If you check out the Archives down near the bottom on the right side of your screen you might notice a big gap between March 2005 and April 2006, between my last attempt to blog about my deployment to Afghanistan and my first effort on this one. I migrated the old blog posts over here. I gave up on that one. Leisure time, sleep deprivation, brain power, give a shit level and internet access limits killed The Kandahar Contract, and constantly threaten this one. I’m an Infinitesimally Insignificant Microbe in the TTLB Ecosystem with little desire to do what I have to do to evolve further up the evolutionary food chain. I’m really not cut out to be a blogger. I’m not the great writer Cannonette thinks I am.
I keep at it because I’m hard headed.
Remember back in 2005 when Newsweek’s agitprop about fictional flushed Korans fomented fatal riots? I lived through that. KAF went Force Protection batshit. Our Nationals couldn’t come to work. We got pretty bowed up trying to Charlie Mike without them. It was already very hot that spring on the edge of the Registan Desert. Blood – Hold. Sweat – Check. Tears – Check. That event clarified my thinking about Old Media. When I came home I started this blog. And I haven’t quit. And my tiny but elite readership hasn’t quit on me.
I may be the first self-tutored wannabe amateur PSYOP’er on the internet.
Post I Am Most Proud Of: The Regulars’ RFI On USIA
Top Post According To WordPress: “Ad Triarios Redisse!” That was Grimmy’s idea.
Cannonette’s Best Post: Live From Iraq it’s Indirect Fire!
This coming year you can expect more Afghan Public Protection Force, Logistics, Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Politically Incorrect Politics, Irregular Warfare, Resilient Community Defense, Military Support to Civil Authorities and less cheer leading for what have now become merely Overseas Contingency Operations.
I intend to fight The Program.
The War Lord of Argghhh! was on a panel about milblogging which I just watched. Sure wish I could have found the transcript! I can read faster than those guys can talk. I’ll never get that 1:18:52 back, but there were some nuggets in there, like when and where the next MilBlog Conference will be. If you want to understand milblogging you ought to watch it.
It’s been three years since I was home for the Holidays.
Soldiers dance in Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan, during Mark Wills’ performance. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Reeba Critser.
I was at that show.
KAF Main DFAC was tents back then. I mostly ate at South DFAC.
Still looking for a pic of the TQ Mainside DFAC.
I’m happy to be back in the loving arms of Cannonette this Christmas, but, somehow, I feel out of place.
Merry Christmas, everybody!
Great pics here, pay particular attention to 7 of 90.
Remember. That’s your mission for today.
Cannoneer is in between contracts, so I have been forced –, I mean I want to watch TV with him, so I watch a lot of stuff that I normally would not watch. History Channel, Military Channel, History Channel International, Discovery Channel. I normally watch, when I’m not reading, Fox News, BBC America (I love Britcoms), American Movie Classics — when it’s not John Wayne month), Turner Classic Movies for silly romances and film noir, and Boomerrang for cartoons. I watch a lot of cartoons — because there is rarely anything worth watching.
So for the last three years I have not had to watch what a man’s man would watch.
Well now I can tell you what channel we are on just by the commercials — on the manly shows I am forced to hear about ED problems until I couldn’t really care less if anyone ever has it. There are three kinds of ED pills and boy do they flog the heck out of them. Also beer is on the Manly Channels along with big expensive autos and meat commercials.
On the Female Channels I see “Boy, are you old, you need this lotion so your man will have sex with you” — or
“Lord have mercy, you are so fat you need this diet”
The American advertising industry is driving me nuts with the I’m so old and fat that I need whatever they are selling Chinese water torture.
Why can’t we drive defeatists nuts with the truth about how well our boys are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan or how we need everyone’s help to keep our hearts and minds open to the possibility of victory?
I’m going to the house.
I will miss TQ. Hard to explain why. It can be an aggravating place. Beautiful sunrises, though. I am thinking seriously of moving out West. The desert agrees with me.
It was my honor to live and work alongside some fine Marines. I am a better man for it.
I haven’t blogged much about TQ. Maybe I will start. Others have done a better job of describing this place than I could. OPSEC means I haven’t identified people I work with, or where I work, or what I do. This blog was never meant to be all about me, or my travels.
For me, the war is not over. I am just redeploying from the Iraq Theater of Operations to the Zone of the Interior.
School of the Counterpropagandist will start back up when I get home.
I wrote the above last night in Kuwait. This is what I wrote yesterday:
I am sitting in the waiting shed at the TQ Joint Air Cargo Operations Terminal, typing this on Cannonette’s laptop that I brought back with me. I have been here many times before. They have some new blue seats in here, now. Big improvement over metal folding chairs. Last time I flew out of here I hung out with J.D. Johannes of Outside The Wire and Gene Blanton of The Fourth Rail. I was stuck here for hours with them and never said a word, because I didn’t know who they were. I finally recognized Gene on the C-130, but by then conversation had to be shouted over the engine noise. A picture of him at a feasting on goat clicked in my brain and I nudged his knee and hollered “Don’t you write for the Fourth Rail?” He smiled and nodded. We three conversed down at Ali Al Salem while we waited for our baggage pallet to show up. Good guys, both of them.
Lots of citizen journalist New Media embeds on the way out. That’s good. Send money. Money talks. Comments on blogs are cheap. Sending embeds out here isn’t.
In a few hours there will be one less blogger in Al Anbar. I haven’t really blogged that much about my personal experiences out here. I haven’t discussed my job, or the people I work with, or the things I’ve seen. That was never the purpose of this blog. It wasn’t supposed to be all about me. My contribution to the war effort has been honorable, and I am proud to have been accepted by some fine Marines, but I just don’t have the war stories some people do. I haven’t suffered the hardships, seen the horrendous sights, watched buddies die. I’ve been rocketed and mortared. Indirect fire and ambushed convoys which reduce the variety of fodder in the DFAC are about the only things the bad guys have ever done to me. The bad guys have always been a minor irritant to me, safely ensconced behind the wire, surrounded by Hesco bastions and blast walls. The enemy rarely manages to annoy me nearly as much as the friendlies. Too many people standing in line waiting for too few of whatever it is we are patiently waiting our turn at. Met some truly outstanding young Americans standing in lines. So many Americans just have no concept of the high quality humans serving in the military. It has been my honor to be alongside them.I’m moving back in with Cannonette. I want to come home to her every night.
UPDATE: I’m back in the world. The lovely and talented Cannonette welcomed me in our traditional fashion and now she is asleep behind me. Should have another lesson of the School of the Counterpropagandist up by Tuesday.
Today was another one of my SCARY days. Cannoneer’s FOB was in the news. 5 people were killed when a helo went down. I know this sound so very crude and unrefined, But DAMN!!! I almost messed my panties today. I had just got home from helping my girlfriend at her store, came in dropped my purse on our bed and was changing into my Jammies, I hate to wear un-comfy clothes at home. As I was pulling my jeans off an Alert came across Fox News ( I leave it on all day so I can keep up with what’s going on) as I fell to the floor I tried very hard to keep my wits about me so I could hear what was being said. After hearing what was on I went to the computer to see if I could get anymore info… Nothing was there, No E mail from Cannoneer or any info about the FOB. So here I sit at the computer waiting to hear from him. I am pretty sure the phones and computers are cut off and he’ll call me when he can. I know in my heart he’s fine and I’m not freaking out as bad as I usually do? Does that mean I’m getting use to all this? I feel so scared most of the time for the safety of my Boys, The other Boys are safe in the rear for now but what can I do other than pray for everyones saftey. I have yet to hear from Cannoneer, I feel he’s alright, I would feel a disturbance in the Force if he wasn’t, but still there is a nasty little voice in my head telling me all the things that could go wrong over there.
I know there are other people out there going through this too. I pray for all of you and all our families who are doing what they feel is the right thing to do. And today 5 families lost someone they care about dearly so lets all say a prayer for them.
Update: I’ve heard from Cannoneer today and he’s fine and doing well!
Thanks your prayers and well wishes!