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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.

Friday, May 04, 2007

More randoms...

5. If you know me you know that I hate spiders. I hate them with a passion. I'd like to say they are my one weakness, but that's not true, there are a FEW other things on this earth that scare me, like hippies. But, back to spiders. In Iraq there is a spider that we call a camel spider. These things get HUGE. I'd love to exaggerate and say they get to be the size of big dinner plates, but its more like bread plates. Either way, its too big for me. The other night someone found two of these things in our room. One was on Cabrera's bed, the other apparently running laps around the room. The last couple of nights have been awful. You lay in your bed more scared then on any patrol you've ever been on. I'm afraid one of these things is going to eat my face, and, of course, there exist legends that exactly that has happened. At night you will be laying there and you'll here a guy start freaking out in his sheets, slapping at an imaginary camel spider that he thought he felt crawling on his leg. I'll take a shoot out with the Hajji's any day.

6. A dedicated Badger fan informed me that Mifflin is in fact this weekend, and apparently the Man is trying to hold them down.

7. http://blog.wired.com/defense/2007/05/army_to_blogger.html here's an update on the Army's military blog ruling. Apparently they're catching flak about it and are having to back off.

8. You'll LOVE this one. We have very strict Escalation of Force rules over here. Basically it is our guideline for how we progressively increase the use of force in a situation where we are at risk involving the local population. It goes like this Shout- Show (your weapon) -Shove (if it involves someone and not a vehicle) - Pop Pyro (flare)- Shoot (ground) - Shoot (grill of car) - Shoot (to kill). We have had to use this sequence a number of times, and usually it doesn't progress past the Pyro stage. However we recently had to shoot the ground at a vehicle that accelerated towards us as we were dismounted, this coming very soon after our batallion was rocked with 4 suicide car bombs.

So what is the newest step in the process, since higher ups want more steps involved before we fire our weapons??? We have a penalty flag. A FREAKING PENALTY FLAG. It's just like in football, bright orange/yellow fabric with a little bean bag in it. We now have to throw this thing at oncoming vehicles, hoping that we can get enough oomph behind it for the car to see it and then recognize that it means stop, and not offsides/holding. This is ridiculous. Before we came over here I posted about all the stupid things that were on the gear list (it's probably in the January archives). I made a big deal about having to pack a whistle (what is this the 19th century?). Well now it makes sense to me. Their whole plan this entire time was to get the Iraqis to unite together in one giant flag football game officiated by the US. Stupid.

9. Who's making plans for Badger football in Vegas??? I am. THAT is going to be a heck of a weekend.

10. Joe- you're package may be the most anticipated in history. Don't let me down. $1 brews.


  1. Hey Jake,


    MtHoodBucky, son of a WWII vet, here. Man, I'm glad to see that your blog site is safe for now. Since my family and I don't personally know any soldiers in Iraq, we hope that it's ok that we have addopted you as our "Badger-Soldier dude Jake" (named by my eight year old daughter). She thinks you are pretty cool and asks a couple times a week if we can check your blog to see that you're doing ok (along with including you and all soldiers in her prayers each night). So, please keep the blog going as long as you can and we will keep reading it. Be safe and fight the good fight!

    Portland, OR
    (formerly of Madison, WI)

  2. Jake, I've seen pictures of those spiders and I don't blame you one bit!I can't imagine what I'd do if I ever ran into one of those things, hell, I run from bees! Love ya!

  3. Now I don't think its wierd! Denise is JUST AS SCARED of those 8 legged creatures also...
    Hates them with a passion...every morning and I mean EVERY morning, she pats her shoes down to make sure there's no spiders in them...

    Be safe....Seth

  4. I just read...."Marines sometimes place camel spiders in a ring with scorpions to watch them fight. Due to their bizarre appearance many people are startled or even afraid of them. "

    Is this true?

  5. Who through's the penalty flag? and is there instant replay?

    good shit Jake


  6. Jake,
    Mifflin is infact tomorrow! I will be sure to drink a beer or 20 in your Honor! Hope all is well.
    Be safe!
    Sarah Beattie
    Lauren's Sister:)

  7. Jake,
    Found this mention regarding camel spider deterrents: "cats were doing a great job killing mice and camel spiders in and around the barracks." Adopt a kitty and sleep tight.
    Dane County Troop Supporter

  8. To quote Private Hudson: "What the fuck are we supposed to use, harsh language?"

    Flags, huh? Doesn't surprise me.

    Keep your shit wired tight Corporal and bring your people home.

    The chow is fine sir.

    Haze, gray and away.

  9. (I wrote about 7 versions of saying I flew from Shanghai to LA to see you but they all sounded as geigh as dell) But I wanted to say that the "Bros" from Rockham Palace finally led me to your blog, which I will read religiously from here on out. You're in my thoughts and I brag about knowing you, even over in China.

    Side (aka ShangSide)

  10. Jake,

    I read the article about you in WSJ. Thank you for helping protect our country. As a huge Badger fan, and UW alumni, it makes me proud to know your over there leading the way. Good luck.