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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.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Random Notes

  • Congrats to the former Badgers selected in this year's NFL draft- Matt Shaughnessy, DeAndre Levy, Kraig Urbik and Travis Beckum. Makes me feel old watching Kraig get drafted. He came in my senior year and I just remember him as the baby-faced, roly-poly kid. Well, he's still baby-faced (as am I, I suppose) but he's freakishly big now, obviously big enough to get selected by the Steelers. Shaughnessy, while I never played with him, is a great guy. He always came up to me in the locker room when I would go back and shake my hand and thank me for joining the Marines, he said that if his football career didn't work out it was something he was considering himself. Always good to see the good guys succeed.
  • Speaking of feeling old, I turned 26 today, which means I am officially closer to 30 than I am to 20, which is kind of scary. I keep getting older but I still haven't grown up...maybe that will come when I hit the 3-0. At 20 I would have thought the only way I'd be sharing a small room with 2 other grown men at 26 was if I were in prison. Well 20 year old Jake, you're not in prison, you're in the Marines.
  • YouTube yanked our 2/7 SS Platoon video off their site, along with about every other video on there worth watching, so I'm gonna try and post it up on here in a week or two...
  • I'm FINALLY getting all my screwed up joints/appendages looked at and documented by the Marines. Talk about a process. I show up on Tuesday for BAS sick call, "I'd like to have my foot looked at"..."sorry, we only look at chronic injuries on Thursdays, come back then." Show up Thursday, and BAS is PACKED with all these pog's limping around. Why? Because there was a battalion run the next day, and they were all trying to get a doctor's note to scam out of it. Wow, way to go Marines, you motivate me. Anyway, finally get seen by a Dr., only to have him look at my foot, curse under his breath, ask what the hell happened, and tell me, "Gee Corporal, I don't think there's anything we can do for you." To which I responded, "Gee Sir, do you think you could send me to a doctor that knows something about feet?" I finally beat an appointment with a podiatrist out of him. I can't wait for government run healthcare to touch everyone... it'll totally change your opinion on its validity.
  • As of yesterday, I was exactly 6 months away from being a civilian.
  • As of today, I still have zero idea what I'm going to do for 10 months while I wait to go to grad school in 2010... Ideas on the table- bartend, substitute teach, hunt pirates, collect unemployment (not), try to catch on as a precision firearms instructor, travel around the world (absolutely), write a book, attend numerous Badger games...


  1. Happy Birthday! Trust me, someday you will look back at this time of your life and think, "Gee I was just a baby."

  2. Happy Birthday, you great big beautiful Marine, you!!

    ... and ditto what Bag Blog said...

  3. Happy Birthday. As far as turning 26, you are "A" not old, and "B" just think about everything that you have accomplished. You can do anything you want. I think you should write a book, you are an amazing writer. Just enjoy the time off and I am sure the door will open!

  4. Happy Birthday! I hope that you had a wonderful day. Thank you so much for all your sacrifices for our country!!

  5. "Ideas on the table- bartend, substitute teach, hunt pirates, collect unemployment (not), try to catch on as a precision firearms instructor, travel around the world (absolutely), write a book, attend numerous Badger games..."

    How about traveling the world in a private yacht while instructing the crew on precision firearm use so you can engage pirates so that you can gain the material necessary to write a doctrine book on how to sail the world and kill pirates?

    And, of course, take football season off.

  6. You are on the fast track. Get the book out of the way while the memories are still fresh. Why do you think u-tube pulled your vid?

  7. Happy Birthday Jake!

    And a big DITTO on the government health care!

  8. Happy Birthday Jake!

    The way you write, a book is definitely a GREAT idea!

  9. Happy Birthday Jake!!! I'll join the "draft Jake to write a book idea!" But then, the pirate-hunting-yacht-sailor idea rings a bell, too. What ever you do, I'm sure you'll do it well.....

  10. I agree with the two posts regarding writing a book. You're a good writer and should exploit it while you have the time.

    Concentrate on the personal relationships developed while on the line i.e. "Sea Stories" mixed in with the operational components of the patrol and you could have a best seller.

    Also, do make sure you do get EVERYTHING documented. Trust me, the V.A. is good but it is all about hurry up and wait which as you pointed out is exactly what universal healthcare will be like.

  11. Happy Birthday! I turn 26 in June and am feeling the same way (minus prison and the Marines, of course!). I keep telling my just-turned-23 year old husband that he'll start feeling it soon! He doesn't believe me...

  12. Happy birthday, of course. Now that you've broken the 25 age limit, you have to start putting real thought into getting old someday.

    The "Sea Story" format for your book sounds like a very good idea. You do have a sense of humor and such a format would allow you to play that to your heart's desire. And, it would be a rather unique offering among those books produced on the current war.

    If you haven't yet, I'd suggest you get a hold of some of Gene Duncan's (Major USMC ret) books. Green Side Out, Brown Side Out, Run in Circles, Scream and Shout. I'll bet a week's beer ration that you'll find a kindred spirit in them.

  13. "Marine Sea Stories"

    Bet you sell lots of them. Keep it real.

  14. Another book format you might enjoy writing would be in the Lions vs lambs theme.

    Pogue/REMFs vs Grunts.

  15. Think a book about your personal experiences in HS football, NCAA Div 1A football and the Marines will sell. You could title it, Jake's Life. Your golden 12 years of life.