Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Final Word

I tried to gather a list of reasons why I should be exempt, allowed to leave. Tried to think of a way to present them that would somehow persuade them. Then it dawned on me that it wasn't going to happen.

No Poor Me excuses are going to work. As I stepped back and looked at the case I was trying to present, it just looked weak. Feeble. Selfish.

Then, for the first time, I REALLY realized the gravity of the truth. I really did sign a contract.

See you in Part Four.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

All Volunteer

"Hey! What's up, Stop-Loss?"

"Hey man, I thought you were getting out? Did you get stop-lossed?"

Sometimes I manage to stop and make eye contact. "How the fuck should I know?!"



Right now, I don't want to see any of these faces. The uniforms. The carbon copy buildings. My head turns into concrete and cracks. You couldn't chisel the scowl off of my face with a jackhammer.

I wait to find out if my situation is enough to warrant letting me go. Hinging on the college acceptance letter, sometimes even fooling myself into thinking that it'll work. I move from group of guys to the next every five minutes. The army talk gets to be too much and I have to find something else, anything. That doesn't work so well when it's everywhere around you.

"I thought you were getting out...?"

Just keep walking.

God I hope so.




For some reason, I guess I really believed that after I put in four years, that would be it. I'd be able to pick up where I left off, and move on. Start a new chapter and all that flowery poetic shit. It seemed so plausible. 2009? Shit, shouldn't be much going on by then, right? No?

"Hey man, you signed a contract, you knew what you were getting yourself into."

That is where I disagree. If we actually understood what we were volunteering for, we would have had second thoughts.

You volunteer to be shot in the head. Blown up. Drowned in the Tigris. Burned alive. Lose eyesight, a limb, an important function, or everything. If none of this happens, excellent! It's the dark ugly truth that sits in the back and stares at everyone else in the room, but somehow no one really notices it. You didn't even realize it, but you volunteered for it. You invited it into your life. You volunteered to learn more about death and loss than you ever wanted to know in a thousand lifetimes. You volunteered to have hope snatched out of your hands and blinders ripped off of your eyes.



I avoid the new guys, plenty of the old guys too. Someone from the University I got accepted to calls me to see if I have any questions. That's about when I swallow hard, pull the knife out of my ribs, and croak a response. Keep the conversation short, give your thanks, hang up, and roll over again. Sure would be nice to have the day off, go somewhere and chill, away from Fort Lewis. Away from combat patches and CIBs and desert boots. Try to blend into the crowd, fake it as long as I can.

I was almost there. That close. Now? Now I'm not so sure. So thanks, Iraq. Thanks, Afghanistan. Thanks, Stop-Loss. Thanks to the able bodied and capable would-be soldiers, college drop-outs, pot head burnouts, dead-end minimum wage peons. Thanks, me. Well played.

Ever have a REALLY good dream, and your alarm wakes you up halfway through it? You shut your alarm off and wish that you could go back to that, but you can't. That's what this is like, to put it lightly. It's a wake-up call. One MotherFucker of a cup of coffee. Extra Strength. Guaranteed to burst your bubble or your money back.



So here's what happens:

A) An update with some great news is posted

B) We'll see you in Part Four.



Suspect out.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Belittling Others

This is a little something I found on an internet forum full of young'uns eager to enlist. The guy that wrote this, I want to give him my spot. This guy needs to be the new Suspect. Maybe I'm a dick, but his unique writing style entertains me to no end, and the content, the substance, c'est magnifique!




"What the hell, there is a lot of soldiers with adhd in the army,I have been commenting for weeks here.Look not everyone is the same, it depends on your symptoms,I am planning on joining on may and I have add.Not everyone is the same is gonna be tough on bootcamps yes,but who says is immposible if a lot of soldiers have done it why can I what makes me diferent from them.

To tell you the truth I am 26 and what it really has help me is being mature,detemination,you think bootcamp was made to be impossible to pass no it was made to be really hard to be a soldiers.

I bought the book ultimate basic training guidebook,and I. Am preparing before I go over there and I am doing runing exercises.

There is a lot of things you can do to help yourself too pass bootcamp,preparing early,determination.

But is truth add is a condition if it is not treated since the begining, it can be a very serious condition I have been treated and the symptoms that I have are very little,boot camp is gonna be my test to see if I pass and I will let people here know that it can be done.

What is hard is not impossible and impossible is just a word."






Really, I just want to take this one line and put it on a t-shirt and wear it every day, covered in ketchup/mustard/hotpocket stains, seldom if ever washed, letters peeling.

I bought the book ultimate basic training guidebook,and I. Am preparing before I go over there and I am doing runing exercises.

Oh man, I want to sign all my gear over to you RIGHT NOW.

Seriously though, maybe we can work something out. Wher did we suposed to fucked up?!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Acceptance

I still have little more than hearsay and rumors to go off of.

The odds of me being stop-lossed are very good. In fact, for all intents and purposes, I am already. There are medical issues I can try to bring up, and supposedly someone higher up said that if you've already got a letter of acceptance from a college or university, then there's a 90% chance you'll be able to go. Again, that's hearsay.

I wasn't even mad when I walked in and heard the news from my friends. I just had questions. A definitive answer is all that I want. Whichever way this thing goes, I'll go along with it, sure. I just want to stop wondering.

Yeah, I'd like to get out, get schooled, live. Then there's a part of me that's slightly relieved. I don't want to see these guys get deployed while I chill. This should be the last one, right? Maybe?

There's a lot of people on this side of the pond that have been waiting patiently, with fingernails chewed to ragged bloody scraps, for me to be done with all this. There's people here that expect me to continue to contribute to the unit. They want to keep the guys with experience, and I can understand that completely.

Me? I'm split in half, right down the middle. Get out, or deploy. That sense of moral obligation I first had, four years ago, it resurfaces in small glimpses.




So who do I let down?

You? Them? I don't even know if the choice is mine. I almost hope it isn't.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Good Sign

If what I've heard from multiple sources is in fact true, I just might eek past this stop-loss ordeal.

Exciting huh? Cross your fingers!



A part of me feels a little guilty already, but let's not speak too soon eh?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Worthy Enough

Just got this email and it seems righteous enough to pass along. Here it is:




I was introduced to your blog through a good friend who is retired from the military and first off, thank you for your sacrifice and service to our country.

I am writing to introduce Muze Clothing and our current partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project to benefit troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. I thought that perhaps the Veterans, Soldiers, and others in your circle of contacts may have some interest in supporting this worthy cause.

Muze Clothing’s unique concept of creating shirts with compelling graphics and classic movie lines has created a tremendous fan base. The company will use this fan base to assist wounded troops, when service members and their supporters will submit movie lines and complementary shirt designs that exemplify the motto of freedom’s defenders, sacrificing their lives for their fellow Americans.

These submissions will be judged by a panel of celebrities. The winning submission will be incorporated into the newest Muze T-shirt with 100% of the proceeds on the sale of this shirt being donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

The Service Member with the winning submission (or the Service Member identified by the supporter with the winning submission) will be flown from a continental United States location with 3 friends to the shirt launch ceremony in Los Angeles on May 16th, 2009.

You can get more details on the promotion at: www.muzeclothing.com/blog/woundedwarriorsinfo

Thank you for helping us spread the word on this partnership.

Best regards,

Kyle

Monday, March 2, 2009

Schizophrenic Headbashing

Schizophrenia loosely translates to "split mind".

From the comments I've received, it shows that I don't need to be cryptic anymore. There's a decent chance I could be stop-lossed and deployed again. Not five feet from me is a complete copy of my medical history from the past four years. Two inches thick, one sided paper.

Fuck them, dude, fuck all of them. Fuck everyone, you did what you said you would, your time is up, this is YOU now, they can all eat a big bag of dicks.

Yeah, and that contract I signed? You ever take a closer look at it? It's very OPEN on their end.

Are you fucking serious? Please, for the love of GOD, do not be one of those fucking tools who buys into that, "Well you signed a contract" bullshit.

...But I did.

Without any clue what you were getting yourself into. Yeah, you THOUGHT you knew, you know, cuz you were nineteen and a fucking genius and all. That was several funerals ago.

Back then, I signed up to help the guys who were already getting nailed. Now? The guys I fought with are going again, plus new guys, plus guys from other units joining us. No matter what, THEY ARE GOING.

Someone is ALWAYS going to go. Think about it, you schmuck. A little over four years ago, you didn't have SHIT to worry about. Now you've done your four, but because of that waiver of rights, I mean "contract", you can be stop-lossed or called back, or any other manner of Voluntarily Molested By Uncle Sam.

There's still that National Guard option. They have a slot open for a combat medic.

Yyyyyyeah, plus your previous MOS, either way, you're still on the ground.

But odds are, we wouldn't even get deplo--

.....Combat medic and what, EMT as a civilian? Good plan, chief. Fuck yourself up a bit more. GET A REAL EDUCATION AND LIVE LIKE A NORMAL HUMAN BEING FOR AS LONG AS YOU CAN, HOW'S THAT SOUND?

If they DO stop-loss me, this time around, I know to save ALL that money. I have hardly any bills.

Are you fucking serious? Really? Open your eyes, man. Most 18, 19 year olds, they start their lives just fine, without having to enlist to support them. They aren't all trust fund babies either. These are the average Joes and Janes, and not the GI type either.

That doesn't change the fact that I'm bound by contract. I can't go, "Oh, my bad, this doesn't work for me." I'm so invested in this already that we're too far in to go and fuck it up now.

Shit, they probably wouldn't even so much as issue a warrant.

And that would make the GI Bill worth LOTS, wouldn't it?

GI Bill isn't worth shit when you're dead either.

Fuck you.

Fuck YOU. You goddamn bleeding heart. Go back and read the horseshit you wrote back in the early days, bright eyes and high hopes, blinders in full effect. Try to buy into that again if you can, really, I would just LOVE to see it.

It's just a matter of doing time, covering your ass, and getting out. Going along to get along, playing the game.

Sure, sure it is. It's Russian Roulette. Fuck man, open your eyes. EVERY NEW BULLSHIT MOVIE THAT COMES OUT FINDS A WAY TO SOMEHOW SHOWCASE THE NEW ARMY WITH THE NICE NEW UNIFORMS. Strange coincidence? It's a fucking recruiting tool.

Yeah, and it's sick and insulting and apalling.

AND it's ineffective, or else you wouldn't be writing this, Dude wouldn't be writing about his friends getting The Letter either.

And HOW much of this is even up to me? Uhh......nnnnnnone. It's a gamble no matter which way you slice it.

Well, hindsight is 20/20 they say. Remember how they all said you should try college first? Hmm. About that. Too late now. Now you went and put your name in the hat because you knew everything, and you were out to crusade and pick your share of cotton for the Greater Good. Where did it get you? Panic attacks? You don't even remember 90% of your graduating class. Is that because there were just too many people, or were you blown up a bit too much?

I can't do shit about it except for hope for the best and prepare for the worst and you know that.

And how trite. You are staring straight down the barrel of another deployment, and for what? Not even TOUCHING the WMD etc argument, we're talking another year of your life (and you have no idea how many of those you even have left) spent in a section of the earth that isn't worth living in, supporting a culture that couldn't give two shits about us. Two-faced lying bastards. If they had ANY sense of community, this shit would not have gone on for SIX YEARS. Just like that call you got last time around. About the building that was rigged to blow? The Iraqi Army got wind of it, but when asked about what they were doing, they said, "Oh, we're waiting for the Americans to get here." And who walked in there? You and two officers. Real bright man. You even ate lunch in there.

Fucking think about it dude, YOU, an E4, have say in exactly JACK SHIT. You want to roll the dice for another 365? Pass that revolver around long enough and your number is bound to come up. Trying to fight a nice neat, tidy politically correct conflict? Fuck you dude. Fuck you. Voluntary sitting duck moron. You're a tool, a cog, and nothing more. Raising your hand for a chance to be a statistic in the newspaper. Iraq doesn't sound so cool the second time around, does it?

Fuck you, Call of Duty.

Fuck you, Jerry Bruckheimer.

Fuck every lying, conniving recruiter out there.

Back in six months? Fuck no, you let me out and I'm gone for GOOD. I'll flip burgers or sweep parking lots.

Fuck every last prick who doesn't have the balls to admit that we FUCKED UP, and would rather lay young men and women to rest than claim responsibility for a failure. Iraq is supposed to be stable after we pull out? Gotcha.

Fuck every liberal opinionated douche that I've yet to meet, especially the one that'll get my seat in class if I get sucked back into this. Fuck every whiny, suicidal, self-pitying emo fuck that would rather choke on downers than sign up and hold a spot so that a vet can go to school.

Fuck every Go Army bumper sticker, every magazine ad, every commercial, every lie. Fuck every left-wingnut who assumes that every last Joe is brainwashed.

Fuck Iraq and everyone in it, every last one of them. Each and every one of them assuming that THEY are a special case. Fuck them and both of their two-faces.

Fuck every overzealous bastard that fills third world citizens of religious fanaticism and drives them to murder in the name of a god. A god isn't SHIT if he or she or it cannot kill on their own. Fuck the mosques and fuck the churches, like you need some sort of reserved area to be religious? Deities aren't native americans, you can't push them aside and then try to buy fireworks from them.

Fuck whoever decided that America is #1 and has to govern the rest of the planet. This is just a hunk of land. Imaginary borders. The only thing that seperates us from anyone else, is the illusion of seperation. Fuck that.

Fuck me for buying into all of this.

Fuck every conversation about it all being for oil, and fuck every conversation about it being for democracy. Call it what you want, but the real reason is simple: we're sick. SICK.

Fuck this blog and every contradiction in it. Fuck this whole organized mess. But really, all I'm doing is spraying it in any direction I can see. What I want to say, is fuck me. Fuck me. Fuck me for thinking that it was going to be that simple. Fuck me for putting myself in the position to feel like I have to choose between the guys in uniform and my own future.

I'm going to continue going about clearing post and getting out, looking over my shoulder the entire time. Completely unable to get excited about college or anything else with the shadow of the back door draft (you signed up for it -- FUCK YOU!) looming overhead.

Fuck it man, it goes one of two ways. They let me out, I go about my life as a relatively normal and decent person. Or, they keep me in, deploy me again. Paranoia like a motherfucker, trusting no one who isn't in uniform, and even then it's up for debate. All bets are off, it's about saving money and staying alive and intact. An old man on a bike doesn't stand a chance against my will to live. Humanity simplified down to its finest and most honest: me before you, asshole.

That isn't who I want to be. That's what I mean when I say that my soul hangs in the balance. If I get deployed again, I honestly don't think I'll have room for any emotion other than hate. Hate for me, hate for my superiors, hate for all of them. Hate for everything within sight. When you can't trust an eight year old boy, that's when you know things are really fucked up.

And make no mistake, things are VERY VERY fucked up. Fuck all of it. And fuck every second I spend waiting to find out what happens. DEMOCRACY LIVES. Hooah?!