Tag Archives: deployment

I’m back

It’s been two months since I’ve returned from my deployment. Two months might seem like a lot of time to some people but it feels like I just got back. I’ve return to the states with more questions than answers about myself. I had a year to reflect on life and the impact that I’ve had on people whether positive or negative. Sometimes I sit and wonder if I’ve made a difference in the grand scheme of things.

I was hoping to write some grand master piece to summarize my recent experiences, but I don’t know what to say. I get back and sometimes I feel like I had more to do with my time when I was deployed. I feel lost at times. I keep saying this line over and over but I think it’s true. I’ve left a little piece of my heart everywhere I’ve been and sometimes it feels like I have nothing left. I know for a fact that my deployment would have been one million times more difficult if I did not have the support of friends and family. So if you helped me while I was gone I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now that I’m back I have all the time in the world with nothing to do, or so it seems. I have about fifty days left in the Army and I am both excited and terrified of what’s to come. On one hand I will get to traverse the world again and on the other I will start attending school. I don’t know which is more scary, exploring unknown parts or leaving the Army. As much as I bitch about it, it’s not bad. I think that at times the bad outweighs the good, but it is the love for my country that makes it worth it. Wars whether justified or not are fought by my brothers in arms and I am honored to have been a part of that 1%.

I had the chance to impress a young lady with my writing a few weeks after I got back. I still vividly remember what I wrote and I must say that I was quite pleased with myself.
I visited the city of San Antonio and I went to a new restaurant called Cured. The food was fantastic and at the end of the meal patrons of the restaurant are asked to write something about their experience so I did.
As I walked to the restaurant the scenery reminded me of my European travels. I was in awe over the architecture of the entire area. As I entered the restaurant I was greeted by the most beautiful hostess that I have ever laid eyes on. It felt like Christmas morning. that’s about all I remember, but the moral of this story is that one should not be afraid to try things. My last sentence is obviously contradicting my previous paragraph, so I do not follow my own advice.

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This is the end

I wanted to write a final post to do a self reflection on my deployment. I thought about what I would write and I had more questions than answers to my writing.

If somebody asked me to give them one word to describe my deployment I would have to say pointless. After a very long year this word keeps constantly ringing in my head. I think that most deployments either add problems or amplify the problems that one has. How is it that I personally know more than one person who has to take sleeping pills to even think about getting a couple hours of sleep? Common sense would tell you that something might either be happening in their life or the deployment. Yet, all we do is throw pills at the problems. In my opinion it only makes things worse.

I would love to say that I had a productive year, if anything I spent longer staring off into the desert losing my mind. There has to be a reason why God created this region, and I tried to look beyond the stereotypes. I can honestly say that I will never come back here nor do I have the desire to. Call me an ignorant American fighting for a false cause, but don’t be mad because while I try to fix the problems you hide behind words like intelligence and morals. The truth is, no matter how much you might hate our cause, at the end of the day you need us. You hide behind your words and say you don’t need us, but at the first sign of trouble don’t demand that something be done. Either you stand behind us or in front of us, either way I don’t give a damn what words you use to justify your nonexistent intestinal fortitude.

I went to Europe during my mid tour leave and I had the time of my life. I also got into an argument in Poland with a Canadian. Here is what transpired.
Canadian: why do you always invade countries and kill innocent people?
Me: what do you mean? How do you know what is actually happening?
Canadian: oh don’t lie to me, you invade countries whenever you want and kill everyone
Me: while I don’t personally agree with our conflicts I do my part for my country
Canadian: well you need to do something about Syria
Me: you just said that you hate when we go into a country…but going into Syria is ok?
Canadian: yes! They’re killing innocent people, somebody needs to stop them
Me: you can’t pick and choose what countries we should go into, let syria figure out their own war, it’s not our damn problem
Canadian: you need to go in there and help them, America never does anything good for the world
Me: is German your national language?
Canadian: ummm no….why?
Me: you’re welcome, now shut the hell up and let me enjoy my vacation
Canadian: $(&:$:):&;@;”;$:))(&?

The moral of this story is, don’t complain if you are not willing to do your part. And most important of all, don’t interrupt my vacation with stupid arguments.

I have learned so much about the members in my squad. Sometimes it feels like we know each other more than our family does. We’ve spent the better part of a year together learning about each other. A family member can say that they know you better than anybody but the truth is that, they don’t know how their loved one looks like after a seven mile run, they don’t know what they smell like after days on end without showering, they don’t know how they react under pressure. That’s the lovely thing about the military, I’ve met some great people throughout my time here. They’ve helped me through the lows and highs of my military career. Some people have asked me why I am leaving the military and the truth is that I am tried. I am tired both physically and mentally. I personally feel that political correctness is going to be the end of our professional military. I cannot deal in an environment where it feels like I am walking on egg shells because somebody might get their feelings hurt while I’m doing my job. We all chose to join the Army, the Army didn’t join us, so you either get acclimated to the military environment or you get the hell out.

But none of this self reflection that I have done throughout this year would have been possible without the support of friends and family. The best feeling in life is getting a care package and opening it. It made me feel like Christmas morning inside whenever I was opening up the packages. Talking to my friends in Europe helped me keep my sanity.

Where I’ll be in life five years after the military, I do not know. But I know that I will take the experience both good and bad to my next journey in life and better myself.

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I can vividly remember her smile, a smile that could make all the bad in my day disappear.
But here we are now going on separate paths. Who could have thought we would make it this far?
We have the power to change the world but we keep biting our tongue, preoccupying ourselves in things that don’t matter.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am here to tell you that I’m tired of going down this path. I see something that I like and I’m going for it no matter what. I see everybody around me here making grand plans for their career as they let life pass them by. I will not let this hell hole take control of my life. It’s funny when we are in a bad situation we start thinking about the little things in life that matter, but as soon as our hand starts looking up we forget about them.

Love your life, live your life, and make your life have a purpose.

I remember the first Christmas care package that I received through my deployment. All of the contents inside the box were wrapped in wrapping paper and for that brief moment I felt like I was back home on Christmas morning. It’s like nothing else matters when you’re unwrapping the gifts.

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Well ladies and gentlemen I completed my first mock promotion board. I only had about one day to study for this and needless to say I was extremely nervous. To many people in the military becoming a Non Commissioned Officer is a huge goal and I am thankful that I have been put in this position.
The Corps of Non Commissioned Officers is known as the backbone of the Army and is the most professional NCO Corps in the world.

I knocked three times at the door, my heart was pounding with each knock I gave on the door, and I heard “ENTER! “. As I entered the room i tried to concentrate and shake off any fear. I reported to the board as ordered and the rest was history. I was in there for about half an hour and to me it felt so short.

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Sigh

I do not think that I have been more disappointed with members of my unit than I was this morning. Everybody signed a contract and swore and oath, it is implied that you must be physically fit. I am not the most fit person but when a person cannot keep up for fifteen minutes I don’t know what to say to them. Going on runs in the morning is probably the easiest thing that we will have to do all day, so why complain?
The longer I am in this unit the more I realize that things in the military are changing. It is as if all the new people are so sensitive about any little thing. What happened to putting boot to ass and just doing what you are told? I do not like the direction that this is heading and I think that it will only get worse. I wonder what Basic Combat Training is like now with all this sensitivity training that we must do.
Is running at a seven minute mile pace too much to ask these individuals that are supposed to be able to overcome hurdles in life? I am at a loss for words. God knows that I have not been the best soldier that I could be, but now that the opportunity has presented itself, for me to maybe join the Corps of Non Commissioned Officers, I now understand what my NCOs have tried to instill in me. At times things will not make sense and you might hate what you are doing, but is it ethically or morally wrong? If the answer is no, then shut the hell up and do it.

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I have come to realize that during my time here I have learned some interesting things. I realize that I truly hate this place. The word hate is a strong word and I do not think that it gives this place any justice. This entire place could catch on fire and I would not care one bit. “Well you signed up for it so deal with it”…yeah the thing about that is, I have had enough.

I can remember going through Basic Combat Training and thinking that deploying would be the coolest thing on earth…oh boy how wrong was I. I think the worst thing about being here is being alone. No matter how many people stand by your side here, it feels like I am alone. I do not think that I have been around a group of individuals who have been as depressed as the ones by my side. It is difficult listening to people’s problems when I am having a hard time myself. It’s not that I don’t care about them…it’s just that I don’t really give a damn to listen to sad stories. Being away from home is not something that we are not accustomed to…but for some reason this feels different. I think that being surrounded by negativity drags everybody and everything down.

I canNOT wait to be back in the great state of Texas. I think that it’s the best place on earth. I am also looking forward to traveling around Europe after my contract ends. I am excited to see what adventures I find myself in. I think that I am most excited about going to Austria, The Eagles Nest is something I really want to visit, retracing the steps of Easy Company in WWII would be a blast.

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Blah

It’s a full moon tonight and as I look into it I can’t help but wonder where you are. The constant wind blows sand into my thoughts and your face fades with each gust of wind. I guess that being out here makes memories seem better than what they actually were. The more time that I spend here the more my perspective on life changes. My worst enemy is you.

As I scan my unit from left to right I can see their motivation running on empty. It is very difficult to motivate somebody else when it’s hard waking up and putting a smile on. If you can’t find something to be thankful for when you wake up, the fault lies only in yourself. Our environment might be a sea of stupid, but we hold the reigns to our own fate. I’ll be damned if I let this place get the better of me.

I wonder what life will be like when the day comes that I wake up and the Army is nowhere in sight. Will I miss this lifestyle? I don’t know, but the thought of leaving seems bitter sweet at this moment.

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Content

I have finally completed my European adventure and I cannot express the amount of satisfaction that I received from completing this milestone in my life. Before I took this trip I was beyond scared, I would rather jump out of a building or helicopter than take a trip by myself to some foreign land, which is a bit ironic considering my situation. I have learned so much about myself from this trip and that alone made it worth it.
I had the privilege to visit the American cemetery in Normandy, France and I am glad that I was able to see it with my own eyes. I pale in comparison to what these men died and I am forever grateful. I saw this quote inside the chapel and I love it,

I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish

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European Adventures

I have been granted a brief vacation from this hell hole. I smell the polluted air as I am being taken to the airport. With each breathe I take I know that it will be bitter sweet. The biggest problem that I have with leave is the fact that no matter how good the trip is, all your hopes and dreams come crashing down with each mile that your return flight takes.

This is my first trip alone, and surprisingly I was scared. I think that it’s a bit strange how I would rather repel out of helicopters than take a trip by myself. This will be a test in not only on how I transition from a deployed environment to civilization but to also gauge how I interact with a variety of cultures. I had a feeling that I would be judged by my profession and government not who I am. I can’t help the fact that I stepped up and served my country. Surprisingly all my fears have been non existent thanks to the group of people that I have met here so far. Our group last night consisted of people from Ireland, Austria, Colombia, Australia, New Zealand, France, and the USA. I think that this was the real life United Nations at work, everyone had their differences, but we had the time of our lives.

I will try to update this every day to write about what I’ve seen or experienced.

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The thirst is real

This idea hit me at midnight on some random night out here. I plan to turn it into a short story of some sort as I get time to add content and fix grammatical errors. This story is based upon my biased view and in no way represents the views of the Army, only my own.

The thirst is real

​ Most people do not have an idea of how different life can be when we are put in an extraordinary situation. I had an idea of what my laid back deployment would be like, but I was not prepared for the shit storm that was coming my way. I can vividly remember 1st Armored’s band playing Eye of The Tiger as we were walking to the plane. I thought to myself, “wow this is fucking stupid”. The moment we took off from our base I knew I was in for an interesting plane ride. I still do not understand why we had to zip tie the bolts on our weapons; if I really wanted to end my misery in this unit it would have happened long ago with much dumber restrictions. I will reiterate the point that common sense isn’t so common in the military throughout my writing.

Why I chose “the thirst is real” as a title

​I was under the stupid impression that our pre-deployment training would make sense, that the training would prepare us for the challenges that would present themselves downrange, and I was fucking wrong. Many of the people reading this will wonder why I chose this title and let me try to break it down for you. Society around us is thirsty, thirsty for things ranging from sex to dog and pony shows. My military environment sadly revolves around dog and pony shows. I have never met so many individuals in my life so thirsty to do stupid shit. The stupid shit can range from staying in the field for a month to kissing ass. I cannot comprehend how some of these people wake in the morning and say, “Let’s go to the field for a month, it builds character”. It must be something in their fucking water because going to the field for stupid shit kills baby kittens. It is as if our misery feeds their never ending thirst for stupidity. Some of you out there might be saying, “Well you signed up for it, deal with it”, and to all those people I say FUCK YOU! Joining the military is an honorable thing and I do not regret my service, it is not my fault that you were too much of a pussy to join. I just did not know that I would be trying to quench a never ending thirst of stupidity. My writing will take you on a journey from the good, the bad, and the quest to fill a never ending thirst.

Basic Training

​I guess that before I start talking about the present I must write about how it all got started. Like most inner cities kids I had no future; I was lucky to be alive at the age of eighteen, my grades were terrible, and I did not care about anything. Before somebody says, “That’s racist! Judging all inner city kids like that!” calm the fuck down. In actuality I was smarter than your average person and I had actually ventured past the city limits. I was no gangbanger and I could have gone to college if I wanted to. You might be asking yourself just like I do at times, “Well if you’re so smart, why didn’t you go to college?” at the time college was not for me. I was filled with a surge of national pride after the attacks on the World Trade Center. I was only ten years old but I wanted to serve my country. I remember that I was in Spain one week before the war in Iraq started. The Spanish people were going crazy with riots and what not; we left Spain the day the war started. I had family and friends involved in OIF that is Operation Iraqi Freedom for you slow-folks and I was mesmerized by the military. Before I joined, combat seemed amazing and I could not wait to do my part. That is all I could think about before I joined, and I wish I could go back and punch the high school senior version of myself in the nuts for being that stupid. Combat only sounds good in theory because the theory isn’t shooting fucking mortars and blowing you up. The most anti-climactic feeling is the one you get whenever you land at your Basic Combat Training base. I was expecting a scene out of Full Metal Jacket and what I got was a scene somewhere in between The Breakfast Club and the scene in The Matrix where Neo has to take instructions from a cellphone. The only problem was that my scene had no fun and nothing that the Drill Sergeants said made sense, I was stuck between a rock and a stupid place. This was almost like the first time anybody has sex, you aren’t quite sure what to expect and when it happens, it doesn’t go down quite as planned.

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