31 December 2005

here's to you

To all of you out there, wherever this finds you, at home or far from; alone or with friends; with family, coworkers, comrades, lovers, assholes; whether surrounded by intimates or deathwishers, lifelong buddies or casual acquaintances... whether you're taking it anxiously a day at a time or in vast stretches of comfort, hope this marking of time is a good one for you and bodes well for your future and that of your loved ones. For real. And CYA, always CYA, no matter the who the where the why the when. C-fuckin'-Y-fuckin'-A.

And to you guys out there reading, can't thank you enough for taking the time to read and to care and to opine and share and to have us on your mind. I'd be writing this if no one read it, count on it, but it wouldn't be the same. Not by a stretch. It's been a real kick in the ass reading the comments and the feedback and the kind words and cool comments. Din't know what to expect when I kicked this off, on an angry whim one not-so-fine day. Certainly expected more chaw and bile from my lifer buds, but din't really expect the outpouring of support and the sharing. Readers from Tokyo, Korea, Australia, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Britain, Scotland, all over the U.S. and Canada. And probably others. People who care, casual readers, high school kids, activists, veterans, military spouses... lifers even.

Wanted to wrap up this end of the calender with a sampling of your contributions and thoughts. Here is a random selection of reader comments since we kicked this off. Keep 'em coming!

See you on the other side!

28 August, 2005 01:46 anonymous said...

OMG. This blog is a riot. Are you for real?

09 September, 2005 16:34 anonymous said...

17 October, 2005 10:08 antigone-
I enjoy your blog [...] but this post makes me feel the need to defend my chosen profession... yes, no one completely and totally understands what you guys are doing and going through over there, and yes, these pussy reporters are stay in their nice little hotels and going out to interview some people before scurrying back into their room and just verbaitim typing up the Press Release from the Public relations specialist. But don't shoot them please. We really need to see SOMETHING.

28 September, 2005 15:48 anonymous said...
Which book you readin? Cuz you sound just like Leppelman.

24 October, 2005 09:45 greg said...
This is great....when I think blogs I think 16 yr old girls writing poetry and giving shout-outs to their friends. This is what blogs are meant to be.

Keep it up. Don't get shot or get caught writing.

14 October, 2005 23:33 anonymous said...
wow, I would be impressed except something here doesnt ring true. whispers of conspiracy to get all the little hippy minds all worked up.

24 October, 2005 19:29 mrbandw said...
Wow I finally found somebody who truly appreciates the f word and puts it to it's proper use!

13 November, 2005 06:27 snag said...
The real American soldier is a Short-timer and always has been. That's the rub...these jerk-offs today don't get it. The citizen soldier's head is gettin' back home. If you want to occupy countries like we've been doing for the past 30 or 40 years, hire a cop.

14 November, 2005 01:46 charlie said...
Oh, AST... that insane, overwhelming, driving, ineluctable force to speak out, to synaptically revolt, to twist and turn and mentally somesault, to take the bastards with you as you gyrate and pyke and tuck, the gymnasium hall spinning around you...

14 November, 2005 08:13 diane s. said...
Rage! Rage against the dying of the light!

15 November, 2005 01:00 anonymous said...
You are certainly a skilled wordsmith, Joe. Keep writing as skillfully as you can. Because if you cop the same attitude with your next employer, perhaps all you'll have to fall back on is your writing skill to pay your bills. Remember, there are assholes everywhere in this world...you can't avoid them.

21 November, 2005 08:11 the un-apologetic atheist said...
You know, Short, strange as it sounds I think the Iraqi people might like us more if more of them read your blog...

06 December, 2005 07:47 tbone65 said...
Even though this task can suck, there is no need to whine and bitch incessantly about everything. Not everything is as bad as AST tries to make it in his posts. I do understand though that if he talked about some of the easy or good shit he experienced in the Army, it would ruin the finely crafted image he's tried so hard to build for himself - a steadfast rebel.

03 December, 2005 07:45 snag said...
I'd love to fight for ideals, but alas that's just the smoke and mirrors they use to keep potential candidates interested in their little game.

03 December, 2005 21:36 anonymous said...
...you sound like you can bitch as good as any military wife.

06 December, 2005 10:26 fnulnu said...
We're all short-timers on this planet and you never know when it's coming.

08 December, 2005 13:08 diane s. said...
I've always had a soft spot in my heart for consumate boozers and whoremongers and those reknowned for arguing with superiors.

07 December, 2005 16:03 diane s. said...
If I could, I'd come to 'Raq for Christmas. Come out there with a key and hand it to the first civilian I saw and say, "Here, here's your country back. We're going home now. Watch out for those dictators, man. Good fuckin' luck."

08 December, 2005 15:39 antigone-
Dude, seriously: signing on to have "Property of the US government" stamped on your ass is not the brightest idea in the world.

16 December, 2005 12:58 the un-apologetic atheist said...
We have troops deployed in scores of countries around the world. Many of them are my personal friends. I care about all of them... not just lame gung-ho "rah-rah-rah'ing" our boys in the Oil Crusade, and I'm going to fight against those who use my beloved troopers as mercenaries. I'm also going to fight against those who attack soldiers for doing what they are ordered to do, instead of attacking those giving the orders.

23 December, 2005 05:06 tbone65 said...
My mind still hurts sometimes dude. I try to push it aside and ignore it...but sometimes it takes me. No one with a heart will be the same after all this shit.

23 December, 2005 14:22 oneveteran'svoice said...
If we all speak up loud enough, shit will get changed.

28 December, 2005 12:03 sara said...

Boozer. Whoremonger. You and your Ambassador ways. They will make you Secretary of State when you return...

25 December 2005

a christmas carol

This is, I'm sure, representative of an average Joe's xmas pretty much deployed anywhere. On duty or off, far away from pretty much everything, you're either stuck working, which is to say, killing, readying to kill, hoping not to get killed, or doing a thousand-and-one widget jobbies in support of killing and the like. Peace on FUCKING earth citizen, is what that is called. Booyeah. Orrrrrrrrrrrrrr, you're one of them lucky sumsabitches that gets to steal off post and flea to some den of vice in shitholes from K-town to TDC and a hundred bumblefuck third world villes in between serving pretty much the same old special: escape and relief in pints and quarts and gallons and bowls and bottles and steins and mugs and cartons. On spoons and needles and pipes and wads. In gulps and sips and tokes and chokes. To be had for free or cheap or not. Short time or long time or overnighter. Handjobs and blowjobs and nutjobs. Teabags. A sit-on-my-face twofur special. Ecstasy and sodomy and anarchy. And, beg the pardon and such, but save that little baby Jesus shit for the folks back home. Out on freedom's frontiers, takes a little more than bible-goddamned-thumping to shake the shit loose if you catch my drifting.

On that happy note, I share with you gentle kind sweet folk this fuzzy warm hazy remembrance of my first xmas away from home in the warm cozy kind compassionate sweet embrace of us army.

THEY gave us a choice. Work through Christmas, or work through New Year's. Why work at all? It was reported the North Koreans were planning a smashout knockdown World War Three-like offensive. Suicide puppies with satchel charges strapped to their bellies, four thousand sarin-spitting pieces of artillery, one-hundred thousand suicide commandos and one million starved to death tiny little angry Korean guys lusting after decadent hot South Korean ass and a violent tour of Seoul's noraebang carry-oaky music rooms.

This pathetic militarist wetdream had been predicted the last five thousand weekends without fail and had proven false and nonsensical and bullshit and none of it mattered in the slightest or leastest. The essence of soldiering is after all absorbing senseless flaglation and baring one's vulnerable parts and taking the pointlessness and senselessness smilingly and willingly for very little and the better and quieter and uncomplainingly you take it the more highly you are regarded for becoming the embodiment of servitude and sacrifice and selflessness.

I escaped for Christmas and stole off on a kimchi bus to Seoul and hooked up with my buddy for this most special of holidays. We crashed at his girlfriend's place. He helped her in her tiny kitchen marinate the squid. Nakji bokkum. For Christmas. How fucking more holidaysy than that can you get? Squid in enough red pepper sauce to burn a hole through little baby Jesus' gut.

They wrestled squidy at the sink and I was on her couch staring at this fifth of peppermint shnapps my buddy had liberated for the occasion. Peppermint shnapps and rot gut red peppered squid... it must be Christmas...

"What's this shit?"


"Shnapps," I echoed. Din't look like no shnapps I had ever seen back in Die Heimat, but booze is booze and when it gets down to the partikurlurs of boozing I'm not very. Partikurlur that is.

So while my bud and his girl wrestled the squid and debated marinating the sucker raw or throwing it in the pan, I sipped my first thimble of shnapps.

"This is some good shit," I reported to my bud.

"Have at it man," he said more or less preoccupied with squidy, squirming and wriggling pink asslessness futily in the clutches of my bud and his babe plotting sweet marination and the likes.

The shnapps was going down smoothly in the mean time and I poured myself another, then another and within twenty minutes had emptied the entire bottle all social and thoughtful-like without giving the matter much thought.

When the squid was ready so was the shnapps. I was well on my way to wherever it is you go when you down a bottle of shnapps in such manner and my bud's tirade floated right on past. Now I realize at once this reeks of the vilest asocial assholia and under normal circumstances I would concur, unfortunately there are no such critters as 'normal' circumstances in the military, unless you are inclined to debate the position that the military itself is a 'normal' circumstance under any circumstances, and all fluctuations of this mere temperature variances. Fine by me. In the mean time, the context to this apparent severe breech of manners was quite simply I had not merely stolen off for the holidays but returned from fourteen days in the field, and friend, let me assure you, no sensible person in-the-know puts down a pristine unopened bottle of delectable booze in front of someone who has just spent the last fourteen days molding his underwear to his ass like so much soggy cardboard and suggest to have at it and not expect said bottle of said booze to not be all there, shortly. Especially when said someone is an unabashed and confirmed boozer and whoremonger of the worst caliber.

The next thing I remember is us stumbling through the frozen night and Seoul, me in my shirt, leaning against my friend and him leaning against me. And us both chattering away and swearing and cussing and that kinda thing and it could be he was waiving a bottle of soju, a sad but necessary short-cut to enjoining me in my mindless state and I remember every now and then some well-intending Koreans would shout 'Melly Koorismassuuuu" at us which evoked nothing but a string of FUCK YOU's and FUCK OFF and DIE COCKSUCKERS and more of such, ambassadors mind you, and us two ambassadors, me and the vice-consul, swerving through the street looking for trouble, something readily found in Seoul for G.I.'s most any time at any rate.

We ended up in some pool hall, my buddy and me, with about twenty Korean thugs, true gangster types, and somehow my bud had gotten into a wager and I was lolling against a wall and barely conscious and for some reason I was like ah screw this joint and told my buddy I was getting outta there and dragged him with me and this mob of thugs closed on us and we got into a stand off and it was getting ugly but we were too drunk to do any proper math on our prospects of getting our asses kicked but good by these guys as we were slowly backing off toward the stairs and at some point in the shouting and pointing and threatening that tends to preceed butt stompings I lost my footing and tumbled ass over gut down six flights of stairs, never stopping on my way down and when I crashed at the bottom at last the fight was off cause the concensus was I had died of some sort of breakage or rupturage or maybe lots of both and my buddy and the thugs were standing over me surveying my remains when I realized I was surrounded and sufficiently startled from this dizzy aching stupor remembered something about shoving and shouting and us about to get it on and I jumped to my feet and started swinging at once and maybe the thugs were thinking if three-hundred steps and a boatload of gravity run amuck can't kick this drunk fuck's ass what are we gonna do but kill him to keep him down and somehow my buddy managed to drag me outta there and we were in the street again and to make matters more pathetic a stage-perfect snowfall drifted lazily down reminding us what had driven us to pursue our present course of self-imolation and the next thing I knew my buddy had dragged us both to the very middle of the Hannam Bridge and climbed atop it and was screaming into the wind and the traffic sloshing past and the dark water below and the Christmas spirit gently wafting down from the orange sky overhead and my buddy resolved to jump into the Han River some 200 feet below and me struggling with him to get him down from the goddamned thing and then finally, like some hostage negotiator type I had talked him into 'symbolically' jumping by offering clothing items to the goddess of Cold Black Water Death and this somehow satisfied his urge to be done with it all sufficiently and so in short order his scarf, shoes, socks, gloves and jacket went sailing into the night in a sincere tribute to the darkness below and he was ready to strip his pants off but the cold of the bridge had communicated sufficiently with his bared feet to convince him to call it a night and so him in his bare feet and me in my shirt the whole time leaning against each other shouting and crying all out, waddled back to his girlfriend's place, screaming and crying and cussing, my barefooted buddy and me. And little tiny snowflakes lazily drifted down on that Siberian breeze walloping Seoul, wholy indifferent to any of it.

By one or two in the morning I was on my back after a few hours of crawling back and forth to and from the bathroom and violent puking all the livelong merry way. The room was spinning and U2's Unforgettable Fire came to me and I thought I was hallucinating cause a young girl was next to me working my pants open and the best I could muster was what.... the... awesome! and now I know I'm dreaming and she kept glancing off toward the bedroom and the sound of serious hard sex mixed in easily with that U2 and this chick working my pants open more furiously hiked up her skirt and worked off her panties and threw herself atop me and started grinding away and me just lying there deader and sicker than fuck And if the mountain should crumble, Or disappear into the sea, Not a tear, no not I and ever louder groaning from the bedroom and this chick riding me getting into the act and me still flat on my back in a complete aching stupor. Helluva dream I thought and passed out promptly.

When I came to the place reaked of sweat and socks and stale vomit and every joint and bone in my body ached and I discovered a rich collection of bruises and when I had finally propped myself upright against the protestations of my back I realized a young girl sleeping on the couch and the whole hallucination from mere hours before had all been deliciously real.

And much later you'll be on the phone talking to your mom and she'll ask, how did you spend Christmas and you'll draw a complete blank. Ah... you know... stuff... which is really how you feel most times about this place when pressed to explain it... cause what's to explain...

It could be Tuesday, or Saturday, or Laundry Day, or Easter, or Labor Day. Christmas maybe, or so they say. Autumnal Equinox, Election Day, the first day of Spring... Thursday? I have no clue. I catch myself sometimes, midthought... is this it? Or this? Today? Is this the last of these? Does it all end here? Or here? Then I tell myself to shut the fuck up and knock that shit off and that shit gets shoved to the back, out of sight out of mindlike and I turn to weighter issues, like, are my mags stacked racked and packed and squared away and is all my shit good to go and are the batteries good and I din't furget my knife and a hundred little things of this nature, any one which might end it for you, or worse, a buddy.

Frankly, I don't know what day it is and I don't much care. There's only one day that matters, I'll be far away from here and turn my back on this shit once and for all, for good. I write it down now cause I have a sense I won't much have the stomach to return to this later. Ever.

22 December 2005

a letter home

These always start something like this:

Hey guys,

How goes? Hope you guys are holding up well and making the best of it, being the holidays and all, is what people are saying that it is. Some sort of holiday. You know it's dead for me. All of it. The army killed it. Did it to death. Search and destroyed it and closed and killed it and moved to contacted it and raided it and assaulted it and extra-dutied it and rostered it to smithereens. It's just time slippage now. More sloppy X-es on Suzies hot ass (Suzie's my December vixen) marking time. Let's just leave it at that.

Hey! great stuff on Bud's new job. HotDAMNED that's some good shit Bud. I'm laughing my ass off thinking last time you mentioned you were willing to stuff grocery bags just to get out of the house. And now you're actually back in an office and directing legions of grovelling underlings. SWEET. Man alive, I can't fathom it though, honestly I can't. I mean the concept of sitting at home and feeling a compelling urge to get back out into the world. My sole ambition is to float away on an ocean of Jack and slither up to the occasional half-naked chick and if the world left me behind that would be just fine by me. Not much of an ambition, I know. Remember when all I could babble about was archaeology? I've seen these thousands-of-years-old ruins and didn't even have the ambition to capture the moment or explore or nothing. None of it. I'm consumed with one thing, one thing alone. Make it to tomorrow. Claw my way to the next day. A day at a time. As long as there's tomorrow I'm doin' okay. I saw the ruins and realized we haven't learned much from any of it, history that is, if we're standing here again bristling with weapons and raging 500 pounder laser-guided goodwill. What's the point of digging it up? No one wants to listen. No one wants to learn. We don't WANT to evolve. We're reading the riot act to goddamned 13th century goatherders. Like THEY give two shits what we have to say. Like WE know what we're talking about. Bwaaaaaaaaahahahahahaha... These Civil Affairs clowns kill me every time. Twaddle about progress and nation-goddamned-building and all the hot love they feel from the Raqis. I suggested to one of these dorks that he go out by his lonesome in shorts and flipflops with a big ol' white hat on and a teeshirt with a smiley-face and a shovel and a tool belt and go help the natives and see how long the hot love illusion held up without his li'l backup crew of gun monkeys and Abrams and Bradleys and .50 cals and close air support at beck-and-call. Yeah right. I'm so sick of all this pointless shit it's not even what it never was anymore.

Wow... see how that goes? Hahahahahaha... that was supposed to be a reminiscence on missing archaeology. Boy oh boy oh boy. I try a little ditty on reminiscing on something I used to love and the milk turns sour before I've even finished pouring it. Holy SHIT there's something wrong with me...

I don't know about the leave thing. I heard from some of the guys about back home and how it's great to be home and all but getting back on the plane was the hardest thing they've ever had to do and the time flew by so fast it didn't hardly seem to matter anyhow and I'm not so sure I could do it myself, get back on that plane I mean. If I did, I'd do it for the guys, because they're stuck in the shit and I don't think I could live with myself running off to Canada or Amsterdam or Rome. And then pile the stop-loss bullshit realizatin on top of all of THAT... quite a cocktail, lemme tell ya.

They said it was unreal, going out and like, the whole country is just rolling along, coasting along, and like, no one even seems to know there's a war on. A bud told me he was flipping through channels and there are entire days when there's not a word about the war. NOT. ONE. FUCKING. WORD. I don't know who to get more pissed off at... honestly. The sonsabitches who got us into this mess... the psycho asshole nutjobs stalking around out here, or the legions of fatass shoppers who keep giving the thumbs-up to this insanity. I get so pissed off I feel my head's gonna explode... more shit I gotta stop thinking about.

I miss you guys so much and I want nothing more than to be with you, but to be brutally honest, I just don't think I can handle it. I think I wanna try some place as alien and foreign and as far away from the war, and the warloving holiday shoppers and their fat complacent asses as humanly possible. It's not just that, it's the whole thing. The whole spiel. I'd feel awkward pretending 'to be home,' if you know what I mean, while my mind is still stuck over here. When I leave I want to leave it, this, behind me once and for all and be done with it. And I know you want me home and you'd say just to have me home would be enough but I know me and my mouth would sour it and I just don't have it in me to turn it off right now and pretend this stuff isn't bothering me tremendously so I think avoidance in this case is perhaps the better course. On a lighter note, I'm setting up this pool through a middleman, getting him to place wagers with all the lifers that I'll ditch this bitch first chance I get and run for the hills. Take some money offa the lifers and their bullshit and what they think they know about me... and turn a profit doing it. To swell the pool I'm gonna plant email stories about being somewhere implausible, Chile maybe, or New Zealand, somewhere like that.

I hope you understand. Give my very best to everyone and thank them all for their kind words and support and for all the neat stuff and even thinking about us at all. Considering the millions who don't give a shit, it means so much to know that at least we're in your thoughts. You're in ours, more than you know.

Your regretfully abrasive son,

And end up getting cut down to this:

Hey guys,

How goes? Hope you guys are holding up well and making the best of it, being the holidays and all.

Hey! great stuff on Bud's new job. HotDAMNED that's some good shit Bud. I'm laughing my ass off thinking last time you mentioned you were willing to stuff grocery bags just to get out of the house. And now you're actually back in an office and directing legions of grovelling underlings. SWEET.

I miss you guys so much and I want nothing more than to be with you, but I think I wanna try some place as alien and foreign and as far away from the war as humanly possible. I'd feel awkward pretending 'to be home,' if you know what I mean, while my mind is still stuck over here. When I leave I want to leave it, this, behind me once and for all and be done with it. I hope you understand.

Give my very best to everyone and thank them all for their kind words and support and for all the neat stuff and even thinking about us at all. Considering the millions who don't give a shit, it means so much to know that at least we're in your thoughts. You're in ours, more than you know.

Your loving son,

16 December 2005

happy mocracy!

Wow this is so cool... I feel like wrapping the whole world in a big warm sloppy wet kiss embrace thing. I've actually never done this. Pop off one of these from anything other than the trusted laptop, OPSEC and all being what it is and me religiously adhering to rules and such, that being very much in my nature... yeah right. Let alone do this surreptitious shit from a Haji shop, I mean, Mesopotamian boutique. BUT... opportunity presented itself... so here flies. It's pretty cool to travel a few sloppy militarily classified miles and pop down behind a random computer and pull up my web page... I think it really hit me for the first time how goddamned awesome this technology shit is, manner of speaking-like. And that there are actually real people out there, I mean... OUT there, reading this stuff. Before this y'all were just cardboard cuttout garden variety two dimensional digital characitures dropping emails and adding nice and interesting comments and stuff and it wasn't all really sinking in that much, at a certain level I guess... And now it's all so.... anyhow...

So, I ask this Raqi dude, dude, hey, you have Internet here? Yeah, yeah, what? Huh? In-TER-neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet... yeah yeah, shop closed blah blah blah andsoforth, dude dude, just let me fire off this one thing, take like, two minutes (closer to twenty and counting), went the exchange, and this other Raqi dude--spitting image in a deliciously inbred sorta way if you catch my slant on it-- 's gotta insert hisself into the matter, which happens all over the friggin' place every time you open your yap and attempt to reach out and make that special ambassadorial connection, is a whole mob of them materialize from nowhere and gather round and gape and stare and yaw and giggle and mope about, but it's all good, 'cept if one of 'em secretly is an evildoer sorta motherfucker which I suspect quite a few of them are at any rate... so anyhow long story short, right, I let that magic good old green shit do the talking for me and voila... dispatch.

So the way this started was, what I wanted to say was... happy fucking mocracy. To all my Raqi buds and gal friends in those sexy black wraps... happy goddamned mocracy. For real. You deserve it. Apparently it took us and our munitions-laden ways to shove the shit down your throat, but now it's yours I say... have at it. Mocracy. Tyranny of the majority. Einstein in a lab with ten retards voting on whether to make relativity theory the law of the land. Or not. Cause it ain't a perfect system, they admit, but it beats the pants offa all the other shit we tried. S'pposedly. Is how they sell it.

If your mocracy turns out anything like our mocracy, you have a bright future ahead. Indeed. You have at least two civil wars coming down the pike, couple-a-world wars, an industrial revolution, emancipation, a sexual revolution, and with a little bit of luck and the right mix of moxy and good will, your mocracy will bring you abundance, prosperity, and a fullness of yourself that somehow produces the compulsion to inflict your mocracy on the rest of the under-developed world. And more power to you.

Seriously Raqis... happy mocracy.

Can we all go home now?

How 'bout show of hands...

Right. Din't think so.

Mocracy. What a crock.

07 December 2005

little follow-up war whine

Some law student emailed me while back with some questions, and after it was all said and done she told me she supported the troops. And I know a lot of people share that sentiment and it's all really warm and fuzzy and whatnot, but honestly, I just rather you run out, sign up and catch the early-bird charter to Kuwait and get your ass over here ASAP so one of us can go home. Maybe we can arrange something, you know, by ones and twos and so on, pretty sure we could get all us over-extended types outta here in no time.

We got, by estimates, close to forty-thousand plus Joes involuntarily extended, stop lossed they call it now, cause dropping INVOLUNTARILY extended day after day after day I suppose places too much emphasis on the fact that a whole buncha us got stuck in the shit INVOLUNTARILY... cause, for all you non-incarcerated types, the usual nomenclature for being stuck in the service beyond your time is--used to be--INVOLUNTARY extension. Cept they had to twist the rules all outta whack and shit to keep the machine all lubed and oiled and chugging and belching and churning out the mayhem, and somehow, rather mysteriously it seems to me at least, with all that good ol' troop lovin' shit goin' on back home they couldna find the 40K + dudes and dudettes to get us squared away and outta this mess. Thanks for the love yo.

And I know I know, spare me the retort... "Dude, is what you signed up for." Right. I signed up for THIS. Sadist's circus. Marquis de Sade's Head-Chopping Ball-Blasting Brigade. Lemme assure you, if I had read some short-timer's Internet lament and that fucker would've had the common decency to point out that the Army is more like a three-ring circus butcher-shop motor vehicles prison typa clustertastrophy I mighta thought twice before lending my body to the cause of someone else's mocracy-buildin' wet dreams.

If I ever make it outta this mess, when I make it out, I'll make sure to support the troops likewise. I'll realize my lifelong dream of washing up in a yuppie burb and my kiddies just done wrap up their SATs in high style and Stamfurd or Princetum are in the works and I'll kick their fuckin' asses if I ever even catch 'em looking sideways at anything related to the military. Them having other priorities and shit and their talents being needed elsewhere and whatnot. Of course, we'll all support the military all the time. Course. We'll be havin' yellow ribbon shit on all our stuff, little flaggies everywhere and yonder, and we'll smilingly fork over that good tax shit to support the state's burgeoning quest to keep us all safe from evildoer motherfuckers. If I ever see a legless vet with a board around his neck all 'Help a homeless Iraq veteran' I'll be first to toss some quarters at the dude. Battle bros for life and all. And if I read about a couple-a-thou of the troops being INVOLUNTARILY extended, or stop lossed, or held over, or stuck in the muck, or jacked, or whatever they call it by then, I'll be all supportin' the troops and lamenting their sad tragic fate and misfortune. Maybe slap on an extra couple-a-yellow ribbons. Show support ya know.

As for war, course I'll support it. I'll support all the wars, all the time. Once I'm out of the shit, I'll support every war they ever wanna throw. Hell yeah! Why? Why? Cause nothing looks badder-ass and is more entertaining on television than live mayhem. I fuckin' love televised mayhem. Love it. It's the shit. Splosions and riots and gun battles and mob violence and jets launching from aircraft carriers. I could watch the shit for days. And have. Course... sittin' in the back of the ol' Hummer hauling ass toward a column of smoke couple-a-blocks down and your asshole up in your throat from fear and ready to fuckup any dumb fucker out there skulking around waiting to pour on some follow-up misery... "See anything suspicious, anything at all, do not hesitate. Drop every single last one-a-the-motherfuckers, every single last one!" I holler to clarify the so-called tactical purdicament, more to myself really, cause I think we're all pretty much of one mind on shit like that... and rushing into the shit, I imagine watching it on teevee, remote, disconnected, my ass snuggly embedded in a recliner of sorts--embedded get it?--stead of out here, actually in the shit, with a bigass target painted across the eyes... Better ta just sperience it with a remote control in one hand and a bag of Doritos in the other a few sloppy thousand miles away and not really speriencing it at all, more, enjoying it. Entertainmentwise.

More later.

02 December 2005


I posted this just about right when I had made up my mind it was time to flip the bird. But I get the destinct feeling some readers don't give the site a thorough look-through. I don't speak for others, but concerning my own issues, I want to be perfectly clear. I appreciate all the kind words and support and the comments, but stuff like sacrifice freedom service honor duty country and thoughts along those lines just don't apply here. Most soldiers will receive those gratefully, and I encourage you to go find their online musings if you feel a compelling urge to utter such, as for me, this is a slug. And I'm just struggling to make it through. And that's all it is. That's it.

I may have had hero ambitions at one time, but I wanted to be a porn star too. Big effing deal. I grew up. Now I'm all old and wise and shit I just want to be left alone. And I can't even pull that off.

If it ever has to come to it, someone will read this. If they don't, I'll be one pissed off dead fuck.

Specialist ------ joined the Army for lack of better options and unspecified romantic notions. Specialist ------ was disillusioned with the Army almost immediately but vowed to ride out his enlistment. Always at odds with his superiors, Specialist ------ was a consumate boozer and whoremonger and reknown in his unit for arguing with superiors. During his brief military service he flirted with court martial, received at least one Article 15 and numerous counseling statements. His military accomplishments include forging pass forms, multiple dozen AWOLs, impersonating officers, destruction of government property, embezzlement, fraud, occasional and incidental efforts in the defense of one foreign country and more of same policing another.

Specialist ------ nurtured a sense of impending doom dating back to the earliest days of his service, but this certainly became more pronounced after his deployments to Korea and Iraq respectively. Specialist ------'s numerous scrapes with eternity include a richly deserved near-fatal stabbing at the hands of a woman of 'loose morals' ('a suuuuuper hottie' he averred later); nearly being shot by Korean Air Force personnel after stealthily infiltrating their base through the front gate late one night; gut-chucking-close-call cab rides through the winding Kyoungi roads at the darkest hours of the night; uncounted bouts of alcohol and food poisoning; some balancing off the ledges of tall buildings with sinister self-destuctive thoughts.

Specialist ------ felt compelled to chronical this brief history of his, admittedly, limited military accomplishments after noting an alarming increase in bombings and shootings in his current area of operations in the country of Iraq. Of the Iraq deployment, Specialist ------ offered: 'Stop-lossed and a wake-up motherfucker. If I'm lucky.'

01 December 2005

army zen

Check out Snag over at DEprogramming Starter Kit. He's crafted an excellent piece. The real stuff. Definitely worth a read. Army veteran with eleven years under his belt. Salute brother!

I was 18 when they put an M16 in my hands and I thought "Oh shit! They're not joking! They really want me to kill someone! Holy fuck, I'm just outta high school!" I wasn't naive, I knew it was coming. It was just kinda fucked when it happened. It took 11 years, but I realized I'm too young to die for these old men. Tell you what, when they've got a good plan, got the good intel (you know...the real stuff they keep hidden for political reasons), gimme my rifle back and I'll go whack the fuckers and be home for dinner.


Forget about the thousand yard stare bullshit and all that other battle glammer blather baloney. At some point in an enlistment, virtually everybody experiences it. Their oh shit moment. It could be in the middle of the brightest brightass bright afternoon, sun chewing up everything and some, and you on your feet and awake by all conventional definitions of the word, and on patrol in the textbook shithole. It could be under fire, or you racked out and a thousand miles away from it all and the scariest thing around is Top with too much time on his hands and details galore. It could be in line at the chow hall, or hanging around at Finance cause your pay got fucked up again and now you've gotta walk the shit through yourself to get it set straight. You could be on your forty-fourth push-up or your seventh bottle or third tour or second ejaculation... and it'll hit you.

Oh shit. You are seriously and truly fucked, and there's nothing funny about any of it and all the decisions that dragged you here to this moment in time are sublime retardation, courtesy of the child you still were mere moments before, but you just grew up, now, here, in the moment, and suddenly none of it makes sense and there's not much you can do about it and mind changing isn't much appreciated or understood and how do you share something like that anyhow in the middle of a patrol, or a PT test, or a sex romp. So you tuck the head in and stay low and duck and weave and run, keep moving, biding your time. And you shoulda never in a million years joined. Ever. But here you are. In the middle of the shit. For real. Now try getting it all unfucked. Good luck. Yeah. Oh shit.