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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.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

February 18th

A couple of days ago I received a text message from a friend of mine. It read, "You better crack a beer open tonight, I hope I don't need to tell you why".

The text message was completely unnecessary. I absolutely knew why. February 18th marked one year since I was on a QRF mission with my squad, the night we rolled over an IED laid in by Iraqi insurgents, and the night Blake Howey was killed in that blast.

That event changed a lot of things for a lot of people. For me, it marked the first time that I ever saw combat, if that's what you want to call an IED blast. It was the first time I've ever had a friend die. It was the first time that I really truly feared for my life. It was the first time that someone has actually made an attempt to kill me. It was the first time that I ever wanted to actually make an attempt to kill someone else.

In about another week and a half I'll toast another beer to another friend, Nathan Windsor, who was killed in an ambush two weeks after Blake.

A year removed from these incidents, it still seems like it happened in another life. There is nothing I can say twelve months later to make the loss any easier for their families. Just know that earlier this week there was a flurry of text messages and phone calls reminding friends to raise their glass to a fallen brother.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Been off the map for a while.

Got a special request for everyone, someone else I know is running a marathon and trying to raise donations for the same organization that my buddy Dave Folwell ran for a few months back, "Hope For the Warriors". If you are able, please take the time to go to his site and consider donating to this worthy cause. Thanks.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Super Sunday

Well, its Super Bowl Sunday. I'm sitting around with Jeff Muir, and we just realized that exactly one year ago we were camping out in a recreation tent in Camp Fallujah at 3 am waiting for last year's Super Bowl to start. Seems like ages ago. Needless to say, I will appreciate all the chips and salsa and occasional cold beer this year much more than in years past after seeing how miserable I was watching the last one.

That being said, I guess I'm going for the Patriots today. Not because I like them, because if there were any way that both teams could catastrophically lose, I'd take that route. Instead it is because I think Eli Manning should get put over his daddy's knee and spanked more than he should win a Super Bowl ring. This has nothing to do with him outplaying Brett Favre two weeks ago either by the way.