Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Roam if you want to, Roam around the world

Roam if you want to.... Roam, The B-52's

Well consider it official, for the most part. Hanging out with the baby Bro tonight, and he informs me that it is all but official. He is headed out AGAIN, for the desert. Couple of months left in the civilized world, and then back to the "Sandbox" for he and his unit. This time he will likely head out as an E-5 Sergeant. He is headed for the promotion board, and then to class. Expected to rejoin his unit in a "leadership" position, especially since there has been a literal "75-80%" turnover since their return in all positions. Literally, 4 in 5 guys, leader or private are gone since the units return from Iraq. What do they face?

Though it is nearly impossible to find it anymore, (I will have to find out how from the baby-bro) there are many excerpts from his worst day in Iraq last year still out there on the Internet.) Maybe he may one day let me mirror all of his crap that the Army has had him take down.

A tiny excerpt:

The army started a training system, a system to try and back up the combat medic. They call it the Combat Life Saver, or CLS. A line soldier given just that extra bit of first aid training, so that if the situation calls, and there is no medic handy they can leap into action, and administer the most desperately needed care. ...
My day started off so normal. ...
Very rarely does any shit go down in this town. It is quiet and we like it that way. ...
You want to know the most terrible moment of a disaster? It is that split second when it begins. When all of a sudden there is a bright flash, that is nothing special except that it is the big break with reality to the fucked up world you are about to begin. A split second of bright light, and for the briefest second, there is no thought in your head, everything in you braces for....for what?
Glass and sound rain down on me...I know it was bad, I have NEVER heard anything so loud and light debris is falling all around me. I get off the stairs, and get my fucking helmet on. wouldn't it fucking figure, walk around ALL THE FUCKING TIME WITH THAT THING ON AND THE ONE TIME I MIGHT REALLY HAVE NEEDED IT, I WAS RELAXING.
What happened?
IED? VBED? Mortar? Rocket?
The local leaders are in a rush to get out that door. Everyone is trying to run for safety. Above it all, I hear my CO say, "It is safer inside than out".
"GET INSIDE" I scream, I am shocked to see everyone pause at this...look at me...the CA chief takes up the call and begins shouting directions and we get everyone directed to a safe spot under the we have to move out.
What the fuck happened?
We begin to move out, doing the infantry thing, moving betweens buildings and along walls to get back to our vehicles...everyone falls into sync as we try to get back to our vehicles, roll out and react. I make the dash for the humvee I am gunning one is firing all the vehicles look to be where we left one is rushing to attack.
What the FUCK happened?
VBED goes around in shouts around our perimeter, Casualties go around. Then MY name goes around. Our convoy has no medics and 3 CLS. 2 of those CLS are on the CO's Bradley crew. I'm the third. FUCK. My name is being screamed. Someone is hurt. You're on kiddo. FUUUUUCK.
I'm running...I'm trying to remember my training...and even as I move, some piece of me is awake and thinking without me. Some piece of me sees that I am going to a Bradley's drivers hatch. Some piece of me knows that Cowboy was driving one of these Bradleys. FUCK. My mind feels like it can't grasp anything. This is a very shitty day.
What the FUCK happened?VBED goes around in shouts around our perimeter, Casualties go around. Then MY name goes around.
I ride the gun, because I want some time to think. I ride the gun so no one can look directly at me if I break. I ride the gun, so if the opportunity presents itself, if there is call, then I can cause the absolute maximum damage possible. I want to cleanse myself in fire. ...
UPDATE: Well, my buddy is still under serious observation. The swelling is too bad to accurately assess damage, but he can see apparently. They can't move him until they are sure. ...Also, he had a bruise on his chest. I didn't notice it at the time, but apparently a large chunk of metal from the VBED nailed him in the chest as well. But thank God I didn't have to treat a sucking chest wound. He like all of us out here has the trauma plate to our IBAs.What happened to him puts into perspective something I've been seeing all along. That fucking vest we wear has proved it's fucking worth. The damn thing adds like 10 degrees to every hot day, the plates limit your range of motion and add like 20 fucking pounds to your regular load. Those things are horrid, and they are killing my back, giving me pains I never had before. All sorts of soreness in our lower backs. If you watch the movie Black Hawk Down, you see a Ranger pull the plate out of his back saying he didn't want the extra weight. All I can say is that I am keeping mine in.
The only parts hurt on this kid were parts not covered by his IBA. That shit works, I'd buy stock in it. I will gladly continue to wear my plates and stop complaining.This shit has me so freaked out. I'm not scared for me; I'm scared of what could have happened. I am so glad this kid had his plates. Long before any of us got there, those things saved his ass. They save lives all over Iraq.

My Baby-bro and I have "roamed" all over many countries in the infantry/Army fashion. Luckily, most of my roaming has been sans live ammo. Baby Bros...not so much...Headed back there, I think! I will keep everyone updated as I can.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I hate to look into those eyes

And see an ounce of pain "Sweet Child O' Mine," Guns n Roses

So my little girl has been pretty sick lately. She picked up a nasty cold in pre-school, promptly gave it to me, (I then passed it around the restaurant, including to the owner and her husband, which they really loved) and she has not been able to shake it. Last week we did what parents do, and took her to the Dr. No problem, she has an upper respiratory infection, here is some amoxicillin, keep her on the 'tussin. Yesterday she woke up and was COVERED in hives. She is cheery, even playful, but just covered in hives. Face, neck, trunk, legs and arms. Scary. As two people who have never had an allergy, neither Alli or I have ever been affected by such things. So we go to the emergency room, and the Dr took one look at her, another at her admittance record, and simply said "Hey, this little girl is allergic to pennicillin!" Looked her over, prescribed her some stuff, and off we went. Hopefully things will get better for the kid. She has been sick the entire month of December. Poor thing.

So the sweet tea and Dr. Pepper have been flowin' freely in my section lately! Lots of steak well dones. If it isn't that, it's the old fossils. Who in the hell drinks Grey Goose Gibsons and tips 10%? Old ass people, that's who! Then again, it has been pretty hit or miss. Monday, I could do no wrong. 20-30% from every table. Add to it I was training a new server, who I let greet and (kind of) carry most of my tables. She thinks that this place is a gold mine after that shift. Tuesday, was a completely different story. In fact, it was difficult not to take it personally it was so bad. I got at one point, a $5 tip on a $125 check. That's right, it was the ole' "Buck a head" rednecks theory in action. There were five of them. $2 on $60. I should have known when I saw the Marlboro 100's and flannel shirt. Last night I even waited on people who commented how great everything was going, and how perfectly I was serving them. She even confidently told me after I had bussed their salad dishes that she knew I was doing great because "I'm a Mom, my daughter here is a waitress, and her boyfriend there is a cook!" What did they tip? A calculated 15%. Jeez, thanks...I politely asked the the host staff for no more mullets in my section.

So a while back I was tagged for five random facts about me that not a lot of people know.

1. I met Alli online. which is now defunct. It was free, and I had put my ad up and she saw it. We were matched from the start. Same interests, same opinions, same attitudes. The only problem was sorting through the CD collections and all the doubles we had. It was kind of a trip to find someone so similiar so quickly, but hey! Whatever works.
2. Alli is the only person I ever met online. I had tried previously, and have tried many times since. (not to get laid, but for frineds!) I consider it likely that I will meet one once things start to slow down a bit, as I have been in touch with a fellow Bostonian now down here on the Emerald Coast. He and I will likely tip a few, but I just need to get a day off that isn't Christmas for this to happen. I have tried to join online groups, offered to hang out, but was ultimately stood up or rebuffed numerous times.
3. I was suspended from high school for fighting after the Red Sox lost the 1986 World Series to the Mets. We lived in rural Connecticut, halfway between the two towns and I was constantly teased about being a Sox fan by one idiot in particular who even went so far as to come to my cross-country practice in order to tease me some more, throwing rocks in the proccess. I saw him in the hallway the next day, and I punched him once in the solar-plexus. He immediately passed out and sustained a concussion when he hit his head on the ground. These days I probably would have been thrown in jail for assault and battery...As an ardent Boston fan, I can safely say that most of us are idiots.
4. I was never "pinned" as a Sergeant in the Army. My orders were printed for me when I PCS'd to Fort Bragg. In the Army they like to have a little ceremony, read the NCO's creed, and then the senior Sergeants tag you, or smash your new rank into your shoulder blades. Well in leaving the Old Guard I was literally a CPL E-4 one day, and then upon sigining in to the 82nd an E-5/SGT. They had (back then, I have no idea if this still applies) a 100 point drop in the points that you needed to make rank, E4 to E-5 since I was leaving a "leg" unit and joining an "airborne" one. Instant E-5! I was handed orders that gave me my E-5, and told to wear the rank by the clerk "if you want to avoid a beating." I went down to a little sewing shop on Yadkin Rd and had the new ranks sewn on for 50 cents. As for my airborne, air assault, and EIB...well I took the beatings for all of those.
5. I was reduced in rank to E-4! Actually, I never even knew it! I was out of the Army in October of 1995, right in the heart of the Clinton Administration, major cutbacks all around for the Pentagon. I joined the Army National Guard and was given a team (while in the 82nd I had a squad) and was told my duties. No problem. I start school and bartending/waiting. Drills are all weekend long, once a month, usually starting on Friday night for infantry guys like us. So I basically miss out on the three best days of the week to work for what was back then like $125. Ends are meeting, no problem. I had the GI Bill and the Army College Fund. Making decent money...problem! The unit is totally tapped for funds, and every drill is more of a sleeper than the last. Most people consider it "free money" if they don't have to work. I consider it a waste of my time. ESPECIALLY when we go out to a tiny Fort in the backs of 2 1/2ton trucks in the dead of winter to practice "Squad attack" every single weekend. At one point we are having an AAR and our company commander had asked for any input. Little did he know that there was LOTS of input about the drill. All of the lower ranked people began complaining to me about many real issues. I become their de-facto spokesman. At the AAR, I bring up many issues that we all noticed, but everyone was afraid to say anything about. After like the sixth issue I bring up, the CO tells me to sit down and shut the fuck up. I never went to drill again. They administratively reduced me to E-4 for being AWOL...another year goes by and I get some official looking paperwork and it turns out to be my DD 214, giving me my honorable discharge for time served, 8 years total, at the rank of E-4. In the paperwork is the administrative reduction to E-4. Que sera sera.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

What else could I write, I don't have the right...

What else should I be, All apologies? All Apologies, Nirvana

We have been extremely busy lately. That is the good part. The bad part is everyone still tips like they just got back from fighting for the $300 lap-top at Wal-Mart. Crappy Tips. Amzingly difficult to get anyone to crack a smile. Super busy at home lately to boot. I have had two days off in the past two weeks, and one of them I called in sick, something that I never do. More than anything I called in sick to take care of the wife and daughter, the younger of which paid me back by vomiting all over the kitchen floor. Add to that not only did I not get to watch the game, but I never got a chance to give Tammi any shit about the Pats absolutely spanking her Bucs.

All apologies to anyone who has followed my rants and consequent lack thereof.

By the way, did you know that Kurt Cobain was murdered? Am I a total sucker for even wasting time reading Urban Legend rumors like this? For some reason I can't get over crap like that. Only one thing is certain. The guy was an amazing musican/writer who abused tons of drugs. Whether he was murdered or committed suicide seems a moot point, as he was clocking out anyways...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Turn me up!

Trouble in paradise.
Not only that, but I went to post and vent about a lot of shit lately, and all that I can come up with is this.

NOT, Not only that, but I somehow deleted all of my blogroll. Not a happy day...For now, go and download or play an angry song.

I suggest Faith No More & Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. lyrics,Another Body Murdered

Play it loud, please...Very frustrating days...Sorry folks.

"Turn me up
Now I gotta murder da' murder ta' get away
The eyes gotta peer now the fool's gotta pay
And if they pay then they pay with they life
So watch another man try to hold on to his life
Cause' I keep lookin' and huntin' just like a lion
Let the sucka' know that it's them that be dyin'
I show no remorse to the source of the tales
And if they tell then the hungry better battle
Aw I keep it comin' and comin' across the table
And if I miss,
I never miss,
cuz Im ableI'm lookin' forward
and I'm lookin' over my shoulder


I had to get it together to watch a body get murdered..ehh
Faith No More......
I had to get it together to watch a body get murdered
Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.....

Murder well I won..."

Kind of obscure song from a bad movie about a decade ago, but I am pretty sure Desult knows it....

I hope everyone realizes the frustration level that I am feeling these days. Ain't got much more to say, other than smile at your fucking server or bartender today, he will appreciate it and YOU will too. I can bury my life when I get to work, I wish that all of you could too when you go out to eat. You aren't shopping and competing for that $300 laptop at WalMart anymore, relax and enjoy-your-fucking-selves tonight, OKAY?!

I will fix my blogroll VERY soon...Today just isn't the day for it.