encouraged an NCO corps until we began to train them? The U.S., British and other great armies consider the NCO, mid level leader and bridge between enlisted and officers, are the backbone of their army. And did you know that most of our recruits are farmers or former (poorly trained) Iraqi soldiers, who know less about how to handle a weapon than speaking English. Every Iraqi soldier I met during their basic training course could say “Hello and how are you,” but they couldn’t properly clear their AK until we taught them. So, just how the hell are we going to train them faster? It takes time, and our soldiers are doing a damn fine job teaching Iraqis how to be soldiers.
Those were my thoughts when I heard Kerry speak. Needless to say, I didn’t vote for him, not just for this reason.
How else have I changed? Well, I can’t watch horror movies (too much blood), but I like playing War Games (where there’s more blood). Ironic, huh? I think more about falling in love and having kids than ever before, and raising a family in a quiet neighborhood near a large body of water.
I can’t believe I just admitted that. My dad would be proud. He’s a touchy, feely type. I’ve always been an army guy.