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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, January 22, 2009

Our Numbers Swell

This morning I woke up, not exactly at reveille, but before noon, and stepped out onto the catwalk outside my barracks room door. Something was different, but I couldn't quite place it. That's when I put it all together- the cleanly swept catwalk, the slight glean of the concrete, the aromatic tickle of Pine-Sol in my nose.

I love the smell of Pine-Sol in the morning.

Pine-Sol in the morning means there are boots on board, dutifully sweeping and mopping the catwalk, picking up cigarette butts, removing chewed gum from railings, and scampering out of the way. Apparently 2/7 received a boot drop of about 250 new Marines (a boot is a Marine fresh out of boot camp and the school of infantry). Now, I don't have to deal with boots on a professional basis, none of them come to the sniper platoon, but I do reap the benefits of having them on board. Benefits like a citrusy smelling front door.

Tomorrow we have a battalion hike. Supposedly about 6 or 7 miles. I'm interested to see how this turns out. Apparently the sniper platoon will be out front setting the pace (sucks for the battalion). What I really want to see is all the 'salty' vets who are going to fall out of the hump because all they did for their month of leave was drink and eat Taco Bell. The boots, on the other hand, just graduated SOI, and had their 20 miler not too long ago. I remember my first long hump in the fleet, a 16 miler with full combat load and packs. At the end, I, the boot, was carrying 3 rifles, 2 of which belonged to 'senior' team leaders. It was my second week in the fleet, and after that I had one of their jobs. We'll see who the boots are tomorrow.


  1. The smell of Pine Sol always brings back childhood memories of my dad mopping the laundry-mat that we owned when I was a kid - early in the morning with the sun streaming in the windows and steam rising off the washers and the smell of Pine Sol - good stuff!

  2. and don't forget to mention that you're not hiking in the latest comfy Merrell or Northface boots off the shelft at REI! LOL... that is another thing that has always impressed me about you soldiers, the foot pain you must endure... argh!