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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.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Friends, family, strangers...Americans young and old....I apologize to you all tonight because I fear I may have just lost the war. I was on a patrol tonight with my squad...we had to go firm in a house because engineers were going to blast away the remnants of the bombed out bridge. We were sitting around, socializing with a group of young Iraqi men, when the conversation turned to athletics. Well, one of them thought that he was pretty strong and flexed his arm for us...of course, my friends, my comrades, my brothers-in-arms, decide to throw me under the bus and say that I was much stronger. So this Iraqi makes me flex for him...I'm not gonna lie, I was a lot bigger.

It doesn't end there. Suddenly this Iraqi challenges me to an arm wrestling contest. I immediately have a flashback. Suddenly its 2003, I'm at the Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN for a football game. I'm drunk at an Irish bar on New Year's Eve...suddenly an Irishman taps me on the shoulder. I turn around...he's about the size of a leprachaun. He gets to the point, he thinks he can whoop me in arm wrestling...I tell him no thanks...he insists...I say no...he buys me a Guinness...I say okay...I almost lose.

Fast forward to Iraq...tonight...I don't think its a good idea, but my friends insist that it'll be good for building 'relations'...I take another look at the guy he's not THAT big. I agree.

Ten minutes later, there is still no winner. It's declared a draw, but for America, it was a resounding defeat. It was the draw heard round the world. I will never be able to show my face in that area again. Granted, he didn't claim victory, but I could see the sparkle in his eye... my fellow Americans...I am sorry.

17 comments:

  1. What about the time Nick beat you in the slappy game of Mercy?

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  2. As soon as you mentioned arm-wrestling I had the same memory! Those Irish guys loved you! Do some push-ups or something so it doesn't take so long next time...

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  3. There there Jake, there there. At least you know you could drink him under the table.

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  4. you should introduce them to the circle game (where you make a circle with your index finger and thumb and hit someone if they look at it). I remember sarah used to always HAVE to look.

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  5. OoO man, that is classic.

    ~Joseph Chavez

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  6. jeez- I'm gone for 5 weeks and you bring me this? you better hit up that weight pile bro. I'm pretty sure I can still take Muir and Roberts, and I aint seen a weight room in quite a while- get your act together, Sally.

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  7. That's okay Jake WE know you were just being American showing mercy on the guy....(if they only knew...)

    seth

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  8. was his name sawvill by any chance? or at least related to the aforementioned?

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  9. Jake, maybe you should start with the Iraqi women first and work your way up

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  10. hahaha the post above is great :)

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  11. What?! All those years under Dettman, and you couldn't beat this guy? Seriously, Jake, you're a GREAT ambassador for us. Keep up the good work, and God speed for a safe return. As to Sarah preferring a Bud Light, well...Sarah you are a traitor to your home and native state.

    On, Wisconsin!

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  12. Bet you could beat him in a round of spoons...

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  13. Mark Higgins, Boston, MassFriday, April 27, 2007 10:50:00 AM

    Arm wresting is mostly technique. If he was an Iraqi that didn't want to kill you, and he took the draw like a man, I'd say it is more like a spirit of cooperation than defeat. Keep up the good work. Semper Fi.

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  14. I hear the Spoons champ lives in Tampa...

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  15. EXCUSE ME! It was Meghan that prefers the Bud Light! Jake and I both agree that Miller is the king of beers.

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  16. Oh my gosh, that's a great story. I can totally picture you in that situation. Love you, stay safe!

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