Wednesday, November 19, 2008
So many things to talk about in such little space and more importantly time. I'm so blessed to be back and I want to send the warmest gratitude to everyone that has supported us throughout our tour. As the dust continues to settle I think I will find my way back into my leather bound book, re-prioritize my life and learn to live in the free world again, man I feel like I just got out "the joint". Look to hear from me soon.
P.S. I have yet to express my thoughts on the new commander and chief.
Love to you,
Monday, September 8, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
As a young company grade officer and troop commander there is tremendous responsibility getting 114 troops back to their families safely. But it is rewarding. We're at a strange place; soldiers can feel that the mission is almost complete but they know we can't quit and that we're not finish until we affectively transition this mission to our replacements. We've done everything together, sweat together, live together, work together, drive one another absolutely nuts, supported one another, and we're at the end.
The challenges do not cease as spouses are having babies and I have to tell a soldier that he can't go home to see the birth, grandparents passing, mothers and fathers illnesses, family issues, and I have to be the guy to give the brotherly love, tell them I understand but the policy says that I can't let you go. That only adds to their frustration and strain. And mine as well. But my soldiers are professionals and they continue to push forward.
My daughter just started her first day of school, I was fortunate to hear her little funny voice on the other end of the phone with excitement; you would have thought she was going to college! We are looking forward to getting back. And trying to integrate ourselves back into the lives that we knew prior to deploying.
On a positive note, things seems to be getting safer in our area of operations and the Iraqi's seem to be taking charge of the security in our area. This is great improvement from what it was like when we first got here. The attacks on our Forward Operating Base have dwindled. Usually this time of year at the brink of Ramadan, it's like a 4th July gone badly with mortars and rockets instead of fireworks.
I'll be working on getting back to writing and digging deep to stir up my creative side. Until next time, don't forget about the soldiers we think of you daily.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
We have collided in the scope of things.
An array of colors and faces reflected in shards of broken glass
Picking up the pieces –
American pop culture tilts on axis,
Guerilla warfare in urban desert street jungles –
American boots march through the Province like bounty hunters.
Simultaneously bringing the peace and chasing out the bad guys.
Alqueda is swinging from light poles
Celebrating Iraqi-American democracy.
Stars, stripes, and illumination rockets blast KA-BOOM!
American show of force –
Palm groves shaken.
Breath taking –
As we ask ourselves is that incoming or outgoing?
Rockets that is.
You can tell by the whistle on the front side or the backside.
My country tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty!
We are colliding in the scope of democracy.
When the light shines at the end of the tunnel;
I see their free faces reminiscent of ours.
An array of colors in shards of broken glass.
Looking through the kaleidoscope of hope.
Hoping that we can deliver the peace.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
We are living in historic times as Barrack Obama was just chosen as the democratic candidate for president. We are on the brink of a new era of American race relations. I don't think we'll understand the impact of what Barrack Obama represents, only time can tell. The onset is quiet we are changing, the cocoon is warm. The war still goes on and our country is taking shape by our current foreign policy programs, war, a sliding economy, and heightening gas prices. As this life goes on. I've got a responsibility to be better, to work harder and attempt to influence the world around me the best I know how. My desires are seeming to big for my skin, my love out stretches my capability and I am a participant of this life that is just going on.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
When you pass a Soldier in the morning you may hear a myriad of quotes after exchanging a salute; Me: “How’s it going today Soldier”, a typical response is Soldier:” living the dream Sir!” A dream it is, dream is what we do, having been away from families and missing, Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthday’s, anniversaries, family members funerals, the world is changing that our counterparts live in but ours seems to remain the same. You almost forget what life is like on the outside of our secure base. We often talk about what we have planned for the future and where we want to go next. Being deployed to
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
It's been 10 months and counting, 5 more months to go and we are looking forward to the long awaited welcome home ceremony. Within the month we have moved from Baghdad to what is known as the "bread basket of Iraq" the Diyala Province in Baquouba. I am a mere spectator amongst the many boots, uniforms, civilian employees and those that represent the sixth year of the Iraq war. I feel like an outsider, like an embedded reporter. Only my voice is quietly summonsed, if there is such a thing. Details of missions are muffled and camouflaged by the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.
As I sit on the edge of my Humvee with my 50 cal. firmly seated right before a convoy brief. I am the axis between Soldiers that are disenchanted with war and anxiety as fear of dying haunts most all of us and the other who is "patriot" through and through with absolutely no fear or at least persist that it is void. They converse of the possible outcomes of this former Saddamist burdened country, to a place where there are Iraqi Police or Iraqi Army check points nearly every quarter mile. Martial law is in full effect and poverties iron fist is laden on the heads of our brothers of the sand. Senator McCain said it himself "100 years"; being here and living amongst the reality I am convinced that there is no longer a military solution. This place is going to take ages of a joint effort to overcome the burden. With every rotation a movement from one place in the country to another you would think that Soldiers would give up. However, we work like we are running out of time (no pun intended); we work with a sense of urgency. Fatigue, rest on the back burner and success in whatever form it comes in will be the mantra of the Soldier.
with a crystal like clearness.
I am sitting between birth and death.
The only thing that is permanent is change itself.
There is nothing that we can rely upon for our happiness,
Only the center of our souls.
Friday, May 9, 2008
When the Chinook arrived we geared up with approximately 150 pounds of gear each and boarded the bird to prepare for a new chapter in our 15 month long mission. After getting settled in a bit in our new location we established communications. Of course I am always the first with internet because that's my job! I was chatting with my wife on instant messenger and heard the familiar whistling of 2 rockets. In which I later found out were 107mm rockets. I threw my laptop and low crawled on the floor trying to get to safety. After a total of 4 rockets. People were running all over the place trying to get accountability of one another and see who had been hit. Come to find out the first rocket landed approximately 50 feet from where I was sitting. It's a gamble, you never know whats next. You say those silent prayers and hope for the best. You try your best to take care of one another but the first thing you learn is that life goes fast, especially in war.
Continue to pray for our safety.