Monthly Archives: April 2012

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If our combat boots could talk, they’d be able to tell stories for days. From every adventure to every ruck-march our boots define who we are. In a way I believe that our boots can tell the stories of our military career.

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These were my first pair of combat boots. I remember the first day that I had to wear them, it was a horrible day. My feet felt like they were going to fall off after the first few days of wearing them. Our boots form to our feet after prolong use, so starting off with them the pain is borderline unbearable. Blisters became an every day part of life when I started wearing my combat boots. I can remember having my boots completely soaked in sweat from a 16 mile ruck-march. Towards the end of the march it felt as if I had cinder-blocks attached to my boots.  Marching everywhere reminds me of this cadence we would sing as we marched.

Momma momma can’t you see

What the Armys done to me

They took away my faded jeans

And now I’m wearing Army greens

OHOHOHOHHHH

Oh Lord I wanna go

But they won’t let me go

I used to drive a Chevrolet

Now I’m marching every day

I used to drive a Cadillac with all my homies in the back

I used to drive a Cadillac with all my homies in the back

Now I pack them in back

 

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I actually retired my first pair of boots a few weeks ago. The long hours and the miles accumulated on them were too much for them to hold up. As you can see the grip is nonexistent

 

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And now these boots will take over from here and continue racking up the miles on this long adventure.

 

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These boots here belong to a good friend of mine, he actually has some pretty interesting war stories. His boots are much more older than mine, he used these for the Battle of Fallujah. Like I said, everybody’s boots can tell different stories. 

Well hopefully our boots hold up through the good and bad of our adventures. I’ll leave y’all to see what a typical morning looked like out in the desert. Hope you enjoyed this post.

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Comfortable within our environment

I will be writing a bit about different views that friends of mine have had about our current situation.

Some people can try to make war sound romantic in some sick twisted way and the reality is very different. It sounds good in theory, and only in theory. I can remember the day that my friend arrived home from Afghanistan. Everybody was so excited to have him back in one piece. For the most part he was here, but his personality had changed. He still joked around but he seemed to be more serious than before.

I remember somebody asked him, “What do you think about being back?”, to which he replied, “No matter how bad it sucks here, atleast I’m not fucking getting shot at every fucking day. So to answer your question, I’m happy”. Those words have stuck with me since the day he said them. And I think he made a good point, day to day life in the safety of our homes does not compare to the hardship of war.

On the other hand a different friend of mine came back from the invasion of Iraq in a wheelchair. His opinion was slightly different on the matter. He wished that he could go back to be with his comrades. He could recall the exact moment when the bullets pierced his body armor. He still felt the sudden pain that shot through his back and legs. Obviously he was out of the fight, but to him he had never left. The bonds that we create with our brothers in arms are lifelong. He was not mad at what had happened to him, he was disappointed.

Going to fight for your country and people sacrificing themselves sounds really good in theory. It sounds good until you are the one that is actually putting in the work. Here we have individuals that are overworked, unappreciated, and over-stressed that would give up their life for a complete stranger. In the end, is it worth it…depends on who you are asking.

Letters from home

Sorry for the delay in my writing things here have been hectic. Hope you enjoy this post

 

I can remember my first night in BCT, I had never felt so confused in my life. I was not sure if I had made the right choice, I mean who wants to give up everything they’ve ever known and in return get yelled at? I think that the first night almost broke me. I had tons of emotions going through me and I was trying to process the events that had unfolded.

The first letter I wrote to my family was probably the most difficult. How would I be able to convey my emotions and add rhetoric to my writing to turn a hectic situation into a positive one? I stared at the blank sheet of paper for what seemed to be an eternity until I was able to grab my pen and write. Writing letters to people felt good, it felt as if I was almost human while I wrote. Before joining the military I had seldom used snail-mail and there I was in a place where that was my only form of communication. For those brief moments that I received mail, I felt a sense of calm come over me. Receiving mail felt like Christmas morning to me.

Which brings me to a topic that to this day I am bitter about. During a trip I took to France I met a wonderful girl. This friend was able to write to me weekly while I was in BCT. Now how is it that a person half way around the world was able to take time out of her day to write to me and friends back home could not? I believe that I will be bitter about this topic for a very long time. There I was, busting my ass for them…and they couldn’t write me a damn letter? These were people that I thought highly of, and for them to repay me like this was not right. On one hand I was happy that I had made a genuine connection in France, and on the other I was in disbelief that people back home did not write.

I did not appreciate having a hard day and getting nothing in return. But, maybe this sacrifice is part of joining the military? I understand that I gave up many things when I joined, but the fact does not changed that the pain in still there. Hopefully one day we can all receive explanations for things that were out of our control. 

‘We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.’ 

 

I’d be open to comments on this post. Enjoy

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This is not exactly part of anything I have written before, but I think this quote has lots of substance to it. My understanding of this quote is that, if you live your life to the fullest and have an understanding for those around you, when your time comes to an end, you will have no regrets for anything you have done. I have the phrase, Going out in style, across my chest and my reasoning behind is almost parallel to this quote.

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and
Demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life,
Beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and
Its purpose in the service of your people.

Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
Even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and
Bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and
For the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks,
The fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing,
For abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts
Are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes
They weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again
In a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.