Army

“I need you to go into this minefield…”

I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my day. I did a lot of stupid things in service to the Army. At or near the topic of the list involves the time when I was a lieutenant, of course, and I was tasked to go into a minefield and recover 5,000 gallon field truck that rolled over onto its side there. We like to joke about minefields. They make for good drama. They are fantastic visuals, in movies, on TV – we just saw one on Doctor Who. But I’m not sure people really understand just how amazingly

Army / Culture / Family / etc.

The sound of gunfire

Alone, I can’t change American culture and this strange relationship we have with guns and ammunition. There are so many different things that America could do, to change the levels of gun violence in America, and the numbers of events of school shootings in our country. But this isn’t small problem, these solutions aren’t tiny ones, either, and I’m afraid that I haven’t come upon one yet that I can implement myself, which will bring national, regional, or cultural change. But what I can do is model the behavior I want to see. The behavior I want to see in

Army / Garmin Forerunner 305 / Military / etc.

The Sparta Challenge

I suppose I’ve always been known for having some crazy ideas. This, though, is probably pretty high up on the list of craziest things I’ve done. Over 30 calendar days, I just ran 300 miles. I didn’t run 300 miles in 30 days — I actually did it in just 26 days. But we’ll get to that. I’m not really sure where this idea came from. Last month, I was in Baghdad for a 10 day visit, and while there I ran about 66 miles on 5 runs. That seemed like a lot of running to me — my

Army / Iraq / Military

It’s election day

They’re going to the polls today, and I’m pretty excited about. It’s election day here in Iraq, with the citizens taking to the polls to elect members for their provincial councils. It’s these councils that will decide upon the new governors (and a few other key provincial leaders). The last time the Iraqis did this was in late 2005. They’re going to the polls today, and there is no doubt — this is their election. We, the Americans, just happen to be hanging out. It is their doing, lock, stock and barrel. Their security, their plans, their officials, their

Army / Blogging

Heroes

Part of my daily routine has me in a briefing when our Division talks about its hero of the day. My God — these stories often just tear my heart out. The Army truck hits a mine. Soldier A gets out — I’ll call him Jones — to pull security. He steps on a mine, and it tears him apart. Soldiers B — I’ll call him Smith — runs to his aid. Think about it. Smith just saw Jones step on a mine. Which means that there likely are more mines in the area. And he runs to Jones.

Blogging

Tentative green light

I might call it an amber light. When we arrived here in lovely Kuwait, we were inundated with a ton of briefings, one of which addressed blogging (on one slide). Yes, blogging is OK. If I want to talk military topics, I have to do a couple of things. I don’t plan to really talk about military stuff, but I will do the extra stuff, just to be on the safe side. So, get ready. Looks like I’m in business.

Army / Blogging / Military / etc.

Another adventure

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve departed. Gone. Poof. Into the wind. I am going back to Iraq. Field Manual 30-5, Combat Intelligence, February 1951 I’ll be there for a year, or until they tell me to come home. I should get a two-week-or-so break somewhere along the way. I’d like to keep blogging here during the year. I am sure there’d be things to write; I know, though, that the Army is a bit cautious about blogs, so I will have to see what wickets I’ll need to jump through in order to blog. Feel free to email

Movies

Movie: When Trumpets Fade

I’d like to tell you that this was an easy movie to watch. It wasn’t. Like Band of Brothers, like Saving Private Ryan, this movie was good but hard to watch.? A guy in my class had brought it in for another guy, saying it was his favorite movie. Favorite.? Not that it was good, but that it was his favorite.? Those types of words catch my ears. When Trumpets Fade is set late in WWII, during the battle of Hurtgen Forest.? I actually went there, years ago, when I was a lieutenant.? We walked the land, saw the