Sunday, August 21, 2005

Small Hours

Another week of training ahead of us. My platoon will finally be issued our M4s tomorrow. Soon, we'll be on the ranges, practicing with those lovely little weapons. I'm at a loss for a funny comment about how I adore M16s and M4s, my apologies. I'll need to sleep soon, I've more than lost my edge.

I was just looking at all of my equipment (the gear we wear, the stuff that we keep in our rooms), and normally when I wear it, we're wandering about a government owned plot of land, doing whatever kind of training exercise we're assigned for that day.

I'm looking at all of this, the body armor, the load carrying equipment (a belt with suspenders designed to attach all kinds of crap to it), my kevlar helmet, etc, and I was just thinking that THAT is the gear that I'll be wearing every day for atleast a year in Iraq.

I remember all the sand that managed to get EVERYWHERE, in parts of my gear that I didn't even know existed. Can't imagine what the desert will be like in that department. I find myself thinking about little things like that. Wondering about the smells, the glare of the sun, the feeling of the dirt and sand. I got a pretty good taste of humid heat, but I'm guessing that in Iraq, it would be more of a dry heat. I was in the sauna at the gym on post last week, and for a moment, I imagined wearing all my gear in there. Is that Iraq? That thought forces a chuckle out of me.

It doesn't matter how idealogical I can be while I'm here, in my homeland. I wonder if after I get there, will I become selfish? Will I pity myself for being there? Will I become jaded or ungrateful, or grow sour towards our mission?

I've been talking to my friends from back home, and everyone is moving on with life. Most of my friends are getting ready for the college season. Another of my really good friends has recently turned his life around. He's cleaned up a lot, and he's doing honest work, and doing pretty well from what I hear. But almost no one is still living back home.

Part of me wishes I was doing college too. Its too bad that "soldiers are people who are too stupid to hold real jobs or go to school" though (refer to the Say It Aint So post) =P. Correction, I'm just too stupid to do college FIRST. That's all right, because I have no problem with using the G.I. Bill to help pay for college when I finally get around to it.

Things here aren't bad at all though. For now, there really isn't much to my personal life. I work, then I exist until the next day. Washington just isn't all that I thought it would be, or else I'm looking in the wrong places. Hmm.

Anyway, at one point, I had a subject or theme for this brainless little mindfart, I mean post. Iraq is this dark cloud looming in the horizon (feel free to pelt me with rocks for using another cliche), but its also one that I don't know much about. I try to educate myself on the country and the current state now and then, but its a little difficult, what with our completely honest and unbiased media. You know, the ones that don't care about ratings and want to honestly inform us of what's going on, and not twist anything, or leave anything out.

....I sound like everyone else. It takes a lot of courage to point an annoyed finger at the media. Not. Now that I think about it, its a common scapegoat. Sure, it isnt without fault, but how many personal experiences have I had with the media to sour me to them? None. All I can do is adopt nearly everyone else's opinion on it.

People shape people. Its rare that we have thoughts that are truly our own. We're all preprogrammed by those we come in contact with. Hell, maybe I wouldn't care about other people if I wasn't taught to. A funny thought, really. Either way, I'm glad that I WAS taught to give more than a shit about the people that are sharing this confused and ravaged planet of ours. Life can be lonely enough as it is. I suppose all life really is, is a word to summarize not only our existences, but our interactions with each other.

Congratulations! You've read another useless post. Maybe some day this blog will be half interesting.


membrain said...

"soldiers are people who are too stupid to hold real jobs or go to school" Yeah I've heard that one and it's horseshit. If you want to learn about what it's really like in Iraq Michael Yon is the best source. He's at: He's absolutely great and doesn't pull punches. Take care.

membrain said...

Oh and Boots in Baghdad is also great. He's at:
And don't worry you'll do fine in Iraq with that kind of upbringing.