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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, March 21, 2008

It is no secret that my unit is preparing to deploy to Afghanistan. As I approach that date I have been thinking about how I am going to continue this blog while I'm deployed. For anyone that read this website while I was in Iraq you know that I wrote it like journal, because that is what it was to me, the writings that I have been keeping for years, simply with a publish button at the end of it. But, now that I am with a different unit, with a very different and unique mission to be accomplished on this deployment, I am at a crossroads. I cannot possibly continue this website like I did last year in Iraq, both for operational security reasons and for reasons of safety for my family and friends. So, with that being said, I regret to say that I will no longer be publishing anything that involves my involvement in the Marine Corps on this blog.

I originally started this blog to keep in touch with family and friends from high school and college. It was my way of letting people know where I was. When I got to Iraq, it became a way for me to vent about what was going on around me. When it got big, and I still don't know how that happened, I didn't know how to respond. I decided that, after reading emails I was getting from random people around the country, my writings were helping people connect to the war. So I decided to continue. At the time I made sure that I wasn't violating operational security procedure and placing my unit at risk, but now I realize that that is not possible. Due to the covert nature of my new platoon's mission, I cannot possibly in good conscience continue to post in the manner that I do. There are plenty of good 'war blogs' out there, and I encourage you to read them to understand what your countrymen are doing overseas, however, this website will no longer serve that role.

I will continue to write about my personal life and antics as I always have. That being said, I expect the number of readers I have to drop by about 99%. If you are in the other 1%....well....God bless you....


  1. Outstanding Marine! Simply outstanding. You've accomplished something most Marines can only dream of.

    As far as the postings go, OPSEC is more important that letting all of us know what you're up to. Just drop a note everynow and then to let us know you're still kickin, and ventilating the badguys.

    Stay Safe

  2. Interesting timing. I just discovered your page today. I was reading through your stories and I thought how odd for me to so interested and prideful. I thought I would love to write something but maybe that would be strange since I have no idea who you are. But I hit refresh and discovered you latest post and figured what the heck I am not the only one that randomly reads your blog. I wish you well on your coming deployment and want to say thank you for your strength and courage. People like you do make America a better place. I am glad to know that you and your friends are keeping us all safe here at home. THank you

    Oh and I am ordering that book Freakanomics. I think you put the right spin on it. Thanks

  3. good choice jake

    will miss your milblog insights

    still a big fan though

    u r a kool guy

  4. You'll still be on my feed reader, I'll look forward to your occasional update, and I'll be praying for you & your Marines this deployment. Go get 'em!

    ~jenny, random reader in L.A. (and Soldiers' Angels volunteer)

  5. Congrats on your graduation! You should be proud. I will still look forward to reading your blog, even if it's not as often or about the same subject matter. You are a great writer. And I second the "just drop a note everynow and then to let us know you're still kickin, and ventilating the badguys." You will be in my prayers. Thank you for protecting America.

  6. Fair enough. Congratulations on graduating sniper school. Just so you know, I'll still be checking your page religiously trying to make sure you're still ok. You're always in my prayers.


  7. Thanks Jake, for opening yourself up to share. I expect the writing to remain just as interesting. We'll be thinking of you way out in Scappoose. Good luck in Afganistan. Thank God for the Marines and thank you for your service.

  8. Dear Jake:

    If you think I will remove your blog site from my 'Save' site then you need to have another thought. I found you and loved your writings about a 'Young' Marine & all his close brothers & family members & how all were coping with his choices.

    I awaited each blog while you were in Sniper School & I will await each one while you are deployed to the big "A".

    My prayers will now include ONE more MARINE who I have come to Know going into harms way. I would say be careful but I am talking to the 'choir'.

    Thank-you for putting YOUR boots in places where others fear to tread. You will always be a HERO in my eyes.

    Miss Em -- old enough to be your Grandmother but viable enough to care about ONE more person in this life.

  9. Good luck Jake to you and yours, may you all come back safe and sound. Semper fi, miss em said it rite.

  10. Oddly enough, the reason I still read your blog isn't for insight on the war, but more for insight on a solider's mentality beyond the war he is fighting. I like reading about everyday things that make you just like me - your college sports team, your Vegas trips, your friends and family. I no longer need to know about the horrors or triumphs of war; I just like to know you are okay. Congrats on finishing sniper school. You obiviously worked hard, not just for yourself, but also to serve your country again. So kick the bad guy's ass and protect your own!

  11. Thank you for serving, and good luck, sir.

  12. Congratulations Jake!
    I'm one of those random people who started reading your blog because of the amazing insight to what was happening in Iraq, and I stayed because your stories are entertaining, even the non-iraq ones. You should keep a written journal of your experiences in Afghanistan, you have great writing style. Someday it would make a great book I'm sure. Thank you for sharing with us all this time, and thank you for your service to our country at a time when we really need brave, patriotic Americans like yourself.

  13. Delurking to say God Bless and take care of yourself. You will be in my family's prayers for yours and all of your brothers and sisters safe return. Thank you for for your noble sevice! Thank you for keeping us ALL safe!

  14. Hope u will be able to post an addy when in the 'stan so we can send u and your bros care packages like during your last deployment.

    God bless the Marines.

  15. Congrats Jacob! I think about you and pray for your safety all of the time. Over Easter we were laughing about the McJokes played on Sarah over the years and it really made me miss you guys. You'll continue to be in my prayers.

    Alliance Love,


  16. Will continue to check the blog regardless. I agree that OPSEC is much more important than keeping us on the home front updated on those kinds of things (the ones that can put others in danger).

    As long as you post and let us know you are still safe I am sure no body minds that you are going to be doing this deployment different. Plus your antics can be fun to read too :)

    Praying for you and all of the Military.

  17. I'm another random reader and I appreciate your insight and your writing. Thanks for everything that you've shared. And, I, as many of the others, still enjoy the non-military stories that you share. Keep 'em coming. I'm not going anywhere!

    Thanks for serving our country and all you do. Be safe!

  18. Best wishes and congrats on your new assignment. Badgers everywhere will be thinking about you and praying to see you join the team on the field again in the future. Be careful out there.

  19. I have had the privilege to see you grow from a natural leader into a leader of Marines. Do not lose your intensity, your humor, and most importantly your honor as you embark on this very different and difficult mission. I am confident that will do great things, as I have seen on countless other occasions. Although I cannot be with 2/7 on this deployment, all of you that I have had the honor and privilege to serve with will be on my mind and in my heart. Semper Fi.

  20. As much as I will miss the on the ground stuff I support fully your position on that for OpSec and tactical reasons.

    Showboating to keep readers would be an example of lack of self discipline contrary to all I know of Marines I call friends.

    You have my support and respect for your choice.

  21. I have enjoyed reading your blog since I read an entry linked by Mudville Gazette - you have a great style of writing that made me come back and check your blog often for new posts. I hope that you still keep a journal of your experiences, and perhaps can publish a book later. I'm trying to think of the right words to express my admiration for your courage and dedication – you are a hero and a great American. Please come home safe, I pray. And keep your great sense of humor and fun.
    Sister of a soldier in Iraq who lives in Wisconsin

  22. I have two Marine brothers in law, one who has already served in Afghanistan and one who is just finishing a tour in Iraq. Just as I have them, I thank you, Jake, for your service to our country, and will pray for the safety of you and all our countrymen/women in harm's way.

    I could prattle on forever and never come remotely close to adequately expressing the profound respect I have for young men like you, Jake. So instead of trying, I will simply say, 'Thank you, and be safe.'

  23. A United States Marine was attending some college courses between assignments.
    He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan

    One of the courses had a professor who was a vowed atheist and a member of the

    One day the professor shocked the class when he came in. He looked to the
    ceiling and flatly stated, "God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me
    off this platform. I'll give you exactly 15 minutes." The lecture room fell
    silent. You could hear a pin drop.

    Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, "Here I am God. I'm still
    waiting." It got down to the last couple of minutes when the Marine got out of
    his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the
    platform. The professor was out cold.

    The Marine went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students
    were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence. The professor
    eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the Marine and asked, "What
    the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?" The Marine calmly
    replied, "God was too busy today protecting America's soldiers who are
    protecting your right to say stupid shit and act like an asshole.

    So, He sent me."

  24. Everybody in would never complain, OPSEC comes first.

    Hopefully you'll get back soon to where you can party like a rockstar.