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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, October 30, 2008

Schedule of Events

My buddy Joe from LA has recently informed of my schedule of events for this weekend, my first in California. This is a combination of what he is planning and the way I see it going down...

Friday-
3:30 pm- Arrive in Hermosa
3:35- Joe and I have heated discussion on why the Badgers suck and the Packers aren't undefeated.
3:36- Joe asks why I came home if the war isn't over/why didn't I finish it/ calls me weak.
3:40- at happy hour meeting the whole crew to catch up over drinks.
7:00- Halloween party with Lauren Beattie and friends
9:30- head to the bars.
10:30- realize that I haven't drank in 7 months and I am in the company of true professionals.
10:31- determine to press on anyway.
11:00- get placed in cab by friends and sent home.

Saturday-
8 am- wake up to Joe cracking a beer in my face and asking me if I want my bloody mary ridiculous or insane
8:04- Joe scraps Bloody Mary plan and instead serves famous 'Jet Fuel' margaritas.
9:00- Badgers Kick off (the next 3 hours will determine my mood for the next 48 hours)
12:00- Hard to say, I could be inconsolable at this point.
12:15- get on a party bus and head to USC for the Homecoming tailgate.
12:30- arrive and realize that there are NO good looking girls that attend USC
12:34- beer bong
12:37- flip cup tourney
12:40- beer bong
12:45- repeat sequence
3:00- attend Homecoming game
9:00- snap out of Miller Lite induced haze and realize that there is an entire night of partying left to be done.
10:00- get dragged to some bar of someone else's choice for the evening.
10:03- Joe buys first of many Jaeger Bombs that I am going to regret.
2:00 am- forget where I live/ fall asleep on curb

Sunday
9:00 am- Joe starts up blender and asks me how many ounces of tequila I would like in my Jet Fuel margarita.
9:05- Joe demands I don a Packers jersey, I regret to inform him my Aaron Kampman #74 is still in storage.
9:06- Joe flips out, tells me I'm not dedicated to the cause, threatens to kill me if the Packers lose due to my negligence.
9:08- Mike, Joe's brother, arrives. Attempts to diffuse the decision until he comes to the same conclusion as Joe, that I REALLY could influence the outcome of the game.
9:10- Mike and Joe mutually agree that for some reason Eli Manning will be blamed for any poor play.
10:00- Kickoff, things get intense. I keep my mouth shut for duration. At least one remote is thrown, various death threats are issued.

At some point after a Packers' victory I make the long, depressing drive back to 29 Palms.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My sister Meghan is feeling left out. You know, on the outside looking in. Not part of the fam. Missing out on all the fun we're having. Detached. Lonely. I got this email from her.

Leila and I are feeling a little left out so we want some love on the blog! :) The one of her by herself is her looking out the window waiting for you to come home..doesn't she make your heart melt?! :) haha


These pics are of her with her new puppy, Leila, a husky/golden retriever mix.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

video





Home, Sweet Home

Well, after a 31 hour ordeal getting from Kyrgyzstan to 29 Palms, I am currently sitting in Palm Springs with my parents and my older sister Sarah.

It's hard to put into words how good it feels to be back in the States. Coming home this time around was a lot different then coming back from Iraq. I'm not sure if I just fooled myself into thinking I'm some kind of grizzled war vet, but it just seemed like another trip. About the only time I really came close to emotional during the return happened as we were pulling out of March Air Force base and were greeted on the road by about a dozen of the "Patriot Riders". That these guys would brave the cold and wait for us at 3 am just so they could escort us 2 hours back to 29 Palms on their motorcycles really touched me.

For right now I'm just going to relax and catch up with my parents and Sarah. Meghan couldn't make it down because she's a big girl now with a big girl job (meaning she's a teacher and has parent-teacher conferences this week). I'm going to put up some pictures from Victory Field, and maybe a video or two of my mom...doing the same thing she did last year.

I wish I could have had more access to the internet on this deployment. I'm not sure I still would have posted things that were going on with our operations as we were working, the stakes were a little higher this time around, but I certainly would have liked to have answered everyone's emails better. What I plan on doing is posting various pictures up a couple at a time, with whatever story may be behind it, that way I can kind of walk people through the way things were out there. I don't know where I'll even start, but there should be some good stuff coming shortly. In the meantime, I owe everyone of you a sincere thank you for all the love and support that you have showed me and my fellow teammates over the past 7 months. Your graciousness and charity are truly appreciated. Thank you so much.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Marine Corps Marathon

Many of you who followed this site last year remember my good friend Dave Folwell running in the Marine Corps Marathon and raising money for the Wounded Warriors Foundation. He ran in honor of some mutual friends that we had who were hurt last year, and your generous donations helped him blast past his modest goal of $1,000 all the way to over $5,000.



Well, he's at it again. I wish I could have had more time to stump for him this year, but I just got the email (been a little cut off lately...). If you could please help us out, it would be amazing. Unfortunately it's even more personal this year, as many, many more warriors of 2/7 have been wounded in the past 7 months of fighting against the Taliban.

Link: (forgot this one yesterday...kinda important)
http://www.active.com/donate/TH4WMCM2008/DFolwel

Anything and everything makes a difference. Thank you sincerely.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's Sunday morning and I just checked the college football scores.

I have decided to stay in Afghanistan. The Badgers have given me nothing to come back to.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Update

Still living the POG dream out here in Afghanistan. I haven't been able to post any pictures up because the server doesn't like to cooperate with this website, but as soon as I get back Stateside, I'll load more pictures than anyone is willing to see.

We've really just been wasting our time working out (inside, and not with paint cans full of cement...), and eating (inside, and not with meals manufactured when I was playing with GI Joes). Like I mentioned before, the server on camp restricts a lot of what we can do on the internet, but I spend most of my time on here researching grad school and pirate hunting ventures. A guys gotta earn a living right?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Done

Just thought I'd let all my family and friends know that I am done with my tour in Afghanistan. I'm currently sitting around a camp that feels like its the safest place on earth, impatiently waiting for my flight back to the States.

I want to thank everyone for all the support that you have given myself and my teammates in the past few months, all the packages and emails (most of which I am just now reading) are sincerely appreciated.

Not exactly sure when I will actually reach the States, but I am hoping that it is in time to attend a Wisconsin football game. I need to find a flight and a ticket, but I'm not sure the latter will be hard with the way they have decided to play this year...

Thanks again for every thing.

Jake

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Message From Jake

I just talked to Jake and he is well as well as the other Marines in his outfit. He suggested I give everyone the heads up NOT TO SEND ANY MORE PACKAGES. Anything on the way is fine.

This of course is good news since it is an indication that the end of the tour is near. The cynic in me also thinks it is an indictment of the mail service to the troops, but Jake's AO is so remote, ammo and food are more important.

Personally, I want to thank all of you who have sent Badgermom and me emails of support.

Don't be surprised if the Jarhead from Bettendorf is able do some of his own updates on this blog in the near future.

Badgerdad