March 29, 2006
For some reason, I browsed some military blogs today, finding Milblogging.com a helpful resource.
I learned what some acronyms stand for -
SVBIED: Suicide-Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device. Yikes.
FOB: Forward Operating Base.
OIF: Operation Iraqi Freedom (guess I should have known that one).
Wordsmith at War talks about his army officer tech job in Iraq:
As far as my own Battalion is concerned, we have it pretty good. I manage an internet café that offers 6-8 VOIP phones and 10-14 laptops. We keep it open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We also have an AT&T phone center close by. You simply walk in, sign a roster, and start communicating. There are 5 other internet cafes on our base, and soldiers are free to utilize any of them. [...] We have all these new types of communication technology, and I like kowing how to install, operate, and maintain them. As a Signal Officer, I must say that I love my job.
A Marine's reaction to returning to the U.S. (with a cute photo of happy family):
...Eating the airline chow and watching a few movies seem to make you feel guilty for sitting on your butt for so long doing squat. The airplane landed on the east coast as the pilot stated “Welcome back to the United States Marines” and the plane erupted in cheers...
...Seeing other people in clothes that weren’t desert color...
...This man was chasing a soccer ball behind me and ran up on me as we watched a game. Not a good idea for him as I turned quickly and began to grab him thinking he was a threat. Hey, give me a break he surprised me ya know?? Good for him I didn’t have a weapon. After a little explaining he understood and all was good...
...I cant drive for s*** and I'm terrible with directions around town now. Curbs? Red light…….what red light? I need a 50 cal mounted on my suburban!!...
...Patience……..Im working on it. Coming from having things done by well oiled professionals to well,..... kids…….skreeeeeach! Nothing really has stressed me out as everything here isn’t a life or death situation...
...Having a nice toilet, shower and many other luxuries around the house are great but I do think of the 289 killed and over 2100 wounded we left behind. How their families felt as we returned and they didn’t...
We truly don't realize how much we have been given here in America. We take so much for granted and our perception of the world is so conditioned by the lifestyles that we have been blessed with. And at the risk of sounding pious, you never can fully appreciate what we have until your comfort zone is completely shattered and you are given the opportunity to see how the other half of our world is being forced to live. It's one of those things that I can try my hardest to explain, but my words will always be found lacking. It's not the lack of rounds cracking over my head, it's not the awkward silence when I lay in bed at night or the absence of walking down the street without my rifle that I notice the most...it's being able to watch others go through their day without a care in the world. They have no worries about running over an improvised explosive device planted for coalition forces...they have no concern about returning to their home to find it commandeered by insurgents and their families taken hostage.
...We were supposed to come together and leave together. Now, we are a man short and it hurts. I am going to miss this. This brotherhood that I have. It is not self-serving. We do for the good of the group. There are no favorites. If we lose one, we are weaker than we were before. We look out for each other and genuinely have one another’s best interest foremost in our minds. We are warriors and have a warrior’s bond which no nine-to-five could ever begin to offer. I will miss the life of a warrior. To be able to place my life in the hands of another, and have him place his in mine.
March 29, 2006 | Permalink
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