Friday, August 05, 2005

Brief Uncertainty

During bad or uncertain times, time itself doesn’t stand still or slow down, it’s more like it spreads out, like each minute has its own personality and some of those personalities really want you to get to know them. That happened with me today, probably with a few of us.

We were out in the city, the filth evident in the open sewage flowing into the streets, creating small puddles and ponds of shit water. Trash, wet decaying trash, with vehicle parts thrown in, form little islands in these puddles. It’s not uncommon to see dogs, cats, and even cattle feasting on these piles of filth and lapping up the black liquid surrounding them. It was just another hot day in the cradle of this uncivilized world. A couple of trucks full of Iraqi soldiers were with us as well, putting a local face on this global war. We'd been out about three hours with no contact, a somewhat noteworthy achievement given the experiences of the past week or so.

After sitting in one place for a while, letting the IA soldiers search the area and pass out some leaflets, we began to move again. The humvee I was gunning in brought up the rear, with me facing our six, looking back over the area from which we came. I was busy moving around in my seat, looking left and right and to our rear, smelling the black shit water and trash, scanning windows and rooftops, trying to consume as much water as the amount that was quickly leaving my body, and BOOM!

The sound of the explosion doesn’t affect me so much as the thought of what produced it. It was another IED, and a cloud of smoke and dust began rising over some buildings around the corner.

I immediately realized that some of our humvees were around that corner, the same corner from which the smoke cloud now floated over like some evil spirit. That's when time started spreading out, forcing me to come to know it intimately. I needed a ticket for the train that would take me to the next station, the next minute, to get back to the present that was leaving me behind. The radio became my ticket.

"Red 3, this is Red 4 over" "This is Red 3" "Is everyone okay?" Short pause, "Roger, it was in front of us, over" I knew there was another humvee in front of Red 3. Our platoon sergeant called over the radio again, "Red 2, this is Red 4, is everyone okay?" Silence. I've now stopped chewing my gum. Silence. Silence. "Red 2, this is Red 4, is everyone okay?" Silence. I do a mental list of who all was in that humvee. Sgt. B, Ray, Farrell, Rob, and Hogan. Ray is going home on leave soon to see his wife. They’re going on a cruise somewhere in the Caribbean. Silence. Before we left, Rob and I were acting like we were getting pumped up by the loud music coming from someone’s computer. It was ACDC, and everyone in our room was mockingly throwing fists in the air like we were about to run out onto the field before the biggest game of our life. Someone joked that the terrorists were probably listening to some music as well, preparing themselves to meet us on the battlefield. Silence. This minute is spreading thin. I borrowed a movie from Hogan the other day and need to return it. Silence. Farrell couldn’t stop smiling the other day after getting a letter from a girl back home. Silence. Sgt. B has a son that looks just like him.

I'm now looking down at the radio as if looking at it will make them answer. Answer the damn radio. Out of the corner of my eye I can see little beads of sweat running down the cheek of Sgt. P. "Red 2, this is Red 4, is everyone okay?" Still staring at the radio, the run down, slum-like buildings, trash, car parts, car frames, cats, dogs, goats, people, shit smell, sewage puddles, heat, and the sun no longer exist, only this green radio that looks like a brick.

In his high pitched, one of a kind, can only be Sgt. B voice, Sgt. B brings the little brick to life. "This is Red 2, roger, we're fine, the IA truck took most of the blast!" My train has safely reached the next station and I’m reunited with the present. I turn away from the radio and continue looking back to our rear, my mouth again chewing the spearmint gum. I became aware of the hot sun, the shit smell, and the feasting felines lapping up sewage water.

The radio speaks again, but I barely hear it, something about a medevac for some of the IA soldiers. I later felt bad for my relief in knowing that it wasn't any of our guys that got hurt. It's not that I don't care about the Iraqi soldiers, I do, but they aren't family. Three or four of them got loaded on the back of the meat wagon, and our humvee and another escorted them back to our outpost. Able to stand up now that we were back in a safe area, with no threat of snipers, I could see the wounded getting out of the back of the truck. The most serious, the one with a bandage over his head, got off the truck without any help and walked inside with the others. All of them are walking wounded, and I again feel relieved, just not as relieved as I did before. The fact that no one was seriously injured is no mystery to me. I attribute it to God’s presence and protection, even on these shitty streets.


161 Comments:

Anonymous Joan & Tom & Max said...

It is hard to know what to say after reading this, our hearts and paryers are with you and all Americans over there all of the time. Wish there was a majic wand to make all of your hell to go away. God Bless you and Thank-You for being there.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Michael, thank you! I keep praying for you and all who are with you. Keep posting because we all worry about you! God bless! A Mom in America

8:52 PM  
Blogger Edward said...

Hi Michael,
Just as you, we out here get worried when there is silence. Your experiencing different levels of relief is very human. You are more impacted by the thought of losing those with whom you are more closely tied.

Really glad that you were able to report that all came out of that trap alive and the wounded were able to walk away.

Reports indicate that you are part of an operation to clean out the ratlines on both sides of the rivers all the way to Syrian border.

May He wrap his wings of protection around you and all your buddies.

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Char said...

I can repeat what the others have said. Thank God you are all okay and may you all be home soon.

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Janie said...

Through the medium of words...you captured my whole being until you released me with saying your Soldiers were ok.

Prayers for you and your fellow Soldiers.

1:41 AM  
Blogger CJ said...

Good to see you again! I missed your writing. I'm glad it was just moving, etc. I was concerned. As for this post today, Thank God you are all ok. I was holding my breath while reading! You're in my prayers. God continue to keep you safe. If I had an addy I sure would send you some food packages!!!! We love you guys!!!!

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Soldier, ditto on the remarks
made already. If you ever are in the San Francisco bay area. I'll get you tickets to whatever concert
you choose.
vicgilroy

2:39 AM  
Anonymous mamaworecombatboots said...

Dear Michael,

This too, shall pass. God bless you and keep you all. You are in our prayers. Keep your head down young man, and when your spirit is down, look up.

2:39 AM  
Blogger Chevy Rose said...

I keep telling everyone there are thousands of guardian angels also on duty over there. Keep yours close, please.

7:46 AM  
Blogger DRH said...

Thank you so much.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Dinah Lord said...

God bless you. Please know that you are all in our prayers.

12:00 PM  
Blogger devildog6771 said...

All I can say besides what has already been said is I couldn't have said it. It was all too stunning. Thank you for letting us know you are ok. I will ay eatra prayers tonight. God Bless you Michael. Take care and get those B's e they hurt another sole!

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha you think thats bad try sadir city. Please stop with the exaggerated stories my parents are buying into that shit. Come stay around sadir for awhile then we can talk....3-15 inf soldier

3:43 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Words escape me... so this is all i can offer...

{{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}}}

Hang in there..we luv y'all and are praying for you, always.

{{{{{{{{{{{{MORE HUGS}}}}}}}}}}}}

11:04 PM  
Anonymous "Desolation Angel" said...

Michael,
Your blog is an inspiration. I am relieved to know you guys are were unharmed and the injured walked away. I am moved by your ability to CORRECTLY inform the public. As for the "fellow soldier's" comment about "this exagerated story", maybe he should be informed that this war is not a competition to compare which soldier sees more intense fighting but an effort to give the Iraqi people a better life. Maybe Sadir City is intense but obviously Ramadi is no picnic either- a soldier's concern for his brothers should never be criticized- I wish the 3-15 inf soldier had your heart and attitude toward this war and life in general. You just keep writing- you are a great writer and a great soldier. You have my profound respect. I pray that God will continue to guide your heart and protect you and your brothers.

2:30 AM  
Anonymous P Campbell said...

Glad to read that you're all O.K. Keep safe and God bless you all.

6:29 PM  
Blogger DayKay said...

I've thought all afternoon about what to say about this incredible post - I was spellbound, mesmerized, and tears were falling as I read, afraid to get to the next line with no answer from Red 2. The profound relief I felt was, I know, only a fraction of what the men on the front line felt, and for this, I can only say THANK YOU for being the heros that you are to be there in my stead, to fight in my place, to have time stop for you instead of me. Thank you!

11:54 PM  
Anonymous membrain said...

Michael, words elude me. A remarkable account. Godspeed

2:51 PM  
Blogger Princess Steph said...

excellent post dear.... thanks so much.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous JM said...

Michael, you're an awesome writer. Your descriptions are painfully vivid. I pray for all of you every day. God bless you and thank you for serving.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Beth said...

one word...wow

God bless

10:35 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

The love of God is there, soldier, as strong and as powerful as the words you've written.

It is the driving force behind what is going on over there right now. It is the most fundamental force that drives human actions. The love of God is in the removal of an evil man from power, your struggle to bring freedom to a people you have no visible connection to, your deep concern for your buddies, even your guilt over not feeling the same for the Iraqi soldiers.

God is there, He's watching, and what you guys are doing is right.

Jeff Corkern

11:37 PM  
Blogger Medic's Wife in Paradise said...

Michael, you are an excellent writer!! And thank GOD you and your buddies stayed safe. Now that I've found your blog, I'll continue to check in. Stay safe!!

7:47 PM  
Blogger -vee- said...

michael, while i echo all of the sentiments previously posted i thought that it needed to be said that this is one of the most beautifully written and gripping posts that i have ever read. thank you

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank-You so much for letting us know what is going on over there..the media here doesn't seem to care to report much about the war. If I just woke out of a coma it would be a few days before I even realized that this is a country at war. Thank-You for all you do, all soldiers are American Heros. God bless you.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Lauren said...

I couldn't breathe while reading your story. I had that same sick feeling as I watched my fiance get on the bus to deploy. Please be safe and continue to take care of one another. You are all in my prayers.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Ema~student studying International Relations said...

wow...what can I say. I read your blog twice. I'm still letting it all sink in. Unfortuntely, we all can't relate to what you guys over there are going through...but it's individuals like you who try and make us understand what it's really like. Your blog is so vivid in details, that we have a pretty clear picture. Keep your head up, and know that your country supports you! Our prayers and thoughts....are with you. May God be with you and keep you safe! *He has thus far.....

11:55 AM  
Blogger bigpaul said...

reading your recent posting had me holding my breath. keep up the good fight. as a army veteran everytime i hear of a death or injury it brings pain to me. come home safely.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous an aunt in alabama said...

Your account brought tears to my eyes.
I have a nephew who is over there and sometimes during the night when I wake up, he and all of you in harm's way, are prayed for during that time and many other times during the day. I appreciate so much what you guys and girls are doing.You all are heroes in my opinion!

I tell my kids that a real hero isn't someone playing a sport making a ridiculous amount of money, nor is it some guy who can't sing who is grabbing at his crotch, a hero is someone who gives up the comforts of home, to reach out and help others. YOU GUYS ARE HEROES. God bless you and keep up the good work!

9:44 PM  
Anonymous GWTPN said...

You will always be my hero, Michael. One of the only few. Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us.

8:51 AM  
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7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

keeping in mind that thousands of IEDs are found/detonated all over Iraq and that my unit alone gets about 50 or so a month. we've had 0 casualties from them. we are better prepared for these threats than most people think.

12:21 AM  
Blogger Suezette said...

Your account on this experience is very well written. I held my breath while reading,and was caught off guard when tears began to fall. Keep yourself safe-My prayers are with you and all of our soldiers. Come home safe.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Jeremiah said...

I've been reading through military blogs today. You may be interested in my blog on insurgency warfare and the war in Iraq, the WOT and other things. I've got a rather long article on there about platter charges.

http://organicwarfare.blogspot.com

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found your blog today while browsing on the internet and am very impressed. You are one hell of a writer- lucid, vivid, gripping prose- and I hope you will one day publish a book about your Iraq experiences.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny One our convoys got hit with an IED. The last vehicle was a bradley messed that thing up. No one got hurt. But all thier gear was burned up. Despite it all there was a Dave chappelle season 2 dvd. It came out only slightly burned and dvds were fine haha
Cmbt Engneer

4:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I appreciate the insight. I wish everyone could write detailed stories like that. Now I know what I have to look forward to in April. Thanks.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Michael, the Constitution is drafted. YOU did that. Yup, that was Michael that made it so this could happen. That critter is written with your sweat, tears, work and the blood of those who have fallen! God bless you Michael! They have a chance now.
-A Mom in America

2:18 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Hi Michael, I hate the media! I really do!! What was initally reported as an intact document with 2 issues that were being presented to the assembly to decide has now turned into "No Constitution for Iraq...Charter Extended". Gotta love it. The assembly did vote "unanimously" for the extension. "Unanimously" is good. It means that they didn't ditch the document and they didn't dissolve the Parliment. We can wait a week! Keep it up kid! God bless! -A Mom in America

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Army Father said...

Michael, Thank you for your service to our Nation and the People of Iraq. My son is in Sadr and his mood has also darken. I miss your writings but understand you a busy. I pray daily for all of you. Stay safe.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

God bless you, Michael. Goodnight!

8:31 PM  
Blogger howarde said...

This long silence has many of us concerned. Even a quick line would help, as many people obviously follow your Blog, and they hear the whine of bullets when you do.

Take care. Our prayers are with you.

2:20 AM  
Blogger Pebble said...

~ On a Wing & a Prayer ~

2:55 AM  
Anonymous Carl Leslie said...

I have only a brief comment after reading that chilling account, "God Bless You!" I just wish some of these screwball war protesters could read that vivid description of the fighting going on there, but then insane people can't reason so it would be a waste of time for them. Take care and kick some rag head butt for me, please!

3:07 AM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Hey Michael, Just stopping in to say good morning. Hope all is well with you! God bless and thank you! -A Mom in America

6:42 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Michael, I love your site. You ahve a definite future as a writer when you get out of there. Your stories brought back alot of memories for me, some bad, some good. I spent 15 months inside and around Baghdad at the beginning when you were there with 3rd ID the first time. I was with the 1st Armored Division.

3:31 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Hi Michael,

Thank you and be safe tonight! God bless! -A Mom in America

8:28 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

6:57 AM  
Blogger momsgoneloony said...

Thank you so much for your blog. And thank you so much for believing in this country so much you are willing to fight to defend it. Never feel you are not appreciated, thank you for keeping this world safer for my 3 children. On another note, do you have any soldiers or yourself that do not get a lot of mail? Or who would be interested in becoming a 9 year old little boy's penpal? He really wants to write to a soldier over there, you guys(and girls) are the closest thing to heroes that he's ever known. He told me that y'all were better than Superman and Batman combined, and coming from a 9 year old, that's a phenomenal hero. I think you are better than those caped guys with tights also.

10:14 AM  
Blogger justme88 said...

Thank you for what you and those like you sacrifice for our country. Stay Safe

2:11 PM  
Blogger devildog6771 said...

Michael, I know that during this operation, you probably can't do much writing, so I,m going to post here anyway in hopes that if you get a chance to read you will feel the full force of love and support from all of us back at home. We stand behind you every step of the way as you fight tokeep those cowards out of Iraq.

From what I pick up here and there, it seems you all are quite busy, but having an impact. Though to you it probably seems like same thing day in and day out. But, know this, you are making a difference.

I pray for you all throughout every day that God will be with you and keep you safe and that he will strengthen your spirit also. I know you guys and gals have to feel at times like you are all out there alone. Believe this, you are not alone. Not only is God with you, but milliopns of Americans are also with you in spirit, every step, every IED, every foreign intruder, every day and every night.

Just as your efforts to protect us never falter, neither does our thanks and support for all of what you are all enduring in this fight.

The media may not report the war as they should but what they don't print says more than what they do print. Weighing the two and comparing notes, you are all having one hell of an impact on the enemy. You havew their butts scramblong. I can alsmoist see a road map of your efforts.

Keep up the good work. You are succeeding, though you may not be able to see it in the heart of the battle.

Those guys on the 3-15 inf are also having an effect.

Don't lose faith or hope. Depend on the dtrengths of each other. And embrace those Iraqi soldiers as they are beginning to piock up on your continual determination and spirit.

Against amazing odds you guys and gals have done the impossible. You have awakened trhe "Lion in the Desert" and he is now determined to succeed. This alone is an amazing feat.

Even the Sunni have begun to join in the spirit of this war to defeat the foreign fighters and insurgents. They are now fighting them too. Sistani has put out the word that even though the Al-Qaida has threatened to kill anyone who supports and votes for the ratification of the new Constitution, they are to start being as much a part of the process as the Sh'ites.

What you guys are doing has made the enemy desperate and they are lashing ouit in all directions now trying to garner support by the use of fear. The old regime is desperately trying to garner more following.

But as these elements scramble to stop the effects of the loss of momentum to their efforts, they are only making the Iraqi begin to unite more and more every day behind the banner of freedom, and Democracy.

The 82nd has been activated and will be providing additional support. The enemy is getting desperate.

Don't give up. You are beginning to turn the corner. Don't believe any of the negative press.

Where the press is concerned, people at home are beginni g to ask questions and insist on answers about their coverage. The heag guy at AP is getting it from all sides. People are demanding to know why the only news we get if from the hotels of Bagdhad and the safety of the green zone.

Bloggers are demanding answers from the press. Americans are sending emails and demanding answers. Now even newspapers that rely on AP for their input are insisting on answers due to reader insistance.

Something has made the Americam publoc start speaking out in mass in support of you guys and the war. Aty the rate this movement is ging the protestors and nut cases are being drowned out. I thiknk the American conscienciousness has finally realized this is not another Vietnam. We are not just sending troops into a forign land to help in a civil war. They are beginning to realize this is a world war and we are in it to the end or else.

All I can say is it is about damn time.

You guys over there did this. Your unfailing efforts, your courage, your honor to god, duty, and country. You guys have awakened the American Eagle and he is screaming from the roof tops in support of the troops. God bless you all. Come home safe. Thank you all.

Knnow this too. When you guys and gals come home, it will not be to screaming protestors. It wioll be to the shouting drones of millions of Americans cheering in the streets at all our returning troops forna job well done. God B;less America. God bless the "AMERICAN SOLDIER."

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Joan said...

There are countless people at home that are SO PRROUD of all of the men and women over there! Most of us do not listen to or watch the mainstream media anymore, at least not without getting fourious with them.
You make us feel so much pride in being an American and so blessed.

What you are doing is so important, that cannot be stressed enough, these terriost have gone unchecked for to many decades. And your kicking butt!

Saying Thank-You does not seem like enough to say, there really aren't words that express our pride and thanks.

Stay Strong, Be Proud and God Bless You.

7:34 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Wow, what a powerfully moving post.... How terrifying for you! {{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}} I'm thankful they were ok. I'm keeping all of y'all in my prayers and thoughts ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you so very much for all y'all do ~ we are really proud of you!

8:09 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good night, Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

9:33 PM  
Anonymous A worried grandmom said...

Michael you stay safe. I check your site often and I was worried when I seen you have not posted, I was happy to see your post. Not happy about the things that are going on over there. My prayers are with you guys everyday.
Hugs, to you all, Kathy g-mom

9:37 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

9:34 AM  
Blogger bozette said...

You are doing a GREAT job. Thank You Soooooooooooo Much. You don't know how much it means to us back home. I have a cousin who leaves to Fort Leonard Wood for boot camp next week. He will be training for a Combat Engineer. Whatever that means. We are very Proud Of Your Services. Agian THANK YOU

12:07 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good night, Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

8:25 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless!

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Judi Elliott said...

Hi Michael,

I was surfing the net last night and ran across your blog. I've really enjoyed reading your war journal. Especially, the parts about the Iraqi children, and I laughed my butt off when I read your entry about the 'Hillbilly Armor'. Thank you so much for sharing...and a heartfelt Thank You to you and your family for your brave and noble service to our country!

God bless you, your family and your brothers.

Sincerely,
The Elliott Family
Chester, Virginia

The task ahead is never as great as the power behind you.

5:34 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Hello there, Kat here in GA again. Yep...gettin awful worried about you ~ hope you are ok! Sending lots of thoughts and prayers your way... hang in there!!!!

6:33 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good night, Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Anna said...

Hmm..I am getting worried about you Michael...Why haven't we heard from him in so long..Hope you are OK..hang in there, you are very much loved and cared for...Each day that goes by we are prouder and prouder of our military in afghanistan and iraq.

4:51 AM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless!

7:34 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Hello there... Sunday night here, early monday a.m. there... Had a "heat wave" over here in Atlanta today ~ the "actual" temperature was 97, but with teh "heat index" it supposedly felt like 115 or so ~ or so the weather guys said! Anyway, I know that's still nothing compared to what y'all go thru out there...but it sure did make me think of y'all EVEN MORE today.

Hang in there... we are all praying for you and thinking of you all the time. Hope you are safe!

9:15 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Goodnight Michael. Thank you and God bless! Hey, aren't you do for a smiley face or something pretty soon? God bless! -A Mom in America

9:36 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless! Hope to hear from you soon!

-A Mom in America

7:32 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Well, another Monday here in Atlanta... ick, LOL!!! My very last day of Freedom before the fall semester starts at college...hereafter I'm gonna be SWAMPED between work and kids and school and homework...ugh...HOWEVER, I will be faithfully checking all my milblogs daily, as I have for the past year! :-)

Hang in there ~ we appreciate all you do, and are real proud of you. :-)

12:56 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Thank you, Michael. Good night and God bless! -A Mom in America

9:05 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Ditto to what "mom" said above! :-) We appreciate you!

Tonight is my first night back in college after a long 4-month break... yikes! LOL Back into super-sleep-deprived college student mode, LOL!

Hang in there ~ you're in our prayers!

8:34 AM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Michael,
Have you gone home to meet your son yet. You mentioned him back in the spring....does he look like you? Give us an update....God bless you and your family!

10:44 AM  
Blogger Al's Girl said...

Thank you so much for the brief update - I'm just sorry that things are still 'hot' for you. I'm glad that no one was killed - and my prayers are with the wounded IA soldiers. In war, there is no plumbline by which your emotions should be measured - your relief in the moment is not a reflection of who you are as a person.

Keep the entries coming!

12:46 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Thank you Michael! God bless and good night! -A Mom in America

8:21 PM  
Anonymous MissBirdlegs in AL said...

Still checkin' in to see if you've posted. We're probably just a bunch of worrywarts, but we'd like to be sure you're okay. Appreciate all you do - day in & day out. Stay as safe as you can & we'll keep storming Heaven's Gates with prayers.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Greetings from GA....just dropping by to let you know you are VERY much prayed for & thought of!!! {{{hugs}}}

Survived my first night of classes ok...but then again, the first night is always easy, just going over the course requirements and rules, yadda yadda yadda... the real "fun" begins tomorrow night when we REALLy get to work...*sigh*

Hang in there! We appreciate you & are real proud ofyou!

11:13 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

6:18 AM  
Anonymous Sutcliffe said...

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOLLOWS:

Remember "Gulf War syndrome" from the first Persian Gulf War? I found out what it is: depleted uranium poisoning. See, the Department of Defense still claims it's harmless and uses it now more than ever, in Abrams tank armor, in tank gun rounds, in 30mm ammunition fired by A-10 'Warthogs' and a myriad of other uses I'm not privy to. Is it used in the ammunition for the 25mm Bushmaster chain gun in the Bradleys and Marine LAV-25s? I don't know; if I had to guess I'd say it probably is. The worst part is when it becomes depleted uranium dust which is floating around in the air all over Iraq; a single particle lodged in your respiratory system is cancer-causing. So far the Dept. of Defense has used over four times more depleted uranium in this war than it did in Gulf War One. Imagine how much worse "Gulf War syndrome" is going to be this time!! So far over 200,000 vets of Gulf War One have filed for disability from being crippled by it and are in various stages of dying miserably. Several thousand have already died from it. It also afflicts their spouses and even causes their babies to be born with grotesque deformities!!
So how about that? The Department of Defense "supports the troops" by first poisoning you all, then denying it knows what's causing the "mystery illness"!! Their callous disregard for the well-being of the troops is breathtakingly despicable. Every soldier, marine, airman and sailor should be thoroughly outraged. Please pass this informatio non to everyone you can.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good night, Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

8:12 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Hello from Georgia! Tonight was the first night of "real" classes ~ had an our of environmental science and then an hour of literature. Or, to put it succictly... Chemistry and Confucius, all in the same night! LOL!

Sending lots of thoughts & prayers your way, as always.
Kat in GA
jeffskat@gmail.com

10:07 PM  
Blogger ShyViolet said...

Thanks for your service. Just wanted to let you know one more person is praying for your safety and that of the others in the military.

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Closing Time
The latest chatter in cyberspace. Closing Time By Darren Everson Posted Thursday, Aug.
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Come and see it some time.

11:27 PM  
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11:48 PM  
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11:55 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. I hope you're okay, Kiddo! Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mate, if ever you have any doubt, let me tell you, you are doing an excellent job over there.

We are very lucky in the West to have the USA with willing military men and leaders to fight these Islamist nutjobs.

Keep safe. Keep your buddies safe. And kill those terrorists - there is no better fate for them. They dont deserve to live.

Mick.
Aussie in London.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good night Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't you glad most of your colleagues in the military voted GOP in 2000? They guys you elected repaid your loyalty by sending you to get shot. Feeling foolish yet?

10:25 PM  
Blogger Candace said...

Michael, you're in my thoughts & prayers. I've been watching to see if you'd put up a new post or acknowledged "Mom in America" and you haven't. I hope you're okay...

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we're continuing to pray for you here. Thanks for your service!

2:43 AM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Julie said...

To the anonymous putz who left the message about being shot since people voted GOP...

Afraid to leave your name? How surprising!

Our soldiers are over there to protect our freedoms, even yours. And to stop something called terrorism.

Since you are obviously uneducated I will explain a little bit to u. A terrorist is someone who would gladly chop your empty little head off. Or he is someone who will joyfully fly a passenger plane into an office building full of innocent people, leaving the surviors to choose between burning alive or jumping 80 stories to there death.

Our soldiers are smart enough to understand that these people need to be stopped and brave (ie: will leave name on message) and unselish heroes because they are doing something about it. They are leaving there loved ones, risking life and limb everyday to make sure people like you can live safely.

You should be ashamed of yoursef, you are the only fool here. Tell Cindy, jane and mr.moore hi.

And to any soldier or family members out there I can say that wus putz does not speak for any America I know, you are doing an incredibly important job, you make us so proud. A million thank-yous.

P.S. anonymous Putz..they are having a sale on burkhas on E-Bay.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Goodnight Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

7:01 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Hello there again! Sending lots of thoughts, prayers and hugs your way. {{{{HUGS}}}} I'm not exaggerating when I say that you are in our prayers and thoughts SEVERAL times a day.

Hang in there ~ we're standing with you in thought, heart, and prayer.

8:23 PM  
Blogger whitebeard said...

You are a friggin' outstanding writer. Keep safe, sir. We need you to get back here and write a book. Your writing ability is awesome.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

7:30 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Well, I gotta agree with "whitebeard" ~ you really are a great writer!

We truly appreciate all you do. Praying for you today! (though where you are, it's already late afternoon/early evening).

Luv & prayers,
Kat in GA and Family
http://crazynightinga.blogspot.com

9:11 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

In church today, my pastor said a special prayer for all of y'all in Iraq.
*hugs*

1:16 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good night, Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

8:54 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Oh boy, I get to be comment number 100!!! :-) See, look at all these comments people have left for you! See how much you are cared about?! W're all here for ya and are keeping you in thought and prayer always!

Have I mentioned that we're also real proud of you?! You are doing the most difficult job in the world, under the most difficult circumstances in the world, and you are fighting for our freedom and safety... and we appreciate you more than you'll ever know!!!

Hang in there...the thoughts and prayers of MANY are with you!!!!

{{{hugs}}}
http://crazynightinga.blogspot.com

11:48 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The american soldiers are criminal invaders. The u.s.army is hypocryte and coward (Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib). The united states is the world shame.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Michael~ we love you and are proud of you! Hang in there!!!

12:55 PM  
Blogger devildog6771 said...

Anonymous, you sir, are an ass. If you really had anything worth hearing you would post your name. Instead you take a cowards way out and hide behind anonymity. How pitiful you really are!

7:22 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

*high fives devildog*
Dear Michael,

"May God Bless you and keep you, and may each night bring you some Peace, and may each dawn bring you some Hope. May you have the strength to share that Peace and foster that Hope, and so may Peace and Hope flourish.

Dear Soldier, although the heat of the day from that fiery sky seems unrelenting, and you think you cannot take another breath without burning, may the cool breeze from a Guardian Angel's Wings touch your cheek, and remind you of our Love.

Dear Soldier, may God's own breath cool your brow, and may you meditate often upon this Surprise.

Dear Soldier, may the searing sun guide your eyes, your ears, and your gut - and peak your Awareness, your Intuition, your Instincts.

Dear Soldier, may the place you are in be the better for your having been there; and may you feel the love and thankfulness of your Nation, like some cool breeze upon your face; every second, every minute, every long hour you are away from us,

Amen."

(author unknown)

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Tom said...

Ditto Devildog..funny how the 2 assholes on this site cannot say their name.

I hope they remember to thank a soldier for the freedom to be ignorant, miserable, hatefilled loosers they are.

9:24 AM  
Blogger devildog6771 said...

Dear Michael, if you can read this I just want you to know that you are always in my prayers. Be safe Michael.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous PeteM said...

Michael stay safe, miss your reflections. Thank you for your service.God speed

9:35 PM  
Blogger ALa said...

Now officially in Michael withdrawal dear!!!

10:37 PM  
Blogger Ranting Republican said...

God bless you Michael! I hope you all come home safe and soon. You're all in my thoughts and prayers every day. I wish you nothing but the best (even on those shitty streets).

Thank you for all you do. You're a great American.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Sherri said...

First off...serious hugs to Julie and Devildog, thank you. Michael you are in so many peoples thoughts and prayers. Just another American wanting you to know that and wanting to say Thank You.

5:34 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Well, another day, another dollar here in ATL!

As always, thinking of you and wishing you the very best..hang in there ~ you are in all our thoughts and prayers!!!!!

{{hugs}}

7:07 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

I saw that. Good night and God bless! Thank you! -A Mom in America

8:26 PM  
Anonymous MissBirdlegs in AL said...

Hi, Michael - Just checkin' again to see how you are. Keepin' you and all you compatriots in my prayers.
Julie & DevilDog - you ROCK! The creeps just seem to lack any thinking ability whatsoever & they don't know the meaning of manners.

11:30 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Hello there, just checkin' in to say hi and hoping you are ok!!!! You are kept very close to our hearts and in our prayers all the time.

10:54 AM  
Blogger exfbonnie said...

d*mn spammers!*shooshooshoo! not here!*

my wishes, blessings and prayers to you Michael and to everyone around you. miss your posts.

12:37 AM  
Blogger devildog6771 said...

Dear Michael, hope you are doing well. You see, I told you we were not going any where. That we would be there for you.

When you can or you are ready to blog again, we will still be here. That's because we're family! So you take all, the time you need!

Our prayers also go to your family and your fellow soldiers.

1:56 AM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

God bless you Michael. Thank you and good morning!

-A Mom in America

7:34 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Devildog said: "...we were not going any where. That we would be there for you.When you can or you are ready to blog again, we will still be here. That's because we're family! So you take all, the time you need! Our prayers also go to your family and your fellow soldiers."

What can i say except for DITTO?! We're all here for you, no matter what.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my first comment, But I have been reading your blog for some time now. I want to thank you for everything you do. Your writing is incrediable. I check in here daily (sometimes serveral times a day)hoping to see a new post from you. I am hoping and praying that you are safe and that you will soon be able to give us an update. My husband just left for Iraq last week. So to read your side of the story, instead of the tv news and newspapers is great. Again, I am praying for your safety, my husbands safety and everyone else that is severing our country. Thank you!
Tracie

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Julie said...

Micheal,

I just read (on the bottom of Fox) that Iraq people are demostrating! I hope you understand how awesome that is. They have that freedom because of you, and that is only the begining. The GWOT is being won, all over the place thanks to people like you. Thank-you a million times over. Our prayers and thoughts are always with you. God Bless

12:01 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

"...They have that freedom because of you..."

YOU, dear hero, have made a DIFFERENCE in their lives, and in all our lives. the world IS a BETTER PLACE because of your willingness to serve.

Said it before, can't say it enough....THANK YOU.
http://crazynightinga.blogspot.com

6:48 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good night, Michael. Thank you and God bless! -A Mom in America

7:37 PM  
Blogger the eldest child said...

Haven't heard from you in awhile...am hoping and praying that your ok. love to you ang

2:23 AM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

God bless you, Michael. Good morning and thank you! -A Mom in America

6:48 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Hello there...it's saturday here in Georgia again. :) Will be spending teh entire day working on homework, o joy. :)

Sending lots of luv & prayers your way! Hang in there....

11:25 AM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Michael, I know. You may get a lot of new hits tonight. I hope so. I hear you, even though you aren't writing. God bless your heart and thank you so much! I'm hoping this works. It's all I can do. I know you know. Keep checking in.

God bless!

A Mom in America

8:43 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

PS. I think by now you know where I am....

Good night!

A Mom in America

8:45 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless!

7:22 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Hello, happy Sunday. :-) At least, I HOPE you are havinga happy sunday. Or at least a decent, less-than-awful sunday. *hugs*

Hang in there....

8:37 AM  
Blogger forgotenecho said...

I am new to your blog...found it in the strangest way. So glad I did though...I do not follow many blogs but know I will be a faithful reader of yours.

Echo

3:49 AM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless!

A Mom in America

9:12 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Hello there! :-) I hope you are ok. As always, you are in our prayers. *hugs*

6:17 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Michael, good night, God bless and thank you!

A Mom in America

7:37 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless!

-A Mom in America

6:47 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

:-) Hey there! Just popping by to say hi, and praying like crazy that you are ok. :-)

9:42 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Hey Michael. Thank you! Good night and God bless!

-A Mom in America

9:48 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless!

-A Mom in America

6:58 AM  
Anonymous Jana Lane said...

Thank you for your crucial and selfless service to our people. Joan. Tom and Max said they wished there were a magic wand to make this horror go away. Unfortunately, there isn't one but there will be an opportunity for us to determine what went horribly wrong and vote people into office who will be responsible for making sure that in the future officials and agencies meet their sworn obligations to "provide for the common defense and promote the common welfare." Take care of yourself.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good night, Michael. Thank you and God bless!

-A Mom in America

8:20 PM  
Anonymous PeteM said...

Jana dont use Michael's Blog for your politics. Gods speed Micheal. Stay safe. Thanks to all troops serving our Nation.God bless you and keep you.

2:12 AM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael! Thank you and God bless!

-A Mom in America

6:08 AM  
Blogger Desultory Girl said...

I have definitely missed your writing. I hope you're doing well. You're in my thoughts.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good night, Michael. Thank you and God bless!

A Mom in America

8:04 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

Hello there! {{{HUGS}}} Here it is, Thursday night... which is almost FRIDAY!!! YAY! :-) Here's to hoping you are ok and hangin' in there... we luv ya!

Praying in ATL,
Kat <><
http://crazynightinga.blogspot.com

10:11 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless!

A Mom in America

6:09 AM  
Blogger devildog6771 said...

Just want you to know you never leave my prayers, Michael. Take care and God Bless!

8:27 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Ditto to Devildog! (Ha ~ say THAT five times fast, LOL!)

*hugs*

1:02 PM  
Anonymous PeteM said...

Michael ,My hope is that this pause means you have had the chance to meet your Son. God Bless you and your family.
Saty safe, stay sane. Thanks for your service.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Hi Michael. Thank you, good night and God bless!

-A Mom in America

8:04 PM  
Blogger exfbonnie said...

its a bit grand to be the 150th person to post a comment here. havent seen you in a while. Looking forward to reading your future posts. we obviously miss them, too.

9:55 PM  
Anonymous A Mom in America said...

Good morning, Michael. Thank you and God bless!

A Mom in America

8:31 AM  
Blogger AN AMERICAN MOM said...

GOOD MORNING MICHAEL,
GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP YOU FROM HARMS WAY.I PRAY FOR YOUR SAFE RETURN TO THE STATES AND HONOR YOU AS A TRUE AMERICAN HERO

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Jermaine said...

I was in Iraq with NMCB-74(Seabees), one the first to cross the boarders of Iraq in 2003. I commend you and your crew on the bravery you all display day-in and day-out. I don’t know if you have the time sit back and think about your purpose in Iraq, with the constant engagement of your advisory, I didn’t start till I was out in 2004. I’m trying to find out if others were as misguided as I was. With all the hype I read in the military news paper prior to deployment about Saddam calling-out the American soldiers, I was more than ready to assist our Marines and Army men to battle. It was on a hot, clammy evening in Kuwait just days before President Bush spoke on that 21st day of March. Our operations officer brief us, and all was well until I heard those words I’ll never forget. “If the Iraqi people start to burn there oil we must expedite the mission (repair any destroyed bridges) and get the Marines and Army over to stop this act.” Just a little something to thing about.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Beverly said...

Michael...thank you for all you are doing over there..words can't express our concern for you..We keep all our soldiers in our prayers..

6:25 PM  
Blogger mister said...

jermaine is saying a whole lot more

2:44 PM  
Blogger mister said...

particuarly for mom in america... summat creative...
http://www.arteeast.org/artenews/artenews-articles2006/rheim-alkadhi/artenews-r-alkadhi.html

1:35 PM  
Blogger James said...

Thanks so much for your service in Iraq. You all are in the prayers of Americans on a daily basis. Keep up the good work.

James

http://catholicpublius.blogspot.com

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just keep safe. You are supported by all of Us and all other forces.

Thank god they are okay.

markydnik@yahoo.com

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

America has turned to a freakshow... you guys are better off over there, at least over there all you got to lose is your life, while here its our minds... people over here have gone batshit crazy and I ain kiddin:you got movie stars twitching uncontrollably spasming, sublimal television commercials made by fortune 500 companies where often the message refers to something either gross, dirty, or vulgar, like cum, the devil, or one of the 7 sins. You got movie directors who may have some sort of schizophrenic disorder... trust me you guys are better off, keep it frosty, because over here its hell but there are still some of us who despite the Hell are trying to keep from going crazy... I may speak for a small portion of the population, Independents who voted Repub, but don't let that delude you into thinking that our opinions and perspective are very important in the battle for our freedom, I'm comin' at ya straight, you need to know whats going on over here, the real... Keep up the good work and defeat the enemy.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous cap'n qwaylood said...

The 9/11 thing really didn't happen! It was staged, man!! The government knew beforehand!...how do you think all those cameras were ready to film the whole thing!and from every flippin' angle, too!!

It was a setup, people!....plain and simple.The rightist-international financial cartel and their installed de facto regime has much at stake. They need a mideast war to take over, man!! Get with the truth, people!

1:02 AM  

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