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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.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The More Things Change...

I guess you could say the more things change the more they stay the same. I came back from Iraq with a different CO and XO, different Company Gunny, a different platoon commander, and different squad leaders. Your basic top to bottom reshuffling of company leadership. I would have hoped that maybe things would be run differently upon our return. That maybe, just maybe, we would only have to work the half-days that every returning unit is supposed to work. It is safe to say that that is not the case. I don’t know whose fault it is, maybe its no ones, but I could probably make a large sum of cash if I started publishing an over/under line on when we are going to get off of work these days.

So far our days have consisted of scrubbing down weapons, taking a urine test, drawing blood, and lots and lots of sitting around. Oh yeah, and paper work. Want to know what it takes to go on leave after 7 months in Iraq? I’ll give you a hint, its more paper work than is needed to deploy to that same combat zone you are returning from. Want to go home? Request the time off. Gonna fly? Turn in your flight itinerary. Driving to the airport? Print off a street by street route that you will take, provide a mapquest printout of that same route, complete a vehicle inspection checklist, provide backup drivers, devise a ‘rest plan’ to ensure proper sleep prior to driving, write an essay on how you will mitigate the risks of driving yourself. Fill out ‘operational risk management’ forms to determine your level of individual risk. Under 25 years old? That’s a point. Single? That’s a point. Traveling further than 240 miles? Three points. Post deployment decompression time?? No points, as in not happening.

The whole process is one giant cover your ass circus put on by the chain of command. I know what I’m going to do over leave. I’m gonna do a lot of things, and partying with friends is definitely going to be one of them. But I’m mature enough to do it like an adult. Signing a pledge to be responsible and safe isn’t going to enter into my decision process, but common sense will. Now the common sense thing cannot be said for everyone, but the pledge being irrelevant can. But, so long as they sign it, the command can wash their collective hands of it.

Oh well. Tomorrow is a new day, and with it comes the beginning of a Labor Day weekend that I have been looking forward to for a long time. There is a lot in store for myself and the South Bay, not the least of which is the World Beirut Championships being held at the Rockham Palace. I’m going for gold.


  1. That vote for Stoeck is for me, the little one....not a chance the older broheim wins it!!!

    -Stoeck jr.

  2. Heh... And people wonder why soldiers (and Marines) feel that it is their duty to gripe!? Well, I hope you can wade through the paper work and make it out on leave.

    Hoist a beer!

  3. jeez, almost makes you long for the easy old days of combat....not!!!

  4. I thought they got rid of that hurry up and wait years ago

  5. Yeah, I don't think that hurry up and wait ever gets any better. As for the paperwork, geez, hasn't someone over there heard of the Government Paper Reduction Act? Just saying...

    BTW, it does not get any better regarding deployments in the Air Force either. They, too, try to regulate common sense... **roll of eyes**

  6. Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 08/30/2007
    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

  7. Good Lord, that makes me tired just reading it!

  8. I think the fact that you put the poll up skews the results just a tad. That, and probably the fact that you're one badass Marine.

    I will feel a little bit of guilt when I beat you...

  9. Had to vote for Horn...he didn't have any yet. I'm a sucker for the underdog. (I hope you win, but tell no one, shhhh)

  10. Make sure fill out whatever form it is that will allow you to split aces in Vegas.

  11. The Big Green Weeny strikes again.

    Keep a lube tube handy, the bohica demons are out in force.