Monday, November 23, 2009

The Liberal Soldier and Thanksgiving

I will return with a good post after the Thanksgiving Holiday! Make sure to check out my video blog, and subscribe. Over the next few days, Im going to release at least two new videos for you guys to gawk at.

I really hope yall have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Liberal Solider & Community Service

Just a tiny blog today. I really dont have much to blog about. Im supposed to be working on my manuscript anyhow.

So I went to do community service yesterday. I went to this lady's house, and she had like forty dogs. I dont want to make her sound ecclectic or crazy or anything. She seemed like a normal person...just doing what she loved. Or maybe, what she was qualified to do.

Either way, alot of the dogs were older, certainly not in their primes. And it made me come to think. I'm only twenty-three years old, and I can't help but feel as if the best times in life have already gone by. I'm not quite sure.

Maybe it is mostly due to my Ex. My self-esteem crashed, nose-dived really, after she left me. And I swear she did her best to make me feel horrible about myself. We both said bad things while we were fighting, but after we were done, as my self-esteem plummeted, she never went out of her way to help me feel better. I remember saying something where I thought I was becoming less intelligent, less than two months after we broke up. All she had to say was that I said it, not her. So even in the aftermath of it all, she was more concerned with how she would seem, rather than what existed between us.

I dont know. You always seem to only remember the best of yourself. And Im sure I did plenty of bad things, stupid things. But I can remember in any situation where she needed help, I tried to help her, as much as I could.

Either way, I'm better off without her. I know this, though I will admit, I think of her more than I should. I think this will continue until I find the next love of my life, and she breaks my heart too. LOL

At least I wont be as stupid with the next one as with this one.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Liberal Soldier: Iraqi Heartbreakers

Okay, so my last post catching yall up. This is a bit old, as I came home about six months ago (a little more than that, really), but I suppose yall want to be caught up.

Well I did my service in Camp Bucca Iraq for about a year, after a very intensive train-up at Fort Dix, NJ. Fort Dix was actually a decent place to be stationed, but for the most of the time we were there, we were at the FOB, which is a training ground used to prepare us to go to Iraq. I can still remember vividly, the training that we underwent, and standing outside talking on the phone to my ex-fiance, despite frigid temperatures.

We ended our stay at Dix right before St Patrick's day, and we were given a chance to fly home for a four day liberty. I made my way home as quickly as I could and spent four wonderful days with my fiance, and saw my family before I would leave for Iraq. These are some of the fondest memories I so far have in my young life, and I'm disappointed to say, probably the best memories I will ever have, considering the way things are going right now.

I arrived back at Ft Dix and prepared to leave for Iraq. However, unlike the rest of my unit I was tasked to stay with some of the Unit's equipment for an extra two weeks, because it had to be guarded by someone. I will admit, I honestly think spending an extra two weeks in Ft Dix Garrison, I must've gained 10 pounds. I ate a bit more than I had during train-up, as I only had time really. We went to see movies, we tried to sneak into an air force DFac, in general, it wasn't a bad experience.

We flew to Kuwait, which gave me the awesome chance to stop-over in Spain, before heading all the way to Kuwait. We stayed in Camp Buehring for about a week, before we headed north, to Iraq. In Buehring, despite what other soldiers say, there is alot to do. They have a three MWR tents, a movie theator tent, a 24-hour dfac, and a big PX. So its pretty easy to get what you need to occupy yourself whether your goin for free, or on a budget.

Once in Iraq though, my days melted all into one long workday. Day after day went by, and all I did was count down untill leave arrived. I was actually doing quite well, I was saving money for a business I was going to open, I had started taking online classes and succeeded in passing them, and whatever was asked of me in terms of work, I did with no complaint and to standard, although I was struggling with Physical Training at that point. My friends and I had some great experiences, and we came up with some interesting ideas. There were some tough times, a few attacks at the begginning and a few other events, but things died down near the summer, and I was waiting for leave.

I had waited until near the end of the deployment to take my leave. I would rather come back to the deployment with as few months left as possible. And I was so excited to finally get home. However, this joy and elation lasted a grand total of four days. After having helped my ex-fiance with money every month so she wouldn't be so stressed, I even gave her money so she could go on two trips, and a grand to buy books and a laptop. When your together with someone, you think of it as a partnership, and you can't even imagine that they would betray you. So for me this was natural. I wasn't giving her money, I was investing money in our future together. Either way, four days into my leave, I'm not sure why, and still have no clue as to what led her to this, but she dumped me. Ironically, she did this approximately four days before I was going to propose to her at the Georgia Aquarium. Needless to say, the rest of my leave sucked.

I wasn't happy to return to Iraq, I wouldn't have been happy if I had stayed home either. I remember that she didn't even bother to call me the day I was going back. We kept communicating through til the end of the month, before a huge argument. I was just amazed at how callous she was, that she could go from loving me to not loving me in a day it seemed. And within the week, it seemed like she really didn't care whether I lived or died.

I continued to do my duty, as it was all that I had left for those final few months, but my spending habits got way out of control. I think this was a slight fore-shadowing of what was to come. But thanks to whatever grace may be watching out for me, I made it home safely. When I first got home, I did contact her. This lasted for about a month, before I finally severed all ties, nearly completely.

However, after coming home, I struggle with the motivation to do things. Im now in a bit of a state of depression, and I came home and associated with the wrong people. For the first two months, I drank, and drank...and drank. My spending recovered a tiny bit, but I certainly would've been better off had I not been an idiot in my last two months overseas. I continued in my little spiral of negativity, which finally came to an abrupt end, almost exactly six months after my fiance had broken it up with me. This end was an arrest, and a charge for possession of marijuana, misdemeanor. I'm not a big drug user, and the only reason I had it is because this gir I was going out with at the time smoked, and so I sorta got caught up in that. However, I made the conscious decision to clean up my act.

Since that time, my life has had its ups and downs. Over the summer I was back in School, however, this didn't last long as there was a processing error at the VA when I tried to return for this fall. However, I then took it upon myself to fill my court order, except for Community Service, which I'm hoping to fulfill in the next three weeks (forty hours in three weeks, not impossible, but certainly hard).

After I get my court order handled, I think I will finally be able to return to normalcy. While I do take responsibility for my own actions, it is very easy to point out that a more direct cause of my "wild behavior" was the breakup. And from it I've learned an incredible lesson that can't be reproduced. I will never again love or trust a female to the degree that I loved and trusted before this. There were so many different ways she could have handled the situation, but she didn't try any of them. I can now look back, and say, we both had our problems, but the selfish way with which she handled me...there is a special place for people like that. As of now, I don't communicate with her. I dont wish anything for her, good or ill. I wouldn't even want her to come back to me begging or anything. Given how badly she messed my life up, I can prevent that, but not letting it happen again.

Thanks for listening.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Liberal Soldier: Egyptian Attacks

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had been on mission in Egypt, before going to Iraq. I can't give you details about where or when, as in the Army, there is a set of regulations called OpSec, short for Operations Security. I cant tell you where we were, as this might give off operations details for the enemy. But I can tell you, that the enemy is real.

I wont try and use this post to examine what happened, or what happened. My goal here is to simply relate a bit of what happened, and how I reacted to it. Once again, this blog is partially meant as therapeutic outlet for myself, so that is the focus for this post.

Okay, we arrived on mission at the hotel that we were supposed stay at. Our forces were divided into two portions, the hotel guard and bus guard. I won't say where or even what uniform we were in, but I can say we were expected to blend it. I was apart of the bus guard, it was my job to check the busses for bombs and to watch out for scouts, and I did this at irregular intervals, plus every time the bus stopped. So I was very thorough.

My job gave me a great chance to see the city, including several historic landmarks that I never imagined in my life that I would get to see. For the most part, my job went smoothly. At most I had to deal with one person who I thought was a potential spotter, and a gang of thieves in one location. However, things went well.

But that was just while on duty. While I was off-duty, I mostly slept, as we worked in 12 hour shifts, day in and day out, and most of that time I was eating, conductin hygeine, or getting my sleep. I did bring a book with me, and watched a few minutes of television, but it was all in Arabic, so I didn't do well with it. However, the bus driver I worked with was taking his time to try to teach me Arabic, which I really appreciated, as now I take Arabic in a University context, and do well with it.

However, we did have one attack, that came close to injuring myself and a few other battle buddies. I still remember it, like it was yesterday. My room-mate was on the alternate shift as I was, and he worked inside the actual hotel. I had to get up in the morning, around 4 am, to get my shower, take a run, and get prepared for the first bus, which wold arrive around 630 AM.

I was in the middle of brushing my teeth, and it was around 515 AM. I heard what sounded like, to me, a clap of thunder. However, the whole time that I was there, I had yet to see a drop of rain, so this made litte sense to me. Less than a second later though, a larger boom sounded through the air, as something impacted right outside my room. Me and my room-mate ran outside, jumping over the barricade, to see a large tractor trailer which had been driven through two concrete barricades, and landed outside. Other soldiers emerged as well, and we proceeded to give the driver medical attention, assuming it was just an accident. He was quickly taken away by Egyptian Officials.

However, it was later known to be an attack as the vehicle was unregistered, and the back was loaded with bricks and a plastic explosive of some type.

I often look back and thank god that nothing more explosive happened. I also am left dumbfounded about the nature of my reaction. But given what happened, and given the fact that I know that not every Arab is a terrorist, I think my reaction is not only expected, but honorable on some level. Either way, it is what I did, and Im glad I reacted that way.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Liberal Soldier

Hello everyone. Im a soldier in the US Army Guard, so yes, I am a part-timer. Don't expect me to know about Active Duty life or anything of that regard. However, I was deployed overseas in Iraq for a year, and was on mission in Egypt for a few months. I am going to try to keep myself anonymous, but if you really want to find out info about me, it wouldn't be too hard.

And lastly, yes, I am a Liberal, with my political view on topics ranging from democratic to out-right socialist on a few. However, I don't advocate violent change, and would rather see a peaceful change.

Alot of this blog will be devoted to national issues, and sometimes a few personal issues. I certainly don't have PTSD, and I wont claim to be one of the heroes that was out of the wire everyday. My hat is off to those guys. Rather alot of my stress issues are personal, and I think writing about them is a good way for me to get over them, without draining the resources of stress programs that are needed by people with more serious issues.

Just dont call me a POG though. Ill admit, I got lucky with my job, but I've seen alot of shit inside and outside of uniform. I dont need to prove anything to anyone. However, I'd be more than willing to have guest posters who have their own things to get off their chests.

Lastly, I will have four doodads on this blog, one being a link to my own company (shameless marketing), a donate button, some adsense at the bottom, and a flag counter. I would appreciate any donation or adsense click I get, but I am much more interested in the feedback that I get. So thank you in advance for tuning in.