My Weather

Saturday, June 30, 2007

No thank you, Mrs. Speaker

Recently, the Speaker of the house reiterated her desire to pull out American forces from Iraq. She stated that withdrawal was the best way to support the troops:

“Democrats are committed to an American military that is second to none. That is why in this Congress we have made huge investments in America's military readiness. And we will always do whatever it takes to support our troops. But we believe that the best way to support our troops in Iraq is to bring them home.”

This is a sentiment shared by many people in our government.

Funny, no politician ever asked me how they could help. I hate being away from my family, but right now, my place is here. If I have to stay another year, I will. For if we cut and run now; 9-11 will have not have been an isolated incident. 3,500 Americans would have died for nothing. Tens of thousands of more Iraqis will die.

This is a real war, with real bad guys. They cannot be reasoned with and they will not go away if we simply leave them alone. I want to see this thing through, so my children will never have to fight or be afraid like we all were on the morning of 9-11.

If you want to support the troops—give us the tools we need to win. Stop making statements that are harmful to our morale and encouraging to our enemies. Stop attacking our President and allow him to devote his attention to being the Commander in Chief. Most importantly, either stand with us or get out of our way and let us do our job.

Of course, what do I know? I’m just a guy on the ground.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Reset the Clock

Well, today was another day. I reach a milestone in a couple of days—I’ll be down to double digits (funny, I have a strange feeling of déjà vu). Sure we are disappointed about the possibility of being extended, but what can we do? As a British Sergeant Major once told me while we were sitting on a curb outside of an Irish Pub in Bahrain:

“Bloody hell, I take the Queen’ s shilling and I eat the Queen’s biscuit, so I do the Queen's bidding...”

The funny thing is, I was truly embarrassed when I told my Army boss that the Navy has no idea of when our reliefs will show or why enough didn’t show up for training. The Navy is still relatively new at this game and I’m sure the process will go through some growing pains for some time to come.
I just hate the fact that all I can give my family are vague answers and more uncertainties. If that isn’t bad enough, I saw something today that my girls may be very upset to see (or they may think it is cool) Who knows?

Thursday, June 28, 2007


We got word last night that my group may be extended over here. How long? Hopefully no more than a month, but who knows? Apparently, there was supposed to be 35 people in the group coming over to relieve us, but only 15 showed up for training. I wonder if coming to Iraq is optional now? I guess I could get mad, but there are enough angry people around here.
Ever since we were married, my wife and I lived by the motto “plan for the worse, but hope for the best.” I’m just glad that my family and home are in such capable hands.
I wish now I hadn’t promised our daughter that I would be home in time for her birthday. Good thing she doesn’t know how to read a calendar—we may have to “move” her birthday a little to the right.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Road Warrior

These are some of the vehicles that the route clearance teams use to hunt IEDs. The little guy in front is called a “Husky”and the bigger in back is called a “Buffalo”. Both of them are heavily armored and have “V” shaped hulls to deflect the blasts from landmines. They look like something straight out of a Mad Max movie. Everyday engineers go out in these vehicles to hunt IEDs. It is pretty clear what type of leather their saddles are made of. As tough as these vehicles are, the guys that ride in them are much, much tougher.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


One of the things I like about running around here is that it reminds me of home. When I’m out pounding the miles, I often forget that I’m in Iraq. It is a nice escape. Take for example, the run I had the other day.
While I was running along, I saw a coyote on the side of the road. They are pretty used to people, but they usually sulk away. This one, however, just stood there. I then saw why: her 3 pups were attacking a rat that was bigger than they were. They were having a grand old time, but the rat was taking things a little more seriously. I think it was the animal world’s version of “Mommy is too sleepy to cook breakfast, so have Pop Tart instead.” Except in this case, it was “have a rodent instead.”

I was so busy watching the coyotes that I didn’t see the water pipe sticking out of the ground. I tripped over it and went rolling over the ground like something from a Calvin and Hobbs cartoon. I scrapped my knee and hands fairly pretty good, but my pride was hurt most of all. The momma coyote just kept staring at me and I’m pretty sure, I saw her shake her head ruefully. Good thing she wasn’t a hyena, I would have shot her for laughing.

Dusting myself off, I limped away to finish my run. I try to stay off the beaten path as much as I can and I took a detour down a “tank trail”, just like back home running along mountain bike trails. Of course a tank comes rumbling by (again, just like back home). It hasn’t rained here for quite a while and a 30-ton tank kicks up a lot of dust. Combine the dust and the fact that I was all sweaty=instant brown sugar cookie. I was covered head to foot.

I finished my run and I was walking back to my trailer, when I ran into a solider I know, carrying a .50 cal machine barrel over his shoulder. (again, just like home) Looking at me covered in dirt with blood on myhands and knees, I answered him before he could ask:
“Somebody tried to tell me to take my iPod off”
“Dammmmmmmmmmmm!!, he outta know better”

Just like home

Monday, June 25, 2007


You are looking at acres of pallets of bottled water. As the temperature goes up, this “water field” has been getting bigger and bigger. All of our water comes from the Tigris River and I guess it gets purified along the way (I’m sure the recent case of flesh eating bacteria had nothing to do with the water). Somewhere I read that the water from the river is just as clean as the water in any reservoir back home. Considering how dirty it is outside the wire, I doubt it. Once it bakes a while outside, it tastes something like dirty bath water (my kids would love it).
Down in the Green Zone, the folks there have it much better—they get to drink authentic Kuwaiti Spring water. Every time I go down there, I try to grab a few.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


The other day, one of my guys came down with a case of appendicitis and had to go in for an emergency appendectomy. The nearest hospital was located at a detention center. There, the worst of the worst kept. These guys aren’t your everyday criminals. These are the guys that blow up mosques, plant IEDs and execute children.
When I went to visit him, he was in the ICU recovering. There were a few detainees there as well, some of which were in pretty bad shape. One thing that really struck me was the compassion the nurses showed the detainees. I watched a nurse comfort a detainee while a doctor was adjusting none of the many tubes running into him. She was the same nurse that was looking after my guy and there was no difference at all in the quality of care that she provided. This was true of all of the nurses and doctors I saw. They are true professionals and it made no difference to them who they were treating or what they had done. It spoke volumes about their humanity.

I’m sure that the insurgents treat our prisoners with the same level of compassion and care.

Of course, I must be mistaken, according to the senior senator from Massachusetts:

“Shamefully we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management, U.S. management.” Edward Kennedy

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I didn't know it was warm out until I saw the sign...

We topped out today at 117 degrees. OK it is cliché, but it is a dry heat and it isn’t so bad. Alabama in July is much worse. I’ve gotten a few bad headaches from not drinking enough, so I make a constant effort to drink all of the time. The little Crystal Light packets are real life savers (except for Raspberry Ice or peach tea—they are so nasty they can’t give that away in the DFAC) since the Tigris river water tastes pretty bad—too many dead bodies I guess. Of course summer isn’t here yet. The funny thing is that when I went to work this morning, it was 81—and I felt cold!!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Continuing my rant…

Yesterday, I went off on about how certain members of our government seem to have no incentive for us to win over here—in fact, they seem determined for us to fail. Of the 14 troops lost, one was from my brigade, so hearing Lou Dobbs cheerfully announce the latest casualties, it bothered me more than usual.

These statements also have a lasting impact on our enemies as well.

Taking a lesson from history; one of the most trying times in America’s history was the winter on 1777-1778. That was when Washington’s army spent the winter at Valley Forge. Out of his army of 12,000 men, over 2,000 died from disease and starvation. Desertion was a constant threat. Those were dire times. How do you think their morale would have fared if they saw a British newspaper account stating:

“Parliament declares King George III’s America policy a failure and demands immediate troop withdrawal from the colonies”.

While a story like that wouldn’t put food in their bellies or help fight off pneumonia, it would help motivate Washington’s men to hang on a little bit longer. It is amazing how a little hope can help men endure the most difficult of times.

Life ain’t easy for an insurgent. They are fighting the world most advanced military. The Iraqi Security Forces are increasing their capabilities every day. We have CSI guys over here that are way smarter than any of those guys on TV—we are talking scary smart. Just recently, tribal leaders out in the Al Anbar province have taken up arms against Al Queda. Life sucks for them. In 2004 the late Al Zarqawi complained to his buddy Osama that their situation was becoming ever more desperate.

Now take the statements such as “the war is lost” and America’s involvement in Iraq is a “grotesque mistake”. What effect would those words have on an insurgent? I would imagine they would be pretty encouraging and would help them carry on the jihad for another day.

To me, it sounds like aid and comfort. But what do I know? I just live here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Words mean things

Certain politicians will exploit any tragedy to further their political position—regardless of the damage they cause. They have forgotten that words mean thing. The war in Iraq is a tragic example of that.
How would a mom and dad feel when, after losing a son or a daughter, would turn on the TV and hear the Speaker of the House say that our mission over here is a “grotesque mistake” ,or the majority leader of the Senate say the “The war is lost”?

Words mean things. With their vicious rhetoric, they are adding insult to injury to the family members of fallen heroes. It is inexcusable. I for one, am ashamed.

It is sad that so many Americans —many of which are Democrats, are so invested in our defeat. What would JFK say today? Back when he was president he said:

“The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are. The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.”

JFK would be ashamed of his party. Today the Democrats have embraced the likes of Michael Moore, who said:

“The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not 'insurgents' or 'terrorists' or 'The Enemy.' They are the revolution, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow - and they will win. “

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Operation Gratitude

Some time ago, someone signed my entire unit up for “Operation Gratitude” Yesterday, we had two truckloads of care packages show up—each one was addressed to one of the soldiers. It really made a lot of people’s day-it was like Christmas morning with everyone opening them up. Of course, since I’m on loan to the army, I’m not officially assigned to my unit, so I didn’t get one. I guess I was the bad kid that got a lump of coal.
We have it pretty good here in Baghdad and a bunch of our guys took their names off of the packages and immediately sent the packages to some of our units that are way out in desolate FOBs and need every bit of care they can get. Soldiers take care of their buddies.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Relief in sight

Well not exactly, but pretty close. Few weeks ago, my boss from back home emailed and told me about a guy that is coming over here to do the same job that I’m doing. Not only is he coming to Iraq, but he is showing up a few weeks before I’m due to leave. So, I got in touch with him, made a few phone calls and he is going to be my relief. As nice as it is to know that I have a relief, I pressed for him to take my job for strictly unselfish reasons.

Last fall I was told that I was going to Iraq. I had a general idea what I would be doing, but I had no idea what exactly, or where I’ll be going. It was very unnerving. Would I be living in a tent, eating MREs and getting mortared every night? I had no idea.
I didn’t find out that I was coming to my brigade until the night prior. Pretty unsat.

The guy that is taking my job now knows a couple months out exactly what he’ll be doing, where he will living, etc. I also work in a fantastic unit and I’m glad to see that my job is going to a good guy. He can also mail his stuff out if he wants and gets to inherit a “wet” trailer. Too bad this isn’t the way it works for everybody.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A religion of peace?

I will go out on a politically incorrect wing here and ask the question “is Islam a religion of peace?”

I base that question on what I have seen—not what the talking heads on TV say. Some things that happen over here are simply unspeakable.
Today, one of those things happened. Ideology, religion, and politics aside; all children are innocent and precious. They should be protected at all costs and never, ever targeted. To do otherwise in not only unholy, but it is inhuman.
My first instinct today was to call home and check on my girls. My second though was ‘thank God we are fighting them here and not at home.”
There are truly evil people here and they do terrible things often in the name of Allah. Where is Al Sadr? Why isn’t he condemning the violence? Isn’t he a spiritual leader? The silence is deafening! Draw a cartoon of Mohamed and they come out in droves; setting fires and looting stores. Plant explosives in a girls school—silence. Years ago, I was riding in a cab in Bahrain and I asked the driver about a mosque that we were driving by. He said “that is the Grand Mosque, if you go inside with shoes on, I will kill you.” Of course using a Mosque as a weapons cache is ok.
Yes, the vast majority of Muslims are good, decent people. Only a small fraction of Muslims are committing these evil acts. To stand idly by while evil men pervert your religion and kill innocent children in the name of you God—that is not the mark of a religion of peace.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cluster map

I’ve added a few “Widgets” to this blog a little while ago. My favorite is the Cluster map. If you click on the Map, you can see where people that have viewed my blog live. At first, there were only a couple of dots on the map—Baghdad, that was me. Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, New Jersey; that was my family. After that, I saw that Lumpy, Duck, Goober, Pee Wee and a few other guys I know were showing up. Before long, folks from Rome, Alaska, California, Thailand and Singapore checked out the site. Way cool. Today, I saw that some more people from England, Canada, Australia, the Low Countries and a bunch of other places started checking out My Desert Adventure. Way, way cool.
I originally started this blog, just to keep in touch with my family. I’m amazed how much it ahs grown. Every now and then, I would meet an IA over here and they would say something like “Hey I know you…sorta, I read your blog before I came over”. Well so much for being anonymous

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Camel Spider

I saw my first Camel Spider today. According to legend, their bodies are a big as softballs, they are very aggressive and they can jump high enough to bite the belly of a camel.
The truth is they have a body the size of a ping pong ball. I haven’t seen one jump, but they will “chase” you (actually, they chase your shadow to stay in the shade.) When they run, they raise their front legs over their head and look like one of the bugs from Starship Troopers.
Oh, by the way, they don’t taste like chicken.

Friday, June 15, 2007


For part of my trip to Qatar, I tagged along with a MEDEVAC (medical evacuation) flight. After leaving my base, the helo went to the large military hospital nearby and picked up some more passengers. A kid took the seat next to me. His right hand was gone and he had a huge bandage in its place. Across his chest was a piece of tape that had his name, serial number and “Right hand amputation” written on it with a magic marker. He was on his way to Germany for more medical care.
We landed at a nearby base to be processed before we left the country. I saw the same kid sitting on a bench. He was looking at the X-ray of his stump--as if he couldn’t believe what happened to him. He looked sad, scared and like he was about to cry. He was all alone. I sat next to him and we talked for a while.
He is 19 years old and has been in the Army for less than a year. An avid video gamer, he hoped to win a professional Halo-2 tournament when he got back to Kansas City. I guess that if this were a Gary Cooper movie, he would have been an All-American quarterback. Dreams are still dreams and I guess they change with each generation. The loss of a dream is always tragic.
Despite all that he was going through, he still got up to go to the OR to check on his buddy that was wounded along with him. Only 19, he has more character than most people I know.
While we were talking, he mentioned to a nurse that his arm was hurting and if he could get some pain medication. The nurse said “sure, it will be about 10 minutes”. After an hour went by (and no pain medicine) we went to another room for the customs brief. (Since we were leaving Iraq, everyone has to go through a customs briefing and have their bags inspected.)
An Air Force Sergeant came in to give the brief and I asked him if some of the guys could get some pain medicine before we got started. The sergeant said that brief had the priority and that they will administer medication when he was done. The kid with one hand was a private and if a sergeant tells him to wait, he’ll wait. That didn’t sit well with me. He was in pain and needed medicine. Long story short, I had a “discussion” with the sergeant a few minutes later, a nurse came in and took care of the guys. I know the folks that work at that facility are tired and overworked, but something like that should have never happened.

Saturday, June 09, 2007


A lot of our supplies are shipped in via convoys. Many of the drivers are civilian contractors and most of them are from other countries. I have a lot of respect for these guys. A good number of them come here to provide a better life for their families. Sure the money is good, but there are a lot of risks. Driving a truckload of jet fuel down the roads in Iraq isn't the healthiest way to earn a living. I really appreciate what they do. Maybe I'm going soft, but don't run my air conditioner during the day. No, I'm not going green and I haven't hugged a tree over here. We get our power from generators and the fuel for those generators is trucked in. Every little bit we save adds up to one less trip these guys have to make. To me it is worth being a little warm when I first get back “home” in the evening.

Getting nowhere

Well, I got to Sather Air Base at 1600 yesterday day for a 2200 take off on a flight to Balad, Iraq. At 2200, I was told that the new take off time would be 2400. Then 0200 and then 0300. At 0330, I was told “Opps, the helo landed at 0200, but the command post forgot to tell us that it was on deck. They just left” . There comes a point where you are so tired, you just have to shake you hear ruefully. Maybe tonight I will have better luck.

I had plenty to time to walk about yesterday. I have to say, the Air Force are masters of providing the best living conditions for its people. One of the things they did was paint state flags on the concrete walls. Under the flag, there is a big white square. Anyone that is from that state can write their name there. Pretty cool. I was going to take a picture of the Alabama flag since I was sure someone in my wife’s family would recognize someone’s name, but the Alabama wall was in a secure area.

Friday, June 08, 2007

On the Road

Well, I’m off on a business trip for a few days. I leave tonight on a round-a-bout route that will eventually take me to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar. I should be there for about a week. I checked the weather and the daytime highs down there should be around 125—should be fun.
If I miss a few blogs posts, that just means that I am having more fun than is humanly possible.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

People watching

This guy is cool. Every day, prior to going on a mission, he is asleep on top of his truck.

Going to the DFAC is like going to the mall--you'll see a little bit of everything. On any given day, you'll see Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Soldiers. It really is a multi-national collation over here. So Macedonians, Georgians, Iraqis, Brits, Australians ,Jordanians, Japanese, Poles, Ugandans and few I have no idea where they are from.

But just like in the mall, there are a few that always stand out. One group in particular are the “Rambos” they are usually “Fobbits”—the folks that never leave the FOB (Forward Operating Base). Since they are in Iraq, however, they feel compelled to dress the part. Today I saw an Air Force Captain with 6 magazines on his belt and an 18” K-Bar knife strapped down his leg. I’m sure in his mind he looks cool—DORK.

We also have a lot of civilian security contractors here. One guy I saw had his flight suit at half mast with the arms tied around his waist. Underneath he was wearing a tank top that revealed his 19”guns. A guy like that, I call…SIR (hey, I’m not stupid). Of course his buddy was dressed the same way, but he made Gilligan look like Hulk Hogan—so back to the whole DORK thing.

Now if you see a rumpled, mismatched, long haired ball of fluff roll by…yup, it’s the Navy. The Army guys I work with give me such a hard time about how the KBR employees look more military than the Navy guys.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Is that New Jersey???

No, wait! It’s Iraq. I always get the two confused. As you can see, it’s a dump out there. This is a picture of one of the cleaner streets in Baghdad. As you can see, there is trash, debris and dead animals strewn everywhere. And I thought that this place was ugly from overhead. Sure there is a war going on, but a lot of guys tell me that Bosnia looked the same way. I guess the locals have more important things on their minds to worry about. With a 60% unemployment rate, you would think the GOI (Government of Iraq) would hire a bunch of people to clean up. It would put money in their pockets, give them something to do and would be safer for us. Who knows, if they fix up their neighborhoods and take some pride in where they live, maybe, just maybe they will start to stand up to some of these thugs.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

EM-350 Urban Assault Vehicle

Only in Iraq, would you come across a armored Winnebago. I’m not kidding. Around here it is known as the Rhino. It reminds me of the EM-350 Urban Assault Vehicle in the movie Stripes. Sure, it might be the safest thing on wheel…but folks-- it is a Winnebago—I’ll ride in a HMMWV thank you.
You see a lot of strange things on the roads here—besides things that can or already have gone boom. There are a lot of civilian security contractors riding about. They ride around in big Ford pickups with gun turrets welded to the top or heavily armored Chevy Suburbans. From what I hear, the contractors used to roll around in vehicles that look like something from Mad Max. Not any more, it looks like all of their trucks are professionally made.
The strangest thing I ever say was a local driving around in a mint condition 56 Chevy. He had to have been either very brave or very untouchable.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Why I joined the Navy

The other day, I was asked why I joined the Navy. Tough question. First and foremost, I wanted to fly. The Navy gave me an opportunity to fly airplanes before I finished college, so I jumped at the chance. I had always wanted to serve my country and to be able to do so while I was doing something I loved to do was the perfect fit. It also helped that the Navy lowered the bar and said yes to may application. Do I have any regrets? Sure I do, but I think every course of action has its painful moments as well as good ones.
Do, I want my kids to join the military? Well, I’ll support them in whatever decision they make, but I think this family has served enough time.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Chuck Norris

One of the more popular things around here are the “Chuck Norris facts”. Little tidbits of wisdom like “Chuck Norris counted to infinity—twice!” or “Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer—too bad he has never cried!”Maybe it is a guy thing, but I think they are great. You will over hear these facts while you are waiting in line to eat, written on a wall, or on a sign on someone’s desk. I’ve even been known to slip one into a brief from time to time.

I just finished reading the Da Vinci code. Not a very good book—not because of the religious aspects, but because the author is a mediocre writer that wrote about a treasure hunt that only a pencil neck geek would appreciate. I am amazed at the popularity of the book and how the phenomena of “Da Vinci code tourism” has started. People actually travel throughout Europe looking for the clues that were in the book.
I think they need to come up with a “Chuck Norris Facts tour”, where you travel throughout Iraq, looking inside port-o-johns for clues that will lead you to the next Chuck Norris fact.
OK, so maybe I’ve been here too long.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

A guest blogger

As I was getting ready for work today, I was listening to Lou Dobbs on CNN. If I only listened to him, I would have to say: “Wow, what an awful country we live in.” I then thought that I would really have something to say about this in my blog. Well, today was a very long day and I'm tired. So in keeping with the Naval Aviation tradition of ‘”Never create when you can plagiarize”. I’m turning over today’s blog to Jay Leno:

A commentary about the U.S. by Jay Leno The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president.In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just aren't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, ''What are we so unhappy about?'' Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is theability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year? Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can providetemporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thussaving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world?Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy. Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here. I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president thatcut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks?The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me? Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad? Think about it......are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the "Media" told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day. Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country.They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after afew days in the brig. So why then, the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news.Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by "justifying" them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J.Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way......Insane! Stop buying the negativism you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your birdcage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative. "With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, "Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?" Jay Leno

Friday, June 01, 2007


Some people think that service members have no say at all in their daily lives—in fact that we give up our freedom of speech. Well, it is true that we are somewhat restricted in how we say something, the First Amendment still applies to us. One of our rights is that we can contact our elected representatives. It is something that I have done quite a bit since I’ve gotten to Iraq. Time and time again, I see some idiot politician talking about something that they don’t have a clue about and I think to myself, “someone need to educate that moron”. Well, I’m one of those “someones”. I’ve written both of my Senators as well as my Congressman and explained to them my personal views on issues that are important to me. I still see politicians running on about something they don’t have a clue about, but at least I can say now that I did what I could.