In Iraq for 365

About my experiences in Iraq... the frustrations, the missions and this country... and the journey home

Sunday, November 21, 2004

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.


At 6:30 PM, Blogger mtnyogi said...

I just wanted to drop a line here to say THANK YOU for your service and your participation is the important, yet difficult task of terminating the regime of Saddam Hussien, permanently ending the threat of WMD from his regime, and attempting to turn Iraq into a peaceful and prosperous example for the rest of the Arab and Moslem world to follow.

While I am not your father, perhaps I am old enough to be (48 years old)? I am proud of what you and the rest of our soldiers are doing over there. Just wanted to say that too...

Keep your head down. Come home in one piece. And, though I lack combat experience and have no idea how to do this, keep your psyche and spirit in tact through all of this.

-bruce, Florida

At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep the posts coming! Reading what you have to say and how you feel about everything is just great! You've got one more reader! And a great supporter! Come home safe and we are always keeping you in our prayers

At 1:11 AM, Blogger Bill Adams said...

Veteran's Day is November 11th and I hope that EVERY American will be flying the flag in honor of our troops fighting in Iraq and around the world to preserve our freedoms!

I can even tell you where to get one for free! Visit right now and they'll send you a FREE American Flag. These flags were $19.99, but now they are FREE. You pay just for shipping/handling and they'll ship one to your door. (Actually - I've ordered more than 20 from them to give to my neighbors, as gifts, etc!)

Get your free flag now: **FREE AMERICAN FLAG**

Semper Fi!

Bill Adams

At 3:47 PM, Blogger David Pakman said...

Hey, excellent website. A great Iraq resource is Deaths in Iraq. It breaks all of the casualties down by age, race, branch of the military, country, etc.

At 6:37 PM, Blogger aiya said...

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