29 July 2011

A First of first

From the Citizen side:  It's not very often that the CI Roller Dude writes about something in his family...and it's not very often that a face gets posted without being blacked out...however, this little girl is so cute I just couldn't black out her face. 
Last night, my Number One Son and his Wife unit had a baby girl.  That act of God now makes the CI Roller Dude  a Grandpa. 

"Excuse me while I sleep....Grandpa, when are you taking me shooting?"

OK, more stories to follow, right now I have to find a pink BB gun.

27 July 2011

They can't all be Smart....

Everywhere you go, you must get the T-Shirt

From the Soldier side: 
One of the things I noticed over the years of being in the Army/ Army National Guard and in civilian law enforcement is: Not everybody can be smart.  I think it was John Wayne who said: “Life is tough, its tougher when you’re stupid.”  Or something like that. 
AKA, "Camp Cody" Bosnia

Now, please don’t get me wrong, I did work with and for some really bright people… but as in one of the mottos I came up with in Bosnia was: “We get the job done despite the lack of any kind of competent leadership.”   I say that because most of our officers and senior sergeants had no idea where the camp was that my team was on, or what my team was doing.  Since we were so far away, they had no idea what our area looked like or the population.

One example was when we were given some information about something or someone who’d been at an Orthodox Christian Monastery.  We drove over and took a look around and got a grid coordinate and sent up the info.   You can imagine my shock when the captain called our team and told me: “hey there’s a standing order that the US Army is not allowed in any of the local Mosque.” 

I requested that the Captain call me back on the “secure” phone.  He told me the normal phone was OK to talk on.  (he didn’t know how to use the encrypted phone I found out later…)  So I tried to explain that the main camp he was at was in Tuzla, Bosnia.  The camp we were at was in the Republic of Serpska,(Serbia)  Bosnia.  In and around Tuzla there was a lot of Mosque.  However, where we were at it was mostly Orthodox Christians who prayed in churches and had a few monasteries for education and stuff like hiding indicted war criminals. 
Radovan-A War Criminal

The captain did what most morons do who don’t understand something that they should know, he yelled at me.  He was a pure dumbass.  I later got an Atta-boy for the info about the monastery from higher up…but the captain never heard about it.  It seems he spent most of his free and working time goofing off.  I know Bosnia was a tough assignment for those stuck on Eagle Base in Tuzla, but some of us tried doing our job despite the lack of leadership.  In other words, some of us were totally on our own.
Bosnia: "Kind of like Trukee California, but with land mines and bad roads.

19 July 2011

Gypsy Team #6--- UP!

From the Soldier side: One thing I noticed about other soldiers I’ve talked to who were in Iraq, most if not all of them spent their entire tour in one location.  Some who ran convoys traveled a lot, but were based out of one camp.  For the first 4 months of my tour, we called my team “Gypsy Team 6- - “ because we traveled around so much. In the first 6 months, I had 11 different assignments.   I had so my air miles with the Army, Marines and Air Force, that I had enough frequent flyer miles to fly anywhere (in Iraq) for free. 

I had my packing down to a science.  3 pairs of uniforms, 7 T-shirts, 10 pairs of socks, coffee, Cliff Bars, air pillow and poncho liner, and a double load of ammo for my M4 and M9 pistol….a Sat phone, the CHIMs gear and accessories and that was about it. 

The interesting part was, we usually were sent to where things had happened or were supposed to happen.  I just thought it would have been nice if somebody had told us we were going some place busy before we got there…and it’d been nice if we had a clue what we’d be lookin’ into ahead of time.

The good thing about being Gypsy Team, if we didn’t like a place or the folks we were working for, we knew we’d be leaving soon enough.  One problem though with working for different groups (ranging from the US Army, Army National Guard units and the US Marines) it seemed that my team had to prove itself each time we went to a new place--- even if it turned out that we’d been in country longer than the folks we were going to help out. 

And I HATE moving.  We had to move over a dozen times when I was a kid because my dad was in the USAF  and in those days it seemed that they thought it was better to move people around as often as possible.  It wasn’t just moving to a new base, but usually when we got there we had to live off the base until housing opened up..then we’d move again to be n the base.  I hate moving….so when they gave me a team in Iraq that was the first word in the title was “Mobil” I tried to tell the bosses “I hate moving.” 

I figure out many years later, it wasn’t the moving that I hated so much, but having to start all over again making friends and stuff…. And since I have no friends now, I guess I just got used to not making any. 

I did get to see a lot of Iraq by air and by ground.  As far as I could tell, it all sucked.  And just as soon as we figured out each camp and who the bad guys were outside….we moved somewhere else and had to start all over again. 

My tour was a year…and when I ran into folks from other branches of the service who’s tours were 4 to 7 months, and they arrived after we did and were going home before we were…I wondered why was it I had to prove myself to them? 

My team and I did OK ( I actually had several different soldiers on my team through the year as members were changed around for other duties.)  None of my team got hurt and we all made it home….and 5 years later I realized that absolutely nothing we did made any difference in the war effort outside of me getting a few people to laugh. 

11 July 2011

Why we can't communicate....

From the Old Cop and Soldier:
For over 30 years I have been able to go into burning buildings, chase bad guys really fast in police cars, deploy to places like Bosnia and Iraq and take care of any emergency or crisis that comes up--- as long as it was related to Police work on the Army.  However, when it comes to communicating with females, I give up. 
Embrace the Suck (over on the right side there...down there...see it) had this the other day:

Difference between men and women:

Let's say a guy named Fred is attracted to a woman named Martha. He asks her out to a movie; she accepts; they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves. They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.
And then, one evening when they're driving home, a thought occurs to Martha, and, without really thinking, she says it aloud: "Do you realize that, as of tonight, we've been seeing each other for exactly six months?"
And then, there is silence in the car.
To Martha, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks to herself: I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he's been feeling confined by our relationship; maybe he thinks I'm trying to push him into some kind of obligation that he doesn't want, or isn't sure of.
And Fred is thinking: Gosh. Six months.
And Martha is thinking: But, hey, I'm not so sure I want this kind of relationship either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I'd have time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are, moving steadily towards, I mean, where are we going? Are we just going to keep seeing each other at this level of intimacy? Are we heading toward marriage? Toward children? Toward a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I really even know this person?
And Fred is thinking: ...so that means it was...let's see...February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer's, which means...lemme check the odometer...Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change here.
And Martha is thinking: He's upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe I'm reading this completely wrong. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment; maybe he has sensed - even before I sensed it - that I was feeling some reservations. Yes, I bet that's it. That's why he's so reluctant to say anything about his own feelings. He's afraid of being rejected.
And Fred is thinking: And I'm gonna have them look at the transmission again. I don't care what those morons say, it's still not shifting right. And they better not try to blame it on the cold weather this time. What cold weather? It's 87 degrees out, and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.
And Martha is thinking: He's angry. And I don't blame him. I'd be angry, too. I feel so guilty, putting him through this, but I can't help the way I feel. I'm just not sure.
And Fred is thinking: They'll probably say it's only a 90-day warranty...scumballs.
And Martha is thinking: Maybe I'm just too idealistic, waiting for a knight to come riding up on his white horse, when I'm sitting right next to a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with, a person I truly do care about, a person who seems to truly care about me. A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, schoolgirl romantic fantasy.
And Fred is thinking: Warranty? They want a warranty? I'll give them a warranty. I'll take their warranty and stick it right up their...
"Fred," Martha says aloud.
"What?" says Fred, startled.
"Please don't torture yourself like this," she says, her eyes beginning to brim with tears. "Maybe I should never have...oh dear, I feel so..."(She breaks down, sobbing.)
"What?" says Fred.
"I'm such a fool," Martha sobs. "I mean, I know there's no knight. I really know that. It's silly. There's no knight, and there's no horse."
"There's no horse?" says Fred.
"You think I'm a fool, don't you?" Martha says.
"No!" says Fred, glad to finally know the correct answer.
"It's just that...it's that I...I need some time," Martha says.
(There is a 15-second pause while Fred, thinking as fast as he can, tries to come up with a safe response. Finally he comes up with one that he thinks might work.)
"Yes," he says. (Martha, deeply moved, touches his hand.)
"Oh, Fred, do you really feel that way?" she says.
"What way?" says Fred.
"That way about time," says Martha.
"Oh," says Fred. "Yes." (Martha turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to become very nervous about what she might say next, especially if it involves a horse. At last she speaks.)
"Thank you, Fred," she says.
"Thank you," says Fred.
Then he takes her home, and she lies on her bed, a conflicted, tortured soul, and weeps until dawn, whereas when Fred gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos, turns on the TV, and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a college basketball game between two South Dakota junior colleges that he has never heard of. A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back there in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it's better if he doesn't think about it.
The next day Martha will call her closest friend, or perhaps two of them, and they will talk about this situation for six straight hours. In painstaking detail, they will analyze everything she said and everything he said, going over it time and time again, exploring every word, expression, and gesture for nuances of meaning, considering every possible ramification.
They will continue to discuss this subject, off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it either.
Meanwhile, Fred, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Martha's, will pause just before serving, frown, and say: "Norm, did Martha ever own a horse?"
And that's the difference between men and women.