Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Cowardice and Sedition

My dad always used to say "I might not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." There are ways to go about expressing your opinions, however, that might earn you an ass-beating...
Protesting in front of Walter Reed Army Hospital and telling returning wounded veterans that "you got maimed for a lie" is a good way to get your ass beat. WTF are you thinking, you asshat? If you just lost your legs in a car accident, would you like me standing outside your hospital room with a sign that read "Should've worn your seatbelt, dumbass"?
Froggy relates a friend's opinion that protesters are taking their rights to the extreme and aiding the enemy in the process.
More on this later. I gotta run.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Internet Access

I had no idea how hard it was going to be to get to a decent internet connection when i got over here. It really changes things when you have to put on all your shit and trek 500 meters to sit at a computer. I have a whole new-found respect for the milbloggers who blog from this theater (and from Afghanistan). Internet access is so commonplace in the states that most people don't realize how much dedication these bloggers have.
When you live in a place that requires shoes and a flashlight to take a dump at night, blogging takes dedication. (and no, i don't mean in West Virginia)
So anyhow, I might make a little move in the next few days to get closer to some internet access. Then it won't be such a pain in the ass to blog.


HouseholdSix emailed me and let me know that the webpage looks normal and that the Haloscan comments are working, but i still can't see them. is totally blocked for me.
grrrr. i'm going to have to figure out a solution, here.
update: I moved over to a different internet cafe on base and sure 'nuff, i could see the haloscan comments. so keep your fan- or hate-mail coming. I can see them when i make the trek to the distant internet cafe

The Cost

Travelling around here, I was struck by the enormous effort and cost (both monetary and human) of supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. There are thousands of troops and civilian contractors working long hours in the harshest conditions I've ever seen (it was over 121 degrees again today). If these soldiers and civilians can persevere in this rugged environment, I hope the citizens of the United States can exhibit the patience required to see this war through. The only way we are going to win is if the citizenry stops demanding the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq. This kind of news only emboldens the insurgency and reassures them that if they keep bombing us that we will eventually withdraw, regardless of the political situation in Iraq. In an insurgency, the victor is the one with the most patience, not the one who inflicts the most casualties. If we are patient, we will win.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

WTF with Haloscan?

can someone email me (watchyoursixblog -AT- gmail -dot- Com) and let me know if they can see my haloscan comments still? from over here in the middle east, it looks as though haloscan is blocked or broken.
that's going to suck if i have to change the comments back to blogger.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Over There? no, over here.

Sorry for the lack of steady blogging lately. I wanted to maintain some OPerational SECurity (OPSEC) about my travel here to the Middle East. A couple of weeks ago, I made it safely here to a large logistics base somewhere in the Iraq/Kuwait theater of operations. I'm not a door-kicker and my job requires me to be on a large base. This is where I'll fight my portion of the war from. I might go on a convoy out of the base from time to time, but I'm no infantry trooper.
The conditions on this base are much better than those at the smaller FOBs in theater. All in all, we have it pretty cush here. There is a small PX with many small amenities available to improve troops' quality of life. There are also a couple of fast food shacks in case I don't feel like eating for free at the dining facility.
All of this civilization is a departure from my last time getting shot at. Back then, I arrived at the tip of the spear and had the discomfort to show for it. We slept outdoors or in vehicles, burn latrines were the order of the day, we had no showers, and hot chow was intermittent at best.
Walking around here, I've seen some of the door-kickers who get to visit this base to take a break from their violent day-to-day reality. I look at them with a mix of envy and "better you than me" attitude. I wish I could get out there and do my part, but it's been a long time since I walked a combat patrol.
I've been concentrating on settling into my job up until now. I'll post some of my observations from my first couple weeks over the next few days.

This Guy Rocks

This guy was at a pro-soldier rally in front of the White House and is holding up a sign with some of the Milbloggers on it. I'm flabbergasted that my blog is one of them. His name is Kevin Pannell and he's a double amputee and an OIF vet. Thanks for your service & sacrifice, Kevin.
and for your support and the free advertising, Andi!

Thursday, August 18, 2005


The word "hero" has taken on too broad of a meaning these days. It's meaning is getting watered down by media reports calling everyone a "hero." The Random House Dictionary of the English Language defines a hero as a person "of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.” Lance Armstrong is a phenominal athlete and an inspriation for millions of Americans, but he is not a hero.
To me, a hero is someone who risks their safety (especially their life) to do something good for other people, especially saving a life.
I think it's a lot like the Army's Soldier's Medal. To get this medal, you have to save someone's life a great risk to your own life. Giving someone the Heimlich to save their life will get you an ARCOM (Army commendation medal), but you aren't getting a soldier's medal because your own life was not at risk. Pulling a family of four out of a burning car before it explodes, however, will net you a Soldier's Medal because you risked your own life to do it.
The cops and firefighters who fought against a tide of fleeing civilians and ran up into the World Trade Center while it was burning on 9/11 are heroes. Cindy Sheehan is not.
The soldier who fought off 100 advancing Iraqis from an exposed position in order to cover his buddies' withdrawl is a hero. The AIDS victim facing their disease with dignity is still not a hero.
Let's save the word "hero" for those that really earn it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

National Airborne Day

Go check out Blackfive. He has several posts about National Airborne Day. This day celebrates America's most deadly weapon: a young, pissed off paratrooper dropped off course way behind enemy lines.
LGOPs, go wreak some havok!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Cindy Sheehan

Cox and Forkum has a great cartoon and commentary on the Cindy Sheehan debacle.
And even the Washington Post sees that she is being used as a tool by the radical anti-war left: "What began as a solitary campaign to force a meeting with President Bush by setting up camp along the road to his ranch has quickly taken on the full trappings of a political campaign. Sheehan is working with a political consultant and a team of public relations professionals, and now she is featured in a television ad."
Has the left no shame? using a confused, desperate, grieving mother to push their cause?

Sunday, August 14, 2005

A Quick Funny

I always enjoy MAJ Delaplane's humor over at Firepower Forward.
Go read how a C-17 Globemaster got to execute a Carrier landing and about a young Specialist who might get a "C-130 Aerobatics" badge invented just for him.

Get a Grip

Liberal anti-war groups are actually objecting to a planned September 11th memorial march.
It's called the "America Supports You Freedom Walk," folks. It's about supporting the troops.
I think the leftists are getting tired of espousing the politically correct line of "we support the soldier, but not the war or the Bush administration." I think that these militant liberals are falling back on what worked in the 60's to bring the troops back from Vietnam in defeat: protest everything about the war, including those who fight it.
The same guerilla tactics that worked in 1960's are going to work today if we cave into these homebound traitors. The insurgency cannot win on the battlefield, it can only win in the court of public opinion. If we cave in, they win. It's that freakin' simple.

Better, but Heavier

The Army is upgrading the plates in our body armor.
The new armor weighs about 18 pounds, about one pound heavier than the original plates, and consists of thicker plates that could shield soldiers against stronger attacks, according to the Army official.

Sounds like a fair trade to me. Our IBAs (interceptor body armor) are already heavy as hell, one pound more shouldn't make very much difference. What would be nice is to have shoulder protection four our IBAs to protect those soldiers who shot their rifles Weaver style

Thursday, August 11, 2005

No Proof

Oh, and by the way, Ansar al-Sunna never came up with proof that they had captured a US Marine.
Thought not.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


The last stanza of the Ranger creed reads, "Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission, though I be the lone survivor."
SPC Peter Sprenger, who lost his right eye when he was injured by an IED in Iraq two years ago, graduated from Ranger School on July 29. That course is tough enough when you have vision in both eyes. Well done, SPC Sprenger.
thanks Mrs. Greyhawk for finding the story.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A real journalist

Instead of cowering in the Green Zone as other journalists did, under heavy guard by the people they seek to undermine, Steven Vincent walked freely among the Iraqi people to get the real story. He risked his life to report the truth, and was killed by the savages he sought to expose.
Greyhawk has a great post about Steven Vincent and how he came to be an observer in the global war on terrorism. hat tip: Blackfive

Where's the balance, folks?

When I read "news stories" like this one in the mainstream media (MSM) about heavy casualties in a particular Marine battalion, I get pissed off. Yes, it's tragic that 40 Marines from the same battalion have been killed in Iraq since March, but that's the sole focus of the entire story: lots of dead Marines. What about the things that these brave Marines died to accomplish? Where's the reporting on that?
Did they bring peace and security to an entire region of Iraq? I don't know, cause it isn't in the "news story."
Were they ambushed by a superior enemy force and fought their way to overwhelming victory despite the lopsided odds? I don't know, cause it isn't in the "news story."
Did any of the surviving Marines commit incredible acts of bravery and self-sacrifice to save their fellow Marines in spite of such horrible bloodshed? I don't know, cause it isn't in the "news story."
If all we ever heard about was how many firefighters and cops died on the streets and never heard about all the people saved and all the criminals arrested, we'd begin to think that these jobs were horrible, tragic, dangerous, and unnecessary. That's how the skewed reporting of the mainstream media is beginning to warp the American public's perception of one of the most honorable professions left: the US Military.
I'm sick with disgust. How about some good news on what good these soldiers, sailors, and Marines are doing over there?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Via Yahoo News: The Pentagon on Wednesday denied a claim by an Iraqi insurgent group that it had captured a U.S. Marine in western Iraq. The group vowed to publish more details on the killings and pictures of the "American prisoner" later.
Yeah right, the jihadists are probably just up to their old tricks again.

Monday, August 01, 2005


My unit was only at 50% strength when the first general in its chain of command decided to volunteer it for the mission. He had his minions search around for other soldiers who could fill the unit up to 100% and he cast a HUGE net. There are soldiers in this unit who were involuntarily transferred into it from over 400 miles away...
What kind of unit integrity does that foster? The point of the reserves was having everybody in their hometown working together. Neighbors, businesspeople, teachers, and students all from the same community. Well, now that this unit is deployed, what about the families? HouseholdSix just got a flyer for a picnic over 200 miles away! So much for fostering an effective family support group! My wife can't pack of SixPointFive and travel over 200 miles for a picnic. Is that her fault? No. It's the fault of the guy who decided to involuntarily transfer me 200 miles away in order to fill a unit that he shouldn't have broken (or subsequently volunteered) in the first place.
The people who decided to grab soldiers from so far away to fill this unit set us and our families up for failure. This all goes back to the recipe for disaster that the reserve generals cooked up in the post 9/11 world.