Sunday, June 1, 2008

I just read what Jeremy and I am always impressed with what he has written. His writing skills are for better than I ever imagined they would be. Good job bro.

Well, I have a little explaining to do. I put up a post a few days venting and bashing on someone when I should not have done so. It was childish and uncalled for, but the results were a lot more childish. There were some vulgar comments that were left and I am sorry if anyone saw them. I had to block all comments for a few days to let things calm down.

What Jeremy was talking about brought up a very good point about some sad things bring pleasure to others. It is very disturbing for me see someone getting joy out of others suffering. We have one of the main hospitals in Afghanistan about 3/4 mile from where I work here on BAF. Everytime I go down there I see several local nationals at the hospital awaiting care from our doctors and medical staffs (I am not the one that has to go to hospital. I have soldiers that have to go for random things and I am there to support them.). I see everything from grown men and women to babies that are needing medical care. I spent a night in the hospital "guarding" an enemy combative. During this long shift I saw several kids that were treated and continued to be care for by our own. This was very encouraging for me to see. I have seen men, women and child that were victims of land mines put here by the Soviets and from abuse for supporting us here. It is sad to know they cannot walk out in their own yard for fear of coming across a land mine that has been there for years and the recent rain and wind brought to the surface just enough to be a danger. We have had several land mines go off in close proximity to my living area recently. When they off, it scares the crap out of you. Just the other day a buddy was on roaming guard (walks the perimeter looking for things out of place and wrong) and he witnessed a young man stepping on a land mine and literally blowing his foot off. My buddy could not believe what he saw and wished he had not seen it.

We have also been busy with Purple Hearts for the injured and the fallen. I cannot tell you how many people have been killed since 10Jun, but it is not pretty. I was talking to a friend of mine from another base today and she told me that one of the reports she had to send the other night was a close friend of hers and her husbands. I am dreading the day that I open my email and see a report with a name that I know and can put a face with.

Tonight I was put on the spot in front of my Sergeant Major and Lieutenant Colonel about a few awards and policies. During the discussion, or ass chewing as it is commonly referred as, he showed me some pictures of an IED attack that happened very recently. It took all I had not to tear up after knowing what the out come was. I knew the outcome in grave detail and it was hard to see the pictures knowing what I do. Anytime someone is injured, whether it is a broken toe or a leg blown/torn/shot off, I see the report in detail and know almost exactly what has happened. Sometimes I loose sleep over it, sometimes I have to talk about it, and others we try to act like we did not see the report. Last night and tonight were a couple of those nights that I am glad that I have people I can call and talk to and receive kind words of support.

Mom called me twice today and she had bad timing the first time. I was in the middle of the report and could not really talk at the time. But I called back later and talked for quite some time. I did not tell my mom that I was bothered about I had read earlier in the night, I just wanted to call and vent a little on what is going on with my soldiers. She talked to me not knowing that I had read some really disturbing things, although she knew that I processed some Purple Hearts.

It is nice to know that I have friends out there that I can call and talk about nothing and get the relief and comfort that I am seeking without asking for it. Joe Fiore is one of those friends that I can count on for a funny email and boxes of goodies. Joe has found out that his time has come to go to Iraq again and I will be giving him the support that he is giving me. His wife has been nice enough to make some homemade beef jerky to send over here for us. I can tell you that entire is waiting on that box. There will be fights for beef jerky when it gets here. It is not often, or at all, that someone gets some homemade jerky.

I have a few friends that are going through divorces at home and they look to me for support because they know I have been through one that was not very pretty. I am glad that I can still be there for my friends although I am so far away.

Back to the reports. Every time that I read one, I wonder if Jeremy has seen what I am reading. I really get concerned that he will have to se some of this stuff and it will get to him. I am asking that all of you pray for us everyday. Not just Jeremy and me, but all the troops here and the families they have left behind.

I had a very disturbing comment made to me the other day that has really been getting to me. I was told that it is selfish for a man to leave his child and go to active duty with the army. I was told that is was even worse that a man could leave his child and the ones he loves to go fight a war that is not his. This was very disturbing to me and to others that heard me talking about this. I have enough respect for person that said and know they were mad not thinking that I will not name names, nor hint to who it was. That part is no one's business but my own. Just know that when things like this are said, it strikes a nerve in a soldier that will induce rage beyond and hurt beyond anyone's understanding. Please remember that there are people here that are proud of what they are doing, no matter how small. Everything that is done supports some one else and means something to many.

When I brought this conversation up, I was asked by a senior officer and NCO what my response was. I was sad to say that is was uninformed and childish because of the anger and hurt that is caused. I was then asked why I am here. The response was selfish, patriotic and greater than me all at the same time. I am an awards clerk for the eastern part of Afghanistan. That means that any award higher than an Army Achievement Medal I process (most do not know what that is, but it is the lowest you can get. I have already seen Medal of Honors, which is the highest and is only presented by the president). I responded by saying that I owed it to my country and to those that went before me and served and those that have died for the freedoms that we have today. I also explained that I am trying to do my part to ensure those freedoms remain intact. The selfish part is that I wanted to be here to make the extra money, remove my self from debt, and try to provide a better life those I love and give my everything she deserves and more.

With her birthday only a few days in the past, I am proud to say that I gave her all I could for her birthday and a lot more than she will ever need. I do not think I have spent near the money on a Christmas than I did on this birthday. I made sure she got all that she wanted. Next year I will be able to provide even more for her. And every day in between. I just hope that one day she will understand why daddy had to go to the big mountains to fight the bad men with all his friends.

I received pictures in the mail from mom the other day and could not wait to open them. That was a big mistake to do in a busy office. I had to go hide in the corner and wipe the tears away while I looked at the pictures of my only child growing up. She is my everything and I miss her more than anyone knows. Leaving her to go to Fort Campbell was not an easy decision, but it is one that I made and I am proud of making. I am able to provide more for her and her mom and I am trying to make their life as easy as I can from so far away. I did not miss one chance to see Courtney while I was still at Fort Campbell. I never missed a weekend with her and even tried to see her more. Every moment that I spend with my angel is a blessing from God and is cherished more than anyone will ever know. There is nothing that can bring joy to my heart than hearing her tell me she loves and misses me. I try to call every day to hear that.

We all know that life in the US has not stopped because we are gone. We all know that there is a huge issue with gas prices and the economy right now. We all know that we have to come to home a messed up economy and things will not be the same. We are thankful that we are not there and feel really bad for ones that are and are having to deal with it. I know that jobs in Sevier county are starting to suffer. Some people that mean a lot me are feeling the wrath of the oil prices and the jobs going away. That is going to hit home really hard for a lot of us. Those of us with government jobs can only hope that our cost of living is increased to meet the needs and the current problems in our economy. Those that are in control need to step up and do something about it. It is also time that us little people step up and do something about it. The time to do it is in November. I am on the other side of the world, and I promise that my voice will be heard on the Tuesday in November. Do your homework. Do not vote for someone based on race, sex or anything of that nature. Go on beliefs and what they plan on doing for your life. Look at who will do the most for the economy. Place an educated vote and not one based on color or sex. I also encourage you do a little more homework and look into the Fair Tax Act. I am not trying to preach politics. If you know me, you know I hate it. But it has come to a time where we all must be heard. Forget about your political party affiliation and go with what is right. I have not voted the party two times in a row since I was eighteen.

This has turned into a novel that could have been split up into enough emails to break the record of fourteen that is currently in place for one month, but I had a lot to say in lieu of all that has happened to me in the last few days and what Jeremy brought up. I am not going to go back check for spelling or grammar or missed words. You can get over it. I stayed up late tonight know that I have to get up early just so I could speak, or type, my peace while it was fresh on my mind. I promise to unblock the comments in a few more days. I am waiting for a few things to cool down first. Actually screw it. If some one wants post negative on here, hopefully they will put a name to it so everyone knows who it was. I will delete vulgar language though and Jeremy will do the same.

Once again, I have to thank everyone for the support that we received. Misty and her family have been great in their support. Our parents cannot be touched with the support they provide and all the things they have done in a few short months. If they keep sending boxes at the rate they are going, the post office will be out of boxes and mom and dad will be poor from sending so many.

I cannot wait until Oct when I am home on my bike and able to get away and just relax. Oh, and mom got a new bike and I am still waiting on pictures of it. One day she will graduate to a Harley. One day I will too.

OK. I stayed up an extra hour plus for this and now it is time for bed. I miss home and everyone there. Thank you for the support and keep it coming.


MOM said...

Great job again boys! Another box for each of you goes in the mail tomorrow.
My new motorcycle is GREAT to say the least and I still need to take pictures and send them to you all.
I want you boys to remember that if someone does not understand why you are fighting for their freedom then they need to go on a journey and see what it is that the military does that keeps our country in freedom. You boys have every right to be proud for serving for OUR country. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!!!!!
ps: Fred says hello and he misses you both

Anonymous said...

Hi guys hope this finds all doing well. I wish the best for the both of ya. Your Mom and Dad have done a good job. Love Teresa