Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Toby Keith

“I appreciate everything you do for Me.” –Toby Keith.
Toby Keith came by our camp yesterday to perform a concert. I’m not really a county music fan but I figured I’d go ahead and check it out. I appreciate it anytime a celebrity takes time to come to the other side of the world to see us. I mainly went to listen to some music. I love listening to music, especially live music. I knew it was country but I didn’t care. He’s like one of the most popular country music artists out there and I wasn’t going to pass up the chance for a free concert.

Hundreds of Janes and Joes showed up to see his live performance. I heard that he’s been touring all over Iraq. He’s been doing concerts all over and this is like his forth time to Iraq. He mentioned that he even recognized some faces, the faces of soldiers that have been here on a previous tour.Although the concert was short, only 45 minutes, it was very intimate. It was really personal. It began right after sundown. The weather was just perfect. It was almost like going to a concert back home. The only thing missing was the beer.

He seemed to be inspired by what we do and what has happened after 9/11. He’s written some of his songs since then about us. He seems to honor everything we’ve given up to serve our country. And he seems to believe that we are a great country because of the brave men and women we have. I think it makes him proud to be an American.
Thanks go out to USO for setting up the event and Toby Keith to coming out to perform for us.

I may look short in the photo below but I’m not that short. I was standing in a decline. Toby is a big dude though.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

It doesn’t feel like it over here. I actually forgot all about it. I’m sure I wouldn’t have done anything if I were home anyway. It felt just like any other day. There was nothing special over here. They made have decorated the chow hall to look like the 4th of July but that was about it. It was just another day. I’m sure people back home are tubing the river or throwing a back-yard barbeque.

It’s starting to get really hot here. The heat is really starting to kick up. I rode from the IZ to my crib and just about died, and the trip isn’t that far! By the time I got back to my crib I was exhausted. I immediately drank like a quart of water and had a can of Rip-It. I just about died. I was so tired. I didn’t feel like doing anything. So I skipped a workout at the gym. I went ahead and used that time off to clean my weapons. I had to get on them. They were getting dirty.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Got Screwed

I got the shaft today. Well, T-Rex is lucky because he’s on quarters right now. He couldn’t go out. As for The Colonel, he thought I had the day off. He didn’t know that they put me with another team last night. I ended up going out today. To top it off, I have to dispatch the vehicle now. So between missions I went to the motor pool. They told me I could dispatch it after they went to chow. They decided that it was up to us if we wanted to have the broken windshield or not. I didn’t feel like changing it out and I didn’t have enough time.

I went back after chow to dispatch the vehicle. Before I did that I tinted the back windows. After that I went to the office to dispatch and they told me that I couldn’t dispatch it until the windshield was replaced. I was pissed. They told me that right before I was getting ready to go back out. So I told maintenance I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have enough time.

Well, now I’m even more pissed because I’m taking out another Humvee tomorrow. That’s not the problem. The problem is the team that owns that Humvee left it with a quarter tank of fuel and the mount isn’t mounted on the turret. So, no I have to get up extra early to fuel up the vehicle and attach the mount to the turret. Like I feel like doing all of that tonight. I’m saving it for tomorrow.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Gym Obsession

I don’t know what’s coming over me. I have a craving to go to the gym daily. I guess it’s a good thing. I’m glad I got over that Command & Conquer spell that swallowed up most of my time. I’m starting to get into shape, I could tell. My waist is getting smaller and my arms are getting bigger. I guess my legs are getting bigger too or their just swollen. That’s because my pistol holster seems tighter around my legs. I’m feeling good about getting into shape. I mostly want to do it to battle the heat. I don’t want to become a heat casualty. It’s been getting hotter and hotter by day over here. I figure it would be easier for me to battle the heat if I were in shape. So far at least I feel as if I could take the heat.

I wanted to say in the gym for about 3 hours today. I knew I couldn’t because I would be missing chow. I had to eat. I’ve seen the regulars in there day to day. I know who they are. Some of them seem like they live there. I’m sure they’re thinking the same thing about me. I’m usually only going for about 2 hours though. I usually do some weightlifting for about an hour. Then I do some cardio for about a half and hour. After that I do either an abdominal or lower back workout and stretch for the remainder of the 2 hours. I try to limit myself. I don’t want to spend the whole day there even though I’m beginning to feel as if I could. The good thing is that I’ve been going on a daily basis. I don’t know what’s motivating me to go. I think it’s because of the little differences that I’m noticing. I’ve been kicking up my run routine a little bit as well. I was thinking about entering the 12k run marathon they’re going to have here next month. The marathon will encompass just about three camps. It looks like a really long run. I would’ve never thought of it before but now I think I’m up to the challenge. I’m going to kick my run exercises up to increase my run time and stamina.

We’ve lost T-Rex for a while. He’s been having pain in his shoulder. I’ve asked him how it happened but he doesn’t know. So now we’ll be alternating with some of the other guys until he recovers. He was telling me that they shot his arm with pain medication, gave him some pills, and a profile for about 10 days. That means that he won’t have to go out with us for a while. I guess the strenuous activity would add more pain to his shoulders. It’ll be enough time for him to get rested and healed up. As for me, the only thing I’ve been having lately is achy feet. I think it from standing with the added weight all the time. This flak vest isn’t light. It’s also hard on my feet with all the gear I have on. Other than that I seem to be doing ok.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I’m burned out.

After a long week of doing missions every day I was glad to have the day off. I took advantage of it by sleeping in this morning. I went to the gym and got in a little workout. I was so tired that after lunch chow, I came back to my crib and knocked out. I took a little nap before I got back up to write some postcards and e-mails.

This evening our platoon sergeant went around doing a sensitive items check. Apparently, someone lost something. The command won’t mention who lost what. They like to do this once in a while. They like to have everyone check everything. There’s always someone that loses something. So far someone has lost a weapon and body armor in our unit. I’m glad it hasn’t been me. I don’t the Joes lose stuff. It’s almost happened to me a few times. We just forget where we place things. That’s why I like to keep things in the same place all the time.

I’m sensing that the IA (Iraqi Army) and the IPs (Iraqi Police) are handling more of the situation here. I think it’s a good thing because they know their people, their country, and the language. I just hope they begin to gain the trust and respect of the people. I see them out in the field a lot. Sometimes they are a good site too see but sometimes I don’t trust them myself. I almost shot an IA the other day because I didn’t know who he was. He was lucky. I guess I’m lucky too because it would’ve been a big mistake. That’s the stuff we all have to go through here. I’d hate to end up on the evening news for making a mistake.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Aborted Mission

We had some terps ride along with us today, a male and a female. I’m not sure where they’re from. They’re probably of Middle Eastern decent judging from looking at them. They were new so we really didn’t know them. Anyway, we were getting ready to roll outside the wire this morning when the female jumps out of the vehicle. She starts going hysterical. We were clueless as to why. She just started getting all of her belongings and getting out.

After we calmed her down we came to find out that the other terp had called someone right before we left. He was speaking to someone in Arabic on his mobile phone. He gave away all types of sensitive information like the time and place we were leaving, the number of vehicles we had, and our destination. She was in the same vehicle at the time and overheard him give this info away.

She immediately got upset and jumped out. I don’t blame her. She told us what had happened and why she wasn’t going. We were going to kick him out too but then we figured, why not just take him with us just incase something did happen.

We respect the privacy of the terps. They need that privacy to protect their identities and their families. It would be nice if they returned that respect and didn’t tell anyone on the phone what we were doing or where we were going. That sensitive information could get us killed. I think we’re going to make some new policies. No one is going to be allowed to use a mobile phone, unless they wear the uniform.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


It got hot today. The sky was mostly clear and partly cloudy. I expected it to get a little hot. It’s almost like being back home. It just feels like summer has come early. At times I find the kids getting wet in the canals in the afternoons. The women are still, like always, picking crops. The men are mostly hanging around marketplaces or herding sheep.

Nothing really exciting happened today. We didn’t encounter any IEDs, Thank God. One of the Sergeants was betting that we’d hit two of them and that one of the vehicles would become disabled. It never happened. He would’ve lost if he bet. We did come upon some cordons where we had to wait for clearance when it was safe to pass. I think the Iraqis get frustrated with cordons too but they learn to deal with them. It’s better than getting killed. They’ll usually get out of their vehicles since most of them don’t have air conditioning and wait in the shade. I find that sometimes they begin to group together and just sit and socialize, right there on the road.

Relatively, for the day it seemed pretty calm. I heard no sporadic gunfire or IED explosions. Sometimes I think we’re just lucky though.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Out of The Woodwork

They came out of nowhere. I gave some candy to this kid this morning and all kinds of kids started coming out of nowhere. They were going wild! I thought, oh shit, what did I do? A few kids are ok but a crowd could be distracting.

I noticed something today; one of the routes we travel on is loaded with IEDs. More than any other route I’ve seen and we travel it a lot too. I’m not going to explain how I could tell, I just could. It’s more dangerous that I first thought. And I was thinking that some of the other routes were more dangerous. It’s almost like IED alley. That’s why I’m almost expecting to see one now. It wouldn’t surprise me.

That’s another thing. The guys that don’t travel in the field much are lucky. Sure, they may hang out in the field all day but at least they’re not driving on the roads. It’s almost safer to say in one spot like they do. I don’t know though. That could get pretty boring hanging out in the field all day. Unless they’re in the city where there’s more to see.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Another Long Day

It was a long one today. I woke up early to get some breakfast. I didn’t have to wake up early. I just decided I’d eat breakfast since I wouldn’t have a chance later. Now I’m starting to reconsider my decision. Maybe I should’ve slept in. Anyway I woke up at 0500 hours, got dressed, and went to the chow hall.

It wasn’t too bad today. For some reason I was expecting an IED. I’ve been expecting for us to get his by an IED every day. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just because it’s beginning to seem like a regular occurrence. It’s almost like a roller coaster ride. The frequency goes up within a certain period, then it goes down, and then it goes back up. Well, it seems like it was in the up period and now it’s going back down.

I have been watching this boy on our route. He’s more of a teenager than a boy. Something occurred to me today. Men tend to bond with other men or teenagers more than young boys. I just had the feeling of making a connection today. It felt like I made a connection with a teenager even though I’ve never said a word to him. It’s strange because when we first got here, he never gestured or smiled to me. It felt somewhat like meeting a stranger. At first it takes a while to open up. Kids don’t have a problem with this.

He always gave me this look though, like he was pissed or like he hated us. He never smiled. Sometimes he would ignore us. Well, I think after yesterday, some things might have changed. I offered him a bottle of Gatorade but he refused. I wondered to myself why. The bottle was cold and it was a hot day. I thought he might be thirsty. What’s wrong with Gatorade?

Today I threw him some chocolate. Well, when I saw him later. He had a smile on his face and he didn’t look like he wanted to kill me. It seemed like he wanted to communicate with me. He was gesturing for me to give him something. I didn’t want to spoil him. I’m glad I’m starting to see something. I think he might be opening up to me. That’s good. Hopefully I could gain his trust.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


We were outside the wire today when we had to detain some individuals on suspicion of illegal activity. We were almost back to the FOB when we turned around. Our morning ended up longer than planned. I kind of wished we would’ve just let them go but I’m sure we had to check them out first. It’s safer to make sure everything is ok before letting someone dangerous go.

They were very cooperative. We gave them some bottled water while waiting for some ‘terps’ to arrive. Terps is the short word we use for interpreters. Sometimes we have a terp that rides along with us, sometimes we don’t. It just happened to be one of those days that we didn’t have a terp with us. So we waited for some guys to arrive with one.

There’s a little joke that’s starting to go around here. A while back, actually when we first got here, we were told our mission would change in Feburary. February came and then we were told it would change by the end of April. Well, April has passed and now it’s sometime in June or July. Well, now when they mention a month we start asking, “What year?” It doesn’t surprise me that the missions still haven’t changed. I don’t mind actually. I like our mission and they want to change it.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Happy Birthday JP

Today is my youngest son’s birthday. He’s an Armed Forces Day baby. He’ll probably grow up to be a service-member like his Daddy. Talk about Armed Forces Day, it didn’t mean we got the day off. Anyway, he turns 4 today. Boy is he growing up fast. It’s too bad I’ll miss his birthday. I wish I could be there with him. He kept bugging Mom that he wanted a birthday party. Well, he got his wish. I think he’s having his birthday party this weekend.
I’ve been feeling tired all day today. I’m not the only one. There were a lot of us that were tired. I don’t know why. The big reason I was tired was because I had trouble sleeping last night. I had trouble falling asleep. I also got worried that I wouldn’t be able to wake up early in the morning. I had no problems with that.

I’m also tired from the long day. We get up real early in the morning before the sun gets up. We went outside the wire for a little while then came back. I used the time before we went back outside the wire to go to the gym. Afterwards I was too tired to walk over to the chow hall. I kind of skipped lunch and just had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from the stash in our room.

I’d like to just lay in my bed and go to sleep right now. I still have to take a shower and post this blog online. Then I’ll probably go to the MWR to get on the internet and video conference with John to tell him Happy Birthday!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Promotion Ceremony

We had another one. Before that we took a Company photo. It’ll be printed and displayed in the Arizona National Guard Headquarters for all there to see. It’ll be hung on display along with all the other posters that are hanging in the rotunda of the building. I’ll try to get a copy of the photo myself to post here on this blog.

Afterwards we had a promotion ceremony. Our operations Sergeant got promoted to Sergeant Major. I’m sure he’ll be leaving the unit with the promotion and going up to the Battalion Headquarters. I’ve known him since he was a platoon sergeant and it’s been a long time.

We got some speeches from the Battalion Chaplain, the Battalion and Company Commander, and the Battalion Command Sergeant Major. We finally got a little speech from the newly promoted Sergeant Major himself. He said he’d like to give us a little bit of good advice, “Be Persistent. If you’re out on mission on a long day and your ready to give up, be persistent. NCOs, be persistent.”

Thursday, May 18, 2006


I wake up early this morning so I could make it in time for breakfast and maybe, by chance catch my wife online. I barely made it to the chow hall right before it closed. We didn’t have to go out on mission this morning and I was thinking about sleeping in. Sleep was worth sacrificing in order to by chance see my wife online. I ate chow and then went over to the MWR.

I sent her a quick text message on her phone, letting her know that I was online. She then appears and we chat for a little while. She gets tired and says she’s going to bed. I let her go. I start closing all the open windows on the computer and make my way out. As I begin walking out of the complex Specialist High Speed tells me that Staff Sergeant Preacher was just looking for me in the gym. I ask how long ago and he tells me 15 minutes. I tell him thanks and start walking back toward the pad. That’s odd, I wondered. They never look for me unless something urgent has come up. Sometimes, I don’t even want to be found.I get back to the pad and I meat Staff Sergeant Code Talker. He tells me they’ve been looking for me. I told him that I wrote on my door that I was going to chow, then MWR, then the PX. “What’s up?” I ask. “We were going to go out on an urgent mission. They called us up and were looking to scramble some guys to go out.” I found out that we were going to go up north to assist some personnel in distress. MAN! I would’ve loved to go! I guess they cancelled the urgent mission at the last minute. I don’t know why. Maybe it was because we took forever to move out. It would’ve been cool not only to help someone else out but also to see something different.

I began to worry about getting in trouble. They were looking for me and they couldn’t find me when an urgent mission came up. It doesn’t look good. But I had written where I was going on the write-board outside of my door. I know I have an alibi but I knew I was still going to hear it. I would explain that I was in the MWR like I wrote outside my door and they went looking for me in the gym. Next time I think I’m going to underline it and write it in big letters.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Feature Of The Week

I got a few surprises yesterday. First off, I got an e-mail from JP, the webmaster of He has chosen me to be the milblogger of the week. How cool!!! That means that I’ll be featured on the site.Not only that, I’m also featured on’s website at It’s so cool to get so much exposure. I guess I should thank Kathi for nominating my blog. She had stumbled upon it and really liked it. Anyway, she e-mailed JP and told him about it. It’s all history from there.

So then I get another e-mail from Sony Online Entertainment. A while back I had sent a little essay on why I think I deserve the Field Commander prize package. They were looking for a service member that was serving overseas to award a gaming package. I figured what the heck, I’d enter myself and tell them why I deserve it. I’d give it a try even though I thought I didn’t have a chance of winning. Anyway, I get this e-mail that says I’ve WON! Cool! So, all I have to is send them a disclosure and affidavit and then we go from there. That is totally awesome! I can’t wait to get it! I plan on sharing the prize package with my brother, David, back home.

One last note, I’d like to thank Sandra from Riverside New Jersey for the toys she sent me to give out to the kids. It’s really appreciated. I wonder if any of these kids knows what a frisbee is! I haven’t seen a frisbee over here and I don’t think they’ve seen one before.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tensions Rising

As for me, they’ve cooled down. Tensions are pretty low on my truck. That’s not to say that we love to spend our downtime together, we don’t. I don’t mind. We don’t have that much in common. I find more in common with T-Rex then I do with The Colonel. I could tell that T-Rex and me had more in common since I’ve moved out. He and his new roommate hardly ever socialize, I noticed. The Big Man, my new roommate, and me disagree on a lot of things. T-Rex and me almost always had the same viewpoints and opinions on a lot of things. I don’t know why it was? Was it because we came from the same part of Phoenix? We didn’t have a lot in common but we did agree with each other a lot. He was raised Baptist and is of German decent. He doesn’t know any Spanish. As for myself, I grew up in a Chicano household. I was raised Catholic. There aren’t too many similarities there but we got along just fine.
As for The Big Man and me we have a lot of similarities but we disagree on some things. That’s ok. It’s ok to disagree and we both respect each other’s opinion.

Well, The Big Man is having a problem with his team leader. I’ve seen it and I could see how the guy could get on his nerves. It hasn’t even been that long and he hasn’t been able to deal with him. He’s only been working with him for a month now. So, I don’t know how things are going to turn out but they’re going to have to work out their differences. They have to find out what the problem is and come up with solutions or else it’s going to get worse. I’m sure the Army doesn’t want or like me to talk about it but we’re all human. We all have our own thoughts and ideas and sometimes we don’t always agree on things, its just human nature. The Army itself has to look at its problems instead of ignoring them.The picures are from a truck that collided with the Jersey barriers, not an IED. The truck had caught on fire and made a mess as you could see from the photos.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Arizona Republic

Wow! I didn’t expect it. I got a few more boxes today. Got another box from Brenda in Friendswood Texas plus I got two from Kathy from Tucson Arizona. More stuff for to give away to the kids. Boy do they love candy. They’re always asking me for chocolate. It’s like the only English word they know for candy. I’m not taking anymore chocolate out with me, that’s for sure. It’ll melt before I even get to the truck. Plus I don’t want T-Rex complaining about the mess of chocolate everywhere. I still have some Hershey bars that Rico had sent me a while back. He sent me a shit load of chocolate bars, I’ll tell you that.

What surprised me the most what The Arizona Republic I received from Kathy. I used to read this paper all the time back home. Of course, it’s like the biggest newspaper in Arizona. Then the cover, ‘NEVER IN DOUBT’, referring to the Phoenix Suns win over the Lakers to move on to the next round of the NBA playoffs. We’ve all been watching the Suns over here. We’re keeping an eye on them to see how they’re doing. I’d like to see them beat the Clippers and move onto the Western Conference finals. That would be sweet. It’s hard to catch a game over here because they usually play in the morning when we’re busy doing our missions. Our downtime is mainly in the evenings. There’s like an 11-hour difference between here and Phoenix. So it makes it hard to catch anything. And when I do have the mornings off, you won’t find me in the MWR center to catch the game on AFN. I’ll be in bed sleeping in.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Afternoon From Hell

It wasn’t planned that way. We weren’t supposed to be out all night. Heck, I was planning on getting online and chatting with my wife and boys. I made an appointment. I started wondering to myself what she might have been thinking. Would she be worried? Would she guess that maybe something came up and that I’m busy? Would she be upset? And what about the boys? Would they understand?

We didn’t get back to the pad until 2230 last night. It was so bad we missed dinner chow. There’s no other way to piss of some Joe’s other then to make them miss chow. That’s the worse. That’s when they’ll do anything to get the job done. You just don’t mess with a Joe’s chow. It’s dangerous. Ask any leadership, they’ll tell you. Joe’s won’t shoot them, but let them have it with their gripes and complaints.

It turned into a late night because not one but two IEDs hit us. That’s right, two in one day. That’s pretty good. No one got hurt though. I hurt myself more when I stabbed my finger accidentally the other day. One of the IEDs exploded during the late early evening. It wasn’t bad. I barely saw it from where I was but it did manage to effect elements of my unit. I think it was more of a firework show to them. I seen the blast of smoke and dust followed by the boom. It went up into the air and then blew away. At the time I didn’t think my unit got hit because it looked pretty far. I was about a mile away at the time of the explosion. I also heard sporadic gunfire at about the same time. It was in a different direction. The gunfire was distant so I didn’t think it would affect any of us. It’s Baghdad, what can I expect? This stuff happens all the time. It’s just about being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The second IED that hit us was later at night. At first we didn’t think anything happened to anyone, a roadside bomb. We just kept driving along like it was nothing. Cool, another IED. I can’t believe it. And this one was in our vicinity. Is everyone alright I thought. T-Rex noticed that the Humvee had stopped. Something was wrong. They weren’t driving anymore. Oh shit! Someone did get hit. We drove up to see if everyone was ok. Everyone was fine. I’m sure they were shaken up and a little shocked. I’m not sure if it’s the first time they’ve been hit by an IED. The first time is always the worse. After that you just start to become used to them. It’s like, oh, it’s just another IED. It’s nothing new anymore. I took pictures of the Humvee later but I can’t post them here for security reasons. It messed that Humvee up though. Well, not too bad. It just took the wheel and tire out. There’s no way we would’ve been able to change out the tire. Good, I didn’t feel like changing a tire in the dark anyway. I hate working in the dark when I can’t see a thing. Wait till we catch you with that bomb. Then see what happens.

One last thing, to my Mom, my Wife, and to all the other Mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Awards Ceremony

So there I was, in the gym, when Private Pennis walks in. “The LT sent me in to get you. We’re having a formation.” Great I thought. I just got in here just under an hour ago. What could we be having a formation about? It’s either something good or something bad, one or the other. We rarely have formations so it had to be something important. It’s like the full moon, they only happen once a month. I’m kind of glad we don’t have formations anymore. I always thought they were a waste of time, especially when there was no information to put out.

I got out of the gym and went back to my room to change back into my uniform. I met the rest of the platoon and prepared for formation. It was an awards ceremony. I didn’t know who was getting awarded. It’s a surprise most of the time. Only a select few know who is being awarded.

I couldn’t believe the awards that were being handed out. I thought that maybe a whole group of us would be getting awarded. I was hoping I didn’t receive any awards. I didn’t think I deserved any. The only award I’d like to get at this moment is the CAB (Combat Action Badge) for that IED. That’s the only one I really want. I heard the Company, Battalion, and Brigade command have approved it. It’s pending final approval by the Corps command. Who knows, maybe it has to be approved by the Senate and signed by the President of The United States. I don’t know. It’s taken so long it’s beginning to feel that way.

There were only two awards given today. The Good Conduct Medal and some Arizona Service Ribbon. That’s it. That’s what I got called out of the gym for two medals that aren’t greater then an MSM?Finally, I’d like to thank Brenda from Friendswood Texas for the Beanies, Charms Blow Pops, and Pez she send me for the kids. All the guys will be thankful when the see what I got to give to them tomorrow. I’m sure it’ll make the kids day as well. Thanks Brenda!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The 40 Year Old Virgin

I won’t mention names to protect those involved. I saw that movie earlier today. I kept laughing to myself because of what one of the Joes said to another Joe. “Have you seen that movie, The 40-Year-Old Virgin? It’s the story about you!” I thought it was a messed up dog at the time but I also thought it was funny. The guy that said that was right. That dude he told fit the character and I had no problem believing it. He’s like almost 40 and I could bet he’s still a virgin.

There’s another character I know. He’s a complete geek, a real nerd. I hope he’s not reading this because he’ll know I’m talking about him. Anyway, I don’t know how he did it but he has a beautiful wife. I can’t see what she sees in the dude. I mean he’d probably take playing video games instead of spending some time with her. I shouldn’t complain that much because I’m almost the same way. Sometimes I do get into my video games too much and my wife gets really pissed off about it. I don’t blame her. A woman needs a man to spend time with her, not the television. At least I’m not as bad as this dude. That’s all he cares about.

That’s the thing I can’t see though. How does a guy like that pick up a woman like that? He even has the glasses to fit. He’s also into a lot of things that I think are really gay, like musicals. He just doesn’t have the character of a man, more of a geek.

My point? Well my point is I think it might be a good idea for those single dudes to take pointers from Halo. As for the 40-Year-Old Virgin, I don’t think he’ll have any luck until he moves away from his Mom.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


The Big Man wasn’t having a good day. I wanted to rename him Lockout. It was so funny I couldn’t stop laughing. I don’t know what was with him today. He was just having a bad day I guess. There was a funny instance too. We were at the PX while he was getting some lenses for his shades. I had passed this bottle of cologne, Eternity for men. It was a tester so I figured I’d try it out. Anyway, I sprayed some of the stuff on then catch up with him at the register. He checked out and we headed outside. “Damn! One of those girls smelled good in there!” He said. I started cracking up. “That was me Bro! Damn, do I smell that good?” I replied. He thought it was one of the girls in the PX. “Dang. I hoped this stuff would work but I think I’m attracting the wrong type of crowd!” We were laughing all the way to the Humvee.

When we got there he was like, “Oh shit! I think I left my keys in the Humvee!” “Oh no you didn’t!” I said. We had already come from chow and I was dying to hit the latrine. He looked in his pockets and didn’t find his keys. We peered inside the driver’s window and sure enough, there they were. Sitting right next to the transfer. Great! I almost felt like walking back to the trailers but hesitated. I really had to go. He set his NA beer that he bought at the PX on top of the Humvee. He was going to go into the Bazaar to buy some bolt cutters. He was going to cut the lock off.

So I waited until he came with some bolt cutters in hand and a smile on his face. I was hoping it would work. The bolt cutters were so cheap I was afraid he was going to break them before he got the lock broke. He did happen to get it at the Bazaar and things there aren’t made with great quality. Fortunately we broke the lock. We got inside and I reached for the keys to unlock the passenger side. On the way over I told him, “Don’t forget about your beer on the roof.” I’m sure he heard me.

I got out and went around the Humvee to his side when we got back to the trailers. There it was, sitting on top, the six-pack of NA beer he just bought at the PX. “Oh man! Did you get your beer?” I wanted to psych him out since he left it up top. I couldn’t believe it didn’t fall off. He knew he left it up there. He forgot all about it. He started to get worried until he got out and looked. There it was. Luckily, it didn’t fall off. It wasn’t his day.

It didn’t end there. It started raining on the way to our staging point. I was a little upset about it. I was hoping that it didn’t rain, not much anyway. Well maybe just enough to bury the dust and keep it down for a couple of days. We got to our staging area when The Big Man told me what happened. “Guess what man? I slipped and fell on the hood.” I asked if he was ok. I didn’t find it funny. Any fall is serious business. I felt sorry for him and told him that it was definitely not his day.

I mentioned earlier when we were locked out that he should take the rest of the day off. We were joking around of course. I told him that I was going to talk to his team leader and suggest it. I was going to tell him, “You know, I don’t think he’s doing too well. I think he needs to take the rest of the day off before something else happens.”

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Traffic Jam

It’s the reason I hate riding around in Baghdad. On the outskirts we don’t have to worry about traffic. For some reason, I don’t know why, there always parts in the city where all traffic stops. Then there’s the people, most don’t smile or wave. I don’t know. I guess, why would they? Not like I smile and wave to people back home on the street. I do get the occasional wave or smile, mostly from kids. Most of the adults don’t care or even acknowledge our existence. It doesn’t bother me at all. Not even the ‘Evil Stare’.

We always joke about those when we get back to camp. “Did you see those people giving us the Evil Stare?” It’s when not one person cracks a smile and they all just seem to stare us down. I think it’s kind of funny myself. Don’t worry people. We definitely don’t bite.

What’s also amazing is that there are no traffic lights anywhere. Sometimes I think it’s crazy to be in a city with no traffic signals. They mostly use policemen to direct traffic. There aren’t too many intersections around here. Where there are intersections, there’s a traffic circle. That’s mainly why this place reminds me of Mexico. And the traffic is crazy. People here drive almost anywhere they want. Well, not really, only on the outskirts of the city. They mostly obey traffic rules in the city.

Monday, May 08, 2006


I can’t believe it. I just changed the windshield the other day. I didn’t want to change it in the first place. Well, guess what happened? It cracked again. It happened while we were heading out this morning. This might begin to be a trend. We might be changing out windshields on a weekly basis. The last crack didn’t impair T-Rex’s view. Now the crack is right in front of his face.

This massive dust storm came in this afternoon. It was crazy. The sky immediately got dark and the whole area was dusty. The visibility was decreased to just a few feet. It was kind of amazing. I didn’t get any pictures to post here. I’ll try to get some next time. I just didn’t have my camera with me at the time. I’m sure they’ll be more dust storms to come.

I finished reading Hostile Waters today. It was ok. I guess it was based on actual events. It’s pretty amazing, the things the crewmembers did on that nuclear submarine, the K-219. I don’t remember hearing about it, the events that happened in October of 1986. I guess I was too young to remember events like that. A couple of heroes came out of that event. It’s pretty messed up how the Russians treated their own. It’s pretty sad. I’m amazed the Captain of the submarine didn’t defect to the United States with his crew after they way he was treated.

I plan on starting The Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor tomorrow. I’ll see how I like it.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


It’s starting to kick in. At least for me that is. I’m pretty sure the other guys are going through the same thing. I do communicate with my wife by e-mail and by the phone. I still try to keep our relationship strong. It’s the sexual part I’m talking about. There’s no way for me to take care of that over here. I don’t know about her but man, it’s starting to feel like a long time for me. I don’t know how I’m going to do it. That’s why I hate thinking about it, because then it starts to get to me. I hate to start thinking about how much longer I have over here. That’s when it sucks. When I start to think about it.

There are hardly any of the guys that have started relationships over here. A big reason may be because we are an all male unit. I think that’s a good thing. There’s no ice to break. A lot of problems could happen and I’m sure the commander likes it better the way it is now. There are hardly any girls here anyway. If there are, they’re either in another unit or contracted by the Department of Defense.

One of the Joes I know is having a relationship with someone. She’s a foreign national that he met here on camp. He kept his relationship a secret for a while. Now I guess it doesn’t bother him because I’ve seen him out and about with her. I’m happy for him as long as they’re both happy. He still tries to keep it a secret because our leadership really discourages us from having any relationships. It’s not really a problem for us married folk. As for the single guys, I’m sure they don’t care and are still trying to find someone to be with.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Baked Cookies

Dang was it hot today. Well, it wasn’t that hot but I’m sure it was at least 100 degrees. At least the air is starting to dry out some from the heat. I’d rather take the dry heat than the humidity. To help keep cool this afternoon I used a wet bandana around my neck. I also had a helmet pad that I wet to help keep my head cool. Plus I was drinking like crazy. I alternated between bottles of Gatorade and water. I drank as if I had holes in my stomach.

My undershirt was soaked from all the sweat. And now I’ve come back to my trailer all exhausted from the sun and heat. I really feel relaxed and cool now because my shirt is wet and airing out. I feel as if I just came out of a pool. I’m exhausted and dirty. It’s time for me to take a shower and clean up.

I’m taking the Misty Mate we all got from donations by people back in the USA. The cool thing is that these things are made back in AZ, my hometown. The make them from a hot climate to deal with hot climates. They’re ideal and they work. The mist will feel so good when I’m out. I can’t wait to try it.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cinco De Mayo

No it’s not Mexican Independence Day. It has something to do with some battle in Puebla Mexico. It’s just another reason for us Americans to go out and party. Or maybe it’s a marketing scam. I don’t know. Anyway, the only reason I’m bringing this up is because my last name is common with the date. So to me, I feel as if the day is for me. Selfish thinking?

Anyway, I was busy all day. I didn’t go out on mission and I still got screwed. T-Rex got stuck on guard duty so I had to take the truck to the motor pool for maintance. The minute I got to the Humvee I noticed that the driver’s side windshield was cracked. I wonder where that came from I thought. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to change out the windshield. I didn’t feel like working. I’d rather stay in my room and clean my .50 cal. Anyway, I was hoping to find T-Rex on duty to ask him about the windshield. I found him walking to breakfast so I stopped and had him jump in the truck. I asked about it and he said some rock flew and hit the windshield and cracked it. He also mentioned the brakes, which I already knew about. I was hoping they wouldn’t say anything at the motor pool when it got inspected.Well, the Lieutenant saw my Humvee when I was in the motor pool. He asked what happened and I told him that we got shot at. I was just kidding. It wasn’t impairing the driver’s side vision so I was hoping he wouldn’t say anything. “You need to change it.” He said. Damn! Not the words I wanted to hear. I was looking more for don’t worry about it. Wishful thinking.

Well, that wasn’t the only thing. There was the issue of the brakes as well. They rear brakes were worn and they had to get changed. I didn’t want to change them and I didn’t want to sit around waiting for them to do it. I was hoping that they wouldn’t find out about it during the inspection. Well guess what? They found out about the brakes. Darn. “Do they have to be changed now?” I asked. “Yep. They’re at the minimum level right now. We can’t let you go out like that.” I thought I would have to do the work but they said that they’d do it. Great. I’d just have to sit around and wait.

So, besides removing the parts to change out the windshield and fixing other stuff while getting the brakes fixed, I spent the whole day in the motor pool. I fixed the passenger side mirror, replaced the windshield wiper hose, cleaned the AC air intake vent, cleaned the interior, and hooked up a draining hose for the ice chest. Now I’ll be able to drain the ice chest without pulling it out of the Humvee every other day. At least everything on the truck is fixed now. We shouldn’t have any problems, for a while that is.

Oh one last thing. I wanted to post this because I love what this judge said in the courtroom yesterday at the end of the Moussaoui trial."Mr. Moussaoui, you came here to be a martyr in a great big bang of glory," she said, "but to paraphrase the poet T.S. Eliot, instead you will die with a whimper."
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