Friday, July 13, 2007

You'll go down in hisssstoooooryyyy...

In case your wondering, the title comes from the last line of the "Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer" song. Didn't know how to really type that out!

Well today was the day that I was scheduled to talk with the historian that I mentioned. I was origionally scheduled to meet with him at 230pm. I had stayed up late (since its worked out for me to have quite a few days off in a row) and so I was a little worried about getting up in time. I told others to make sure I was up and my buddy ended up staying up until 10am today, so he woke me up when he went to bed. I ended up getting up and running by the Hajji shop (Iraqi run shop) and bought a couple movies, a web cam and a microphone/earpiece things so I can make calls over the internet. One thing that is cool is that movies here only cost $1 or $2. And they have all the new movies on DVD pretty much as soon as they come out in the theater. The only thing is sometimes they are horrible, like some guy took a video camera into the theater. Dead serious. But usually they are good and cheep as shit.

Well when everything was all said and done I was rolling back to my room around, oh, 1130am, and everyone starts telling me that my platoon sergent was looking for me. And I mean everyone. I didn't find him, but one guy said that he said I needed to be at the TOC (Tactical Operations Center... i think). So I headed on over there wondering why because my interview still wasnt for a while. When I got there, no one there had any clue why I was there and they couldn't get ahold of anyone on the radios. I waited around for a while, and nothing so I decided to leave. Right as I was leaving the call came up that my 1SG wanted me to see him in his room, so I walked on over there. He just wanted to talk to me a little bit about this interview. He basically told me that this was an official Army thing, to basically record the Armys history here and that, as I figured, he picked me because of my blog and that I've been keeping a pretty accurate account of things here. He just wanted to make sure I understood that is was a factual thing and not an opinion opportunity. I totally understand, and was pretty excited to be picked.

I ended up just chilling out until my time to go, and at the last minute they said for me to be there right away, which was right around 2pm. I headed up there and went in to our conference room to talk with the historian. He was a pretty cool guy, with the 90th Military History unit or something like that. Sorry I can't remeber. He explained to me that their job is basically to travel around from Brigade to Brigade and they are alloted so much time that they have to split up amungst the batallions in each Brigade. Well, now he was on mine. He would conduct a few interviews, go out on a couple patrols and take some pictures, and then when it was all said and done, it would be compilied in the official Army documents and, as he said "used years down the road for history books and TV such as the History Channel" etc. Wow, this is really awesome I thought. How cool is it that I will have a part in writing the official history for my unit over here!

It was pretty much just like an interview I would of imagined. He had a voice recorder, turned it on and then would ask me questions. He asked stuff about the missions we perform, the area we're in, the people in our area, stuff like that. Just questions to get a good snapshot of what our role is here and what its like for us. I was a little nervous at first, but I think I did fine, and tried answering his questions to the best of my ability. When everything was all done, he took a picture of me too. How could would that be if I had my picture in history books for my grandkids to see! haha. Not likely though.

Afterwords we ended up chatting for a little while and he shared some cool stories with me. He travels all around all the time and gets to meet some interesting people, to include a guy by the name of 1SG Eversman (sp?). If it sounds familiar, thats because thats the guy from Black Hawk Down, played by Josh Hartnet. How crazy!? Its such a small world you know!? I ended up talking with him a little about my blog and how Im keeping record myself of everything and he thought it was pretty cool and wanted to check out my blog so I gave him the address. Who knows... maybe he's reading this right now! So in the end, I thanked him for the opportunity to help write the great history of my unit, and I left there feeling pretty good. Not often in your life do you get to have a direct impact on history and how its written, and it felt awesome being able to share our story.

That was really about it for the day. The only other thing that was noteworth was just a little bit ago, I was walking down to smoke and checked out the date on my watch and realized that is was Friday the 13th! Holy cow. Normally not a day of good luck, but for the rest of my life that date will have a whole new meaning, and a experience of war that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. If you haven't read about it, check out my post from the last time that day came around... "Friday the 13th will never be the same..."

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Haole Wahine said...

I am so proud of you ! ! !
Your excitement is well deserved, and I'm just so happy. Reading your whole bit, and how you put it in perspective is sooooooo fantastic. I'm just so excited. Whoooopeeeeeee ! ! !

I am glad to see you getting the recognition for your blog upclose and personal. We're not always so good as you with the words. And I do want you to so know how much I appreciate, your job and then the extra lengths you take to write about it. Sharing in your exuberance is just so coooool. Thank you for a such a fantastic end to my week. You know the prayers continue, and now the grateful ones are just zipping out of my heart.

Anonymous said...

Very cool! Thanks for sharing! Your excitement about it definitely comes through in the telling. God Bless and stay safe!

SYLKY said...

I second Rejenia and add what I told you from the start... you're words of wisdom and experience will reach the world. They already have and will continue to do so... because you went down in Hiiiissssstooorrrryyyy!

We will never be able to express in words our gratitude for all you do, but all of us Ed-Heads will still be here to show the love and cheer you on anyhow.

I'll tell my grandkids about you, Eddie Munster. LOL. I luv ya, buddy! Stay safe, and keep the blogs coming.

thad lucken said...

there will hopefully come a time in the near future when, in between deployments or wars, bored privates sitting on guard duty that have been completely burned out by endless inspections and fake war training will be able to read the history of the unit they are in and stay motivated.
I was in a leg unit in Washington state back in the 80's when the most exciting thing we could do was play dungeons and dragons while on reaction platoon duty.
every other unit seemed to be doing something somewhere but we were just losers that didnt know a damned thing according to the lifer vietnam vets running the show.
just like the guys that stay in after OIF will be to the cruits coming in after everything is hopefully successful.
If someone had taken the time to read off some of our unit history during payday formations about how our unit had been involved in DDay, how we had been instrumental in the capture of Mexico City, how we had fought in the Delta, hell anything that wouldve made us feel connected to an actual combat unit instead of just being looked at as dope smoking wannabes that only joined because there wasnt a war etc. we wouldve been way more motivated.
After going out of my war and researching on my own the history of my old unit my opinion of them has changed 100% from just being another leg unit stuck stateside to realizing way too late that they were right there.
As a matter of fact the 2/2 inf fought in Fallujah after they rejoined the Big Red One.
The American Infantryman is NOT a dumb jock robot that only joins because Wendy's isnt hiring and has an intellectual curiosity that can't be addressed by liberal academia. As part of Force Protection and to augment and strengthen soldier morale and commitment it should be considered essential that they be forced to put down their dvds and letters home to study and understand exactly what they are a part of and that what they do matters jsut as much as what someone did when they were lucky enough to be born in a time when they could do their job instead of just train train train.
I know and have met hundreds of veterans that served in strac units that never deployed who would love to let today's soldiers know how jealous we are of you guys.
But who is going to make it SOP to do all this when it seems there are so many other things to do?
A military historian, that's who.
His job is right up there with the chaplain and unfortunately gets overlooked which is understandable when bullets are flying, but in the big picture it can save lives and thousands of taxpayer dollars to keep troops motivated and prepared during the downtimes.
All the Way!!

Jes said...

Good job mate. Have you read the blog My friend Mike was there for 18 months and some of his blog is in that book the Blogs of War. Anyway, glad to find your site and I'll spend some time on it today. PS: Please browse the Bombshelter site. We are ladies out there on the homefront supporting guys like you. Go 82nd! Your story matters!

Unknown said...

Your experiences and memories will help continue to keep the human elements amd details of this war alive and remembered. The History books give the topical but stories like yours that include the "story within the story" are often not catalogued.

Years ago, I had the honor of working with a retired Air Force Colonel. This gentleman flew glider missions on D-Day over St. Marie Eglise. On days where business was slow, he and I would talk about the missions he flew, the things he saw and witnessed, and the dangers he faced in making it back to fly another mission.

Needless to say, it was quite an experience and honor to have met this gentleman. He made a profound impact on me because of his great character and the character that permeates our present day military. The men and women like yourself. Ordinary citizens that make tremendous sacrifices for the betterment of others. This gentleman passed away about five years ago but his own legacy, although not etched into a history book per se, remains alive and well. God Bless You Always Sir...

david Texas USA

TXTeacher said...

Great! A part of history! So glad you got that opportunity. As always, you remain in my prayers and with my deepest gratitude (still dont think it's much!)

Brian H said...

Player 2;
Thanks for that info and observation. It's not something that is made much of, but it seems obvious now that you mention it. I can well believe that these days and from now on new recruits and stateside-posted troops will dig in to the current and archived blogs by unit members and similar stuff.

So every milblogger is writing the history of his own unit, for future members, maybe for centuries to come!