Tag Archives: military

I’m done!

Today marks the official end to my military service. I’m currently sitting on a plane thirty thousand feet in the air writing this. What’s funny to me is that I started my military service by taking a plane ride and here I am four years later on one marking the end. As I sit on this plane I can hear the silence pulsing through the air and that only means one thing; I am free at last.

I’m a bit disappointed in the way my unit handled my decision to leave but I feel like I am finally on the long road to inner peace. My service has changed my perspective on the world in so many ways. The boy who naively landed in Fort Jackson is no more. I have been tested both mentally and physically by my experiences. I look around the plane and I feel like my contribution to the country no matter how minuscule was worth it.

I have many things to learn about the civilian world as I transition into an every day life. Although I hated the hardships that I’ve endured I am forever grateful to the individuals who helped me cope with them.

I can now see the Rocky Mountains in the horizon and I know that I am ready for what the future has waiting for me.
I remember one of my Drill Sergeants saying, ” You may not know it, but someone back home is looking up to you right now, so if you’re thinking about quitting think of them and keep going, because there is three things you never give up on, your family, your country, and yourself.”
I will never be able to forget those words as I move forward with my life.

I leave y’all with this quote that I found inscribed in a castle in Norwich, England.

My road calls me.
Lvres me West, East, South, and North.
Most roads lead men homewards.
My road leads me forth.

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Why

I can’t count the number of discussions that I’ve had with a good friend of mine. The question that is always discussed between us is, “Why join the military to fight for your country?”

If anything I think that this question has many sides to it. On one hand I try to look at it from her point of view, but society is much different in Texas than in Austria. So I’ve spent my last weeks here in the military thinking of how to write about this topic. I would hope that I played a small part in defending freedom. Whether you agree or disagree with the conflicts that we are involved in, as cheesy as it might sound, I believe in this country. I remember sitting in my classroom looking at the Twin Towers being attacked and I remember feeling so hopeless and defenseless. I never wanted to feel like that again so I decided right then and there that I would do my part for this country. Now I can’t say that I’ve enjoyed every day here, but I’m doing this so that I can play a part in never feeling like that ever again.

On the other hand we(the military) are often portrayed as brainwashed and on a mission to kill everything. I can’t say that I agree with that because it is generalizing everyone into a single category. Now I’m not saying that we are all saints, but we sure as hell aren’t all on some crazy path. Behind the propaganda and bad publicity we are just normal individuals trying to live life.

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse.
John Stuart Mill

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Homeward Bound

I remember laying in bed for the first two days after being back not able to sleep. The springs leave a lasting mark on my back as I toss and turn. My body is beyond tired but my mind tells me to keep going, I don’t know what’s happening. It all feels like a life time ago that I left home. I’ve traveled over 30,000km on different assignments with the military. 30,000 different places that my heart has left a small piece.

As I get closer to the end I become more restless. I don’t know what the future will have in store for me, but for now I have 30,000 reasons to be happy to have the opportunity to move forward with my life.

No matter what path you take with your life, it’s beautiful and don’t you forget that.

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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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Memorial Day

It is currently 3am on the 27th as I write this and for everyone back home it is still the 26th of May.

I am posting this to share a common trait in fellow service members. We joined for various reasons and we knew what could happen if we did join, but here we are over 10 years after September 11, with many stories both good and bad. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to serve and wear the same uniform as some of these people. I think that many people forget why we have Memorial Day. “I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish”
 
Here is a couple pictures that I want to share with y’all, this is what he wrote to be read at his funeral.
 
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To close this out, here is my favorite poem by Chief Tecumseh

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.”

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Pictures of my European adventure

These are a few of the pictures that I took while in Europe.

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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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Thirst is real update

Deployment has been a bit stressful and time consuming to say the least. This is a bit of a fast forward on my story the thirst is real. I must emphasize that the opinions and scenarios posted are my biased views and are in no way the views of the United States Army.

I had such great plans for the continuation of the thirst is real but recent events have forever changed those plans. I show up to our site and within the first hour I can rapidly feel my brain cells eroding away.
What makes a good leader? I have asked myself that question too many times within the last eight hours. I think that the Army is setting many soldiers up for failure by rewarding complete idiots with positions of power. To all the people who might say, well they earned it, I say Fuck You. The people I am talking about could not lead anybody out of a paperbag. We get all these people that want to be politically correct so they promote people that should not be put in a leadership position. If kissing ass is a requirement for being put in a leadership position here, I refuse to lower myself to that level. I have news for you, everyone can’t be special, so feelings have to be hurt when it comes to promotions.
Criticizing soldiers under you is not  a great quality to have when leading soldiers. Yes I am venting at this point.
Lets say you sit on your ass all day, why would you tell someone to be actively engaged when you yourself are not doing anything. If I could walk around and criticize everything a person does, would that make me sleep better in this shithole?
It would make common sense to make things less stressful than they should be in a deployed environment. I actually feel sorry for some of these guys, they are so caught up in looking good on paper that they end up losing whatever redeeming life skills that they had.
My friends, common sense is a quality that is fading fast. I weep for the new generation of soldiers that may not get to experience great leaders. PowerPoint presentations and good physical fitness scores do not make a great leader. The thirst for kissing ass and looking good on slides has become a mental disorder that is making me go crazy.
I’d rather get shot with a nail gun than listen to these retards.

With that said, my vent is complete, hope y’all have a good day.

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Nothingness

I think that one of the worst states of mind that somebody can be in is the point between nothingness and fuck it. The entire world around you could burst into flames but you feel nothing. It is at this state where I turn and see my peers. Our humor went from funny to dark.
Being in a state of mind like this can be very difficult for most people to imagine or understand. It is as if the worst elements of our environment are amplified and channeled through our jokes. No longer do you see the desire in the eyes of privates to excel and I think that it’s a huge problem.
But forget about all these feelings around us, the thing that we miss the most is sleep. How I wish I could have a peaceful night of sleep. Things could always be worse so I will end my rant here.

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Do you ever get the feeling of being pissed off at everything in the world, and you don’t know why? That can sum up about a quarter of my week here. Sometimes I just wake up and I’m pissed off at everything and everybody for no particular reason. And then, it is as if somebody moved the light switch, things in my day go back to normal. At times everything that has happened builds up, and it keeps building, until we release that energy somehow. As the days go by, I can see that people’s fuses are shorter and shorter, I can only imagine how this will go eight months into the deployment.

On the bright side, getting care packages, makes my day feel like Christmas morning. The entire world could be on fire, but for that brief moment of opening the package, nothing else matters. It is a similar feeling to getting letters in Basic Training. Just the fact that people I know show how much they care, makes everything we do worth it.

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