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war is real

unconcerned, uncompromised and unconvoluted letters from a soldier getting ready to face war for the second time. 

Saturday, March 26, 2005

10:36 AM - two midgets and a needle with beer

'twas fun to discover that the army celebrates st. patty's day and alcholic binges but not jesus. not that i have anything wrong with alchoholic binges; i, in fact, was the recipient of a shiner bock-fueled rampage last night that included three midgets, two states, and a trip to the local tattoo parlor to get some girl's name permanently placed on my ass. only kidding, of course -- i did get drunk and retarded, but i hate midgets and i'm scared of needles.

came back from leave this past week to find a pt test, m4 qualification range, and a whole lot of disorganization waiting for me. scored a 340 on the pt test (out of 300), 36 on the m4 range, and tried to get things rolling again. we're deploying quicker than we thought, which means we'll probably be out of here before thanksgiving instead of shortly after like we originally planned. i'm ready to roll because anything, and i mean anything, beats being in garrison and having to put up with stupid bullshit all the time.

home again with the family for easter weekend. not much planned except 80lbs of crawfish, some beer, and probably some more beer. i finally finished better than sex and also grabbed the new rolling stone with the gigantic feature on the good doktor. people tell me i'm crazy, but that summabitch was absolutely nuts.

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Monday, March 14, 2005

9:55 PM - OUTTA HERE

sometimes you have to be an asshole. like today, for example, when they tried to block my leave (which starts in ten minutes) by telling me that i was "mission critical," even though the most work we've done in a month is filling out sexual harassment forms. i went above everyone's heads, used the commander's open door policy, and got my leave approved.

i'm outta here. i might post more this week, but it's doubtful. i'll be enjoying the pina coladas too much.

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6:23 AM - TEN PINA COLADAS.

there's nothing is peaceful as sitting outside in the beautiful sun, a lovely lady at your side and an ice-cold frozen pina colada in your hand. my weekend was comprised of little more than the scene i described above, and also some episodes of 3-4 hour naps that were as fitful as a long winter's dream. i'm refreshed, i'm awake, and for the first time in about three years, i'm actually excited to be going to work today.

of course, most of that probably has to do with the fact that today is my only day of work this week, for i'll be going on leave tonight at midnight and not returning until sunday at midnight. excellent.

i'm working on a long post about my ptsd (post-traumatic stress disorder), the causes, and what happens when you get diagnosed with ptsd in the army, including descriptions of drugs and the effects said drugs can have on reality. i want to make sure i do it right, though, so i'll probably hold off posting it until the end of the week.

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Friday, March 11, 2005

10:29 AM - WEEKEND READING

i'm out for the weekend. i don't want anyone to get bored this weekend, so if you're sitting at home on the computer with nothing to do (when you should be out in a state or national park enjoying the amazing weather), then pay a visit to the mudville gazette. they are the guys that host the milblog ring i'm in, and you can find tons of other soldiers who do the same thing i do. blogging, that is. they also update their blog a lot more than i ever will, so bookmark it.

but by all means, please get off the freaking computer and enjoy life.

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6:08 AM - GROSS

you know what might immediately improve the morale and quality of life for soldiers living on post? improve the quality of the food you serve at the chow hall. i went in this morning and was literally sick and disgusted after eating, and that rarely happens to me. of course, i rarely eat at the chow hall, so that's an explanation right there. normally i'd just go to the px and pick up a breakfast hot pocket or drive through burger king for some coffee, but i didn't have time to do either of those this morning, leaving the chow hall as my only option. i should have done the smart thing and just gone back to my room, but no, i was hungry and that hunger must be satiated. it's not like i need to watch my weight, either, what with the five miles that we run every single day.

i got to the chow hall, flashed my id card, and got my place in line. the whole id card requirement for the chow hall is laughable at best; does someone somewhere really believe that people are going to try to sneak in and score food? i mean, it's a last option at best, and i don't see anyone in their right mind with a chance to go anywhere else sneaking into the chow hall to eat dog food. regardless, i go through the line, and the choices are simple -- breakfast pizza, burritos, and hash browns. can't we mix in a few fruits and vegetables or SOMETHING that wasn't cooked in oil left over from last week's surf and turf day? i choose the pizza because it looks somewhat harmless, even though the eggs are a strange shade of green. grab some no percent milk and sit at the table, and decide that the pizza might not look so good. i eat it anyway, and after about, oh, one bite i was clutching my stomach in fear and pain. i literally fear for the lives of the joes who have to eat this food every day.

so now i'm sitting in my room, nursing a blossoming case of fucking nasty gas, still clutching my stomach in pain, and it's all because they won't shell out a little cash to get us some good food. i wish i could be in charge of an investigation into troop morale, because the results would be absolutely staggering to the general public.

i don't want to give off the impression that i'm bitter or anything. i also don't want to come off as slandering the army. i just want to be completely honest on here and i have the forum to do that, so i'm gonna. i feared stepping on people's toes last time because i didn't want to get reprimanded, and thus you got a watered down look at what actually goes on in the army. here, you're going to get the unvarnished truth for as long as i can muster it, and if that means pointing out the truly fucked up things that the army does, then so be it. i enjoy my unit and there's at least a few times every year when i'm proud to put on this uniform, and i'll talk about those, too. it's not all bad.

not going to be too many posts this weekend, or any weekend for that matter. i try to get out of town as much as possible, and the only time it's possible is on the weekend. i'm generally holed up in a hotel, reading books or watching television, and i don't usually have the chance to get on the computer. if i do, however, i'll try and leave an update. you're not here for everyday boring shit anyway, so i figure it'd be better if i try to keep things army-centric for now. no one gives a fuck what movies i like or which rare vinyls i've discovered on ebay this week, anyway.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

2:28 PM - HIGH SPEED SHITBAGS

i fucking hate waking up at five in the morning. there's no way that anyone can expect you to be high speed at that time of the day. it's not even civilized.

for those wondering, here's a little lesson on some army lingo.

high speed is what we say when soldiers spend what little personal time they get shining boots every day, take their bdu's to the cleaners and spend $30 a week getting them pressed, and kiss just enough ass of the people above them to get noticed.

shitbags are the guys who either a) don't care about looking good or b) realize that there's more important things in life than shining boots and better places to spend your money than the local cleaners. they also tend to not give a fuck about kissing ass. of course, they could also be real slobs who should have never been soldiers in the first place, but all of these people are grouped together under one title.

it's possible to be high speed one day and a shitbag the next. when i was a lower enlisted guy, i varied between the two on a regular basis, depending upon the mood of my squad leader and platoon sergeant. i usually put forth the effort to shine boots simply because i'm bored at night with nothing else to do but drink, and mostly because doing so will avoid any useless conversations i might not want to have at five in the morning. i also take my bdu's to the cleaners because i'm too lazy to spend the time ironing and pressing them myself when i could be doing other things, like drinking or shining my boots.

today, i'm probably a mix of both. a high speed shitbag, if you will. my uniform looks good, my haircut looks good, and i didn't talk to anyone above me this morning, thus avoiding the chance to kiss ass and make myself look good. i tend to try and get a feel for how my soldiers are doing in the morning, anyway. others may not care, but i care about morale, and the absolute worst time for any soldier (ask anyone) is before PT formation in the morning. you're tired, you got no sleep the night before, and all you want to do is be left alone to dread the workday by yourself. i'm also a shitbag today (at least in someone else's eyes) because i drew division trash duty today. basically, you start in the morning at nine and walk from a certain area to another, picking up trash along the way. this duty happens every day, and we rotate between nco's to take care of the job. today happens to be my day, and we finished in roughly two hours. we were released for the day (division sergeant major's policy), which meant we could go home, take care of important business, and generally use the day to rest and get shit taken care of. a good soldier (at least in someone else's eyes) would probably say fuck it and go back to work, which would mean sitting around in the motorpool or raking leaves or something like that. but hey, i'm not the type to turn down a half day off, especially when it means i can get stuff done that never seems to get done, like mowing the grass or washing clothes. you know, the non-important stuff. i'm also taking the chance to crack open a fine pinot grigio i picked up a few days back and enjoy it, so i guess that makes me a shitbag.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

7:08 PM - an introduction

so i guess the best way to start this thing off is to tell you that i'm a soldier in the united states army, and in about six months i'll be deploying to iraq for my second tour of duty. i might have written elsewhere before and i might have not, but i'm staying anonymous on this blog for personal and security reasons, the main reason being that i hate dealing with officers and having a public blog tends to get me thrown into meetings with those very same officers that i hate dealing with. despite the fact that i'll never put out any information that deals with opsec (operational security), i still always tend to get called in to answer questions about posts that have absolutely nothing to do with anything. if you're even a little bit critical of people in charge of you, they get panties all in a wad and demand answers as to why you, a bit player in this gigantic important war game, have the right to talk shit about them when they're obviously more important than you and would never do anything wrong.

i digress.

the point is, i'm staying anonymous because i want to write about the things i want to write about, and i want to talk about the things i want to talk about, and i don't want to have to stand in front of a desk while captain jackoff spouts off and complains just because you might have said something that puts a small stain on his sainthood.

i like my unit. well, i liked my unit when we were in iraq. over there, it was a finely tuned war machine, and we went about the business of killing haji's without mercy and without hesitation. i'm not pro-war and i'm not anti-war, but you can bet your fucking bottom dollar that if you're faced with either killing someone who is bent on killing you or turning the other cheek and believing war is wrong, you'll pull the trigger just as fast as i have. yes, i've killed people and i'll do it again because it's my job and, really, if it's you or them, it's damn sure going to be them. i went to iraq the first time hating the shit out of president bush, and i came home hating president bush but knowing that we did some damn good shit over there. home, though, is a different story. the only point to garrison life is doing a good job so that people above you will look good to the people above THEM and thus get promoted. i don't really enjoy that type of life; i'm the type who would rather do my job and get it over with and not worry about stupid rules and fancy regulations that only exist to make us miserable on a daily basis. and that's the problem with being in garrison; everything only exists to make things LOOK good, while in iraq everything exists to make sure you stay alive. there's something about that adrenaline rush that i'll never get out of my system, which is why i'm looking forward to going back.

so here we go. as we get ready to go, i'll post about training and life stuff that some of you might find interesting. some of you might find it boring, too, but i'm really only doing this for myself. if people come along for the ride, so be it, but i'm not going to tone anything down and i'm not going to change who i am. i already did that once for the fuckers in the office, and i am damn sure not going to do it again.

oh, and if you're an officer (like dagger, who i am a big fan of and hope i don't offend) -- it's not that i hate all officers. i just hate the ones with personal agendas that have absolutely nothing to do with helping soldiers or humanity in general.

stick around.

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