Thursday, November 08, 2007

Good Bye.

I remember being involved in a General Officer retirement ceremony once. When giving his speech, he began with, "I joined the United States Army as an enlisted man in 1962." We all groaned because we just knew that this was going to be a loooong one. Luckily, you are sitting and will be able to withstand the literary assault.

I began blogging in August 2005. Jeez. That is over two years ago. I didn't even remember my blogoversary. Bummer. In that time, the velocity of my life has increased by a factor of four. I was recently married, was promoted at work (a couple of times), and had two children. Friends and family passed away and new nieces, nephews, and children of friends replaced them. I struggled with my addiction to Copenhagen, worked on my MBA, and looked for ways to move my growing family into a larger house. In all ways, this is the pace of ordinary life in the modern family. Somehow, in the midst of all the craziness, I somehow managed to churn out over 300 odd posts.

I began as a pretty motivated writer. I had only just discovered my voice through blogging and thought that my perspective (and a couple cool pictures) would be interesting to somebody. Apparently, I was right as I've had over 24,000 visitors. I recognize that most were probably some bot passing through, but it is cool to me. I also met a couple of people, in person, who had actually read my blog which was very cool.

At the end of the day, however, my experiment in writing began to be consumed by my other responsibilities. I also grew weary of reading and writing about all of the political strife. Due to privacy concerns I stayed away from the vast majority of my life as a Squirrel. The things that I find the most interesting (family, friends, work, etc.) were something that I felt I needed to protect from the larger blogging community. You see, I believe that writing (perhaps more than words) live on forever. Honestly, I love my life too much to open it up to strangers. So without current events or personal stories… I ran out of stuff that to say.

I think of interesting things to post about nearly every day, but simply don't have the time or energy to do it justice. So, my blogging experiment comes to an end. I’ll still be lurking and throwing comments around on occasion. Thank you for all your reading, commenting, and support over the years!

My email will stay active, so y'all can reach me anytime at:

Good luck and God bless!

The Fastest Squirrel


Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Story Worth Telling

Jeff Emanuel is a personal friend. A former Air Force Special Operator, Jeff has embedded in Iraq twice now. He tells dramatically different stories than you read in the Washington Post. I had the pleasure of supporting Jeff both financially and materially (equipment) on his last embed. Jeff just wrote me and let me know that he has a major article about to be published in the The American Spectator. Please go over to Jeff's site, read the article and, if you like his work, give him a little jingle in his tip jar (to fund his next embed). The article begins:

Samarra, Iraq
THE DAY OF August 26, 2007 began like any other for the soldiers of Charlie Company, 2-505 Parachute Infantry Regiment (from the 82nd Airborne Division) – with a mission in the city. Over a year into their deployment to Samarra, Iraq and now working on the three-month extension announced by Secretary of Defense Gates in the spring, the company knew the city like the back of their collective hands, and had their operational routine down to a science, whatever mission they might be tasked with.

On this morning, that mission was to establish a defensive perimeter around a block in central Samarra, so that Charlie Company’s 3rd (‘Blue’) Platoon, led by Lieutenant Scott Young, could search a shop where they had information that Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were being manufactured.

Due to the insurgents’ penchant for placing IEDs behind Charlie Company’s vehicles so as to ambush them the next time they came through an area, two separate rooftop observation points (OPs) would be established, one to the north and one to the south of the shop, to watch the roads which were serving as Blue Platoon’s infiltration and exfiltration routes for enemy activity. The southern OP, led by Staff Sergeant Jason Wheeler, was manned with paratroopers from Charlie Company’s 1st (‘Red’) Platoon. “Reaper Two,” one of the sniper teams from 2nd Battalion’s scout platoon, would man the second OP, almost a kilometer to the north. Reaper would be overwatching the area from the roof of a large apartment building, which was laid out with the long axis facing north-south, and which was bordered – across the surrounding streets and alleys – by several other buildings.