Journey of a National Guard Soldier going Active

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...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Back "home"

I'm glad to be back, and that's creeping me out. While I was home, I had a blast, but a little part of me felt like I didn't belong. I hated driving when there were other cars on the road, not used to all these cars so close to me..haha.

I hung out with my old friends, got drunk, went paintballing, and just hung out. I had fun, but it just didn't feel 100% comfortable. I don't know.

It was fun though, I remember one night we somehow ended up drunken bowling at The Orleans at 3 am, the whole next day was re-cuperation day, but it was well worth it. I met new friends, got closer to my old ones. It was good. But the whole time I missed it here.

Bleh...I dunno..but it's good to be back, going back out in a couple of days. So the last 2 weeks of vacation could almost be just a dream.

I guess this isn't a new thing

So I got back finally, and gotta say, it's like I never left, everyone's safe, which is good, and only thing I hear people gripe about is how awards are being dished out like candy. I guess while I was gone, our CO got the Bronze Star. It's a gripe of how it demeans the Bronze Star. So I decided to find out how exactly; according to Army Regulations, one is awarded the Bronze Star.

Chapter 3, Army Regulation 600-8-22

3-13. Bronze Star Medal

a. The Bronze Star Medal was established by Executive Order 9419, 4 February 1944 (superseded by Executive Order 11046, 24 August 1962).

b. The Bronze Star Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity in or with the Army of the United States after 6 December 1941, distinguished himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with military operations against an armed enemy; or while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

c. Awards may be made for acts of heroism, performed under circumstances described above, which are of lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star.

d. The Bronze Star Medal may be awarded for meritorious achievement or meritorious service according to the following:

(1) Awards may be made to recognize single acts of merit or meritorious service. The lesser degree than that required for the award of the Legion of Merit must nevertheless have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction.

the rest is irrelevant, went on about non-aerial guys eligibility, and the phillipines campaign in WWII.

I wouldn't at all, blame the CO for getting the award, because from what I've seen, every commander has gotten some sort of award like that.

But in a sense, it's pathetic.

If in their guidelines our CO got it, because of Meritorious Actions, then 100% of the soldiers in our unit should get it.

Before I was deployed, I always thought that getting a bronze star was something that came above and beyond the call of duty, gotten in direct combat.

When I think of these suh awards, I remember of soldiers in WWII getting them for courageous actions against the enemy, in direct combat. Here's an example

"Private First Class Brendan E. McIntyre, 16065174, 82d Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, United States Army. For heroic achievement in action against the enemy on 10 October 1944 in Germany. At approximately 1100A two platoons of Company "A," 82d Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, were outputted southeast of Oidweilder, Germany, when a heavy artillery barrage wounded four men of an adjacent tank unit. With absolute disregard for his own personal safety, Private First Class McIntyre and three men left the safety of their foxholes and went to the aid of these men. Although the three other men were wounded by a following barrage, Private First Class McIntyre continued to give aid to all seven until they were evacuated to the rear. At approximately 1300A the same day, his Platoon Sergeant was wounded by artillery fire. Although he had been relieved from outpost, Private First Class McIntyre again went forward and evacuated the Platoon Sergeant to the rear. During the entire time, Private First Class Mclntyre displayed extreme courage and initiative beyond the call of duty. Entered Military Service from Michigan."

Now THAT deserves the Bronze Star. Maybe times have changed.

They give a female soldier the Silver Star, the 1st ever for a female, if anyone with any common sense doesn't realize that that is all PR work, then you're one of the stupid few who think Jessica Lynch is a hero.

I'm not much of a write about this topic. But I came across and article that explains it PERFECTLY, maybe time's hasn't changed, this shit has been goin on for a long time.

This is an article by Mitch Chase. Check it out. But ya, I guess this is my Army, that for better or worse. I've grown to love. You ever liked/loved something so much only to be let down? Well that's how I feel. Not just the Medal topic, but an overall consensus on things. I guess it's up to me to make it better? haha. Who Knows

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


...or at least the group of people that were at the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport. These poeple were awesome. We got off the plane at about 11:30 pm, and we told that we're gonna be spending the night at a hotel. Most of our flights were the next morning because of 3 flight delays from Kuwait. When we left the baggage claim area to main area to go outside there were people waiting for us cheering and clapping for us, shaking our hands, giving us hugs. I mean, you gotta realize that this is around midnight and there's kids and old folks there. I know that Texas is a state that loves their military religiously, but I mean...I dunno..all I say is...Damn. Good folks.

So ya, Although it took an extra hot, boring, asinine day, and 3 flight delays, it's worth it. Right now, knowing 100% that it's Army free for then next 15 days. The feeling is amazing. Just can't wait to get home to Vegas. One of my best friend's gonna pick me up, gonna go get something to eat and then head over to the Hofbrauhaus by the Hard Rock Casino; he can't stop talking about the awesome beer there. Ohhh man. So this is gonna probably be my last post till I sober up towards the end of my leave.

So adios.

How's it goin top?

Hiiii Janie