In Iraq for 365

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

Thursday, December 22, 2005

General rambling

Around this time last year, I was ordered to tag along with major brass (generals) to greet soldiers. My job was to take pictures, while the generals shook the hands of soldiers, and the sergeant majors started NCO small talk with buck sergeants and E-6’s.

“Where you from, stud?”

“California, sergeant major.”

“How many push ups can you do?”

“67, sergeant major.”

“That’s all. I can do 78 and I’m an old man. You better do some PT.”

We went from one base to the next and it was the same story every time. Some soldiers grumbled. “Who gives a f#%k that some general is here. I had to wake up for this.” Others were honored. “Sir, may I get your picture.”

The higher ups are much like sports players… they are the well-paid in a poorly paid profession. They are constantly in the limelight, whether in the civilian or military media. And they make decisions that affect everybody in uniform, (which is more like an owner than a player).

I spent countless hours with different generals and or Paul Bremer types, documenting important meetings between them and the Iraqis. And during these mission-oriented events, they did their job; maybe even faking enthusiasm, but you could tell deep down that they would rather do something else. However, when the higher ups visited the lowly soldier, their eyes twinkled and you sensed a re-borne enthusiasm.

Gen. Casey said it best, “I just love soldiers.”


At 9:52 AM, Blogger kbug said...

It doesn't surprise me that the higher-ups love the lowly soldiers, Casanova. The grunt is the epitome of the real fighting man. Who wouldn't love them? I've loved them my whole life...they make my eyes twinkle, too...... :)

At 2:04 PM, Blogger JUST A MOM said...

Merry Christmas Smink,, Glad your on this side of the world this year. ENJOY it!!!!!

At 11:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is that you in one of those pics?

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Politics of a Patriot said...

Excellent post. I just love soldiers, too :) I think every American should.

At 6:43 PM, Blogger Eric said...

At some point in time, those echelons above reality types were LTs being schooled by NCOs, and even E3s and E4s. It's the one redeeming feature of generals - you know that at some point, they did their time in the dirt, too. Some were even prior service.

Who doesn't love soldiers? And the love flows down. I left the Army with the conviction that E1s and E2s were the most pampered people in the Army. But maybe that's just an E4 bias. ;-)


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