Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kaboom goes Kerplunk

Short version: now writing at Kerplunk 

Long version:

Now it's time, to say goodbye, to all our company ...

If you aren't familiar with the above Mickey Mouse Club lyrics, you weren't hugged enough as a child.

Now. Serious-face time.

Some two-and-a-half years ago, in November of 2007, right before my unit deployed to Iraq, I decided to start a blog. I sat in a living room in Oahu, overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and decided that the words I had typed weren't so ugly-sounding. I had some cursory knowledge of what blogs were, and figured it'd be a simple way to keep in touch in family and friends, so I kept doing it. I named it Kaboom because I was irreverent, and absolutely convinced an IED awaited in my future.

Ironically, one wasn't. But a lot of other Kabooms were.

It has been a hell of a ride, and one absolutely made by two sets of people. First, of course, were the soldiers. They changed my life in a way I'll never really be able to describe or comprehend. Being a platoon leader for the Gravediggers in combat was the greatest honor of my young(ish) life, and frankly, I somehow doubt anything will ever top it. I'm often asked how I made the blog posts so visceral. It was easy. I was telling stories of brave men in chaotic situations, doing their best to figure out why and figure out out. And I was there. I was one of them. I miss it, a lot. Not all of it, of course, but enough of it.

So, eternal gratitude to the guys. But I've already told them in the realness of reality all that. They know.

The other set of people I wish to thank are the readers. Vague, definitely, banal, maybe, but still absolutely true. Maybe some of you are still reading, maybe some of you aren't. The feedback I received from many of you proved ... overwhelming, and I mean that in a good way. From the onset of the blog, all the comments and emails forced me to understand that our plight was, in fact, understood, brooded over, and a concern for many, many others. And when the blog got shut down ... you all reminded me that my present wasn't my past, nor was it my future. So, sincerely, thank you.

The blog turned into a book. And it's cool. I'm happy with such. But like I posted recently, when writing about Corporal Hernandez ... it really doesn't matter. I hope people like and enjoy the book, and it means a lot when I'm told that, I won't pretend to be above that. We all like our egos stroked, and my ego now comes with binding in corporeal form. But even when people don't like it ... it doesn't matter. Kaboom was what happened to us, in that time, in that place. It was us. And it's there, frozen for history to judge, for us, and maybe you, to remember. That's the really awesome part.

Kaboom has gone through its fair share of deaths and revivals, but this will be the last one. I just felt like I was diluting some of the old posts, those straight from the Suck that channel straight sleep-deprived grit, with my veteran/writer/rambler posts of the present. Different time, different mentality, different man. Just another droplet in the e-seas, that somehow evolved into something else because of you. Many gracias, and Mucho thanks.

Fear not, though! I'll still be blogging over at Kerplunk, with the same amount of ironic detachment and irreverence that littered this quirky little site.

Just time for a fresh start, you dig? And I think I owe it to ... The Veracity gods or something ... to leave this site up, as close to as it was, that is now possible.

As I said some moons ago - thank you for caring. Agree or disagree with the war(s), if you're reading this, you're engaged and aware. As long as that is still occurring in a free society, there is something worth the fighting for.


Anonymous said...

I know you were hugged as a child and sang along with the Mouseketeers. So, with apologies the Mouseketeers, and to Lt. G and the Gravedigerteers, as well as to the writer of the original version of the song:

"Now it's time to say goodbye to all our company
M-A-T, See you real soon,
L-t-G, Why? Because we love you,

And to borrow from two other classics: the first from a great supporter of troops and veterans, Bob Hope who made "Thanks for the Memories" his theme song; and the other, the theme song of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans:

"Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.

Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again."

Thank you Matt for sharing your experiences. Thank you for being you. And thank you for being my son. With gratitude, respect and much love,

Poppa G

Chad said...

Thanks for the ride!

Chad said...

Welcome home
loved the book, I'll read you over at Kerplunk.

trisha said...

welcoming kaboom's baby brother, kerplunk, to a whole new world, a new chapter...

poppa g beautiful, sweet post to your boy

Eric said...

On p 190 ... although I should be studying for my law school finals right now. On April 15, I only arrived at the B&N in time to grab a book, have you sign it, and buy it on my way out, but it was still good to get to shake your hand.

If/when you get to Columbia, look up the Hamilton Society and the US Military Veterans of Columbia University.

Danny Brothers said...

Enjoyed the ride, Cap.

Katherine said...

I will miss your posts! Loved, loved, loved, LOVED your book. I found a direction to focus my study towards after reading all of what you said :) Thank yo for showing me a world I have not experienced. May you be blessed

Hardtack said...

It is a bitter sweet time when the author of a blog you have read decides it is time to move on. Having read your blog for some time (and your book) I have gotten to know you and the Gravediggers to some degree.

All the best as life continues, all the best to you and City Girl. I will continue to check in at the new blog, but you have my thanks and gratitude for putting into works what you and the Gravediggers went through.

I will be in touch.

melissa said...

hey=) I just found your blog and I've decided to bookmark it so that I can go through all the old posts. I'm a 15 year old girl who lives in Japan. Japan doesn't have an army and we haven't been in a war since World War 2. I mean, the government is tired in knots just because we have a Self Defense Force. I've been extremely blessed. That's why it's so weird to me when I hear of wars and people who have to fight and the army. It's weird because I really don't know anything about it. I honestly can't even imagine what soldiers go through and how they feel.I don't even understand the idea behind wars. But I want to understand. So I'll definitely read this blog. Even if you didn't agree with the war, I admire you for fighting for your country. Even if you didn't think it was right, it was awesome of you to fight so that your kids (? Future maybe) won't have to.

So rock on=D And be happy. Because I love you. And Jesus does too(^^)

Anonymous said...

Your blog has a long history. Military bloggers truly contribute to the wealth of expression on individual experiences in a dynamic, global America and world. I am a Soldier too. To blog may soon be an academic requirement for Soldiers in TRADOC.

Anonymous said...

Very helpful tips. I had no idea of that at all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, dude! That explains it.

Microcosmos said...

Thank you for writing this blog, and for volunteering to share your experiences, and for volunteering to serve.