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This blog exists only as an archive. It is a journal that serves as a window into my life as a Marine combat veteran serving in Iraq and Afghanistan; it was written with no filter, no politics and no agenda. Please feel free to follow my journey from beginning to end. Welcome to my life.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Kickoff

There you have it. It's finally here. In exactly 17 minutes the college football season finally kicks off. Sure it might just be Boston College and some directional Michigan team, but hey, there will be fight songs and mascots and maybe even an upset. Not to mention that later on after that game the Ol' Ball Coach himself, Steve Spurrier, is taking the field against Mississippi State. His teams are always worth watching.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sunday night

Ahhh, another tomorrow and another 2 am wake up call. Good ol' Golf Company is headed back out to the field bright and early tomorrow morning for some continued predeployment training. The next three to four days will have a focus on convoy ops and IED lane training. Hopefully it just blows right by, because at the end of it we have a much needed four day weekend for Labor Day, and we've been putting in our labor.

Because we came out of the field so late this past Friday I didn't really have much of an oppurtunity to do anything this weekend. It was too late to make it out to LA for Katie Bo's birthday Friday and it's really not worth it just to drive down for one night on Saturday. Basically what I am saying is I wasted a lot of my life this weekend rotting in Twentynine Palms. You win some and you lose some I guess.

Which brings me to the fact that the Badgers better win some next weekend! Joe Thomas for the Heisman! (Don't let him lie to you, I taught him everything he knows.) I'm looking at going back to Madison for the Sept. 16th home game, send me a shout out if you are going to be there, and we'll have to meet up.

Well, its 6:30 and my bed beckons me. Life is lame.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Counting down the days...


Ahhhh, College Football is almost upon us. For those of you that know me, you know that college football puts me in a mood so good I can't possibly be brought down. That is of course unless the Badgers start losing, in which case I sit around with a shotgun in my mouth.

6 more days. I can handle it. That's only 144 hours. Or 8640 minutes. Or 518,400 seconds. But who's keeping track anyway?

Absolutely Hysterical

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Monday, August 21, 2006

Rules of Engagement

Today my company had some pre-deployment required classes regarding the escalation of force and the Rules of Engagement as they pertain to the Laws of War. Pretty important stuff, no matter how obvious the rules and guidelines may seem. This, especially in light of recent incidents that have taken place in Iraq, with several Marine units under investigation for alleged war crimes. I won't comment on those particular cases, I don't know the facts. But I do know what I learned today. I learned that if I am on a patrol and I see an Iraqi man walking towards me with an AK47 or RPG (rocket propelled grenade) I am NOT ALLOWED to shoot him. Why? Because in todays media frenzy he has expressed no hostile intention. Nevermind the fact that he is walking towards me with an automatic weapon or rocket propelled explosive.

Is that ridiculous?

There are some people in this country that are toeing the line of a major double standard. "Too many of our young men are dying in Iraq" combined with "We should take all precautions to avoid armed and violent conflict with the Iraqi people" I'm sorry but we are going to continue to take casualties if we are forced to fight this war with our hands tied behind our backs. Of course, if we fight this war like it ought to be fought, we will come home shamed by the media and drug through the muddy waters of some public and national court-martial, which will probably end in either life or execution. What a great choice-risk death at the hands of the terrorists, or at the hands of our fellow Americans.


The bottom line.

I have the solution. I call it the "Jack Bauer Doctrine". With this Rules of Engagement philosophy, America's fighting men will be allowed to pistol whip, drill knee caps, use drugs to produce confession and gain intel, shoot to kill, shoot to maim, ask questions later, save the world, disarm nuclear bombs, talk directly to the president, link everything to our Sat phon, scream "There's NO time!", whisper "you're gonna have to trust me!", have a heroin problem, die twice and find Nina. Of course this is a joke. But seriously, Jack Bauer don't give a damn.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Latest News

A little something about the Marine Corps- Word always changes.

The latest word on us and Iraq? We are no longer leaving January 1 like they have been saying for 6 months. It is now January 24. We are no longer going to Fallujah, like they have been saying for 6 months. We are now headed to an area in between Baghdad and Ramadi. Right now, we're guessing the reason this might be is to act as a QRF (quick reaction force) to any major military action in either city, since this is where the most hard-core insurgency is taking place.

Whatever.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

You boys like MEX-I-CO!!!!




The weekend came, my mom flew down, I made the beautiful drive to San Diego (insert lame anchorman joke here) and the beer flowed , and so did the margaritas, and so did the straight tequila, and so did, well you get the point.

My mom and I had a great time. We took in the finer things in San Diego, including some fine dining, an awesome night life, and who could forget, the short drive to paradise, err, Mexico. That's right, Christy Wood continued to surprise the world when she stated that she was down for a gander to the other side of the border. So we took the top off the Jeep and made like, well we made like Mexicans and went to Rosarita, a short 30 minute drive inside Mexico. I singlehandedly put away a bottle of Jose, courtesy of my mother, who wanted a photo of some random man pouring it down my throat, but somehow managed to not be able to work the camera on three consecutive pours. On the other hand, my mother managed to singlehandedly revive the Mexican economy by purchasing every piece of silver and polished abilone jewelry in sight. Seriously, people know her by name now.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Como se what??


BACK TO BACK POSTS? On two consecutive nights?? A new record I declare. The occasion is quite extraordinary I must say. MY MOTHER IS COMING TO VISIT ME!! Yes, that's right, my mother, Ms. Plan Things By the Book, has decided to fly down to San Diego (first settled by the Germans). This plan only came about today, now that's stepping outside your comfort zone madre! We're gonna get CRUNK.

Picture: My mom trying to put into words what Wild Turkey feels like going down the hatch. Haha, Jeff Lang

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Catchin' Up

Sorry world, I know that you struggle to survive when I have a drought in my posting. But this time I can explain it, really, I can. You see, my battalion moved barracks a few weeks ago so I have had zero internet access. I know, I know, it's no excuse, but I beg your forgiveness.

Unfortunately I have to make this post short as well, I have a 4am wakeup tomorrow morning so I can go shoot grenade launchers and LAWs (light anti-tank weapon). Fun stuff, but in reality most of my day is going to be spent getting bbq'd under the desert sun.

What else have I been up to you ask? Well lets see, yesterday I had a very interesting class taught be an officer who has been an instructor at SERE school for the last ten years. Basically SERE is where we send all of our special forces to learn how to evade capture and resist interrogation/torture techniques. The class was about how we need to conduct ourselves in captivity in order to survive, but more importantly to not divulge information or statements harmful to our cause. Basically how to resist torture and interrogative questioning. The class was awesome because he was able to share a lot of classified information about what has happened in a lot of the hostage situations that have taken place in the last couple of years in Iraq, as well as some amazing stories of courage in POW camps in Vietnam.

I also got to play with tanks yesterday, kinda cool.

Today we had to go into the gas chamber. Hadn't done that since boot camp. It wasn't as bad as in boot camp, where it was one giant hazing festival. But it did remind me how much chemical gas sucks. And how you want to claw your eyes out when they make you take your mask off.

This past weekend I was in Hermosa Beach, no surprise there. They had this thing called 6 Man, which is just a giant beach volleyball tournament. There were about 40 courts going and about 15,000 people surrounding them pounding beer at the rapid rate. Don't let my mother know but I became intoxicated, but I rallied and managed to ride the bull at Union Cattle later that night.

Oh yeah, and the first night in Hermosa, we were coming home from the bars and decided to pull a palm tree out of the ground. Yeah, thats right. We then carried it home and put it in bed with one of the guys who had passed out. It's okay to laugh, it was hysterical.

Someone call me and remind me to post pics of all this crazy stuff.