Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stein

I’m not a big fan of rats. I figure if someone gets away with something that’s not too serious, leave him or her be. There’s no need to turn them in. Problem is that I did just that a couple years back. There was this older Soldier, Stein, in my class in DLI who had deployed during Desert Storm as a combat engineer and reenlisted at the request of a friend. He was a good Soldier, great at PT, but he was struggling with class from the get go. On top of that he mentioned that he had some serious family issues back home. I remember driving back from the DMV, taking the Private Bolio gate, when I was surprised to see him walking around near the museum at the bottom of the hill. I pulled the car up to him and rolled the window down, asking him what was up. He told me that he just didn’t want to be in class at that particular moment, that his studies and family issues were getting to him, and that he’d rather be with a line unit. I told him to take care, and drove back up to post to meet with my PSG before heading back to class. He signed my slip and we small talked for a bit, all the while I was debating whether or not to bring up Stein in my head. I gave in and told him and the PSG was initially furious, cursing up a storm. I interrupted him and gave him a brief overview of Stein’s situation, hoping to appeal to the PSG’s human side. My reasoning was that it was better for him to hear about it from me than some idiot from the school house who spoke English as a second language. I saw Stein again a week later. I remember him being pulled from class and asked him how he was doing. He told me that he was leaving for a line unit that was deploying in a couple months later. Before we were going to part ways, he saluted me. After looking around, I sheepishly returned it and ask what that was for. He told me I was going to be a good officer some day. I still don’t know if he meant that as a compliment or insult.
♪THERE'S A GRAY HORSE STANDIN' STILL
AS A SOLDIER CLIMBS IN THE SADDLE FOR ONE LAST RIDE
AS THE RAIN POURS OFF HIS HAT
YOU CAN SEE THE SHADOWS OF THE PAST WRITTEN IN HIS EYES...♪
Song of the Moment: "The Last Rebel" by Lynyrd Skynyrd

Saturday, August 29, 2009

"We Take Care of Our Friends"

A week or so ago a bunch of my military brat friends posted one of those chain-lettery things on Face Book discussing the differences between civilian and military friends. They indicated that the bonds between service members were much stronger than those between their non-military counterparts. After growing up in Army Posts for most of my life, I’ve witnessed a decline in these special bonds, especially amongst the younger Privates. They seem more concerned with “what can you do for them” as opposed to “what can they do for you.” Whatever happened to Soldiers taking care of their own, each helping to shoulder the load as opposed to just watching one bear the burden on his or her own? You offer to help someone these days only to have some jackass on the side insinuating in a high-school-like manner that your intentions aren’t altruistic at all. I miss the old days where without having thinking twice or receive direction, you ran back for those who had fallen behind, picked your sparring partner off the ground, spotted a buddy who was short on cash to pay his or her tab, dragged that drunk friend back from the bar safely to his or her room, etc. The people I’ve tagged in this note have in some shape or form helped me out when I needed it and when I didn’t, demonstrating a good understanding of the word “selfless.” Thanks y’all. And if anyone feels like I missed them on the tagging, I owe you a drink.
♪…THROUGH THESE FIELDS OF DESTRUCTION
BAPTISMS OF FIRE
I’VE WATCHED ALL YOUR SUFFERING
AS THE BATTLES RAGED HIGHER
AND THOUGH THEY DID HURT ME SO BAD
IN THE FEAR AND ALARM
YOU DID NOT DESERT ME
MY BROTHERS IN ARMS…♪
Song of the Moment: “Brothers in Arms” by the Dire Straits

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Where I'm Goin'?

Mont Saint Michel

Haven’t written anything in this in a while. I remember waking up in a dream in some indistinct, smokey, poorly lit bar, sharing a booth with a 20-something Eastern European girl with red highlights. We walked outside to see a nasty urban landscape with melting snow on the sidewalks. She says something about having to go back to Russia while I’m looking around, trying to get my bearings. I tell her I can get her as far as Germany, only to turn and see here already almost a block away at a relatively fast walk. I began trying to catch up, only to reach the top of a hill with her nowhere in sight. The hill did provide a view of what was around me. To my right I could see beaches with moss covered stones like in Pacific Grove, with a large cathedral on the rocks, out to sea. On my right was a medium sized greenish-blue river with an old stone bridge crossing it. Across the river was an old town with cobblestone streets, with a relatively intact orange-brown castle looming down on the town from a mountain side. I opted to take the street leading along the beach, and came up to an green cliff-side riddled with deep craters and derelict light gray bunkers. I stepped into one of the doorways to come out to a road leading to many small gardens, separated by low, cheap metal fences. I woke up around then.

Maybe I need to stop having Sutherland mix drinks for me. Everytime she does, I have something unexpected happen, like being buzzed until 1 PM the next day or having whacky dreams like the one detailed above. I’ll stick the ones involving scantily-clad hotties in my crystalline resort in the clouds, thank you very much.
♪…I’VE BEEN TO HOLLYWOOD
I’VE BEEN TO REDWOOD
I CROSSED THE OCEAN FOR A HEART OF GOLD
I’VE BEEN TO RHINE MAIN
IT’S SUCH A FINE WINE
THAT KEEPS ME SEARCHING FOR A HEART OF GOLD
AND I’M GETTING OLD…♪
Song of the Moment: “Heart of Gold” by Neil Young

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Freak on a Leash

This was from last night's drunk texts:
David: "You're trying to kill me."

Jordan: "Hahaha why do you say that?"

David: "I'm having bad flashbacks of the last time I was in SA."

Jordan: "Eh we'll just take it easier and keep a leash on you."

David: "I'm not sure if I like this leash idea."

Jordan: "It could be hot!"

David: "You crack me up."

Jordan: "So you'll do it???"

David: "A leash? I don't know..."

Jordan: "I can be very persuasive."

David: "I don't doubt it."

Jordan: "Then you're in."

David: "Oh Jesus..."
Song of the Moment: "Freak on a Leash" by Korn

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Texans...

Walker, Texas Ranger
A lot of my buddies here like to bash the state of Texas because the town here might not offer everything they want in the way of sites and entertainment. They all seem to miss California, which is understandable seeing how it's one of the more visually pleasing states in the continental US. For me, the people in the are are key to whether or not I view it as a great place or not. I've been around the world and back again, so it's not like I haven't seen much. In these last two months here, I've had three or four meals paid for by anonymous patrons and shook hands with countless Texans while trying to mind my own business filling up my car or doing some quick shopping at Walmart. I'll take this little town in Texas over Monterey or Paris any day.
♪STORY STARTS, QUIET TOWN
SMALL-TOWN BOY, BIG-TIME FROWN
NEVER TALKS, NEVER PLAYS
DIFFERENT PATH, LOST HIS WAY

THEN THE STREETS OF RED-RED, I'M AFRAID-
THERE'S NO CONFETTI, NO PARADE
NOTHING HAPPENS IN THIS BORING PLACE
BUT, OH MY GOD, HOW IT ALL DID CHANGE...♪
Song of the Moment: "Ronnie" by Metallica