Wednesday, November 30, 2005

DoD Directive 3000.05

The Department of Defense issued a directive on 28 NOV 05 that is long overdue. Apparently, this directive came about as a result of the Defense Science Board 2004 Summer Study on Transition to and from Hostilities. The Defense Science Board (DSB), composed of approximately 40 members, advises the Pentagon on scientific, technical, manufacturing, acquisition process, and other matters of special interest to the Department of Defense. After re-reading the Study, it looks as if the recommendations of the DSB were boiled down to line up with the SECDEFs point-of-view (shocker). I believe that this directive could go a long way in shutting up the moonbats who fervently believe in the administration's lack of awareness, foresight, or post-conflict planning accountability. Please let me know if anyone finds articles relating to this directive in the MSM. I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

More Work

I have mentioned it before, but I grew up on a farm in Iowa. We were poor, but I didn’t know it until I went to middle school and had plenty of town kids point it out to me. I was a bit surprised, but was only driven to excel. I joined the Army at a very young age and once I got off active duty (10 years), I went to college. I really don’t remember not struggling to make ends meet. It didn’t seem overly burdensome, except for the personal debt that I wracked up finishing school. In any case, I think that having that background has always made me profoundly grateful to have work and the money that it brings. I do very well now and am somewhat amazed to report that I sleep better now than I remember doing in the past. Other than a mortgage, Sexy and I are essentially debt free and happy. I have reflected on it lately because an old friend called me and asked me to come on board with his company for some part-time work. I don’t really need the work (I don’t seem to have enough time to do stuff as it is), so I threw out an ridiculous hourly sum for my time. He readily agreed and so now I’ve added 12-16 hours to my workweek. While Sexy is a little perturbed, I am happy to have the additional income. What a strange journey I’ve had over the years.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Back on the Attack

So, back to the normal blogging. Greetings all. As I mentioned before, I’m back from travel and will try to resume my regularly sporadic posting. I spent quite a lot of this trip on ships/boats of varying sizes. While it wasn’t too bad, I am glad that I stayed away from the Navy. Anyway, I billed 100% of my time and took home some extra scratch. Nice. I apologize in advance as my posts will probably reflect a lot of recent history.

I was saddened to hear about the hotel bombings in Jordan. I’ve stayed at all of those hotels on numerous occasions. Seriously, this tragedy clearly illustrates the complete madness on the part of the terrorists. There is nothing defensible about bombing innocents. It is simply unacceptable in ANY culture.

Make no mistake about it, this is serious business in the Middle East. When Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the Arab world was aghast that an Arab would do this to another Arab. Arab on Persian (or anyone else for that matter), despite religious similarities, is completely acceptable. Part of the reason that Saddam was isolated in the Gulf (by Arabs) is because of his unthinkable invasion. These bombings are of the same flavor.

I have long said that when the Arabs are tired of the stress, death, and destruction that they will find the motivation to get rid of all these walking mental patients. The truth is that they are unaccustomed to this type of freedom. The protest marching in Amman is only an indicator of the increasing disgust for extremists. I don’t believe, however, that this bombing is the straw that broke the camel’s back. It will take much more to influence events over there, but I am heartened that the journey has begun, as it means we are closer to the destination.

Amman is one of the places that I love to go. Let me count the ways… first, Amman is beautiful. It is located at a high elevation and is therefore pleasant in summer and cold in winter. It is exotic and has hundreds of terrific restaurants and bars. The women are often stunning and not impossible to talk with. Actually, it has the flavor of Beirut, although muted. If you haven’t traveled to see Jordan, I highly recommend it. Random bombings aside, it is safe to travel there.

Lost Another...

buddy recently. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetary on 09 Dec 2005. I'll be there. God Speed Tony.

De Oppresso Libre

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving

Woo Hoo! I'm finally back from travel (as of yesterday). Man, Sexy Squirrel is happy to see me! I plan on going to my brother-in-laws house for some Turkey and beer. I'm glad to be back and will be sure to start posting again tomorrow. Meanwhile, check out RedState's excellent Thanksgiving post. Have a fun, relaxing, and safe Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day

My heart is full today. Veteran’s Day always moves me to cry red, white, and blue. I have shed tears for all my friends that I have lost over the years. The sacrifice and loss that the soldier bears is something that most folks don’t consider. Not only do you lose friends and colleagues to combat, but the job is inherently dangerous. How many soldiers die in training every year? I don’t know, but I personally know a half-dozen who have died in my years of service.

How much pain does a veteran withstand? We all carry different burdens, but to illustrate… my knees and back are completely wrecked from jumping out of airplanes, rappelling down ridiculous heights, and humping ludicrously heavy rucksacks. My doc tells me that a Green Beret is essentially a professional athlete. Too true… but I would extend that to all the combat arms. My hearing is deficient because of all the firefights (no time to put in hearing protection). I still carry shrapnel from an Iraqi rocket and am weakened in my right side by a bullet that knocked the crap out of me during an ambush (didn’t penetrate my armor… take that you bastards!) I am a young man with gray hair. I’ve lost a wife to operational tempo. I missed numerous birthdays, Christmases, Thanksgivings, and other important dates. My family is proud, but tired. I didn’t get to get much college in, so was a student into my 30s. My old civilian friends all owned houses a decade before I managed to save enough to buy my own. The pay sucks. The medical support sucks (a case study against socialized medicine BTW)… AND you can’t have a beer in a combat zone.

I am not unique. All my brothers and sisters in uniform know the sacrifice that defines military life. I’ve told some of my story because it illustrates to civilians what sort of things that we all live with. It isn’t comprehensive by any means, just some of the things that I am thinking about today. Oh, the other thing that we veterans carry with us the rest of our lives? Pride.

I salute all veterans, past and present. De oppresso libre.