Sunday, October 30, 2005


Well we’re back at Ft. Lewis now and it’s good to be back. We took a few group photos at Yakima before we left there. They unveiled the ceiling tile that had our unit on it in formation this morning. The ceiling tile had to do with the tiles at the Oasis Club where we ate our breakfast and dinner daily. The tiles on the ceiling of the Oasis had artwork from different units that had been thru Yakima Training Center. It was a sight to see, viewing above every time we stood in line to eat. The cool thing is a part of us will always be at Yakima for everyone else that passes thru there from now on. We’ve left our mark.

Contreraz played a little Fear Factor today. Never leave a Joe with too much time on his hands. We dared him to eat an earthworm. I went ahead and told everyone I’d do it myself for $50. He ended up doing it for $10 plus tips. I couldn’t believe it and if I had my camera I would’ve had a picture of it. It was priceless. He was about to puke but he held it down and swallowed that worm whole!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

3 Man Teams

Well, we’re almost out of here, Yakima that is. Our platoon finished up our training yesterday and went to the bar do celebrate. I wish my digital camera wouldn’t broke or I would’ve had some photos to post online here. I have another one at home that I’ll have to get. Most of us are ready to go, including myself. I like the weather here but there isn’t much to do on post and we are not allowed to get off post.

We’re not allowed to go anywhere unless we go as a three-man team. It really sucks because I wanted to go to the recreation center tonight and I couldn’t find anyone else that wanted to go. I’ve been stuck in the barracks almost all afternoon and evening. It really sucks. If we want to go to the gym, shopette, or bar we’re not allow to go unless we have team to go in. I think it’s going a little crazy myself. I hope it doesn’t get this bad when we go back to Ft. Lewis. I would just love it if they start making us go everywhere in teams, I’m being sarcastic. That’s what’s stupid about the Army; sometimes the orders are absurd and ridiculous.

Some of the Joes have gotten ready to leave today. We finished turning all of our equipment back in and tomorrow we just have to pack up and clean the barracks for an inspection.

I got slammed last night. We were told we were only allowed to have four drinks. I ended up having about five. I had a good time with the other Joes at the bar. The bartenders were really hot and wore skimpy bathing suits to keep us Joes entertained. I ended up buying only one drink last night, all my other drinks were paid for by other Sergeants. I heard that Tydings got sick last night and threw up! I couldn’t believe that. I didn’t think he had that much to drink. He says he has a low tolerance for alcohol. As for myself, I was a little fucked up but I didn’t get sick at all. I didn’t want to drink anything hard because I didn’t want the other guys to carry me back to the barracks. If left with the chance and if I had my way they would’ve carried me back.

We got mail again today. I didn’t get anything, unfortunately. Well, one of the guys got a Halloween costume, Spiderman. It was funny because he put it on and was running around in the barracks with a can of string spraying everyone. I wish I had my digital camera to take some photos of that. It was funny because he was drunk too! We were all laughing at him while he ran up and down the aisle yelling, “I’m Peter Parker! No one take pictures of me!”

The other bay had pumpkins that they cut out and put everywhere. Some guys have got candy that they’re passing out to everyone. It’s kind of cute with the pumpkins everywhere. The guys from 2nd platoon put one outside the door of their barracks and they have a few more inside. One pumpkin has a candy sticking out of its mouth. I’m glad that some of the guys keep the sprit of Halloween alive and make it a fun thing. I should’ve gotten more involved. There’s always next year.

Friday, October 28, 2005

What about those guys?

“What about those guys?” Boy how stupid I felt after saying that. Reminded me of that movie Three Kings when that guy at the beginning of the movie says, “Are we shooting?” The funny thing is that the observer in the Humvee replied, “What about those guys?” I thought to myself, boy am I going to hear about this later. There were two enemies; I shot them both with pretty good aim. I surprised myself because I didn’t even aim that much.

I did hear about it later in our after action review with the whole platoon when the instructing Sergeant called my name. I knew it was coming. I knew what it was all about and what he was going to say. I was prepared and ready. “Sergeant Puebla, where are you at?” I rose my hand so he could see where I was then he went on to say, “I’m going to quote from Sergeant Puebla, ‘What about those guys?’” LOL everyone was laughing. The good thing was I found it funny myself. Next time I’ll be shooting first and asking questions later. I’m pretty sure I won’t have this problem in Iraq because at least I’ll know who then enemy is when they start shooting at us.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Another Long Day

We have a long day coming up tomorrow. We have wake up at 0330. Early, very early. Tomorrow is basically our last day of training with this portion of preparation for deployment. We have a few more training events coming up but this phase is just about through. I’m almost glad.

We have a lot we have to do tomorrow and we have many preparations to do. They’ve moved my position a few times and now I’m with the platoon lieutenant. It’s nothing new for me; I’ve been attached with an officer before. I find it more difficult for myself because there are only three of us on our vehicle so I almost have to control all of the other tasks that come up as it pertains to the crew and make sure it gets done. It’s not a bad job for a sergeant; it’s just that it’s the driver and me as the crew. It would be both easier and better if we had another person with our vehicle.

To add to the difficulties, I’m also the only crewmember that is combat lifesaver qualified. It wouldn’t be that much of a problem but my position is also gunner. I can’t do both jobs at the same time. Something is going to give and I think it’s a good lesson the lieutenant is going to learn. I think that’s good because we’re all here to learn something anyways.

Tonight was also a late night. We got back, got our turrets lubed for tomorrow, and dropped off all our gear in the barracks. Went to chow, drove the vehicles to the motor pool, and then cleaned weapons. It really gets dirty up in the turret. My weapon was covered in a layer of dirt from all of the driving around. I knew that it was going to be a nightmare to clean. There was dirt everywhere and to top it off the command wanted us to leave our feed trays open which caused even more dirt to get into the parts of my weapon.

Well, I’m off to sleep now. I have to get up early. I can’t wait for tomorrow to be over with. I hear that the weather is going to be colder than it was today. It is starting to get a little colder outside now and it feels more and more like winter is coming.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Bowers Bastards

I’m not going to post much today. There was a lot of information put out today but I can’t discuss any of it here. All I could say is that it was mostly good news. It was surprising and good.

We got our platoon t-shirts the other day. Their tan shirts that say 1-180th FWD 4th PLT on the front and on the back is a graphic of Iraq with the words “Bowers Battling Bastards of Baghdad!!!” on the back. I’m not going to go into who Bowers is for security reasons. They’re pretty cool shirts and the make me feel like part of a team. I feel like I belong to something else besides the US Army. It differentiates us from the other platoons.

Our mission is always changing and we are getting new details every day. We always have to be prepared for any changes. They’re a saying that we also have in the Army. Part of it comes from the Mariene Corp motto Simper Fidelus meaning Always Faithful. The saying is Simper Gumby. Try and guess what it means. Well Simper is Latin for always and Gumby is for the character from the animated claymation series “Gumby.” He was flexible and could bend himself in any shape and direction. So put them together and you the meaning Always Flexible which is what we have to be at almost all times.

Monday, October 24, 2005


The command staff is really trying to control us now. I know that they are responsible for the unit but I also think that we are all grown men, well some of us that is. Most of us are. I could see some of the guys getting out of hand when they drink or if they went out. I know that we are activated for a deployment but gosh, come on! They didn’t even treat us like this in the regular Army. Maybe it’s because we’re Guardsmen.

I’ll explain how controlling they are. Some of the Joes in the company got busted because they didn’t go to the mess hall as a squad. We’re told to eat together, sleep together, and even shit together! I could understand in some circumstances but in this situation, come on! I guess this is what I volunteered for. It’s alright, I’ll play this game. It does get stupid at times. Nothing’s perfect.

We got some good training done today, in my mind. I think it’s because we did drills. I like doing drills because it builds habits and it helps everyone understand what they’re job is and what to do in case something happens. I think it builds good training. It started out slow, really slow, but it got better and better. I’m pretty sure we’ll be doing some more drills tomorrow as we work out all of the kinks. It’s like playing a soccer game as a team. The team has to practice, do drills, and know what every else’s job is. Everyone has to do their part and trust their team members to do their job. Everyone works on the same sheet of music to bring the whole ensemble together. When all the kinks get worked out it begins to work like a well-oiled machine.

I don’t know if it’s me but some of the Joe’s are starting to act a little different. I don’t think it’s my perception of things though because I’ve heard the same comments from another Joe. It just seems like some of the guys are starting to act like dicks. Problem is the shit is spreading. Maybe we just need a break from each other. I know that we all have our strengths and weaknesses but still. It just seems like some of the Joes don’t care to say hello or give a friendly gesture. Some begin to seem like real dickheads. Oh well, what can I say. I don’t have to and don’t want to associate with guys like that anyways. It’s a problem with people and I guess it never goes away.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Taking Back

I’ve made lots of mistakes in my life. Sometimes I wish I could take back some of the stuff I did but I know I can’t. Maybe it’s a lesson for the future. I’m glad I’m in the Army again. I think it bring out the best in me. I think it brings out the best in a lot of the guys here. We all miss our families, our homes, and our other lives. For some guys it’s harder than others. For myself, it’s not too bad. I see how others take it. The good thing is we all support each other. It’s like the 1st Sergeant said one day during formation, “We’re all family here.” He was right; we all belong to each other.

I owe it to all my soldiers to make sure that we all come back home. It’s part of my job. I have to be proficient at what I do. I know that the 1st Sergeant and the Commander are hard on us sometimes but I know it’s because they want to bring us all back. Actually, they only get on someone’s case if they show a lack of leadership or interest. I haven’t had that problem. I’m very interested in learning everything I could. I watch other leaders to learn from their style. Most of the time I’m taking the sit back and watch approach. I’m waiting for my moment of glory. I don’t want to take on a leadership position unless I have to.

I’ve learned a lot growing older over the years. I wish I know now what I knew then. I sometimes think of how grateful I am to go thru these experiences and hope someday I could share them with my son. I want him to learn from my mistakes and take what advice I could give him to make him a better man. It’s almost like what every father wants of his son, to become better then himself. Peter is his own person and he does his own things. I know he loves and misses me. I just hope that someday he’ll begin to understand.

I seen a video a while back of a Sergeant that made a going away video for his wife. I guess he made it and gave it to a buddy of his. He didn’t make it and that buddy of his sent the video to his wife after he passed away. Sometimes I think I should to the same thing and then I think it might be a bad omen, I am by the way a little suppositious.

It’s getting more dangerous in Iraq than ever before. I’m not sure if a lot of people realize that. I really didn’t realize it myself. I can’t really go into details here as to why because of operational security. I just hope that people keep on supporting the troops and thanking a solider when they see one.

Talking about thanking a solider, I was thanked on the trip over here to Yakima. We had made a stop at a gas station on the way over here. I got off the bus to stretch out my feet and walked into the store to buy some soda and snacks. On the way to the store, at the truck stop, a trucker stopped right by me. He saw us all in uniform, getting off the bus and going into the store. He reached his left arm out of the diesel and said to me, “I want to thank you for what your doing.” I told him thank you in return and that we all appreciate his thanks and support. It’s really nice to meet people like that.

Friday, October 21, 2005

We Do What Were Told

Why am I feeling so tired and lazy? I can’t figure it out. Maybe I need to do some more exercise. Maybe it’s because of all the fat food I’m eating. Maybe it’s because the weather is getting cooler here. I don’t know what give. I’ve had plenty of time to relax too. I need to find my motivation, the motivation I had when I first arrived here. Maybe it is the weather. The weather was real nice when we first got here. I didn’t mind going outside and I was keeping busy during the evening. Now it’s like I don’t want to do shit.

PT this morning was easy, very easy. Stretching, that’s the only thing we did. I think stretching is benefical but I think we should’ve done some exercises as well. I’m in a dilemma. I’m the PT NCO and I’m supposed to make up the PT program but the problem is the leadership wants to get involved and control things. I’m ready to tell the leadership that if they want to control it, than to take it. Problem is if I’m given a job to do I’m not supposed to question it unless it’s an unlawful order. I’m supposed to do what I’m told, no questions asked. It takes a lot to do that. Sometimes we have that problem, having to do what were told. I could see why the Army is so disciplined. It’s so Joe will do what he is told to get the mission accomplished, no matter how bad Joe doesn’t like it.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Big Mistake

We just got back from the field this morning. Well, we got back early this morning like at around 0100 hours but we didn’t get to bed until 0300 hours this morning. Then we had to wake up at 0615 this morning. That only left me with a little over 3 hours of sleep. It sucked. I knew it was going to happen. If it were my choice I would’ve decided to spend another night out in the field instead of coming back to the barracks in the middle of the night. I knew this would happen but I’m not the one making the decisions around here. I know that I’m not the only one that wanted to spend another night out in the field.

The only night we stayed out in the field and it rained on us. Out of all the days that we’re going to be here, I bet that that would be the only day that it’s going to rain here. I doubted if it were going to rain the other night or not. The clouds were low but there was no rain. There were a few sprinkles here and there at night but nothing that prevented me from sleeping outdoors. They did provide us with tents to sleep in but I was more interested in either sleeping outdoors or in the Humvee. I’ve slept in a Humvee before and it’s not too comfortable but it’ll work when it’s cold and raining.

So, one of my Joes got me a cot and I set it up right by the Humvee. I laid out my sleeping bag and went to sleep. Hallier and me both knew that we had to get to sleep early in order to get some rest because we had guard duty in the middle of the night. I hate doing guard duty. Especially in the middle of the night. The best nights to do it are either on the first shift, when everyone is getting to bed and still bullshitting, or in the morning on the last shift when you have to get up anyways.

When Hallier and me got up to do our shift it began to sprinkle a little. It was at 0130 in the morning. We had a 45-minute shift and we had to pull guard until 0215 hours. The rain was light when we woke up. It wasn’t hard. Then it stopped towards the end of our shift. I figured it wasn’t going to rain anymore and I asked Hallier what he thought. He was thinking the same thing. He didn’t think that it was going to rain much during the night. So I decided to continue to sleep outdoors after our shift instead of going inside the tent. Big Mistake!

I woke up all cold and wet that morning. I didn’t bring my protective suit to keep my sleeping bag dry either, another BIG MISTAKE. I should’ve learned my lesson by now. I’ve been doing this shit forever.

I really don’t want to get into what happened this morning. We aren’t really attached with our platoon right now. They split my platoon up and divided us between the whole company just during the training here at Yakima. Well, I’ll get into it briefly. I guess we misplaced a set of night vision goggles and lost a compass. A big mistake because we’re supposed to be accountable for everything. Well, at least it wasn’t on our vehicle. I knew myself that we had all of our equipment.

We spent the night looking for the night vision goggles and the compass. The goggles came up but the compass never did. We searched all the Humvee. Our squad leaders searched all of our equipment. We had to go through all these inspections during the middle of the night while the rest of the company was sleeping. It really sucked. I didn’t blame any Joes for what happened though. I blamed the leadership. I’m glad it’s a lesson that we learned here instead of over there. I just hope that they got something from it. Especially how items are accounted for. It wasn’t my platoon so I wasn’t running things but if I were they would’ve been a little different. I know that they have a lot of things to do but the leadership also comes from the squad leaders.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

SPC Tydings wife sent us all goodies the other day. A big THANK YOU goes out to her. I'm glad he's in our squad. He says that it's nothing because we'll be getting more goodies from his family and coworkers once we get overseas. I have to stay away from some of the stuff because I certainly don't need it. I'm hoping that everyone else digs into all the goodies. Tydings is the same way. He sure does appreciate all the food but he's trying to watch what he eats. He always shares his goodies with everyone.

I'm getting sick of the food here already. I guess I got use to the food back at Ft. Lewis. I think it was better over there anyways. It was healthier, higher quality food. I heard that the food in Iraq is better than the food at Lewis. I can't wait in that case. They do feed us good at Lewis though. More fruits, salads, and whole grains and less fried, fat foods.

We're going thru the gunnery phase of mount right now. I like it better because I'm off my feet a lot more. Walking around with that vest and all the gear was starting to do a number on my back.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Well, I'm in Yakima now. What can I say about the place? Well, it's a lot more like Phoenix except that Phoenix has more vegetation. The air is dryer and I don't think it rains here as much as it did back at Ft. Lewis. I like everything but the accommodations here. We're a little more cramped up than we were back at Ft. Lewis. The food here is ok. They serve it in a club/bar. We had some Mexican Food tonight. I think we might be seeing more of that but that's fine with me. It was authenic Mexican Food as well. There is a bar here on the post but we aren't allowed to drink just yet. I'm hoping that the command staff changes their policy. I won't be able to post any photos on the website because I'm now using a public computer and I can't hook up my devices to this computer. So as for now I'll be posting blogs without pictures when ever I have the opportunity to do it. They did have wireless internet here up until a today when they removed the wireless router that they had here at the recreation center.

We're basically getting our stuff ready for the training that we'll be doing in the coming days. I'm looking forward to it because I haven't rode in a Humvee in a while.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Long Day

This is a burn I got on my face from some ammo casing.

We woke up early again. I’m glad we didn’t have to do PT this morning. Another break. I didn’t do PT yesterday either. We started our day early like every other day. It was a long day and we barely finished. We still haven’t cleaned the barracks and they have to be cleaned by tomorrow.

Our Platoon Sergeant bought the whole Platoon pizzas today. That was really nice of him. He did that because we were stuck with eating MREs instead of eating lunch at the chow hall. It’s a shame that he didn’t get to have any pizza but we left some for him anyways, just in case.

Today was a long day. We barely finished doing all of our duties about an hour ago. At least we don’t have formation until 0700 hours tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Arms Room Guard

Oh, I’m getting tired. Finishing up guard duty. Hallier and me hooked up our computers to play Command and Conquer. He kicked my ass. He’s pretty good at it. It was fun because it passed away the time. It took us a while to troubleshoot our laptops and get them to talk to each other. After we worked out the little kinks we were golden. Everything worked fine.

I spent the evening cleaning my weapon. I wish I ‘d slept instead. I have to be up until 0100 hours and we have wake up at 0430. That’ll leave me with 3½ hours to get some sleep. I’m going to talk my squad leader into letting us sleep in during pt. It would be nice to get a little extra sleep.

We didn’t do too much in the way of training today. Just fire a bunch of blank ammunition. I got it in the right eye with a brass casing. Afterwards I put my eye protection on and then I got a shell stuck between my cheek and glasses. It gave me a little blister and left a mark. I had the medic check it out to make sure that it was nothing serious. Last time I got cut, didn’t think anything of it, and it got infected on me. I’m going to watch everything that happens to me from now on. I’m not taking any chances. A little thing could grow into a big thing real quick.

Monday, October 10, 2005


We got the day off today. I was happy about it. So, I rented a car and two of the guys and me went to Tacoma to look around. We stopped to get some lunch then we went driving around the town. There wasn’t too much to see there, not as much as Seattle. I’m not even sure if it was worth the drive. We did take care of other things like going to Target to get some videos and music. I wanted to go to see a movie but the movies had already started so we would’ve had to wait for two hours.

There wasn’t much of a waterfront in Tacoma. We had to drive further to the west end of town to get to the water. Then there wasn’t any shops or eateries on the waterfront. There were a couple of piers, but not much. It was nice to get out though and relax. It was almost like a day at the park.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Final Day

Oh what a day. It was a long one, again. We’re finally finished with force protection, thank God! I think I’ve had enough of it. First off, it started like yesterday, almost. I had to be on the aid and litter team. This time one of the towers of my platoon was hit with indirect fire. I went up to the top of the tower to find two of the soldiers injured. One had a leg fracture; the doc was working on the other patient. So I got a Sam Splint from my combat lifesaver bag and started making a splint out of it. Next I got one of Doc’s Sam Splint’s for the other side of the leg. I secured the splints and we too the patients down the ladder. I tell you, this shit wears me out fast. These guys get real heavy after wearing the protective vests. So the day started off good because I saved two lives, well aided two.

Afterwards I got put on the reserve force. We got call in to reinforce the entry point after motor fire took out almost all of 1st Platoon at the gate. We got up there and started pulling security. This is where things got bad. As soon as I got there an EPW tried to escape so I took her to the ground and kicked her over so she was on her stomach. After she was under control I moved behind one of the barriers at the checkpoint. The rest of the squad was kind of spread out behind barriers. This is when I got in the wrong. Another EPW was trying to make a break for it when I shot him. Problem was there was a friend solider right next to him and he ended up being a casualty because of it. I’m glad this was only training.

At the end of the day I was placed on a bunker for perimeter security with another Joe. He later got pulled from the position and I got stuck all by myself. Problem was I didn’t have much ammo and I knew it. Well, we started getting attacked by insurgents and I took them down one by one with my weapon. I was trying to conserve, as much ammo as I could but I knew it wouldn’t last. I called back to other positions to request more ammo but it was useless. I knew that no one would bring me more. I was going to be a goner. Sure enough one of the insurgents showed up and shot me. It was game over. I knew it was just training but he won because I didn’t have enough reserve and resuply. Actually I had shot him but for some reason the laser didn’t get his receiver or he didn’t have it on. Anyways, I let him win to feel good. I didn’t feel bad that I didn’t make it. I knew what I did right and wrong. To me it was all in good fun.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


My Dad called me tonight. I’m glad he did. He hardly ever calls me and we hardly ever talk, never talk as much as I’d like. I could tell that he missed me today and I felt loved again.

I used to go in the back yard of my house and look up at the stars to make out the constellations. I loved checking out the planets and checking out the elliptic. It was just something I’ve always had an interest in. He would come out at night in the back yard to see what I was doing. I would show him the constellations and the planets and we would talk about the universe for a while. Well, I guess tonight, he was outside looking at the moon and he tried to get my younger brother to come out to the backyard to check out the stars and moon with him. Carlos went out and spoke with him for a while. Carlos if kind of funny because he thinks he knows everything, somewhat like me. David didn’t want to spend any time with my Dad outside. David never likes to get out of the house for that matter.

Well, when my Dad called the first thing he asked me was if  I could see the moon. I knew what he was up too. I was glad to be missed. He told me what happened. He wished that David and Carlos were more interested in constellations and the universe like me. He didn’t tell me that but I knew from talking to him. I told him that everyone is different and no one is the same. He chuckled a little and agreed. I know its rough, shoot I miss some things that don’t occur anymore. All I know is things change and people change.  I reminded my Dad to call me anytime he wants. It was nice to chat with him, makes me wish I was a kid again. It’s weird growing up and getting older. I guess it happens to us all.

We had our rehearsal today on force protection. It was a long day. The action didn’t take too long after it started. First off one of the towers got hit with some indirect fire. I was glad I wasn’t hit, well maybe not. So after the tower got it I reported to the closest Sergeant next to me on the situation. He wanted me to stay down but I didn’t think any more indirect fire was going to come in and we weren’t that close to the tower. I was hoping that the first aid team would come right away but they were no where to be found and I knew that the guys were not going to make it unless they got some medical attention fast. So I ran down to the tower with another Sergeant and went up the ladder to the top. When I got to the top I asked the guys where they were hurt. One guy had an arm injury, the other an abdominal wound. I kind of messed up because I treated the guy with the least serious injury first. I figured that the other Sergeant would start working on the abdominal wound. That didn’t happen. The Sergeant was calling in for casualty evacuation. I didn’t mind, it’s just that I knew that other people knew that we needed help. I couldn’t take care of them both in enough time.

So I treated the guy with the arm wound as fast as I could. Afterwards I moved onto the abdominal wound guy. Dressed his wound right as the evacuation team had arrived. It got dangerous because the Solider that climbed the ladder told me to put the Joe on his back. I didn’t like the idea too much because I thought it was dangerous but I had to put my trust in the Joe. He got him down the ladder and came up for the other one. I put him on the shoulder and down he went as well. Sweat was dripping off my face and I was exhausted.

I had to pull security and wait until I was relieved from duty. I wasn’t even with my platoon. I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Anthrax Shots

“This country has the finest military in the history of mankind, one fully made up of volunteers. No institution is as representative of this great immigrant nation than the military.” – Tom Brokaw

That’s right baby, the proud servicemen and women. Totally made up of volunteers of this great nation. I guess Tom said that today when awarded by the Association of The United States Army. I’m glad I’m starting to feel a little more patriotic. It’s a very good feeling to have. I was never that patriotic till after 9/11. It hit me a little hard and I had a lot of pride in my country. It was nice to see Old Glory flying everywhere. It’s kind of sad that people don’t share their patriotism until after something bad happens to the country. I hope my son will be old enough to remember. He was about 3 years at the time and he always reminded me of the National Anthem when he heard it.

Well, I got an Anthrax shot today. I figured, what the heck, might as well. I like to make sure nothing bad will happen, in case it does. I think postal workers have more to worry about than me. We’re told that Anthrax is still a strong threat. I’m pretty sure and terrorists don’t care if they injure or kill their own people. So I went ahead and went for it. I also got the smallpox vaccine plus a flu shot. Let me think of what other things they could give me. Shoot, pretty soon I’ll be immune to everything.

Tomorrow we’re going to do some rehearsals for the practical training that we’ll be doing on Sunday. It’s going to be a long day tomorrow and I don’t think we’ll be back until 2200 hours. I just hope it doesn’t get cold and it doesn’t rain. I’m looking forward to the training and I hope I don’t get bored from not getting any action.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


I’m taking the night off today. I’ll type post something to my blog tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Force Protection

One could ever have too many knives. So I’m starting to assume. I never know what could happen. I kind of got the idea after this Major told us last week that he carried lots of knives, then he pulled out knives from everywhere. I know they could in very handy in a close fight. So, my plan is to collect a few. They also come in handy when I have to cut things and that almost always happens. I already have two knives, one a Swiss Army knife that I love. The other knife of mine was given to my by my cousin. It’s a pocket utility knife that I also like to use. I better watch out before I become a knife collector.

Tomorrow wake up is at 0800. I’m glad. I could use the sleep in again. Tomorrow is Sergeants Time so that means that tomorrow’s training is up to the Sergeants. Nothing too exciting happened today, same training as always. I’m glad we didn’t have to fire my weapon; I didn’t feel like cleaning it.

Pretty soon we’ll be getting ready to go to Yakima. I hear that it’s pretty nice over there. I was told that the barracks are nicer and the recreation/entertainment facilities are better was well. I hope so. Now I’m starting to look forward to it. I heard it’s going to be cold and Yakima is mostly desert land. I’m going to check out the weather reports and see how it is.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Rock Throwing

We went thru some more Force Protection training today. It’s some pretty good training but I was telling a buddy of mine it’d be more realistic if we were doing it in Baghdad. I was trying to be funny about it but I also know that a lot of my brothers have lost their lives over there.

This is a typical ant pile here at Ft. Lewis. Look at the size of that thing!!!

I did enjoy the training a little bit. I was hoping it would involve more interaction with my squad. We had this one situation on react to enemy contact and my squad, from my bunker, didn’t receive any action whatsoever. It totally sucked because I was waiting for some action while hearing the other squads firing off their ammunition. So it wasn’t too fun. I wanted to get into the action and help them out but I also knew that I was doing my job by maintaining security. Sometimes I feel like I have to help but I have to remember that other people are responsible for doing jobs and we have to stick to what we are told to do.

After we finished training, while waiting for the busses to take us back to the barracks, two of the guys started to get into a game that involved rocks. It reminded me of that movie ‘Braveheart’ when Mel Gibson was having a rock throwing contest but the guys were throwing rocks at, well I just won’t say here. It was very funny and the thing was if a guy moved the other guy throwing a rock would get another throw. They were building a crowd and it was some good free entertainment. One of the Sergeants has a saying that is so true, “Never leave a Joe with too much time on his hands.” It’s a good saying and it’s very true. I found myself saying it when the guys are starting to do some stupid shit, and was one of those times.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

What a day. I got some bad news. My Aunt is sick and she had a stroke. She’s now in the hospital in intensive care. My prayers go out to here. She’s the only one that really writes to me. It really sucks. I only receive a letter from here. When I was active she was the only person that would constantly write. I did receive a letter from my Son but besides that, I knew I could depend on her. L I’ll be praying for her. I told my Wife to go to the hospital and see her for me. I’d like to see how she’s doing. I also told her to go to the hospital and do some prayers for me.

My Mom is really upset about it. She was crying to me on the phone. I hope everything will be ok. I really would like to have my Aunt back. I love receiving her letters. She’s a real loving person and she invites anyone to her house. She’s always been one of my favorite Aunts. She’s almost like a Mother to Me. It makes me hate to see people go thru things like this.

We had a briefing on bombs today. I won’t say much about it but that I hope that we spot them before anything bad happens. They gave us a lot of good information and I hope that the command really takes to heart what was put out. Our command makes up it’s own rules based on guidance from other sources. All I could say is, from my point of view, we have a good command staff. They really think things through. It’s like they’ve been through all of this before.

I didn’t get much free time today because I had to finish up the spreadsheet on the PT test results. The Commander wants to look at all of the results and see what he needs to do to improve the overall score of the unit. From my perspective, I think the unit is in good shape. I think it could always use more physical fitness. We have to come up with a program that improves fitness and results for the next PT test.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I passed my PT test today. I’m pretty happy about it. I was pretty confident that I would pass. I did just as well as I wanted to do, nothing more, nothing less. I was right where I wanted to be. I just hated the fact that it was cold and wet. I was glad it didn’t rain. I’d hate to do a PT test in the rain and the Army doesn’t care. The Army says, “If it ain’t raining, we ain’t raining.” I think the Army likes to operate on Hell on Earth. I’ve done it before so I know how misery feels. It makes me pray to God and look for hope. I always try to look at the bright side in bad times, like cold wet weather. Now it’s time for me to start working on my waist and getting a little leaner. I might start going to the gym after hours. Only thing is that by the end of the day I’m all worn out and I really don’t feel like doing anything else. My nights go by pretty quick because I’m pretty occupied.

After the PT test we got measured for our height and weight. If we’re overweight we have to get measured for our body fat percentage. The Army has limits on the amount of body fat that is allowed. As for me, I have to work on some of my body fat. It’s not too bad but it needs to get better. I would like to get down to 20% body fat. That would be ideal for me. I guess I’m going to stop eating all the cookies that we’re getting and all the other snacks. I do love cookies but they have to get cut from my diet if I want to lose some fat.

I had weapons guard with another solider of mine. He’s a pretty good troop; it’s just that he talks too much. I was trying to write a letter to my Son and Aunt and he keep interrupting me. I say he’s a good troop because after being busted down in rank, he still has a good attitude and he knows his job from experience. He isn’t afraid to share his knowledge. I’m always open for suggestions and feedback. I’d like to see what I could learn and what I could share from my own experiences.

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