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(no subject) [Apr. 5th, 2005|09:45 pm]
[mood |goodgood]
[music |Weezer - Beverly Hills]

Ok, looking into studying Ninjutsu. The detail was pretty easy today. Kind of warm, I think like 78 today. Pictures forthcoming.
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(no subject) [Apr. 4th, 2005|11:03 pm]
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]
[music |MC Hammer - Can't Touch This]

I want to marry Tracy, I want to marry her right now. But I can't because she's back home in Missouri and I'm here in North Carolina. The Army is so fucking stupid. It takes some of the most upstanding citizens and breaks their fucking spirits. I used to be the kind of person that would jump at voluteering for something. Now I dread it becauase the usual result is me doing something stupid that either ends in me freezing my ass off or me doing something that somehow pains me in some new way that I didn't even know pain could happen to me. Or both. The Army is a fuckbucket of bullshit.

I'm supposed to do PT on my own time to get better, run on my own time, go to the gym and lift weights and stuff but this place sometimes makes it very hard to do that. Sometimes after work all I want to do is just get food, get a shower, and go to sleep. It blows. I remember I used to run my ass off in the heat or cold at Target getting carts but that was the difference. I wanted to. This place just takes it out of you.

I'm on a detail with one of the newer members of my Squad, Ryle. I like him, we've been talking a lot about martial arts and shit. I want to learn a martial art like stated in a previous journal entry. He's a black belt in Tai Kwon Do and either knows or is interested in Hapkido. My brother Andy used to study Ninjutsu and I found a course that you can send away for and learn it but we'll see. It's not that same as having a teacher there.

I dunno. This started off sounding like it was going to be a really long rant but I guess I'm done.

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Photos! [Apr. 3rd, 2005|10:16 pm]
[mood |tiredtired]
[music |Tchaikovsky - The 1812 Overture]

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Weapons Squad Homies Chillin' at Green Ramp (The place we sit at and rig up before a jump)

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Typical Green Ramp setting, either sitting around or sleeping.

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22 Pairs of shoe/boots. Fuck!

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My best bud that got here the same day I did, Kevin Meyer from Macomb, Illinois just across the river from Missouri.

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Tracy and I bought a pizza, ate it in the park and then kicked the soccerball around.

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Me driving my car which somehow is still running.

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Tracy mini golfing.

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Stopping for a second to pose.

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Me doing the same.

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A picture from the last time I was home, but Tracy loves this one. Don't let the picture fool you. I hate this fucking bird.
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(no subject) [Apr. 3rd, 2005|04:09 pm]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[music |Ashlee Simpson - Autobiography]

Well, I've jumped the last two Thursdays. Haven't updated just for the simple fact that Tracy was here but I took her to the airport and she's on her way home now. Coincidentally Joe is coming back today so I'll be going back to the airport later tonight. So both jumps were good, both with just chutes, no combat equipment. Had good exits and landings on both. The second one was out of a C-130J though, the C-130J is basically two C-130s put together. They basically cut a C-130 in half, take another C-130, cut its nose, tail, and wings off, and put it in the middle of the other C-130 extending it. Sounds safe to me. Anyways, we were all basically test jumpers of this thing. I was actually a little freaked out, just because I haven't jumped a C-130 since Airborne school and can't ever recall having a decent exit out of one.

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The Pickup Truck of Birds

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The Cadillac

Also some news recieved upon hitting the dropzone. Captain Mattox called us all over and announced to us that we're no longer deploying to Afghanistan... Now that means a lot of things and it complicates things. I mean, it's good that I'm safer for longer I suppose. But it's bad because I was really looking forward to the pay. Also, it leaves us open to deploy anywhere else... Including Iraq. That's where we'll probably end up going. I don't want to go to Iraq. There are too many IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). No amount of training will help you survive a fucking explosion of shrapnel that you're completely unprepared for. I could be able to bench 600 lbs and run 30 miles without getting winded but that wouldn't help me survive an IED. It's all just a game of Russian roulette, and if you know me at all you know that I hate Russians. Sorry, James Bond taught me so. What does this mean for me and Tracy and our wedding? Should I still do it right away? Should I give it a little time? How could I afford it right now? I can't go out and buy a bunch of toys like I wanted.

Right before we deployed I wanted to rack up my credit cards, just totally max them out. I'm insured for $275,000 through the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance program. I have to pay less than $20 a month for this insurance. It's awesome. So if I die, my parents would have plenty of money as my benefactors to help pay off their home and take care of my bills and funeral. Now, if I lived through the deployment, I would still have like 20 or 30 grand in the bank. Plenty to take care of the bills. Now I can't do it.

Money is evil because you can never have enough of it and you can never stop spending it. Let's look at some of the shit that I want but don't need.

The Airport Extreme Wireless Basestation (Lets me use the Internet through any phone jack, cool, but unnecessary)

A Motorcycle (Extremely cool, but also extremely dangerous, especially to me, having never even rode on one)

Martial Arts Training (Yeah, I've always had an interest in it and wanted to get back into it, but it would be hard with my schedule and plus, of all places to find a master to help me find spritual, mental, and physical harmony, why would it be here in this shitty town???)

I think I can probably afford to get a new (or least more of a late model year) vehicle. But it would be pushing it.

Anyways. Things are pretty good. I'll be on this sham EFMB detail until the 15th. The Expert Field Medic Badge. We basically watch the candidates suck. Our lane is the smoker lane, they have to carry a person on a litter (stretcher) under wires, over walls, through a waist deep stream. It's going to be awesome. A lot of people are going to be trying for it, like... dental assistants and stuff. People that hardly ever do PT. And women. God the women in the medical field are sometimes so beautiful. A lot of them will look like chicks I see at the mall, and I get to watch them suck so bad carrying this stretcher around. I can't wait.

Tracy's visit was fucking awesome and I really hope we're not on 2 hour recall so I can go to her prom. Also, I hope they decide to still give us the leave they were supposed to.

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Zonk! [Mar. 23rd, 2005|07:16 am]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |At the Drive In: One Armed Scissor]

We got zonked for PT today. A zonk is when someone of high rank says or yells "Zonk!". Chaos ensues. Everybody just goes scrambling in all directions. It's awesome. I ran back to the company so fast, it was only just a couple hundred feet away, but still. I had to get my PT jacket and pants that had my keys in it. Anyways, yeah, it's 7:18 in the AM and I'm not running and/or doing push ups. Nice for a change. I came back here and did a quick wipe down of most of my bathroom and kitchen surfaces in preparation for Tracy's visit. God I'm so happy she's visiting me. I hope they do stick with the PT plan they were going to use today though. A slow 2 mile run, then some upper body afterwards. Anyways... ROCK!!!
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(no subject) [Mar. 22nd, 2005|07:50 pm]
[mood |contentcontent]
[music |CKY: Inhumn Creation Station]

6 mile run yesterday, plus I ran 3 or 4 after work on my own time, plus 5 and a half this morning. My legs are really sore. I bet we run again tomorrow too. So stupid. Also, I had to give up more of my hard earned pay to various organizations that claim to help soldiers. Mandatory, mind you. The 82nd Organization got $10.00 from me and the 504th Org got $5.04. Lame. Had to drive all the way out to the bank to withdraw it too since I lost my fucking debit card. Oh well, they offered me a credit card with a $2000 limit, sounds good to me. I dunno why, they were just like, hey, you're approved for a $2000 credit card. Ya want it? I was like "Yeah, why not?" Also today, I finally got my Valentines mail, one of which was postmarked the 9th of February. Geeze. Oh well, at least I got my mom's card, it had $20 in it!

Also this morning they gave us flu shots for last seasons flu. I dunno why, they just did. I remember the last time I got a flu shot. (Now that Tracy reminded me) I got really sick and felt like crap and she took care of me. I had to vomit and made it halfway and puked on the floor, it was pretty sick. She still loved me though. I even remember what we were watching. We were watching the annual best ranger competition on ESPN. I remember thinking maybe one day I'd do that. So full of motivation and hope was I. Oh well, my motivation is to make it until we're released Friday and so I can enjoy the four day weekend with Tracy.
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(no subject) [Mar. 20th, 2005|07:32 pm]
[mood |blankblank]
[music |Soul Coughing: Circles]

Being in the Army makes any special thing, not special. Like today, my birthday. As some people tell me, my special birthday because I'm 20 on the 20th, ya dig? Well, it wasn't that great. Last night I had a really bad back pain and made mention to it a few times and Tracy got mad at me for mentioning it and said to stop. I was like, look, I'm in pain all the time from this stupid job, and how often to I honestly complain about a specific pain? I mean, she complains all the time. My stomach hurts, my eye hurts, I just slammed into a door frame on accident like a jackass, ow. I say one thing and she freaks out. My feelings were really hurt and I haven't talked to her since. So no talking to my wonderful fiance' on my birthday. Joe came by, he got my Jurassic Park on DVD for my birthday and we were going to go to the commissary to get some food and dinner but then this Sgt. from second platoon calls and is like "Get everyone from 3rd platoon that lives in the barracks down to the SSC (Soldier's Support Center, it's got our laundry facilities, snack machines, pool tables, and a tv room), and if they give you any shit tell me." So basically I was the only one in the barracks at this time from 3rd, and the other guys from my company that lived in the barracks had to go too, but all it was for is some stupid General is coming tomorrow, so we had to clean the hallways on the floors we live on, clean the SSC, and then go back to the company and clean up any trash outside of it.

I'm not just bitching aimlessly this time though. We have extra duty that's supposed to do that stuff. The people getting kicked out for snorting coke off of stripper's tiddy's and stuff. I mean seriously, we cleaned the company for hours on Friday, it was still good. And the SSC, which by the way the Sgt. on the phone kept calling the SCC not that it matters but it's just something that stuck out in my mind, is supposed to be cleaned by the people that are on CQ at the time, which would have been that Sgt. and his CQ runner. Then I was made to take their money and go get them taco bell. I hadn't eaten all day mind you. Oh well, whatever.

So now no one has told me that we have room inspections tomorrow or anything, but with this stupid General coming to fuck up my Christmas, I'm cleaning my room just in case which is fine because it needs it. I hated getting birthday phone calls today. I'm just not in the mood to talk right now. I'm not even really in a bad mood right now, just I wish I was home and I wish Tracy hadn't of hurt my feelings, and I wish I could have hung out with Joe or Meyer today.

Last night was cool though. I hung out with Renton, my "battle buddy" from basic training. We went out to Hooters and then to a couple gun shops, then to Dairy Queen, it was really a lot of fun. When you spend 3 months with someone culminating in a 7 day excercise where you spend the night spooning together for warmth, you kind of just learn to love them like a brother. I like Renton a lot, I'm going to have to hang out with him more on weekends and stuff.

At least Tracy is coming to visit me on Thursday. I'll be so happy to see her. I miss her so badly.
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Another Year Older [Mar. 20th, 2005|10:53 am]
[mood |worriedworried]

Well, tis my birthday. But more imporant than that is yesteday, when I was in the gym, I finally got to see some television. They had some music videos and I saw something that truly freaks me out. It was a music video featuring 50 Cent. Holy shit!!! He was created in a lab and like, taught to fire guns or something! I also think he might be a robot, I thought I saw some of the technicians working on his circuits! These robotic gun toting rappers will overpower and kill us all!
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This last field problem [Mar. 19th, 2005|12:27 pm]
[mood |boredbored]
[music |Beastie Boys - Sabotage]

Ok, theres still no one online, I've just been playing with my nunchuks. So Tuesday we went to the field because we were going to be doing a live fire range. We just chilled until Wednesday when we got up and it was raining. It wasn't too bad at that point though, we had set up hooches. Hooches are improvised shelters using your poncho, some bungee cords, surrounding trees, and 550 if necessary. More definitions. 550 cord is this green cord that looks like a green tubular shoe lace. It is so named because one strand of it can hold 550 pounds suspended in the air. If you gut the 550 cord, which means cut it in half exposing the little white strings that make up the insides of the tubular part and remove those, it will still hold like 80-100 pounds. Anyways, the best way to make a hooch is to find 4 trees or 3 trees and use a stick as a stake or your folding shovel as the fourth tree and stretch out your poncho between the 4 anchors, then make it tight with the bungee cords. Then the middle has a loop that you run 550 through and tie it to the trees higher up thus pulling the middle of the poncho up. It's simple. The corners are low, the middle is raised. No matter what direction the rain is coming from, it will hit your hooch and run down to the ground, and like the corners of your poncho are bungeed as low to the ground as you can get it and still crawl under. It rained Wednesday morning like I said and I was just fine.

So when doing this livefire we had to do it 4 times. You have to do a day time iteration with blanks, a live fire iteration during the day, a blank fire at night, and a live fire at night. It was a neat little mission though. We get on some humvees and roll out until we get pretty close, we dismounted and walked through the woods a little ways. Then weapons squad sets up on the hilltop and they get the big guns blazing so we have cover fire. So we were behind the hill they were on and they were on the hill overlooking this building. On the way to the building were 3 or 4 really old beat up cars for us to bound in between. It was pretty cool.

1st squad made their way across to the first car and then to the second, then my squad for this livefire, 2nd squad started making our way to the first car, when 1st squad would move, then we would, so pretty soon they breached the building's outer gated and started pulling security. Our squad's first team went in and cleared the first room, then we leap frogged them and cleared another room that was down a hall, it was clear, no enemies, no paper targets, then another room to the right. That's the one that had the targets in it. On the livefires they were always all bad guys but on the blank fires some of them were non threatening targets so we had to use target discrimination and not pop the good guys. Our 2nd platoon had to do it like 3 times blank before they were allowed to go live, we did it awesome everytime.

We did our blank, then live, then night blank, and night live and were very well praised by the Major watching us. So I thought it was time to go home. We were supposed to come back late Wednesday night early Thursday morning, but no, I got put on a detail. I was put on target rehab detail. That is, after other platoons went through the shoot house I had to come down this hill set way far away for safety and help change out the targets and reclose all the doors on the building. Not a big deal other than it was fucking cold and my feet were soaked from the puddles by the cars when I had been bounding.

Before our night live fire they had the medics check everyones feet out. Of course our medic was like "Oh my God!" because mine look pretty haggard anyways much less being wet for 10 hours or more. All shriveled and stuff, the bottoms of my feet looked like they were going to just slosh off at any second. I think the medic was trying to get me to not have to do it, but I live with my feet like this all the time so when asked if I was good to go I said of course. I didn't expect to get out of anything although it would have been nice. I was really hoping to go home and get dry though, but no, that stupid detail.

So I did that all day Thursday until like 3 or 4 in the morning and finally got to go to sleep. Woke up Friday morning and we were finally taken back to the company. Did I get to get off work though? Nah. We had to do 100% in the arms room meaning that we have to check every weapons serial number, and every piece of equipment on the weapon system. Each things usually has 3 things. The weapon, the sight on the weapon, and the night vision laser. Like our M4s usually have the M4's serial number, an M68 Red dot sight serial number, and a PAQ-4C laser on it. We have like over a hundred M4s in the arms room, 20 of which M203 grenade launchers on them as well, we have 18 Squad Automatic Weapons (Fucking line squad machine guns) and 6 M240 Bravo machine guns. (The big guns on the hill) Not to mention each persons night vision goggles and some miscellaneous stuff like some mortar systems and thermal sights and stuff. It's usually a 3 and a half hour process. Then finally I guess around 4pm we finally got to come home, which is effort in itself.

I had to pick up my ruck that had been sitting around, put on my armor, put on my helmet, and lug all that shit back to the barracks, and up 3 flights of steps to my room. Man, I always hate that walk. I'm glad to make it because I know I'm done, but it's always like a kick in the teeth. Anyway, today I woke up and have just been messing around with my nunchuks and online since. Nobody's online though and I called Joe but didn't get an answer, so I dunno what I'll do. I need to get some cereal and milk and clean up my room and do some laundry. That's really it.

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CERTEX=GAYTEX [Mar. 19th, 2005|10:36 am]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Signs - Justin Timberlake and Snoop Dogg]

Wow. Well, I went on a 9 day field excercise the week before this one or possibly the one before that, that blew balls with such a great amount of force that I haven't talked about it until now. I'm not going to tell you all about it because when I'm in the field I'm lacking on food and sleep and energy so field time just blends together. I will just tell some of it. It was called CERTEX. It stands for certification excercise. This was our certification excercise for Afghanistan. It was actually kind of cool how they set it up. We went over to Pope Air Force Base (Right down the road, it's where we jump from and where I'll leave and come back to on deployment) and they had an actual FOB set up. A FOB being a fire observation base, basically the fucking tents and shits we stay in, roger? Each company had their own tent and since this was a battallion sized thing, all 4 companies were there with us. I cannot even begin to express the frustration of trying to explain all this and have any of my civilian friends or even the love of my life Tracy make any sense of it, I'm trying to so bear with me...

So for the first 3 days we were doing what's called continual operations. Basically, if anything out there happened, any of the OPFOR (Opposition Force, the other soldiers out in the field playing the parts of the bad guys) started trouble and a mission was planned around it, we would go out. What happens when you go to the field here at Ft. Bragg is one of the most magical things ever. The day before we left, it was 80 degrees. By the first night we were out there it was around freezing and we were soaking wet. By the time we decided to bed down, there was no point to getting your sleeping bag out because even though it's got a gortex cover attached onto the sleeping bag, the sheer amount of rain would have just soaked through and if it was dry the next day, well, your fucking bag would still be wet. So I basically layed down in the mud, took out my rain poncho, got under it and proceeded to violently shiver and shake all night, my body's pathetic attempt to warm me.

The next few days we went out, looked around some buildings, never found any OPFOR, because there weren't any out there, it was too cold and rainy for them... At one point we searched this town and they had two "real Hadji's" playing the part of "two real Hadji's" and we had a translator with us. We basically talked to them for 45 minutes while I had to sit there and watch the door because there were more inside so it was my job to pop any of them that came out and tried to attack us if they had a weapon or anything. They told us absolutely nothing, and so this stupid CERTEX went onward.

The night after the soaking wet night they called a Tactical Pause, with means we can take stay inside buildings and stuff and that while we have to still pull guard and shit, we're not really going to get attacked or anything. So Sgt. Stewart, my platoon Sgt. had us go into this huge barn and sleep inside, it wasn't the best, it was kinda cramped, and I had an hour of guard in the middle of the night, but it was dry and covered, and that's all that mattered.

The next night was pretty crappy though. We were off our 'tactical pause' and we ended up going all around that day, finding nothing, and coming back to the barn, only to stay about 200 meters away from it. It was so crappy. I didn't get much sleep because I was told I was going on a recon mission with just my squad and Lt. Cain. Lt. Cain is an awesome motherfucker, I'm sure I'll post more about that guy later. Anyway, I just sat there shivering and it felt like it was like 2 in the morning I was so tired but I couldn't sleep, in reality it was like 8pm. God that sucked, I finally was smart enough to say screw it and got out my sleeping bag, I finally fell asleep and woke up to Moser waking me to get ready for the patrol.

This would have actually have been a fun mission if I wasn't still all spastic and cold. We got onto the truck and it took us close to Losatt (The town we had cleared and found nothing before, but not the ones with the Hadji's we talked to, although this one did have some, I never dealt with them, I was way off towards the woodline pulling security) Anyways, we got off the trucks and walked towards Losatt and sat in this woodline just off the road and it was our mission to just see if anyone was still there and based on that either go back and get a mission together or go back and go to sleep. Well, obviously these civillian Hadjis weren't there, and in fact I believe they work no later than 8 o clock at night so why we were checking this out I have no idea.

The whole mission was really cool and video game/movie-esque though and I would have really had fun sneaking around if it wasn't balls cold out. Finally after 6 days out after we were really only supposed to be out 3, we went back to the FOB. I got put on KP duty because our cooks were out there and had their own little cooking station set up. Yeah, KP blows. I wasn't peeling potatos like the movies and stuff though but I did have to wash a bunch of dishes and what they did with the excess food was just gross.

Ok, they dug a huge trench, filled it with some water and just threw any excess food into it. At breakfeast I'd get an ice cream scooper full of eggs, and 2 or 3 pieces of bacon, but yet I'm throwing entire tubs of food into this open stanktrench. What the fuck, man. It sucked because the trench was outside and after a meal I'd have to keep going from the warm tent to the cold outside and I'm not sure but I think I remember my mom telling me that's a good way to get sick is to keep moving from hot to cold, thanks Army!

Jesus Christ that was a bad time. Waking up and theres frost on your sleeping bag and on your armor that you left outside, the padding in your helmet all frosted and stiff, and then you have to put that shit back on. Man, no wonder I didn't want to talk about it. I haven't even gotten to being in the field this last week. I guess I'll end this for now though. I'm so glad it's the weekend. I wish people were online to talk to though.

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