Sunday, April 6, 2008

iWar

Rumble young man, rumble.

Make it more true than true is. As muddled as war appears on paper, it still has to make some sort of sense to survive the transformation into language. That is why I write. It makes more sense here than it does out there. If I ever make sense of it all, there won’t be a reason for these words anymore. I’ll finally fade into that proud sand castle defying the sea for the sake of defiance, then. Alone, under the red hot moon. Doomed to fail, blessed to try. That’s all I’ve really ever wanted out of life. To be left alone, to fight impossible on my own terms.

The act of creation. Jimmy Rabbit on a bus. Pogues in a Port-a-John. Emily Dickinson locked away in an attic. God at a pub, liquored up in a dark corner, doodling on a napkin. Like pulling fangs off of a rabid baboon with pliers, as explainable as the board game Wall Street Land to a people who do not comprehend the concept of excess. Diversify those bonds, mistah. We all have our methods. Mine has always been somehow sitting still long enough to retch up a pile of brain vomit, followed by meticulously rigid editing and reediting ingrained by journalistic tendencies by way of poking said brain vomit with a sanity stick. Don’t analyze that too deeply. There was nothing phallic about that statement.


WhoWhatWhenWhereWhyandWhyagainandWhyoverandover. Save the Chief Wahoo greeting for the mathematicians and meterosexual drag queens. Invert that pyramid. It takes time to organize random musings into something worth sharing and even more time to make it readable. I used to write at night, beer in hand, and edit in the morning, water in hand. Cue General Order No. 1. Now I write mad and edit sad, whenever I can.

iWar. Fitting, in that succinct, catchy pop culture kind of way. Perfect for this Era of Irony. No LOL-erskates for the whYkids, but they’ll get over it. iWar. It’s not my phrase, though I appreciate it and am happy to Oscar Wilde it. I got it from an article about blogging in the Iraq War that quoted me in it. Bask in the shameless self-promotion. To be fair, I don’t think it was the reporter’s phrase either. It begins with “i,” so Apple Computers probably has a patent on it. Just like iPod, iTunes, and iRack.

I War. Subject. Verb. Where’s the object? We’re still looking for it, five years later. How’s that for iRony?

I get it. My suffering and soul-searching is not as deep or as angst-worthy as your suffering and soul-searching was. Were you in Fallujah, LT? How about Somalia? Now that was some fucked up shit. My war was SO much more trying than your war. Spare me the juvenile sensitivities; internalizing anything makes you soft. We didn’t have time for that bullshit in Desert Storm. How tough can it be? You have internet access, for Mohammed’s sake. And a mattress.

Fair enough. Counterinsurgencies are not nearly as cool or memorable as the apocalyptic offensives that spawn their existence in the first place. Following that logic though, we all owe the survivors of Antietam our first-born sons and a free rub-and-tug at the local Asian massage parlor.

But wait! They had a pen and a pad to write letters home! Some of them even owned socks. They aren’t nearly as legit as Alexander the Great’s epical Macedonian Marauders. They literally did nothing but kill things 25/8, which clearly elevates them beyond mere soldier status. Their rules of engagement were simply two words. Rape. Pillage. The “and” came later, inadvertently fucking everything up, leading to the point where the world’s lone superpower can’t make juice boxes out of the fruit of their enemy’s skulls anymore. Not directly, at least. Now we just hire them to squeeze their own juice while we provide the fruit and the pre-shaped cardboard and the plastic straw.

ShootMoveAndCommunicateBOOMBOOM.

Scouts Out.

ShootMoveAndCommunicateBOOMBOOM.

Scouts Out.

ShootMoveAndCommunicateBOOMBOOM.

Scouts Out.

As the keyboard Marines of the blogosphere reminded me during the rules of engagement saga, this is war!!! How e-tuff. Thanks for the advice, it’s kind of hard to forget that when you live it and sleep it and breathe it on a daily basis. I play real-world Frogger with IEDs every time we roll out of the wire, Mesopotamian sand rests at the bottom of my lungs like spare change in a swimming pool, the Gravediggers are awaiting CABs for actioning into combat and whistling bullets without hesitation, and I’m still removing bits of Boss Johnson flesh grunge from my memory with a spatula – and the computer screen dares to lecture about what war is? Typing to kill and repeating asinine banalities found on World War II-era posters are clearly more profound and well-intentioned than ten pages of literary greatness devoted to five seconds of black-bursting clairvoyance written by someone who was actually fucking there. No thanks for the exclamation mark abuse.

Sigh.

To hell with it though, as skewed and as wrong as those individuals may be, at least they are interested. That’s about as rare nowadays as finding a polar bear that thinks global warming is a communist conspiracy.


Give the cute baby seals a hammer and sickle, and put them to work. For the Motherland, of course.

Chew Tobacco

Chew Tobacco

Chew Tobacco

Spit

If You Ain’t Cav

You Ain’t Shit.

I know people care about the iWar. But not enough, given the circumstances. Not even close. Agree or disagree with the war, I don’t care - just give a fuck. Be able to find Basra on a map, know that the Tigris isn’t some sort of unholy crossbreed found at the San Diego Zoo, try to figure out the difference between a Sunni and a Shi’a even if it conplexes and perfuses your mind beyond repair. I wish I could issue some loud, righteous proclamation here about the repercussions of such continued resounding American apathy, but who are we kidding? The warrior caste is simply too small nowadays, and too proud. There will be no reckoning for all of this. We’ll fight the fights not because we necessarily want to, but because no one else will. We were bred to protect. Even if we’re protecting nothing more than an isolationistic yawn prefacing the continental slumber history demands occur after protracted warfare.

I used to dream of a life without consequences. Like that defiant sand castle though, it has been swallowed up by a crashing surf of memories, washed away, lost in the swirl of bleeding blue.

iWar. Mine, not yours. This war. My War. Our War. We War. I War.

You peace. Out.

Here’s a secret, though. I’ll let you in on it, if you promise not to tell the chickenhawks or Jody or the Spooks. Sand castles can be rebuilt. The surf can destroy the castles, but not the sand itself. No one and no thing can destroy the sand but myself. And that won’t happen anymore. I will rebuild my sand castle, someday, somewhere else, somewhere where I think the surf can’t find me. In a lagoon where peace is stillness and stillness is peace. Alone, under the red hot moon. Fighting to fight, finding a noble cause in an ignoble world. And tucked away in the deepest dungeon of the castle, where no one will be allowed to go, not even me, will be a piece of scrap paper with the address to this blog site written in smudged ink on it. My link to this iWar, where I finally stumbled into an adventure that I couldn’t sleep off. The last link to a life with consequences.

Rumble young man, rumble.



69 comments:

LT G said...

Consider this a disclaimer: If you're reading this, at least on my site, I know that you care about us, and American soldiers in general. And I appreciate that more than I'll ever be able to convey. My rage is directed towards the vast majority of our countrymen (I don't really feel the need to cite any number of studies here) who moved back into their bubble on Sep. 12, 2001.

Agree or disagree with the war, please. Just care, and be aware why you agree or disagree. That's a duty every citizen has, whether they are conscious of such a duty or not.

nuttermommy said...

Lt. G this war is hell on us all. the counrty in general doesnt give the support neede to our troops. i see it every time i say im a wife of a soldier in iraq. and i either get the oh you must be so proud and tell him we appreciate it or i get a nasty look. and always the "oh it must be so hard for you". its harder on you all there then for us here.
by the way like your writings.

OldGrouchy said...

The phrase is: "iWar is heck!" or maybe "iWar sucks!" Good piece, LT G, about life in general and war support specifically. BTW, even WWII got to be too much for many at the end; it really wasn't all hurrah for our side, there was much grumbling amongst the natives. Perhaps what is needed for Gravediggers one and all is a long R&R with free Guinness served in frosty glasses.

Meanwhile, stay safe, treasure cool shade trees and quiet nights. You truly are America's sons and daughters over there.

Anonymous said...

Say what you must, it doesn't define you. What is important is you, in this now... As clouds floating across the sky, so are our thoughts and feelings. We can't grasp or hold on to them, and can not repress or push them away. To try to is to suffer. I hear you.

Anonymous said...

There's lots of us who care, Lt. G. More than that, we're engaged, grateful - and extremely proud of you guys.

Kim

maxxdog said...

I feel the same rage and I'm not even sure I have the right to. I sometimes think I'm stealing an emotion I can't claim is mine to feel. I get angry at the apathy too and the blind ignorance that leads people to protest the war at recruiting centers instead of directing it at those who make the decisions.
But some of us care Lt G. I wish it were more but wishing doesn't make it so. There's over a 100k in the Patriot Guards, thousands more are Soldiers Angels. We do what we can. Take heart and know you are loved and thought of daily, and mentioned in prayers every minute.
Take care

GRUNTSHIT said...

the internet is a terrible place unfortunately fucking ignorant retards can put what ever they want out there also. fight the good fight sir being what ever you feel is good, stay safe and we will see you on the flip side, keep writing let people know what is really like to the best of your ability, i know personally im restricted not only for OPSEc but because I might hurt some SGM or COL that never actually has time in boots on the ground in Iraq and tours the battle field at their own fucking leisure and the last time they deployed as an operational NCO or PL was "back in Kosovo when it was bad out there". good luck sir and stay safe

Anonymous said...

I check your blog every day and I find it strange that I can care so much about young men and women I have never met. You guys are in my prayers and thoughts almost constantly and I make sure to let people know what a difficult but great job you guys are doing in Irag and Afghanistan. Knowing that our freedom is in the hands of men and women such as yourself gives me hope. Thank you.

Macy said...

I never knew that sandcastles could be so meaningful.

Anonymous said...

Dear Son:

Walt Whitman wrote:

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and
self-contained,
I stand and look at them long and
hard.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
"Song of Myself" (written 1855)

I've always thought that Mr. Whitman must not have actually spent much time with animals, as "dissatisfaction" and "whining" and, if one is at all empathetic, "unhapp[iness]" can be frequently observed, a stallion will, certainly, evidence "mania" in "owning" mares and any member of a herd or any animal that lives in a pack clearly "kneels" to the male and female deemed dominant! But, it has also seemed to me that, even if we were to concede to animals the attributes Mr. Whitman wishes upon them, that therein lies the answer as to why they remain animals. That is, that discontent may not only be the attribute that most distinguishes humans from animals, but is also what results in us trying, striving, seeking, struggling. And I know you know that such discontent is devine, writing
"[d]oomed to fail, blessed to try."

On the other hand, it may simply be a matter of one-half of your heritage: "I am troubled, I'm dissatisfied, I'm Irish." Tee Hee! (Spenser's Ireland, 1941).

So, keep building those sandcastles!

With pride and respect and love, Mom

Anonymous said...

"iWar. Subject. Verb. Where's the object? We're still looking for it, five years later. How's that for iRony?"

Lt. I think you may be brilliant. Survive. Continue to lead your men well. And please continue to write when you can.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe in this case iWar is subject and noun-- and the American people are too apathetic / lazy / busy with other things to provide a verb, a judgment-- to fill in their part of the sentence...

Anonymous said...

Well. Lt G----not only to I believe in what we are doing- I try to clear the pathetic material clogged brains of the ultra-libs who know nothing more than the need to fatten themselves as YOU (collective) fight for their right to do that very spoiled thing.Thank you that you serve............PAPA JOE

ButlerWifey said...

Most Americans are apathetic. It's sad really. I didn't realize how bad it was until you guys left. When I tell people that Hubby is in Iraq, people look at me with pity a thank-God-that's-you-not-me look and mutter something about how long 15 months is. Most offer some "opinion" and I say that in quotations because they spit back whatever journalistic garbage they just heard on the news. A lot of conservatives favor the war because that's what they're supposed to do and liberals oppose the war because they're supposed to, but do they really care? Until it actually affects your life, do you really care?

Ashley B

Anonymous said...

In defense of my seeming non-caring fellow citizens, it's just too big and too crazy to deal with. I think some have the attitude it's not their problem, it's GWB's problem. They didn't want it in the first place. Many people have too strong an opinion to even dare open our mouths. ME. Almost everyone I know thinks it's horrible; no one wants to talk about it. I am friends with a with a woman who's stepdaughter is serving, I don't dare mention it. It would hurt her if she understood I think her lovely kid is serving at the the behest of an utterly corrupt president. Let it not be said we learned absolutely nothing from Vietnam. We learned we could lose our community, have our phones tapped, aquire files and be regarded as an-American human trash.
I read what you guys have to say because that's all I can do. I can't bring you out of there. All I can do is hope that you make it out ok, because we have a planet going down the tubes, and we need your help.

Scoutout said...

iCare

Its a curious state of being to live, where those around you don't care.

11b/19d, if you don't know you never will.

Nothing in this life is free, that is why i'm infantry.

To quote a better writer than i could ever be.

"Nothing of value is free. Even the breath of life is purchased at birth only through gasping effort and pain. . . . The best things in life are beyond money; their price is agony and sweat and devotion . . . and the price demanded for the most precious of all things in life is life itself--ultimate cost for perfect value."

Starship Troopers, Robert Anson Heinlein

Take care watch your six

Eric said...

Keep writing, LT.

Anonymous said...

LT,
You bet your Meso-sand filled lungs we care! You are Warriors, and the lot chosen is yours. Hang tight and bring back your men.
Fuck the whatever wing of public apathy that chastened yours. You are "our" Soldiers and we look up to you as our protectors; where ever you may be.
Beers on me if you show up in the Bay Area of California.
Stay safe, Mike

Anonymous said...

Dear LT G,
Those of us who read your blog and write to you are your LT G support group, and not only do we care, we understand.
Your brain vomit is safe with us.
"Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone" unless, of course, you are Irish. It must suck to realize that you can't do much more about the gaping, cavernous injustices than we can, only you and your fellow gruntshits are risking your lives and wounding your hearts and souls trying. And those who should be helping are not. Thank you so much for flying your thoughts on electrons through space to us. We need your sensibilities and outrage - you are certifiably qualified to be outraged.
Your mom should be proud-as she is.
another soldiersmom

Long-time RN said...

Enjoy your mom's responses almost as much as your posts. At work, I attempt conversation with co-workers by mentioning the war news and the cities involved. Most do not know if I'm talking about Iraq or Afghanistan, let alone where the city is located within Iraq. At times a glaze falls over their eyes; it saddens and angers me, but never discourages me from educating the unaware.
With respect and gratitude,
Cathy B

Anonymous said...

I unfortunately have to talk with a very large number of the ignorant and apathetic. At times I find myself straining to refrain from violence myself. I like every other person have an opinion, but it is usually based on research and fact. Many of the ignoramuses I deal with base their opinion on the stupid and irrational statements of others. Ignorance and apathy has long been a fault of the human condition.

I care though, and pass on your writings by posting links to your site in all of my sites. Continue to write, and by doing so educate the ignorant. Stay safe and keep rebuilding that sandcastle.

2sbct, under 2scr mom said...

Thank you LT G for the usual brilliant blogging.

I've experienced people being out of touch with what's going on over there more times than I can count. The other day, a lady asked me where my son was deployed. When I told her the area (a common place most morons would know), she said "what country is that in"? I couldn't help the look I gave her. I told her Iraq and just walked away. Unfreakinbelievable!

While watching a CBS news story about the Sadr City situation, my stomach did a flip when I saw my son. I haven't heard from him in almost 2 weeks and now I know why.

Thank you for what you're enduring. Keep yourself and your men safe. May God bless you all and watch over you. You're always in my prayers.

mutt said...

You are correct- a vast number of people back here cant find Iraq on a map. Oddly enough, a lot of THEM "support" the war, rather, they support war. About everyone I know who thinks this was a scam, and you guys disgracefully used, CAN find Basra on a map, & Kut, not to mention Iraq. Even Kosovo.
I ride with a Patriot Guard Riders, because its the only way offered me to support the warriors, and thier families & friends. Most of us a vets of one sort or another, mostly my war, Viet Nam.
The realities have silenced a lot of chest thumping, I am glad to note.
Back when, after I got back stateside, I was very much vocal, loud, & direct about that murderous mess. And Id get the same crap: "you wernt with MY squad, on THAT hill, on THAT night" (this is after we get past "You wernt there")
Lt, I never wanted to bring up my thoughts about this sand castle you are tasked with holding against the tide, but tell you what: Im mad as all hell, a LOT of us are. And if we didnt care, very deeply, very very much, we wouldnt live with this anger daily. These SOB's DID learn something from Viet Nam- DONT draft the children of the middle class. Keep them out of it, & we can run amok.
Well, you fight for your Gravediggers, Ill fight for ALL of you. Hate to say it, but you are needed ( a LOT of you are needed) in public office to flush this rot from our country.
lovin you all, mutt

antithaca said...

Well, I for one think most people do care. Try to put it in some perspective.

Some Pajamarines (as you yourself called them) declared "This is War!" and that rightly got under your skin. But who knows who these ppl are or how many sheets to the wind they where when then crafted those words.

Then, some nerd with a Mac no doubt tried to coin a witty new phrase for Bush's War. Hooray for him. I hope he gets lots of web hits. I guess you should too.

Most people aren't as informed about Iraq as a US Army LT. No doubt. But, most people make uninformed decisions all the time: a new car purchase, a mortgage (witness the current credit mess), what else? Any one of us could go on about this subject I'm sure.

As concisely as I can: People care. They don't want to see more troops like you go over there. But they don't want to see instability and chaos spread. People simply trust in the most trusted institution in the nation (the military) to get it right...perhaps eventually.

0.02

DG said...

LT G -
Wanna know something weird? The main reason I know where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers run is because of Sunday School. The land of Iraq is discussed often in the Bible. Supposedly the Garden of Eden was there (if it really existed). I think the first time I heard the word "Tigris" I was probably 4 years old.

By the way, you are a lucky young man to have such a thoughtful, articulate and lovely Mama. I have two boys. I hope they listen to me someday like I'm sure you listen to your Mom. Gee. I also I have something equally worthwhile to tell them. Yo' Mama is smart.

Take care, still pullin' for you - DG

Shari said...

There are plenty who do care, and care greatly. But, I have to agree with you. The majority if people I know don't care near enough. I am proud to say I am a Soldier's Angel. When people find out about that, I am amazed how fast they tend to change topic. For me, once I started to pay attention, there was no way I could not care, and care deeply. I think a lot of folks need to simply notice and pay more attention to what is going on!

God bless you Lt. G., your Gravediggers, and soldiers everywhere! You are in my thoughts and prayers always! You are a talented writer and your men are lucky to have your leadership....

Shari

Fast Nav said...

At some point you realize it's not about the people back home who don't give a shit. It's about your men, it's about your job, and it's about caring about each other and getting back alive. The work you're doing is without all the glory it is due. Many people will never understanding fighting a COIN war, and we hope they never have to. Fighting an enemy you can't see is enough to drive anyone mad.
Keep your head up LT. There are people who care. They're the one who write to you in these comments. And at the end of the day, as far as the blogosphere goes, they're the only ones that matter.

Keep on Keepin' on man. Stay safe. Stay sane.

Christy said...

Lt G., you amaze me every time I read your blog. As an American with no relatives or close friends in the military, I'm constantly checking milblogs and other sites for insights into the real situation, background, context, etc, because I don't get that from the talking heads or sound bits on MSM. I'm so thankful for men like you who are willing and able to give us your valuable insights. Inspiring, educational, scary, funny, and often gut-wrenching sad. To me you are a sand storm of a poet (that's a good thing...). And I care a lot. Do what you gotta do and come home safe.

Mac said...

Brilliant writing, editing - whether done while mad or sad or with beer in hand or water. You are skilled with words and ink in a way that few are.

And from this profound thought is ignited.

Anonymous said...

Lt. G, I just wanted to say that you are one of the best writers I've ever seen. Keep on writing, people need to hear about what's happening from the soldiers, not the media.

Stay safe out there.

Anonymous said...

From an ROTC "cadidiot" viewing your war through the safe lens of life as a college student still 2 years removed from the suck... all I can say is rock on LT G.

Mezzo SF said...

Hey there Lt. G. - Just want to send you a shout out and a 'thank you' for all that you & your guys are doing. I never know how else to say it...just know that thes words of thanks are sincere, but represent only the "tip of the iceberg" of gratitude floating under the surface of verbiage.
(yeah, yeah, taking some creative metaphorical license there with that one...but you know what I mean...)

Praying for you all - sending you some good vibes and thoughts from CA.

Jonita said...

I really enjoy your views and love your writing.

Jonita

Grandpa said...

If you really want to get depressed Lt. G, do you realize some High School dropout, who probably could not tell you how many states they are, let alone find them on a map, and has a vote that counts just as much as yours does.

Anonymous said...

1. Vet of earlier conflict.
2. Didn't take yours seriously.
3. As an official geezer, am going nowhere near harm's way. Fading T Count causes disinclination to do so, anyway.
4. Have talked to enough OIF returnees to change my mind.
5. It's plenty enough of a war.
6. BTW my war was confused and messy. Expected the clowns I shipped out with to be replaced by real fighting men. SGT Rock never did show up. Went into the boonies with the same types I'd trained with. Scary and disillusioning.
7. You stay safe LT. Want you home bitching about the current military adventure when you're in your late 50's.
V/R JW

Anonymous said...

I think your enumeration of the small sample of the warrior breed brings up an interesting question- are we creating our own downfall by reversing survival of the fittest? Think about the men who stay home, comfortable in their suburbia. Think about the kind of men who volunteer to go to war. Who do we really want survivng, procreating, and leading us? I'm going with the latter. However, unfortunately, 4,000 of them are no more. Wonder how many of the lesser gene pool died in the bathtub during that same period?

admiyo said...

People haven't forgotten, and those of us that care bug the shit out of those that don't.

Bag Blog said...

I often feel guilty that my life is going on here - safe and sound - very normal - while you and other soldiers are putting your life on the line every day. And the best I can do is say I care, or be a Soldiers' Angel, or read milblogs daily. It just does not seem like enough.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you are still doing the deed after the springtime enthusiasm showing up where you are right now. Be good, be lucky, whatever get yourself and all the fellas home under your own power. We believe in you, keep your head up. Gregory Copeland

Nichole said...

iCare

You have a brilliant way with words. Esp. the brain vomit.

Thank you for being you. Thank you for sharing what truly goes on out there, not just biased opinions from the press.

Be safe, drink lots of energy drinks, and most importantly keep blogging.

Nichole

Anonymous said...

iKnow. iKnow. Hard to get War just right, isn't it?

iCare because iKnow most of you are there because you believe it was the right thing to do, or you believed that at the start.

You aren't responsible for how the administration sets policy, of how the Army implements it. I found my peace with the 'Nam by admitting I had about as much to say about it, as an ant on the freeway has to say about speed limits.

Not only out of my pay grade, but out of my species. iRemember why I went over, and iBelieve that's why most of your generation went over.

Sand castles? Hell NO! What you're doing is eternal. No sea, no ocean, no deluge will wash that away. You will loose it only if you relinquish it. No one can take it from you.

iKnow, and iCare. iHope we can do the welcome home escort (PGR) when you get back to Ft Lewis

archanger said...

iCare (should make a bumper stiker out of that one, gotta tell to soldiers' angels about it).

Mostly because of you, and the rest of you Milbloggers: you get us the facts, and let us figure it out on our own, instead of the talking heads on TV telling us what to think.
We're few and far between to follow you guys and care, and we know that even if we don't agree with the war, we should never forget you.
When my wife asked me what she could do, I told her to become a soldier's angel. She may disagree with the war but she's proud of helping a soldier see it through. And she talks about it. A lot. The word gets around, even if the media doesn't care.
We care, and damn them all if they don't.

Keep on bloggin' LT. Gotta keep on bloggin'

ps: Vox Veterana did a piece highlinghting the same problem. Incidentally that's how I found your blog.

lela said...

I agree, there are too many folks who don't know, don't understand, and don't care about anything that doesn't impact their daily lives. But that doesn't mean that everyone lives their life with their head in the sand. There are a lot of us who do care (and who would jump at an "iCare" bumpersticker). We're the ones who support you, the Gravediggers, and everyone else serving in harm's way.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 04/07/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front lines.

Anonymous said...

LT G-

how did you learn to write like this? I mean, you are not just good. You are great. Better than 99percent of the books I've paid good money for great. The fact that you're writing about something as topical as Iraq is nice, but i have a feeling you could write about a day at the local library and make it interesting.

please stay safe. you owe the literary gods a sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

lt g: My highest compliments. Extraordinary writing. I also recommend to you a column by Frank Rich, published in Sunday's New York Times, titled "Tet Happened and No One Cared." Broaches one of the subjects discussed by you in this marvelous post. With all best regards to you and your men.

The Opinionated Bastard said...

cool prose

For those of you that want to reach out to soldiers like LT head over to adoptaplatoon.org. Best thing me and my wife ever did.

I may be an armchair marine, but I know my letters are appreciated.

Anne said...

It sounds like someone could use a hug.

Consul-At-Arms said...

I've quoted you and linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2008/04/re-iwar.html

Kimberly said...

I am just blown away by the writing that I have discovered on these blogs! And I found them by doing a lil search on Rusty! lol Im so intrigued Ill be tuning in! I wish my husband would get into blogging so I could feel closer to him! And well you prove that Lts CAN have the time!! Ill be passing that info on to him with the next call. take care & be safe. I need some interesting reading to get me through this deployment!

the walking man said...

LT
ain't going to read fifty comments, not because I am that lazy of a reader, but that is their shit not mine.

I am near on 3 times your age and this is the fourth major war in my lifetime. I too found that the sand can not be destroyed no matter how much of it you have to eat, there is always more and the Chinese toy company will always make us new buckets and tiny shovels for sand castles. It is your desire that you can lose then you have to wander years to find it again, that is what must be kept in the hidden places.

Take a step back and look at yourself, the walls you are building, ring after ring which are much better. Between each ring you can garden all you wish in silence.

Do whatever you can to stay alive brother.

Peace

mark

Anonymous said...

Brilliant? Check.

Thoughtful? Check.

Eloquent? Check.

Good looking? Check.

Balls of steel? Check.

Screw writing the Great American Novel, I want you to be our next President.

Anonymous said...

Lt G Do you get to know any IP or IA guys at all who can tell you their stories and what the US presence in Iraq means? What are their dreams and aspirations? Do you feel any connection to the town you are in? There is a total lack of connection to the Iraqi themselves back here, just no feeling of what they want to happen and are willing to make happen and sacrifice for. Good luck to you and your soldiers, men and women.

Anonymous said...

In regards to Comment #52. I agree completely! In light, however, of the fact that Lt G is otherwise occupied for the foreseeable future, might I suggest that we all take advantage of the opportunity to support another young, intelligent, well educated,
thoughtful, and articulate candidate who has also exercised compassionate leadership with balls of steel and who shares two other attributes with Lt G: he's of mixed ethnic background and he's skinny!

echo6mike said...

Shit Lt - there are always going to be fools who tell you how much harder they had it than you.
Everyone's an expert from a distance. Quite honestly, who gives a shit? You know how difficult your job is and that's all that matters. Just keep your head on straight and bring yourself home in one piece..with a bit of luck, you won't be batshit crazy from being second guessed when you
get here...
Semper Fi

Anonymous said...

I bet you knew nothing about where you are now before you joined for whatever idealistic reason that ruled you that day. Maybe you wanted an education and the vets or armed services in all areas of the military complex of BS looked like an answer. Sept. 11th may have been the reason how you got there but there you are and I care about you being there, going there and joining up under whatever BS drew you into the military web. I care about what you are experiencing and that your life is dangerously threatened day in day out, over and over. I really care that our men and women over there are not getting to leave after so many months on the front lines of defending the sand mound of the day. They are just human beings, some are shieks some are women, kids. The biggest issue is someone wants something that elevates them in this lifetime. Their ego and beliefs may not match mine but we are all capable of misconduct, ego driven souls with one miserable belief that what they want out weighs what everyone else needs. So some dicks raise their brows and make a sound that says what you want is war and god damn it we are all going whether you like it or not. No real plan, just a lousy bunch of cowboys in grey suits that have never put their lives on the line screaming cowboy up. Patriotism is an idealogy that is agreed upon by all. Idealogy is a concept built often in ego. Ego runs two directions, mine or yours and mine is better. Lt. G I care and pray for you all to come home and continue to tell the truth about this experience called war. Your truth is all you have and I want you to have the opportunity to continue to speak with your generosity of sharing your heart, mind and experiences with us.I hate war, it is never an answer, it's just an opportunity that a few people decide the world needs. Follow the money, who is really benefitting for all the bodies on all sides piled up on the scoreboard of this game called war.

MMC said...

LT, for what it's worth, I'm a Canadian and I care. About both Iraq and Afghanistan. About "our" soldiers and "yours". As long as the reality gets out more and more through milblogs and related blogs, I think the pool of people who actually care is slowly growing. Unfortunately, a lot of them are slient. And some are silenced. But keep talking. We're listening.

horace said...

iWow.

i dont think your master plan had you getting this big until month 6, eh G?

keep it up. more people than you can imagine are starting to read you like you're the sole authority on the entire freakin' war.

Anonymous said...

Lt, let me join you in saying: I PISS ON OUR GENERATION.

Anonymous said...

re; Juan Cole. Tuesday Apr 8, 2008. Check the bottom of this blog. The feedback from 'boots' is excellent.

Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

i say fck the mtv drones and Abercrombie n ftich zombies

let em rot in their own luxury, let their meaningless lives haunt them on their comfortable death beds.

u speak for the silent minority of kids our age who dont haven't given in yet

semper fi!!

LT G said...

"Lt G Do you get to know any IP or IA guys at all who can tell you their stories and what the US presence in Iraq means? What are their dreams and aspirations? Do you feel any connection to the town you are in? There is a total lack of connection to the Iraqi themselves back here, just no feeling of what they want to happen and are willing to make happen and sacrifice for."


That's a great suggestion, and something that should be relatively easy (and quick) to cobble together. Thanks for the recommendation.

remoteman said...

You are a powerful writer. Please know that I care a lot about your safety, your mission and your success.

Hardtack said...

There is little I can add to the comments that have already been posted.

I care, and am teaching my son to care. As I have said many times, we owe a debt of gratitude to you, to the Gravediggers, to our warriors, that we can never completely repay. I will never forget what you and others have done. You have helped keep us free.

Lesser individuals don't understand, and probably never will, appreciate what Freedom means, nor what it takes to keep us free. That includes many in political office, who don't understand (don't want to) what it means to be an American.

Thanks Lt G, thanks Gravediggers, thanks to all who serve.

Anonymous said...

Lt. G,

I have no opinions on the war; I have an opinion about our soldiers - They are the greatest! And I care every single one of them!

Helen

Anonymous said...

Sir: Your place is not among "those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat*". They're gnats, shake 'em off and drive on.

The majority, the ones who care, are too busy doing good works in so many arenas to spend much time and energy generating a lot of buzz. So by comparison the cynical and the timid appear to dominate.

It's an illusion, and a very old one.

*TR "Citizenship in a Republic" (1910)


V/R -

Anonymous said...

Lt G,
It is a privilege to read your blog. I hope that you and your men remain safe for the remainder of your tour. Rest assured that you are all in our thoughts as we go through our day to day routines here in the states. I know in this family you are. Even my seven year olds know that our soldiers are in a country called Iraq and are fighting battles against insurgents (bad guys). My son worries that they might try and sneak up on you while you are sleeping. I tell him not to worry. Lt G never sleeps. He is a leader of men...Charlie Mike.
GD

Anonymous said...

iSaluteult

War sucks. Be safe. Thank you.

JD

K. R. Lewis said...

LT G, I'm writing a book write now, and one of the characters is a young american who has returned from the war on Iraq. I'm not really sure why I decided on that particular subject profile, but I needed a character with a history and the war seemed like a good one. Because I'm indirectly writing about the war, I started doing some research on it and stumbled across your blog. The truth is, I've never really thought about the war.....ever. I think the sentiment is shared by many Americans who claim to love their country. But after reading almost all of your blog my opinions have changed, my eyes have been opened. Thank you for showing me the war that America is fighting, and even though i don't know if i agree or disagree, why should I be oblivious? Why should anyone be oblivious? My paradigm has shifted towards reality. Keep blogging, and good luck.