Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Half way there...

Alright well as of a couple days ago, based on a 15 month deployment, we are now officially 1/2 way done. There is still the chance that our deployment could be shorter than 15 months, but if it does last that long, we are in the 2nd half. It's crazy to think that had this been like any other deployment that this unit has gone on since September 11th, then we would be finishing up or long done with the deployment. But instead, we reach a mark that is significant, yet painful at the same time. It has been a LONG time already and we must do the same thing again.

I don't know what it is, but this waypoint has proven tougher on me than I expected. I figured that once I got here that it would all be down hill and that all I would have to do is exactly what I already did, then I would be home again. I think my logic would of worked out, had the pain and suffering not come down upon our squad. It has been a few days since I've last posted and there are reasons for that. For one, I have been extremely busy, in fact I still am. Our schedule is so packed that we haven't much time to our selves, mostly working or sleeping, then getting up and doing it again. And the work we are doing is not easy work. It is pushing our bodies beyond the point of exhaustion; a place we haven't been since the begining of the deployment. In fact I can't remeber the last time I have been this tired and this sore. Still, we must go on. The second reason I haven't posted much is because with everything that has been going on, it has been hard to keep a positive attitude; myself as well as others included. I figured it would be best if I waited to post something that way it was not a rant about how stupid the Army is or something to that effect.

Right now, with a significant milestone in our deploymnet passed, we are being tested. A test of physical and emotional strength, and Im afraid that it is breaking us down on both ends. The harest part in dealing with this is that it is unecessary. Right now, within the company my platoon is getting the dick from our CO. And somehow, once again my squad is on the receive end of it for my platoon. We are the only ones that are sucking right now, and we are sucking bad. Ever since our CO had come back from leave, he's been hard charging, super motivated, and back to thinking that his soldiers are superhumans, not regarding the fact that, believe it or not, we do have limits. These limits are quickly being approached. The sad thing is, no one beyond our leadership that is in the shit with us day in and day out, really seems to care. Guess thats why our company has the lowest re-enlistment rate, and ironically, the CO was to speak with us today and find out why we aren't re-enlisting. I'm very tempted to give him a piece of my mind, and lay it out there honestly why I, and many others, are not re-enlisting.

So beyond that, my time right now has been boring and uneventful. The only things really noteworth over the past few days have been these.

We were driving along the other day, and we happen to be driving through some of the back roads in this one nieghborhood that has some of the worse roads I've ever seen in my entire life. The funny thing is, this is a nice nieghtborhood in Iraq too. Anyways, there are some seriously dangerous areas and some potentially hazardous spots. It was in this same neighborhood that we managed to get a couple Humvees stuck in the shit mudd that one day. Well anyways, we cruising down this one street and along one side there are these really deep holes. I dont understand what they are for, but its pretty ridiculous. The lead vechicle was just in the process of calling up one of them that didn't allow for much room to pass, when all of sudden the truck in front of me began sliding in to the hole. It was some scarry shit at first because as one side began sliding it, it took on a angle of posture that was nearing a roll. Just before reaching the threshold, the truck stopped. The occupants inside began scrambling to get out and as the last person got out and shut the door it began sliding some more. We totally thought it was about to roll in to the hold, which ended up being full of water. Somehow, the front bumper got caught on a solid part of ground and prevented this from happening.

Humvee holding on for dear life!It was surreal seeing one of our trucks in such a position. Everything you learn about gravity and center of balance told you that the truck should be on its side in the hole, but it wasn't. It was quite hilarious to see it like that except for the occupants. Some of them were pretty shaken, for had they gone in the ditch, the truck might of began filling with water. I dont think it would of been enough to fill the whole cab, but it would of been a scarry moment waiting to find out. Either way they got out and so now, as a lot of things go here, it became a comical event. Once again, the US Army, the worlds greatest Army, was stuck and helpless to do anything. As Iraqi's passed us walking by, they didn't want to look at the truck, but Im sure I know what they were thinking. We ended up having to wait for a wrecker to come out and after a few failed attempts, they found a way to hook up to it, part of which required running a chain to our truck to prevent it from rolling, and were finally able to get it out, undamaged and good to go. So with that, we continued mission.

The other event was nothing exciting. The thing was that we thought it would be. There were reports coming up that the Iraqi Police (IP) had found a car bomb. They had the area cordoned off and they had Iraqi EOD (bomb squad) that was other there and there were going to do a controled detonation of it. It was far enough away to where we could watch in relative safety, yet close enough to where this had the potential to be a cool show! So of course those of us with interest, including myself, got our cameras and video recorders and got in positions to best record the massive explosion we knew was coming. The time was ticking down, but we didn't know the exact moment that it was going to happen because the Iraqi's kept telling us times that wern't right. So we waited. That's when all of a sudden it happened. It was one of the most pathetic explosions that I've heard. In fact, I've heard many IEDs that detonated with much more force than that. We kind of look at each other like, "Was that it?" We were confused and our worst fear was confirmed when the Iraqi's told us that was it. Wow, that sure sucked. We were really hoping to get some good footage of a massive explosion. Guess not today.

One last update on my leave and Ramadan. I did some research and learned that the Muslim calander is based upon the Lunar year instead of the Solar year. Didn't mean much to me at first, but I learned that the Lunar year is 13 days shorter than the Solar year, and so dates of holidays and whatnot come earlier and earlier each year. Ramadan this year is to fall durring the time of September 13th to October 13th. I figure my chances of getting leave in late October are pretty good and so I decided to switch my leave back, so I will no longer have to wait the additional time. I think this will be best with how my nervers and temperment are being tested lately. I definately need a break and the sooner the better.

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Anonymous said...

yo man, really enjoy your blog, keep up the good work!

Haole Wahine said...

Good news indeed!!!
No Tricks only Treats !!!

Are you expecting to come back hard charging, super motivated, and back to thinking that you're superhuman?

Army bashing, isn't that a team sport?

cameras/video recorders dream or reality?

Bag Blog said...

You would think that reaching your halfway point would be an encouragement, but many times it is not. I call it "short-timers disease". The shorter your time is, the more you want to just leave. Work often gets shoddy at this time. Of course, you can't afford to do shoddy work. Be encouraged. Keep on truckin'. Look for the good. Don't focus on the bad. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

I hope you get a break soon and I hope y'all get your "second wind" too. Having followed the milblogs through several deployments, it's obvious the halfway point is a very tough time, but I have confidence in you guys getting through it. Your CO will settle down, and if he's a good one, he'll work with y'all to turn things around.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of Soldiers' Angels and found your blog through another member of SA. I love the way you write and I thank you for all your hard work.

Please know that you can go to and sign yourself and your men up for support if you haven't already done so. I know how important mail is, and there are members of this support organization ready, willing and able to help boost morale.

David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 08/23/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am glad your leave is coming up! It sounds like you really need it. Your blog is fascinating, although it does make me miss wearing boots sometimes!

Anonymous said...

I remember the halfway point.. three months ago! Its these last four that are getating me down. Each day seems slower than the previous one.


Anonymous said...

Just remember than when "they" get promoted from 0-2 to 0-3, they have to give up their common sense and reasoning. Give it the ol' FTA and roll on.

Just remember to treat everyday like the first day, so that you don't get complacent and it turns into your last day...alive.

Thanks for keeping us at home safe and keep giving them hell over there!!

Torii said...

I'm sorry to hear things are getting rough for you. Atleast your leave can come sooner now! As for the half way point, I can only speculate, but I think if it were me I would be worse off after just because when i've got a long time until something, I place it out of my mind. no point dwelling. But the closer I get the more I anticipate it, and the more I think about it. Try tricking yourself? lol. Hope all works out for ya!

Anonymous said...

On the Loose,

Hang in there and look forward to your time away and home. I'm sorry that it all seems so overwhelming at times - have got you added to my prayer list and will prayer your squad in particular gets a special shot in the arm - the good kind!! Forget about half again to go, do the count down on your R&R which is near at hand, time wise. Thank-you for all you are going through for those of us at home. We may not say it enough but your efforts are so much appreciated. God bless you; may He keep you and your squad safe as you go about your difficult tasks.

Haole Wahine said...

Hey, guys check out the NYTimes Saturday issue. There's the 82nd on the front page.

they're so fast, the camera can only show them as a blur.

Taking care of business, Sarge.

Proud and thankful for all of you!