sgtdub: June 2006

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

28 June 2006, Captain's Log, Star Date......Our cable television around here is mostly AFN, (Armed Forces Network). Well, I believe someone at the network is a Star Trek Junkie. Every t.v. I see is showing Star Trek Voyager, around the clock it seems. Now, don't get me wrong, I like Star Trek, but vary it up some.
LTC Y had to go and challenge me to ping pong. We did quite a bit of this during the first rotation here. I had to take him over to the MWR (Morale, Welfare, Recreation) building and show him a couple of things. First, I showed him I could loose 21-8, then I showed him I could loose 21-7. He finally gave up and went back to work. When he is asked by someone else why he brought me this time, he tells them I'm comic relief. If you watched my ping pong game, you'd agree.
I went by the barber shop afterwards and got a haircut. Across the hall from the barber shop is the massage parlor. I haven't been there yet. War is hell. Of course, this is a different kind of war. [SOAP BOX] First, it's a war against terrorism. It's not a war against Iraq or Afghanistan, or their people. We are fighting an ideology that is focused on hate and discontent. You could give into the terrorists and meet everyone of their demands and they would still attack you because mayhem is their only goal.
You will have to excuse me, every once in a while, you will get to see the [SOAP BOX]. This will simple be a subject that pops into my head sometime during the day and I will need to air it. The above soap box had nothing to do with the massage parlor, but came out when I mentioned "war is hell". One question I am most often asked is "Are you serious?", the answer 98% of the time is Noooo!
Well, it's Wednesday here, and that means it spaghetti night in the dfac. Remember dinner is the most important meal of the evening. Take care and be safe.

Monday, June 26, 2006

26 June 2006, I made it to Afghanistan last Wednesday. Things are pretty hectic right now with more troops than you know what to do with. Camp Phoenix has changed immensely and yet not at all. I spent 9 months here the last time in 2003-2004. The day after I arrived I realized it doesnÂ’t feel like I have left, just everyone else changed. The Camp itself has made many improvements, some of which include a real chow hall, a Dairy Queen, a Subway sandwich shop and a pizza shop. Did all of that deal with food? Of course, thereÂ’s also an Orange Julius. Now with all of that it should be much harder than I expected to try to loose the weight I want to. (TrumpetÂ’s Sounding!!) I went to the gym tonight. First thing I did was weigh in. Now this was only a couple of hours after dinner so IÂ’m going to say that 5 pounds is a result of that. 245 lbs is my starting weight here, already subtracting those 5 lbs. I will keep you posted on my progress. I took it easy for many reasons but I did a mile and a half on the treadmill. Capt C and I have decided to work together to loose weight. Our motto: We are going to loose a soldier on this deployment. Now I know thatÂ’s not the kind of thing you want to say or hear while in a war zone, but, with my goal of 50-60 lbs and Capt CÂ’s goal of 60-70 lbs, thatÂ’s not too far off from being another soldier. I havenÂ’t made it out the wire yet, but from a distance I can see that Kabul itself has changed some too. I was here last with the Oklahoma National Guard in 2003. Our patch is an Indian symbol, the Thunderbird. This symbol is rumored to bring rain wherever we go. The Afghans at the time believed it as well, for with our arrival in 2003 the drought that had ravaged this country as much as the war was broken. Since then I have heard that they have gotten more precipitation and things are actually greening up. I remember my friends here showing me pictures of Kabul in the late 70Â’s and how very beautiful it was at the time.
One of the things I have always hated was getting up before the sun did. I always felt there was a reason for it being dark and who am I to argue with that. (Now for those that know me, you know I love to argue about everything, or at least debate). Well, sun down, me argumentarguement. I won't have that problem here. That dang sun is up at 0400 hrs (a.m.) here. Right now, my shift is from 0430 to whenever in the evening I get to call it quits. I should mention to my Senator the Army needs an overtime program in place.

I will work on getting some pictures posted here in the very near future. Stay safe and have a great day.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

17 June 2006, Ok, so I talked my Major and Captain into going to see Nacho Libre last night. It was funny. I was laughing as we left the movie just thinking about the different scenes. The biggest shock was it was a Nickelodeon presentation. It relies on slap-stick humor more than dialogue but was funny all the way through. Now my Captain, poor fellow, I could put a lava lamp in front of him and he would be entertained, so he liked it. My Major, on the other hand, he laughed during some of the scenes, but he seems more distant today. I'm sure I won't be picking any more movies. This, of course, happened on the first Afghanistan trip when I suggested "Club Dread" for the Friday night movie. I couldn't argue with that one, even I was saying halfway through to turn it off.
Ok, so I got almost everything packed or have found a place to put it. Let's start with what the Army said I could have. (1) tough box, (2) duffle bags, (1) ruck sack and all the carry on I wanted that would fit in a 16"x24"x10" box. Now a caveat. When I pack for military adventures, to include just a weekend drill to Camp Gruber, I take just about everything any soldier in my section could possibly need. Now, granted, I pack alot of stuff I want, this deployment is no different, but I also pack any and all office supplies I have purchased or collected over the years. Ok, now for the final tally. I have 6 tough boxes, 3 duffle bags, 1 ruck sack, a Camelback BFD bag and a laptop. What I am happy with is the fact that the computer bag is of standard size and still has room and my BFD still has plenty of room in it, so my carry-on is completely acceptable by most people's standard and falls well within the Army guidance I received for the upcoming trip.
On the home front, my daughter got home from Falls Creek this morning. We are excited that she rededicated her life this past week but apparently she also lost her cell phone. Now she has to incur the wrath of Mrs. Dub. She leaves for another camp in two weeks and Papa is going with her on that one as a volunteer. Well, I've pretty much run out of things for the moment.
I hope eveyone has a good day and take care.

Friday, June 16, 2006

16 June 2006, Oh the humidity of it all... Well, it's Friday, which for most people means freedom from the office in less than 8 hrs. For us it's just another day. I found that during deployment days just run together. The greatest example of what I mean is the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray. This truly captures the military life on deployment. I know I've called Mrs. Dub at work and not get an answer, then call her on cell phone. When she tells me she's at home I ask why? Her response, "It's Saturday!?" Oh, I vaguely remember that day, something about sleeping in, relaxing, not doing Army stuff.
Ok, now for those of you who are still wondering what the first line meant, well, I'm still in Mississippi, it's summertime, chance of rain. The humidity is upon us like a wet diaper hanging on a baby.
It's finally here! The movie all of America has been waiting for this summer. Nacho Libre! starring Jack Black. Mrs. Dub and my F-I-L say that if a movie has two qualities, I will watch it, loud and stupid. I feel that from the previews I have seen this movie will have both.
For those of you wondering... no I still haven't started packing yet. One of my endearing traits is that I'm a procrastinator by nature. Yes, this is one of the reasons I didn't join the military until I was 28, and why I have been working on my bachelor's degree since 1984. 2007, I hope will mark the closing of several goals. I hope to finish that degree while deployed and I hope this is the last deployment. I am suppose to re-up during this deployment and I will only have 8 more years to do.
I say suppose to because who knows what the Army has in store for me over the next year that could make me change my mind. The National Guard is an interesting organization. I say that the National Guard enjoys promoting that it has a 90% job satisfaction rate among its soldiers. Where do I get such a number? Well, being a guardsman, I drill 2 days a month, and 2 weeks a year. That's the minimum. If you add these days up you get 36 days for a year. That's 10% of the year dedicated to the military. That means for the rest of the time we are not at drill, we are pretty happy. So that only leaves the 10% when life is miserable.
I'm thinking that somewhere on my blog site I should add the footnote that the author's picture can be located next to the definition of "sarcastic". This would help those that don't know me or my pearls of wisdom. I hope everyone has a good day and a good weekend. Take care.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

14 June 2006, Well, I got off the phone with Mrs. Dub this morning. Things appear to be good at home. However. Mrs. Dub said I need to be blogging everyday. Now, this is a lot of writing and thinking of things to say. Of course, I don't know of too many people who would think I didn't have something to say. Back to Mrs. Dub. For those of you who know me and my lovely wife, you know I run a very strict household, so when she told me what I should be doing I, of course, had to respond with "yes ma'am". Now, I'll tell you that we have been together now for 15 years and will celebrate our 15th anniversary this coming December. During those years we have had great years, good years, fair years and maybe one or two bad years. Through it all she has done a fine job of putting up with me. Thanks dear.
Well, yesterday I became a certified Combat Life Saver. My advice, don't get hurt. I did my IV stick on the first shot to my victim and the doctors said he may live thru it. I guess if I want to keep my certification up till I get out of the Army I only need 8 more volunteers. SGT T, I saw your hand go up!
Today is just another day of waiting around, I'm doing a little bit of laundry and goofing off on the internet. I got to make a run to Starbucks and Quizno's. We justify these trips by saying we may not get another chance until we get back, but when I stop to think about it, Camp Phoenix now has a Green Bean Cafe and a Subway deli. I've heard Camp Phoenix will be hard to recognize and this only means changes for the better. I really didn't think I had it bad the last time and I still consider it almost better than my time here in Mississippi. I say almost, because even Mississippi has indoor plumbing, (in most places).
Well, I should wrap this up for now. I hope everyone has a good day.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Learning New Things.
It's Sunday, 11 June here, (so, if you read this today it's probably Sunday where you are too). I went to Combat Life Saver Course this morning. This class will go on for 2 more days. Some things I already know from my civilian job as a first responder, but today I learned some advanced things. So if anyone out there needs a tube shoved down their nose or a needle in the chest let me know, I'm there for you .
Some of the things I'm missing back home right now. Of course, my family ranks number one. A friend of mine just got married this weekend, congratulations to him and his bride. I hope everything works out for them. Another friend has a new son in his family. He and his wife have been praying for this moment for a while now. Of course, I told him he should have adopted me. I even gave him some valid reasons, like I'm already grown and moved out, and not needing any more money from him. I'm not for sure if he gave this any thought or not, but needless to say he opted for the painful plan of rearing a young'n.
One of the biggest challenges I face right now is getting packed for the trip to Afghanistan. My wife will tell you I usually wait until the night before (or even the morning of) to start packing for small trips. This method really doesn't work for the Army since they like paperwork on everything you do. This includes packing lists. And of course, one copy is never enough. Now first, they like to tell you how to pack it. I've tried their packing system before and I find it difficult to follow at times. I'm not sure if they actually have someone try it before it's put on paper. I think most of the problem is if they say I need 2 of something, I will pack 4, and so on. You can see where I'm going to run out of room before they did. Of course, I will tell you I'm not infantry. I just don't see why you should put everything you own in one ruck sack and carry it when the Army has so many forms of mobile transportation systems for you to use.
Well, that's about all the ranting I can do for now. I hope each one of you is safe and happy. Remember, I was put on this earth to make people smile, I hope I succeeded today.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Well, it's June 9th and I'm still in the great USA. Things have slowed down to a snail's crawl as we are slowly moving out to Afghanistan. As most of you know, this is my second trip back to the big A. I will be stationed at the exact same camp I was at last time so I'm familiar with my upcoming surroundings. I have heard improvements to the camp have happened and my stay there should be much more comfortable.
The Army has enjoyed a rich history of making sure you come away with a strong memory of the worst place on earth. For myself and several others with me, the Army has tried to make our train-up that memory. I'm not saying it was hard, just miserable enough that we daydream about leaving here and going to a 3rd world country.
This is my first posting and my first blog site. I hope that you enjoy reading it and that I make it entertaining and informative.