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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, April 12, 2007

Not too much new the last couple of days. Still tons of patrols. A couple of days ago we stayed for an hour or two in a house to escape the rain. There were 4 kids that lived in the house, the oldest two were a couple of girls, one of them, who was 12, actually spoke pretty good english. We started trying to communicate a bunch. Her name was Manar. Manar and her youner, nine year old sister Shrook, both drew me pictures of flowers and then went out to the garden and picked some flowers for me and another guy. It was the first thing in Iraq that I have smelled that smelled decent. It was pretty cool, but don't worry, we're weary that it may be a new terrorist tactic to make us soft... haha. We then sat in their 'kitchen' and played catch with them and their little toddler brother. That was pretty funny. The weird thing about this family is that the two older women that were present were encouraging it, and actually engaged us in conversation, which is very unusual for the Muslim culture but specifically our area.

It also poured on us the other day. We woke up for a patrol and walked outside and the sky was red and yellow and literally had rolling clouds. I was actually expecting to see Moses walking around because it looked straight Biblical. Within a few minutes it started coming down in sheets. We had to go out anyway.

Well I have some free time for the next couple of hours so I'm gonna go hit the gym. Working out is about the only thing that keeps me sane over here, and its a big day-weighted dips, a real money-maker.


  1. It makes me so happy for you that you have kids drawing you pictures of flowers with everything else going on....that's sweet. I'm sure you were very nice to them. I miss you. -m

  2. Hey, Jake! Just starting reading your blog, based on the Buckyville link. Take care of yourself. There are many people back home in Wisconsin praying for you and your comrades. Be safe. We appreciate your contributions to our safety over here.

  3. That's cool that you got mingle with the people. Hey, if you could do me a favor and get me a picture of my brother, that'll be great. Thanks,


  4. Another Buckyville poster here. Thanks for this blog and your observations. May you be back safe and enjoying the simple pleasures like a toilet flushing and a shower whether you need it or not. There will always be a hot brat and a cold beer waiting for you at our tailgates.

    Neil a/k/a Myles Long

  5. Hey Jake,

    I am friends with Jon Stoeckley and he turned me on to your blog.....it inspired me to start my own because I too will deploy to Iraq in May. Anyway man, hope all is well, remain safe. When this whole war is over we will take in a Trojan home game with the Stoeck bros and I can educate you on why OSU is better than Wisc. Your one of the good guys and your in the prayers of me and my family. Take care,


  6. Hey Wood. Just sat and read all of your blogs. Now I consider myself a long time reader, first time writer. Sorry, that was stupid. Anyway, keep doing what your doing. Your in our prayers. (I just read the "thank you" for the packages and I feel like a big asshole, so you can be expecting some Maxims, beef jerky, pictures, etc.)

  7. Don't worry Jake, the women were just trying to keep you and your buds distracted while their men folk were moving all their explosives and weapons to a safe place.

    Happened to us a long time ago in a far away place.

    Papa Ray
    West Texas