Journey of a National Guard Soldier going Active

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Adios to this blog

I'm done writing on this blog. I have my reasons, perhaps you'll come upon another blog that might seem like my writing. perhaps.

Friday, November 03, 2006

This is dumb as hell, but funny.

at least they did something constructive with their boredom. Me? I mastered Madden NFL 05

they made of spoof off of SNL's Lazy Sunday video :

Watch it.


Y'all know that I ain't no sappy ass bitch or nothing. But just take a time a reflect on all the guys that died in October alone. So this November 11th. Take time from you're day of Playin Halo, Drinkin, Drunken Bowling. Playin some fucking Party Poker, watchin Youtube, and show some respect.

33 of them were 21 years old and under. Think about that. It's because of them that your ass isn't being drafted, because they volunteered.

1. Seal, Aaron L.
2. Cosgrove III, Christopher B.
3. Peterson, Justin D.
4. Haag, Chase A.
5. Nelson, Mario
6. Lannaman, Denise A.
7. Narvaez, Joe A.
8. Greenlee, Satieon V.
9. Walker, Kristofer C.
10. Armijo, Raymond S.
11. Ellis, James D.
12. Jarrett, Justin R.
13. Oremus, Michael K.
14. Perry, Joseph W.
15. Isshak, Daniel
16. Rojas, Jonathan
17. Bright, Dean
18. Burke, Timothy
19. Obourn Jr., George R.
20. Moudry, Christopher O.
21. Garvin, Edward M.
22. Rosales, Benjamin S.
23. Arvanitis, Nicholas A.
24. Payne, Bradford H.
25. Hale, John Edward
26. Asbury, Brandon S.
27. Johnson II, Carl W.
28. Parrish, Lawrence
29. Wood, John Edward
30. Fulkerson, Timothy
31. Monroe, Jeremy Scott Sandvick
32. Arechaga, Julian M.
33. Johnson, Stephen F.
34. Austin, Shane R.
35. Secher, Robert M.
36. Williams, Phillip B.
37. Bowman, Jon Eric
38. Jones, Derek W.
39. Feniello, Shelby J.
40. Sowinski, Nicholas R.
41. Adcock, Shane T.
42. Walsh, Justin T.
43. Hawkins, Gene A.
44. Hewett, Thomas J.
45. Stanton Jr., Kenny F.
46. Craver, Johnny K.
47. Chavis, Leebenard E.
48. Simpson, Jonathan J.
49. Lauer, Timothy J.
50. Kane, Joseph M.
51. King, Charles M.
52. Moore, Keith J.
53. Hines, Joshua M.
54. Babb, Brock A.
55. Paine, Mark C.
56. Lootens, Jonathan E.
57. Deese, Joshua
58. Bicknell, Stephen
59. Baroncini, Jr., Lester Domenico
60. Booth, Joshua L.
61. Sizemore, Garth D.
62. Frigo, Nathan J.
63. Taylor III, Norman R.
64. Haupt, Ryan E.
65. Loudon, Christopher E.
66. Culbertson III, Russell G.
67. Unger, David M.
68. Dumas Jr., Joseph C.
69. Montalvo, Jesus M.
70. Paulsen, Ronald L.
71. Winegeart, Daniel W.
72. Perez, Jose R.
73. Brozovich, Daniel A.
74. Barlow, Patrick O.
75. Lopez Jr., Edwardo
76. Witte, Kevin M.
77. Collinsworth, Clifford R.
78. Elrod, Nathan R.
79. Manoukian, Nicholas J.
80. Watkins, Joshua C.
81. Knier, Tony L.
82. Herzberg, Eric W.
83. Taylor, David G.
84. Aguirre, Nathaniel A.
85. Creed, Matthew W.
86. Mock, Willsun M.
87. Rogers, Nicholas K.
88. Eason, Carl A.
89. Overstreet, Tyler R.
90. Buerstetta, Richard A.
91. Sare, Charles O.
92. Bock, Amos C. R
93. Komppa, Charles V.
94. Thornsberry, Jonathan B.
95. Chaires, Daniel B.
96. Gilbert, Thomas M.
97. Brown, Donald S.
98. McGinnis, Ricky L.
99. Zimmerman, Luke J.
100. Nealey, Troy D.
101. Seeley, Michael T.
102. Foyteck, Kraig D.
103. Bostic, Kenneth E.
104. Weidemann, Michael R.
105. Franco, Jason

Thursday, November 02, 2006

stupid land developers

everytime im chillin back there smokin a cigarette there's always gotta be a chopper flyin overhead low...or the train rumbles by...

reminds me of the sandbox...

It's annoying, what happened to peace and quiet at night

reminds me of the convoys rollin by when im tryin to sleep on my humvee...the damn train...

I just thought this was funny

While what he said was misinterpreted and preyed upon by republicans, it was still an idiotic thing to say...but this response is hilarious

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Death of a President movie

I watched this movie just now and felt that I had to write down how I felt about this particular fulm.

I came into this movie with a bias that it was dispicable. How are you going to disgrace the position of the President of the United States in order to tell the story? He is a real life person, you don't know him, you haven't met him, all you know of is his policies and his simplicity when he speaks on TV.

I disagree with alot of things he's done since he came into office, I'm a registered democrat, I'm in the Army, with a year tour in Iraq. I even voted for Kerry, and yet right now I'm a big fan of John McCain. I'm in the middle of the road kinda guy

But still have respect for the position, and to him as a human being. It sure doesn't help that it's a Canadian Film, who has no legitimate insight on who he is.

It was a cheap attempt to stir up criticism and popularity for this film.

But then when the movie progressed on deeper than the infamous assasination, it showed a deep rooted troubling fear amongst all Americans, that in this day and age, we really might be willing to give up our inalienable liberties in order to seek comfort and the false sense of security. That we'd be able to look the other way just to feel safe.

It was "interesting" movie to watch. It's unfortunate that the message that this film conveyed was hidden underneath the need for the filmmakers to show his angst towards a certain person that he has no idea about.

In the end, the need to bring the real life President of the United States, such a once revered and respected position, into a film in this way, is abhorrent and reprehensible and pathetically self serving.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Army Dreamers
By Kate Bush

Our little Army Boy
Is coming home from B.F.P.O.
I've a bunch of purple flowers
To decorate a mammy's hero.

Mourning in the aerodrome,
The weather warmer, he is colder.
Four men in uniform
To carry home my little soldier.


What could he do?
Should have been a rock star,
But he didn't have the money for a guitar.
What could he do?

Should have been a politician,
But he never had a proper education.
What could he do?
Should have been a father.

But he never even made it to his twenties.
What a waste.
Army Dreamers.
Tears o'er a tin box,

Oh, Jesus Christ, he wasn't to know,
Like a chicken with a fox,
He cannot win the war with ego.
Give the kid the pick of pips,

And give him all your stripes and ribbons.
Now he's sitting in his hole,
He might as well have buttons and bows.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I'm gonna be an Infantryman? What what what?


So I go to MEPS looking to be a Medic (68W) and somehow I come back with a 3 yr enlistment in the Infantry. I'm still trying to get with the 4/2 SBCT but there's gonna be alot of hurdles to go through to get it, cuz as of now, it's alll up to the needs of the Army. I'm surprised I even go a Bonus, being prior service and all.

I'm gonna be honest though, my ass is outta shape.

I. am. a. fat. turd.

So ya, I got 3 weeks to run like hell so when I get to AIT I'll be able to keep up with the newbies.

holy shit, my mom is gonna be piiiiissed.

my girls already pissed at me. hahaha. I told her that I was going up to be a medic. She tells me she doesn't want me to be infantry. Ok, ok, babe. I won't be

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sooooooo I'm back

Guess who's back...

back again.

Yup. I've decided to go Active Duty. I spent almost a year here at home living a life of "normacly". Can't say I'm a big fan of it at this point in time. So I'm going Active for 3 years. I go up to MEPS tomorrow and we'll find out what I'll end up doing and where I'll be.

Monday, October 24, 2005


How does one sum up a year of such a unique experience filled with such wide extremes of emotions and events? The friendships made, the bonds forged, unlike any other. The relationship formed on the battle field is unlike anything else in the world. From the camaraderie of the old and young, to the diverse races of the world coming together for a common cause, for the liberty and freedom for Americans and Iraqis both.

I had the fortunate experience to serve my country with another unit for the first half of my deployment; The 518th Gun Truck Company. When I joined the unit, I remember getting off that bus at Camp Navistar, doing a 360 degree look of the place and thought to myself: “I’m really doing this.” I remember that we were greeted by 1st LT McCormick, an Ex-NCO turned officer through OCS. I remember him telling us that this was no joke, that in order to succeed as well as stay alive, we must revert to our training. The one thing I won’t forget is him telling us one specific clash with insurgents. One was where he was shot in the IBA, how, when the bullet struck him in the chest, it sent him down into the turret hole, everything was black for a second or so, till he regained awareness and got back in the turret and continued to return fire. “THAT” He said “Is what matters, getting back up in the turret.” At that point, I realized that this is what I truly wanted to do. I was where I belonged.

I was hit 3 times while with the 518th, one of which almost determined my mortality. From the turret of my Humvee, I was humbled by the interactions with the local populous, giving out food and water to local while we were stopped. Showing non-threatening actions; showing the Iraqis that we were good “people”, not just soldiers. At the same time, when we were attacked I found out once and for all how I would react. One can always “assume” how one will do in combat, but you never know until it happens, and I’m content on knowing that I react as well, if not better than what my training taught me.

The bonds forged in the 518th will be everlasting. We volunteered to perform a job that most were too afraid to take on. In that, we found pride as well as sense of solace in each other. No matter what anyone said about us, we all knew what it meant to be part of the 518th Gun Truck Company, and no one outside of the unit will ever be able to understand it.

When I came back to the ****th, I was told that I was going to be driving 915’s rather than be in the gun truck platoon. I felt personally insulted because of that decision. But I drove on; I performed up to standard and was finally promoted to PFC. But I truly didn’t feel like I belonged. My close friends were all in the gun truck platoon, and I never saw them. I had a few close bonds with certain soldiers in my platoon. But I was put in a squad in which I knew none of the soldiers well, a squad where my Squad Leader and Team Leader only know OF me, knew of my argumentative personality, knew of my tendency to lose my bearing; but they didn’t know me. The whole squad had half a deployment to bond; I had 2 days. I went on missions and went with the flow, but it was hard. I became more and more negative, no one really to talk to; to express my fears, my joys, my doubts.

Then one day, I was pulled into 1SG’s office; they had found out about my blog. I’ve kept a personal account of my life while deployed; dating as far back as Mob Station at Ft. Lewis. It was at first started as a light-hearted way of keeping family informed, till it turned into a forum for me to vent my joys and problems of life as a soldier. I decided to keep it anonymous; that way I could’ve written freely, but in a sense, people back home can get a real perspective of life here, rather than believe the crap on CNN and FOXNEWS. But from that point on I had to watch what I wrote. I felt like my rights had been treaded upon; an eerie resemblance of Orwell’s “1984”. I still wrote up until the point I got into an anticipated shutdown of my blog due to a flaky violation of UCMJ.

Around that time was when the saddest point of my deployment occurred. A good friend of mine died in what turned out to be an avoidable accident. He was so damn close to the mission being over. Makes you take a step back and ask why? He turned 21 the day before, I can only imagine that he talked with his parents the day before, and they wished him a happy birthday, and how it would be only a few more months till he came home for good, but now, they’ll never see him again. I never experience a death where I knew the person as close as Tony was. It was all too surreal. Like a bad joke. You could have almost pretended that he was just on the road, but in the end it would hit you. It hit me when I was at the Memorial Service for him; when the 1SG went ahead with the heartbreaking observance of the Final Roll Call.

So here we are now, merely days away from the “re-integration” back into society. My best friend asked me: “How do you feel about coming back?” I really had to take a moment, and sincerely reflect upon that question. After a few minutes I answered her truthfully; “I don’t know, it seems like there’s such a wide array of emotions that are balled up and ended up numbing me, I’m afraid, nervous, happy, saddened, curious, angered, disappointed, and satisfied. Yet, I couldn’t pin-point one emotion.

Soldiers in this unit can take back the many good and bad experiences during this deployment and learn from them. I, myself, am glad to have served my country honorably; I have gone through few painless days and scores of hard times. I have, in the end, been able to have learned and matured through many of my mistakes and successes; and for that, I am forever grateful, and humbled for my deployment with the ****th Transportation Company.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Yay. I love Article 15's

So great, my commander has launched an investigation on this blog, saying I violated OPSEC and showed disrespect towards my chain of command and others. Fuckin wonderful. I get brought in by my 1SG 2 months ago and get yelled at for it, told to watch out for OPSEC, and then a month ago, the Commander HIMSELF, tells me "Keep writing, you have nothing to be afraid of." So I did, I mean, the fact he talked to me about it, and telling me to keep posting was a shock, out of anyone, I would've thought he would be the first to tell me to stop the blog. I guess maybe he just wanted me to post more stuff, so he could have more dirt to use against me? Who knows

So I talked to my investigating officer, a platoon leader in our unit, and I signed my privacy act and told him that I don't want to continue this further without legal counsel. So got a monday appointment at 1130.

UPDATE - They tried to get me for a Field Grade Article 15. I talked to a LTC at JAG and he pretty much said to me "You didn't Violate Opsec, and everything else is protected 1st Amendment" But just so in my opinion some people can save face. I got a Summarized Article 15 for Disrespect towards a commisioned officer for my bronze star opinion. Summarized isn't about the level of cleaning chalkboard erasers, not even detention. At least I know I'm not violating OPSEC, the rest are just details

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

A Heavenly poop, A Close Call, and "You're so money

So here we are, on ASR Long Island, rolling at night, this roads probably one of the shittiest, bumpiest roads around. It's a 2 lane road, and you definitely don't wanna stray into the dirt, because of those pesky IED's. I'm driving, trying to avoid the bumps and potholes as much as possible, but that ain't happening. I've had a stomach ache from hell for the last 20 minutes, it sucks. Finally this one HUGE friggin bump comes out of nowhere, and..oh shit...I gotta crap.

So the convoy comes to a stop because we ended up catching up to another convoy ahead of us. We all turn off our lights; standard SOP, and I get on the mike and radio up to the Convoy Commander.

"Rebel 1, this is Rebel 3"
"Rebel 3, Go"
"Roger, you think we can stop for about 5 mikes? I gotta take a huge fucking shit"
"Ya, go...hurry up"
" you have and TP?"

Rebel 1 said something that I thought resembled a yes, so I hurried up there, about a good 50 yds, clenching my cheeks. I get to him, and ask him.

"You got the TP?"
"I told you I don't got none"
"WHAT?!?! FUCK!! you had some earlier!"
"Well I used it all the other day"

So I'm desperately holding on right now, so now I'm starting to run back and start asking each Rebel element if they had TP or Baby Wipes, and Thank GOD, Rebel 2 had wipes.

So I rush back to my truck, grab a plastic AAFES bag (Cause I don't wanna shit on the asphalt, that's just nasty) ,consider a good crapping area, which ended up being under the trailer, using the landing gear as support. I whip off my kevlar, IBA (Yes, I know that's a no-go, but good god I was in pure agony) squatted, pulled the bag around my THAT'S what dreams are made of.

So the radio goes off, calling me on the net, my radio is on my IBA which is out of reach, so I'm thinking to myself, "Ya..I'm done" Speed wipe, toss the plastic bag, and rush to the radio with my pants still at my ankles (Thank god there was Zero visibility that night) and answer "Gimme 3 mikes".

Just when I got done saying that. Ohhhh..shit...I ain't done. SONOFABITCH, I have no bag. Well I don't have time to find another, this second assault is not waiting, so I improvise, grab the two rear truck tires, squat, leaned back; so that I cleared my pants, and ooooooooohhhh ya...oh man..I can't believe I'm taking a crap like this. I get done, wipe, and trouse back up. Yup. I'm done. I took a quick glance at the aftermath, and ooh man, full on Melted Chocolate style poop. Everyone knows those kinds, like thick paint. That's what I get for switching to a healthy diet.

I get my gear back on, yell on the radio :

"Rebel 3 has dropped it's load and is good to go"
"Roger, Rolling up front"

I get back on the mike:

"All Rebel elements, watch out for the fat crap I took on the left side of the road."

:) Fini

So we offloaded at TQ and rolled out of there to BIAP; that's where our backload was, so we get there, wait all damn day to find out what the hell is going on.

So we start loading our shit; it's Rolling stock, which means Humvees and any other wheeled vehicles, we're working our asses off, it's hot, sandy, not the most enjoyable moment of our line of work. So I'm about 3 hrs into it, working on helping a TCN chain his laod down when all of a sudden I heard a LOUD ass BOOOM from behind me!!

I look back and see something fly a good 100 ft in the air, I'm thinking what the hell is that? Can't be a controlled detonation. We're too far in the camp. So we all just stand around, wondering what the hell the explosion was. Mortar? Can't be, it was only one round, normally when the insurgents fire mortars, they lob from 3-5 at one time and then bolt, but just one?
So at that point I see a Civilian Vehicle roll my way, this vehicle was behind me past where the explosion was, and so I walk up to the car, and a SGM and a MAJ jump out, at that point I was too exhausted and on edge to get to the whole formal 'at ease' crap. So they hop out I start talking to the SGM, confirming that they were the ones that were one the other side of the explosion. It was them, so at that point they started walking up to the metal that was flying up 100 ft in the air, so I thought, eh? what the hell, so I walked with them, "So SGM, other than this, how's your day going?" He laughs, we shot a little bit more shit.

We walk up to it and yup, it was a mortar, the piece was the all blown apart like a banana peel (I got a picture of it, I'll try and post later) it ended up being a 120mm Round, according to EOD who rolled up a little later, he said that the round malfunctioned and detonated before it hit the ground, that's why we couldn't find an impact crater.

So all's said and done, the round exploded about 75-85 meters from me. So lucky me? It was windy that day, so in a scale of luck, that round coulda came right on top of us. But pretty much same shit, different day.

So we ended up staying the night at BIAP which was a great thing, because there was a Screening of the movie "Wedding Crashers" with Vince Vaughn there to talk to us and take pictures and what not.

So we go there, it was packed, but me and my boy managed to get pretty good seats. Vince came out, talked a little bit, we cheered him on like there was no tomorrow, and we watched the movie. That movie was AWESOME, go watch it if you haven't seen it. "Highest grossing Rated R comedy ever"

Well afterwards he came out to a standing ovation, he answered some questions and then we lined up for a picture and autograph. I happened to have bought the Soundtrack to the movie a week ago, so I had him sign the cover, took the picture, shook his hand, and wished him luck.

Good times....

Friday, September 02, 2005

We lost WHAT???

So Got back Yesterday, and going back out tomorrow. Got some new right seat riders, all is pretty well.

The last mission went pretty smoothly until we left LSAA to go back south. We ended up losing three white civilian drivers. They were Fijian drivers. First time in Iraq. We were rolling down Vernon when we stopped real quick. When we started rolling again, the white truck in front of me didn't roll. So I jump out of my truck to find out what the hell the problem was, because the area that we stopped is one of the worst places to be at. It was right before the Vernon/Sword on-ramp. So come to find out the guy's got a trailer air hose leak, and the trailer won't roll. So because of that the convoy got split. When they finally stopped after radioing them, it was about 3 miles up. We didn't have a visual on eachother; not good. So the internal Guntruck rolled up and told me to go ahead, which I was gonna do anyways. So I start rolling, I see if the whites were following me and it looked like they were. So I hauled ass. They love planting IED's on these on-ramps. And I sure as hell ain't driving miss daisy. So I'm halfway on the ramp when I look in my mirror, and I don't see any whites following me, nice. I look ahead, talking on the radio to the front element, and I don't see em. So here I am turning on to Sword, alone. I'm thinking and laughing to myself, "Great, of all the fucking places, I gotta roll by myself here?" Once I got onto Sword I started to see the lights of the whites way far off behind me.

I reached the front element got into a box formation. Hopped out and guide the whites into our box. The rear element stayed back there for about 10 min before they came up on us. We didn't know we lost our whites yet. So once we got situated we rolled on. We wanted to get the fuck outta there ASAP.

So about 4 hours later, we got to Scannia. Our Convoy commander did a truck count at the gate and realized we had 18 trucks. 3 Short. Oh shit.

So we pulled off to the side, recounted; still 18. 2 flatbeds and 1 bobtail were gone. How the hell did we lose them? After asking the white drivers, and the rest of us. We came to the assumption that somehow the 3 didn't make the turn onto Sword, but instead kept going straight onto Vernon. That road would take them to Ramadi. Not good.

So at this point, we are all thinking that they're dead. No military escort, first time drivers. Definitely not good.

So the CC and NCOIC, all day, are trying to find out if they got picked up, or if they're still missing, but nothing yet. We're all thinking that they're gonna end up on CNN.

But in the end, they got picked up, I don't know the details but we're told they're ok. Which is good.

Other than that, the convoy went good.

Going back out tomorrow...bleh

Sunday, August 28, 2005


So already, we're delayed at Scannia. We were supposed to SP early this morning but the roads were getting lit up like christmas. Our CC was reading out what's been goin on: "Checkpoint **A IED, Checkpoint ** PIED, Checkpoint ** between ***and*** IED...and on and on." Maybe it's cause it's been a while since I've gone out on the road; what with leave and all that, but last night was pretty busy. Even by Camp Taji, there was a report of a chemical attack, where one soldier inhaled the stuff and it also burned his skin. I mean, chemical attack? What the hell...

On our way to Scannia we were told that we were to divert to Camp Cedar because Scannia was receiving mortar fire. That surprised the hell outta me, I mean, this place never gets mortared, last time was probably around November, maybe. The ended up opened up Scannia again, but 3 soldiers reportedly got hurt, 2 minor, 1 kinda serious. That's the heresay around here anyways. The PX was closed, the internet was closed till midnight, the Haji Mart was Definitely closed; it's still closed today. I bet the sheik who owns that place and the workers are pissed as hell. They make bank on all the shit they sell us, I wouldn't be surprised if the locals caught the guys who attacked the camp, just so they can open up shop and make more money. Ahh..gotta love business. It's nothing personal...just business. So we're gonna be trying to leave tonight, hopefull things have died down. But other than that...same shit...different day

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Out and about

So they gave me PT test, 1 day after get back, and what a surprise, I failed the run. I'm not really surprised. Push-up and Sit-up I always pass, but I'm just not a runner, and with smoking and gaining a million pounds off leave, definitely didn't help the run time. But it made me realize how out of shape and FAT I've gotten. 187 lbs. I've never weighed that much in my life. Man..what the hell did I eat on leave? Oh ya..Everything. So now I gotta slim down. Get in shape again, I'm trying to run 3 miles every night, get back into things. We'll see how things go.

I got scrapped from the last mission, because they said I wasnt M249 or MK-19 I wanted sooo sooo bad to be back in a humvee. I don't care if it is hot as hell. When I'm in that turret, I feel like I belong.

So now I'm back in a 915 on a convoy that's goin north in a couple days. Which ain't so bad, We're right-seat riding some new replacement unit. Right seat ride is when they sit in passenger seat and go with us on mission, just to get a feel of things, see how shit's ran.

So it's totally creepin my boys out that I tell them that I'm happy to be back, creepin me out But I really am glad to be back, get back to what I know and am comfortable with. I guess that's good, to be comfortable with this shit; cuz I know I'll be back at least two more times and then who knows after that, Syria? Iran? N. Korea? Bleh...

Other than that, it's off to the tracks..this mission is gonna be interesting. We got inexperienced soldiers coming, SSG M, from my gun truck unit riding; who is infamously known as the guy you wanna ride with if you wanna get attacked. I swear. This guy's convoys have gotten hit more times than fathomable. He's like a friggin magnet.

Good times...