Thursday, November 17, 2005

I got listed on! That’s kind of cool. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get some more traffic to my website. My website is listed on left sidebar under recently added. It’s the one that says “Training Day” but that may have changed to my new blogsite title, “Just Another Thunderhorse Roughneck!” Here's the Military Blog detail webpage. There’s other blogs there too that I’ve checked out. Some are good and some are bad. Some are really political. I mean really political. I don’t really care about politics that much. I think everyone has the right to his or her own opinion. I guess I should care because it sort of decides how we get treated in the Military. So, I’ll just go ahead and ask for your support and by this I mean that we’re over there to do a job. I believe that we are halfway done and that we could finish the mission. Let’s get r’ done!

The thing I hate about patches is that they identify who we are. Sometimes that’s a good thing but in combat, I think it’s more of a bad thing. It tells the insurgents that we’re newbies. We’ll stick out the moment we get there. We won’t look like seasoned veterans. Sure we’re well trained but as far as experience goes, experience counts. I’ve heard stories of other units not putting their patches on just for that fact. They waited a while; let their feet get wet, then put it on. That’s when they were ready for a fight. They were ready for someone to bring it on. I think anyone would be foolish to front the US Army anyways. That’s just asking for suicide.

The best thing about this whole thing is that we have a good 1st Sergeant. That’s good, very good. That means we have good leadership. He’s a real smart man and he’s a mighty fine Senior NCO. I think we are really lucky to have him in our unit. He knows about each and everyone of us. That’s kind of awesome considering there are over 100 of us. He demonstrates all the abilities of a good 1st Sergeant and knows what he’s doing. I think we’ll be in good hands. Another good thing is that we all honor and respect him and he’s earned it.

Here are two last things that I'd like to post about today. Check out this guy's post on Real Heroes. I thought it was important enough to post here.

My Army Life...and other things

And one last thing to remember....

The occasion of this photograph was a Veterans Day Commemoration at Dallas City Hall on 11 November 2004. The veteran pictured is Houston James, a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, and the Marine is Staff Sgt. Mark Graunke Jr., a member of an ordnance-disposal team who lost his left hand, one leg, and an eye while defusing a bomb in Iraq in July 2003.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Got sucked up again! I can’t believe it.

I got the word last night, “SGT Puebla, your going back out to Camp Cassion tomorrow.” Great! Right after I had finished packing up all my shit. What’s up with that? What luck. I had other plans for the day but that all got changed really quick.

Camp Cassion is the detainee camp where we’ve been training. It sucks because when I was out there last week it was cold and wet. When my platoon finished training I thought I was through. Problem was that other platoons needed some Joes just as our platoon needed some Joes for the training. So that’s how I got pulled into another platoon to do some training.

It also sucks because I didn’t get to sleep-in like the other Joes did. No, I had to wake up at 0445 hours and make sure I made it in time for breakfast. I woke up my other two Joes but they were a little slow this morning. I got dressed, shaved, and went to check on them to see if they were ready to go. Nope, they were still putting on their boots. I left to chow without them. Don’t worry; I got a muffin and cereal for both of them. I won’t forget to take care of my soldiers.

The best thing about today was the weather. It was an absolutely beautiful Fall day. Sure it was cold but it wasn’t freezing like the other day. The sky cleared up and it was sunny all day. The weather was almost too nice, if you like cool weather. I’m so glad it didn’t rain on us out there.

Luckily my team got put in the visitor center. The best thing about that is that it’s in a tent with a heater. Luckily I was in there all last week too. I guess I’m just a lucky person. We did get pulled out a few times for riot control, but nothing ever ensued. We finally decided to keep our riot gear on instead of taking it off and putting it on all the time.

The next best thing about the visitor’s center, we only got three detainees throughout the day. It was nice. Most of the time we were just sitting there, waiting on standby to be called to a riot or for another detainee.

We finished up the afternoon with a call to do cell extraction. We had to extract a detainee from a cell. So we gathered up the team real quick and went to it. Piece of cake. No problem. It was the first time for two of us in the team. I missed cell extraction training last week along with another Joe. It wasn’t too much of a problem. We were instructed of what to do on the spot. Everything went together pretty good for the first time through.

When we finished we had a little review over what we just did. While we were doing that one of the detainees that was going home from a days work came over to us. He came to wish us luck on our mission. That was real nice of him. I didn’t expect it. Like I said before, I always love to receive thanks. It's real weird though, here's a guy that we were treating like shit, albeit, it was all simulated. But the thing was that afterwards we were all the same, Americans. We were all on the same team. He cared about our well-being. It would be nice if more people were like that.
Another thing that’s kind of funny, a general came to see us yesterday. He told us about the greatest generation. But he went on to mention us. Thing is, there are some might fine men here. It demostrates the best of what America has to offer.

Here’s a photo of the whole company. My platoon, 4th platoon is on the very right. This photo was taken at Yakima right before we left.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

“Alright get the Fuck up! Everyone get your ass out of bed! Get up!”

These are the first words I heard this morning when I woke up. We were supposed to have a formation at 0715 hours this morning. Instead, 1st Sergeant came walking through the barracks at 0350 in the morning. For a minute there I began to think I was back in basic training. What the hell was going on? It was time to get up. What happened to 0715? I was hoping to sleep in for the first time. What was I thinking? That’s what I get for staying up late. I should’ve learned by now. The old saying, Prepare The Worst, Hope For The Best!

Why did we get up so early? Well, because we had a drug test to do. It was a surprise one like always. They’re never announced. I don’t know why it matters anyways. I guess they figure that someone will leave without taking the drug test. They want to make sure that they get everyone to take it and that no one ditches. I found out why we were woken up early in the morning when I headed to the latrine to take a piss. The door was blocked by a Staff Sergeant. He was nodding his head no; that’s when I knew why we got up so early.

Went to the medical clinic this morning. I went because I had this pain that I couldn’t take anymore. I figured enough was enough and I didn’t want to risk my score on the upcoming PT test. I tried to deal with it but the pain was just a little too unbearable. It happened after combatives training last week, when I got hit in the chest real hard. I’ve been sore since. The doctor did a motor test and it really worked. He really knew how to find my pain. It was almost like a physical. Anyways, I got my drugs and I was on my way. Light PT at my own ability and pace for the next 5 days. Not bad, I need the recovery time.

Here’s a photo of our ceiling tile that hangs in the diner at Yakima. I thought it was pretty nice. We’ve left our mark. It was pretty cool in that diner because like I said earlier, the ceiling was covered in tiles, decorated by other units that have been through the training at Yakima. It was pretty cool to look at the variety of artwork and uniqueness of each tile. Each told a little something about that individual unit.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Don’t freak out!!! Your not on the wrong website!

I just thought it was time for a change. So, what did I think of? Tan. Why? Can you guess? Well, I figured I'd go with tan because it mostly reflects the color of Iraq. Not only that, we’re going to wear DCUs tomorrow! But it was time for a change. I thought, well, people would quit coming to the site if it were static. Some people like to see changes.

So now that I’ve cleared the deal about my website I’ll move on. DCUs, it’s about time. We’re finally going to wear DCUs. It doesn’t matter anyways. We’re going to wear ACUs as soon as we get them, which aren’t too long from when we get there. I just hope all the ACUs get there like there supposed to. Now I just have to figure out what the hell I’m going to do with my BDUs.

Well, I have some new photos to publish on the net here. I’m just going to post one up today. I have more to put up later. This photo below is of the platoon, taken at Yakima. I'm on the end of the middle row on the right. As you could see in the background it’s all desert. I couldn’t believe that there’s desert here in Washington. Crazy!

I have to watch what I say and pictures I post on this website. In fact, I have to get my website registered. I’d like to share my adventures but we keep getting warned about operational security. I guess Big Brother doesn’t want us telling the enemy about our mission. I sort of understand the point. The Army has implemented rules from the battlefield to make sure we stay in line.

My bags are packed and I’m ready to go. Tomorrow I’ll be able to sit back and kick it. I’m all set. I hope I got everything.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

My sleep-in got ruined!

I thought I was going to sleep-in this morning, I was wrong. One of the Sergeants came into the barracks and told my squad leader that he needed two men to go to the radio and gps class in the morning. I thought I was going to sleep-in. I heard everything that was said and I laid in my bed with my eyes closed, hoping that he wouldn’t call my name. I was hoping that someone else in the squad would be called besides me. I could’ve bet on the odds, I knew, I heard my name being called. "SGT Puebla! SGT Puebla!". I knew I was going to hear my name. I didn’t move a muscle, I played the part, heard my name, "SGT Puebla!"

I knew it! I knew it! “You have five minutes to get ready, the bus is already here.” Damn! So there I was, rushing to put my clothes on. Thank GOD I took a shower before I went to bed the night before. Taloney was the other Joe to get the bad news. I think it was worse for him because he had a lot to drink the night prior. I didn’t. He sure wasn’t a morning person, that’s for sure.

We rushed to get dressed and get out on the bus. We didn’t even have time to go to the chow hall to enjoy some might fine food! Damn! Pizza, it’s what’s for breakfast. I’m glad he had some left over from the party they had last night. Nothing like pizza to get the day started. To top it off, the pepperoni pizza was covered in crushed peppers. I guess one of them was planning on eating it last night but it got left behind. It’s a good thing I like crushed red peppers.

Another thing, I can’t believe I got woken up early for this. Classes that didn’t offer anything new for me to learn. I knew everything that they were instructing in the class. Nothing new for me. More like a waste of time. At least I got something good out of it. I got to go back to the barracks in the afternoon. Good thing about that was I had the washer and dryer all to myself. Another thing, I also had the barracks all to myself too so it was nice and peaceful.

Friday, November 11, 2005

It’s freaking cold here!

And wet!!! I’m freezing my ass off!!!! Damn! I’m still glad we’re not in Yakima now. I checked out the weather from there and there’s a low of 28 degrees! Damn!!! That’s below freezing!!! It was funny one morning right before we left there because this one Joe, Vogler, said, “LOOK!!! There’s freaking frost on the ground! There’s freaking frost on the ground!!!” I started to bust up laughing. He was right, the dew had froze on the ground! It doesn’t get as cold as Yakima here but it’s still cold and a lot wetter.

Today is Veterans Day and I think we are the only ones working!!! What’s up with that shit! Even the Army has us working on our holiday. Happy Veterans Day to fellow vets. We all said that this morning before we started our workday. We got up at 0400 this morning to get ready for training. 0400 hours this morning!!! It’s Veterans Day!!!

Everyday is a Monday here. We never get a day off, well, I won’t lie, and occasionally we’ll get a day off, key word, occasionally. It’s usually unannounced and we don’t know about it until the day prior. I guess it’s hard for me to go anywhere and do anything anyways. It’s also hard to get around without a car. A day off is just a day to relax, unwind, and take it easy. I’ll have to go to the post theater next time we do get a day off but they only show movies on weekends, not every day.

Well it’s time for me to go and get ready for bed. It’s going to be time for lights out pretty soon. Tomorrow is probably our last day of training. After that we’ll be getting ready to get deployed.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Trying To Find Entertainment

Well, I’m going to make this short because it’s almost lights out. I meant to post a blog here earlier but I was just messing around, wasting my time. I hate wasting my time. I’m still partially motivated to go to the gym and work out. I should’ve gone today because it was a short day and the training ended at 1500 hours. I enjoyed the time that we had off but I should’ve made better use of it.

I’m too lazy to go to the gym or read some stuff I should be reading. Usually on my free time I’m browsing the Internet, checking out news, especially world news on Iraq. Sometimes I’ll check out the local news back home. I also like to look at the weather and see what the weather is like in Iraq and back home in Phoenix. I’m coming to find out that it’s hotter in Phoenix this time of year then it is in Iraq. There’s nothing new here, it’s always cold and wet every day.

I need to get some more DVDs. I’m getting tired of watching the ones I have. I was thinking of subscribing to Blockbuster Online so I could rent movies over the Internet and receive them in the mail. I’ll have to find out if they’ll ship the movies to me overseas. A lot of the guys just buy their own movies. There really isn’t any place for us to rent DVDs around here so it’s pretty hard to find some good entertainment. I’m glad we have cable television in the dayroom. I’ll have to build up my collection of DVDs as well. I hate asking to borrow movies. Some guys just give me that look and I could tell by their facial expression that it’s just a nuisance for them to lend out their movies.

Well, I hope we’re home in time for Christmas next year. I think I’m going to miss two Thanksgiving holidays with the family, one this year and one the next. It sucks because I love being with family. I think that having a family is the greatest thing in the world.  These guys here are also like my family. They’re more like brothers then anything else. So I kind of feel at home here too. We all support each other, well the better half.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Military Man

I got this e-mail from a friend today and thought that it was special enough to just post it on my blog. Instead of e-mailing it around I thought it be nicer to share with everyone else.

The Military Man The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's; but he has never collected unemployment either.He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155mm howizzitor. He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march.

He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation,
but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more sufferingand death then he should have in his short lifetime.He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies,
and helped to create them.He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combatand is unashamed. He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand,remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out,far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood. And now we even have woman over there in danger,doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so. As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot.. A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets

Prayer wheel for our military... please don't break it. Please send this on after a short prayer.Prayer Wheel"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families
for the selfless acts they perform for us
in our time of need. Amen." Prayer :
When you receive this,
please stop for a moment and say a prayerfor our ground troops in Afghanistan, sailors on ships, and airmen in the air,and for those in Iraq.
There is nothing attached....
This can be very powerful.......
Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Coastguardsman, Marineor Airman, prayer is the very best one.I can't break this one, sorry

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

An American Hero

Pat Tillman’s Birthday passed the other day and I saw a tribute to him on Big To me he optimizes what a great American is. He was a classic example of the best this nation has to offer. I follow him thru college and the NFL of course because one, I’m an ASU fan and I’m also a Cardinals fan. I know the Cardinals suck but I stick by them no matter what, just the way he did. I am a loyal fan just as he was a loyal Cardinal. I followed his career when he joined the Cardinals and was shocked to hear that he left the Cards to join the Army. I was proud of what he was doing and really appreciated what he was doing. It demonstrated that he was loyal to the country and wanted to give something back. It would’ve been nice to see some other NFL players do that as well.

That April 22 morning, 2004 I was shocked to hear that he was killed. I thought that I had misheard what was reported on the news. I thought that they were talking about someone else. I couldn’t believe it. I thought, how in the world, what are the chances?

He was proud of the freedom that we are all given in this country. He had a great deal of feelings for the flag. He always considered himself lucky. He felt that he had something he needed to give, something to give back for liberty and freedom. Everyday people everywhere go on with their lives, without thought, without thanks for those that have died to let us live the way we do. We don’t see how good we have it here in the United States.

In honor of what would’ve been his 29th birthday was a tribute to his legacy. I didn’t know that his birthday just passed on 11/06 until now. So in honor and respect of one of the greatest Americans that I have ever known, I will only post about him today. The Pat Tillman Tribute video on Big is an awesome tribute to a great American Hero.

Monday, November 07, 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.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


I feel like I’m going through the dog days of this training period. It’s like August in the summer. It’s just about done but not over with. I’m reaching burn out, didn’t think I would. For some reason I’m losing my motivation. I think it’s because I need a break in between training. I’m really glad that our training today was easy and short. I had a pass but it sure wasn’t like it was totally relaxing, especially from traveling.

I wonder how I could get myself motivated again, like when we first got here. Maybe I’ll become motivated on the last week. Maybe it’s the weather. It has been wet and it’s getting colder day-by-day. The rain never stops here. I do miss going out to the movies, the mall, driving around and all the other stuff I used to do at home. To make things worse they closed off our day room for some of the guys that are sick. That means I can’t watch TV and for some reason, I’m not getting any wireless Internet from the barracks. I don’t want to hang outside because I’ll get my computer all wet.

I think some rest will do me some good. I’m going to try to go to bed earlier to see if that helps. It we finish training earlier tomorrow I’m going to go to the gym to do a little afternoon workout. I need to get some exercise because I’m starting to feel a little stiff instead of flexible. I think that’s because we haven’t been doing PT as routinely as we used to. I was surprised at how good I did PT this morning. I had no problems running this morning. Now all I have to do is sustain that and improve my push-ups, sit-ups, and run to get a better score on my PT test. I also have to get rid of some body fat too.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Back at Ft. Lewis now. Can you guess what the forecast will be for tomorrow? Rain! Just like today. I just came back from a four-day pass. It was nice. When I left, it was raining, when I came back, guess what, it was raining. My pass was good, took the family to Disneyland for the first time. I owed it to my son. I wanted to take him to Disneyland and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to take him again. I never know if I’m coming back or not. Soldiers are still dying over there and it is still dangerous. Many people go on with their lives and forget that we’re still fighting a war. I wish I saw more support from the people and I would like them to thank a service member or remember where there freedom comes from. I know lots of people go on with their lives without thinking every day of what we have to go through to keep this country free. It takes something like 9/11 for people to wake up and support their country. It’s kind of sad. It makes me glad I’m doing something for my country.

Well, our time is getting near and we all know it. A lot of us can’t wait to get the training over with and get started on our mission. I’m glad we also got out of Yakima before it started getting really cold there. I checked out the weather forecast today and this morning it was 28 degrees! WOW!!! Forget that! I would’ve frozen my ass off over there.

I have to get my digital camera hooked up so I could post more photos on my site. I’ll go out and buy another one when I get paid again. My PDA got ruined when we went out the field. It got ruined when it rained.
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