Wednesday, June 27, 2007
So Long Tony
A great leader when leadership was needed.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
"Arrrrrrmy Training Sir!"
I give you.... The Final Product.
That's a Fac' Jack.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Why I want to be in the fight....
After reading Michael Yon's latest dispatch on the current operation to destroy Al-Qaeda in Iraq, I'm ready to grab my gear and head out. We're in the battle of our lifetime, a war that will determine the peace and prosperity for the next generation, yet Fox News and CNN are completely ignoring it. Yon's opinion about how the war has been fought up to this point is spot on, and many Officers and Enlisted in the military have been grumbling those same words. But every time we take our gloves off and jump in to fight, we're all ready and willing to do what needs to be done... no questions asked.
I believe in our fight for Iraq. I believe in my upcoming mission to help form and shape their new Air Force so they can continue defending their own country against this Iranian proxy war they're currently embroiled in. I also believe in General Petraeus' ability to do what needs to be done to strengthen Iraq, weaken Al-Qaeda, and eventually bring us home.
Every day I sit on this God-forsaken hilltop in Texas, learning Arabic and the proper way to clear a rifle and pistol, I miss my family more and more. I miss Trevi's dancing, Kalyssa's laugh, and Kaitlyn's teenage thick-headedness. Even worse, I'm about to leave them for a very long time, yet I still want to go. I'd go today if I could. I want to deploy because I want to help strengthen a nation and bring our sworn enemy to their knees. I want to do what needs to be done, no matter what Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi do to disgrace our troops and our nation. I want to do what's right and make my children proud.
For someone who almost left the Air Force 10 days ago, I've come full circle. I still have my issues with some members who spend more time checking off boxes than listening to their people, and I still disagree with many other things they do wrong, but in the big scheme of things none of that matters. Sure, I'm never really going to do what I want to do during my career. Sure, they're going to disregard my child's care needs and stick me in some hell hole like Los Angeles or D.C. (sorry Finch) where very few good physicians accept the military's insurance. And sure, I'm never going to get them to send me off for my PhD or work as an International Affairs Specialist, even though I have all the credentials and backing.
Yet I look at what I have now, and I look at what my family has, and I know that staying in is what's best for them and for me. And then I look at what my fellow Airmen and Soldiers are doing and I know that flying over there to join them in this fight is what's best for my family and my country. I want to make a difference. I think that's what all of us want to do when we put the uniform on every day, whether we realize it or not.
Of all the Arabic words and phrases I've learned so far one of my favorite is 'En Sha'alah', or God willing. Like the Iraqi Airmen I'm gong to work with soon, I will say it just as frequently as they all do every day. En Sha'alah, we will all be successful and come home safely.
The sun is headed down, and I'm off to go enjoy a cigar with the Airmen I'll be deploying with. We're all from different bases across the U.S., and it's great that the Air Force have us all training together... earning each other's trust and loyalty before we head out. When the crap hits the fan, it's better to trust your Officers and NCOs than to just put blind faith in rank.
Please read Yon's dispatch when you get a chance.
A Salam A'alaykum, Lala Atun Saeed
Peace be with you, Good Night
Monday, June 18, 2007
High up on a Mountain in Texas
I'm in the middle of nowhere Texas, camped out on an old Army artillery range. The Air Force finally has its act together and has established a camp to train their deploying personnel. I can't give them enough props for doing this. Sure, it's a little late in the game, but at least they're learning. They've got the cold showers and bug-infested tent thing down pat.
First thing I saw this morning when I logged on were these 2 headlines.
Air raid kills 7 Afghan children
36 dead in Iraq battle
My thoughts on just these headlines are pretty simple. First, they're about as anti-war, anti-US as you can get. In the Air Raid headline they left out the fact that the f'n Taliban pieces of shit hid behind these villagers and children. Did the article even mention that the Taliban and Al-Qaida purposely bomb, mame, and murder children throughout Iraq and Afghanistan on an almost daily basis?
The '36 dead' headline makes it sound like 36 US troops were killed. They could have easily said '36 insurgents dead', but they chose to once again be a'holes about reporting the news. They know that most Americans only read the headlines and not the stories, so they purposely load the headlines to make 'Dick and Jane America' sad that we once again killed kids and lost troops.
Saturday, June 16, 2007
What I'll Be Doing in Iraq - CAFTT
Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act
Am I the only person who didn't know that you can cap all of your interest loans to 6% while deployed?
According to the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act,
"One of the most significant provisions under the act limits the amount of interest that may be collected on debts of persons in military service to 6 percent per year during the period of military service. This provision applies to all debts incurred prior to the commencement of active duty and includes interest on credit card debt, mortgages, car loans and other debts. The provision applies to pre-service debts, and the interest rate reduction doesn't occur automatically — service members must request it."
Please get the word out on this one. That's a sweet deal.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Harry Reid - Making Benedict Arnold look like George Washington
I honestly can't even get myself to refer to him as a U.S. Senator. Then again, what does being a Senator really mean these days. It's more of a crutch than anything thanks to folks like this guy.
Anyways, this douche bag is at it again. Just days after the U.S. surge in Iraq has officially reached full deployment, Harry comes out and says that the surge has been a failure.
Does this guy get any money from Al-Qaeda or Al-Jazeera? He's one helluva spokesman.
This weekend the all-mighty Dennis Miller spoke eloquently, yet truthfully about how much of a douche bag Harry Reid is. I personally wish more people came out like this. The military is getting steamrolled by these morons (on both sides) in D.C., with little response from our side.
Thank you Dennis Miller!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Preparation for Deployment, part 1
It was tough giving up the helm of the program I had worked so hard on since taking over in February. Before I came on board the system (which I hope to talk about some day, even though it's been in the news quite often) it was floundering. I'm proud to say that fielding is just around the corner. Not because of me of course. I give myself maybe 10% of the credit. The other 90% is a combination of stealing money from other programs to fund ours, and the great work my team did to make each part of this puzzle come together. No matter how much ACC didn't want this thing to happen, we made it happen.
So, to my team... as I sit out here in my backyard, I hold my McDonald's collectible Shrek glass filled with a 2005 Shiraz up high to toast our success.
Now, I've had a few days to dust off my old game plan and think about what I need to do to prepare for this deployment. The Air Force has finally learned how to deploy its Program geeks after 4+ years of failing miserably. So far the gear I've received is top notch, and I only need to go out and buy a third of what I thought I would.
Regarding personal items, I have all of the basics covered. The only stuff I'm not sure about are my sources of entertainment. Mp3 player, laptop, stuff to write with. I'm trying to remember all of the things that came in handy and helped make the time pass by quicker while deployed.
Music was always my best distraction out there. I still have all of my favorite stuff to listen to, and 20 Gigs of space to save everything on, but I'm always looking for music I've forgotten about, or haven't heard of yet. Does anyone have any recommendations on what music to take along. Seriously... if you were deploying, what music would you take along for the ride? That's my challenge to everyone out that that may read this post. Tell me what you'd bring along.
I'll also be taking a few boxes of cigars. Cigars International is a great site to order from when you're deployed, but I'd rather bring a good supply to start off with.
So, I'll have music, cigars, and a laptop to keep writing with. Anything else?
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Paris Released? Sharpton is right on this one.
I'm shocked to say that I agree with Sharpton on this one. Money can indeed buy you favoritism. All Los Angeles did is stoke the fire on this one. That, and they gave that no-talent duechebag another notch on her bed post of things she's been able to get away with thanks to Daddy's money.
I think it's time for us poor white folk to riot in the streets of Beverly Hills!
Rise Up my Bruthas and Sistas!
Robo Bear to the Rescue
Tell me GI, do like Gladiator movies?
Came across this article in the Beeb.
Bear robot rescues wounded troops
The Bear is highly manoeuvrableThe US military is developing a robot with a teddy bear-style head to help carry injured soldiers away from the battlefield.
The Battlefield Extraction Assist Robot (BEAR) can scoop up even the heaviest of casualties and transport them over long distances over rough terrain.
New Scientist magazine reports that the "friendly appearance" of the robot is designed to put the wounded at ease.
It can also break dance.
I think it's a great idea, but may I make a suggestion? Load little Teddy up with a .50 Cal, a grenade launcher, and samaraui sword. Why the sword? Because it would look cool, and it might be a good deterrent. If this thing is smart enough to run out in a fire fight and pick up the good guys, why can't it run into a fire fight and kill the bad guys?
Also, if it's supposed to look cute to comfort the troops, why can't it look like a supermodel to really comfort the troops.
I Just Can't Keep Up...
I hit a wall this week. The program I'm running to get new capabilities to the folks out in the field literally needs Colonel-level oversight, yet they've got me and a rag-tag bunch of retirees running the show. It's like we're on a sprinter's pace in a marathon. Something's gotta give.
Last weekend the bio-loser-dad of my step kids was in town to watch his 17-year old son graduate high school. Other than is usual threats of violence and inability to comprehend complete sentences, things went as well as they could have other than the fact that the moron ran over my sprinkler while backing out of my driveway. I spent Sunday afternoon digging up the lawn to fix it. Jerk-Off! The SWATT helicopters and my bullet-proof vest weren't as necessary as they had been in the past. I hope your weekend went much better with as little violence and arrests MissBirdlegs!
So I show up to work on Monday and there's an email asking for folks with my experience, degree, and credentials to apply for an AFROTC job at Wright-State University. This was ideal for my situation, and it would mean I could keep my family here in Dayton for 3 more years while still getting that all important Permanent Change of Station (PCS) on my records. To top it off, I used to work with the Col at that detachment, so I was a shoo in for the position.
Following the email instructions I contacted Air Force Personnel Center to ask for permission to apply for the job. Response: NO!
In other words, the people who know why I need to stay in Dayton told me to go F' myself. Even better, I get a call from some poor NCO at AFPC telling me that even though I'm not moving to Los Angeles this summer as planned (thank God), I'm still moving.... even though my family is staying here in Dayton. In other words, we couldn't give a crap about your situation, you're leaving your family even though it makes no sense to PCS you now.
I almost separated last night. I was going to get out and come back into the same job I'm doing now as a civilian. The pay is much better, and my time in service would have given me an edge, but the wife is dead set against making the move.
Soooooo now what? Well, I can't get out, I can't stay in Dayton, I have to leave the family and move. What's the next logical step? Deploy. I tried to get a 1-year tour to Baghdad or Kabul, but I keep getting the usual "f'Off, you're PCSing" from AFPC. Well, guess what, they may be able to stop my remote tour, but they can't stop me from deploying on a 6-month gig.
So I signed up for a short notice deployment today. Not sure if I can pull it off or not, but it's the best thing I can do under the circumstances.
If I do get the green light to go, I'll let you all know. Then I'll have to figure out how to blog from wherever I'm going. Not as easy as it was back when I first went to Iraq.
Wish me luck. I need it on this one.
10-4 good buddy. C'mon back, ya hear!
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Prospective Wiffleball Team Uniforms
I stopped by the Finch's blog and came across her D.C. Wiffleball Team photos. If you're a fan of the "The Big Lebowski" you'll understand why their shirts were the best in the league.
The team's jersey has inspired me to create two more shirts from an idea I used years ago. When I was working at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (still the greatest job I've ever had) we had an employee beach volleyball league. My team was made up of the 'Giant Dipper' roller coaster ride operators (the best coaster in the U.S.) and our team name was "The Business Associates of Marsellus Wallace." It's got to be one of the coolest team names ever created. Of course you'd have to be a fan of Pulp Fiction to know what it means. Our uniforms consisted of the same UC Santa Cruz shirt worn by Vincent Vega in the movie.
Thanks to Comrade Fincher, my old idea has been given new life. I hope to see these things on the field some day.
Shirt #1- For the more politically correct and refined sporting leagues.
Shirt#2 - Guaranteed to bust a cap in the ass of any opposing team.
I just wish the Air Force would let us wear something like this during PT.
Another Waste of Trees by the New York Times
Read the intro to this amazing, one of a kind, on the cutting edge NYT story.
Cheated Of Future, Iraqi Graduates Want To Flee
By Damien Cave
BAGHDAD, June 4 — They started college just before or after the American invasion with dreams of new friends and parties, brilliant teachers and advanced degrees that would lead to stellar jobs, marriage and children. Success seemed well within their grasp.
Does any of that matter to this reporter? Nope, of course not. These kids missed out on parties and government jobs overseeing meaningless offices full of loyal Bath Party members doing nothing but living off the backs of the suffering.
Just another example of how the evil Americans have cheated the peaceful Iraqi elite out of job and security and the upper class.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Do Not Fear The Putin, Do Not Fear The Nukes
For 45+ years the United States and Europe had to listen to threats of nuclear annihilation from the Soviet Union, aka 'Russia and Friends' for those of you born after 1985 and raised on Barney and TRL.
The way we kept the Soviet Union from starting a nuclear war was quite simple. The United States, and occasionally her allies, let the Ruskies understand that if they hit the button, we would too. In other words, if they wanted to rumble, we were all going down and it wasn't going to be pretty.
Today, Vladimir Putin's pathetic attempt to keep Estonia, Poland, Romania, and many of her other former Soviet States under its thumb by threatening nuclear attack is quite astonishingly... pathetic. Putin has successfully turned himself into a half-Stalin, half-Ivan the Great, quasi-dictator (and for all intensive purposes, a full-time dic) by stripping away the crumbs of freedom and liberty the Russian people have been scraping at for the last 15 years.
The only thing Putin doesn't have in his dictator portfolio is experience in overtly bossing around other countries like they used to do back in the good old days.
Putin has been thuggish with many former Soviet States, but most of his thuggery has been behind the curtain. Today, Putin has stepped away from the curtain (and outside of the closet) to push around and step on the little guys out in the open. Just look at his sanctioned and overtly aggressive invasion of Estonia via the World Wide Web. Putin just invaded Estonia using his Super Hacker Brigade, rolling through and shutting down most banking and governmental mainframes as easily as Stalin skipped through Poland back in 1939 to meet his buddy Hitler.
Putin's aggressive actions, combined with his newest threats of action against Europe and the United States, is right out of the Soviet playbook. It can be found under the Chapter titled 'How Gain Influence (and meet chicks) by Flexing Your Muscles.' Every schoolyard bully employs the same tactics. Pick on someone smaller and less powerful than you to make them do what you want. Yet in the Cold War days the United States was the good guy in the school yard. We were the ones that stood in between the Soviet Bully and the nerdy little guys, and most of the time we did a hell of a job helping those who needed it. Occasionally we'd screw things up, but we still graduated the Cold War school with a solid A-. The Ruskies ended up dropping out and becoming the used car (and weapons) salesman of the world.
Whenever you hear a world leader threaten the West with nuclear destruction, just remember that those bullies know deep down in their hearts the United States will turn their little countries into glass and ash if they actually start something. Putin would never oversee the destruction of Europe and the Americas, leaving the leftovers to China and a bunch of mutant grasshoppers. He's much smarter than that.
Don't worry about the big bullies in the school yard. Instead, keep focusing on the disgruntled (and slightly retarded) kids who like to build pipe bombs and make videos of hurting little animals for fun (aka the terror thugs). Those are the folks that will do the most damage if the U.S. continues holding back its full ability to kick their asses because we don't want believe their threats.
...... as long as someone is willing to stand up to them.
Viva La Revolucion!
Friday, June 01, 2007
Zoph, I know lots of fun things to do. Since I'm married though, I can only discuss a few. There's plenty of beaches with plenty of nice looking surf bettys. Which part of LA are you staying in? Email me and I'll give you a firstname.lastname@example.org
MissB, missed you too. I was TDY down in Tucson for a few, doing chores for the Generalisima's 'Honey-do' list all last weekend, and trying to catch up with work once again. It never ends. And now my step-son is graduating tomorrow, so I have to get ready for that. The worst part is that his evil bio-dad SOB-POS is in town, so we've had the SWAT helicopters hovering overhead keeping watch on our house, and this body armor is itching like crazy. What a disaster this dude is.
RWA, thanks. Dude, sorry I've been an ass and haven't linked your site. I have to redo my entire blog this weekend, so expect a link. If you have any recommendations for other blogs I should link, let me know.
The DoD has blocked any links to photobucket, so most of my site doesn't show up at work anymore. Too hard to post when you can't see anything, so I have some spring cleaning to do.