Saturday, December 08, 2007

A Soldier's Blog

Just in case you forgot there's still a war in Iraq - I know, I know they don't tell you about such things during the commercial breaks of Dancing with the Stars or Kid Nation but trust me. We can use blogs for many things but they are certainly one of the most powerful tools for trying to understand the events in a far away land of which you have no comprehension.

There have been many Iraqi blogs I have read over the years but they have slowly dried up as the authors have fled the country. There have also been a few blogs from soldiers and there's one I found recently that I thought I'd share with you. Iraq: The Purgatorium is one of the best I've found and the writing is incredible yet gutwrenching at times. Here was one post shortly after Thanksgiving that really got to me. Feel free to recommend any other blogs from Iraq in the comments...

Monday, November 26, 2007
The Wake-Up Call

It's taken me a while to write about this. Never had the time, never had the will to do so. I spent Thanksgiving in a guard tower, doing a lot of thinking.

"Suspect, what are you thankful for?"

I drew a blank. Let me back up.

We lost three guys. I'm sparing the specifics and the backgrounds and the things that make you go, "Oh man...that's so fucked...that's terrible man."

This place, this new area of operations was almost like a vacation for us. Only a few wounds now and then, nothing too major for the most part. Then the fates backhanded us, hard.

That's all I've got to say about that for now, maybe forever.

I sat in that tower, staring at the lifeless dirt and shitty brick buildings of our area of operations and let my mind run loose. There was no controlling it at this point anyway.

I thought about my friend, who was one of the three we lost. I thought about him a lot. A lot of these thoughts made me laugh. That's the kind of guy he was. I thought about how unreal it all is. I thought about how little sense it makes.

I thought about all the huge and tiny factors involved in this conflict and how illogical and base and Typical of Mankind it all is. I thought about a lot of things. Hours of nothing but time to kill, dusty space to stare at.

I wrote about a previous memorial service. I fumed, angrily, ignorantly, with reckless abandon. I wrote shit that I didn't necessarily believe, in that confused and mixed up way people get when these things happen. I thought about that phrase "Ultimate sacrifice" and how we're going to hear it again.

Well so be it. I guess I can wrap my head around what people mean when they say it. Sure, no one is raising their hand and saying, "Sir, I'm not doing anything Wednesday, I'll take the hit. Beats having to eat this chow!" [Laugh track].

But it is an 'ultimate sacrifice', even if we don't realize it.

This was a heavy hit for all of us. Some guys are seriously fucked up about it. But I guess the mentality I'm clinging to is that these things happen and it's too late to change it, and there isn't a lot we can do. Just do our jobs. It sounds almost submissive, but whatever. Drive on, it's all you really can do.


Andrew Kaduk said...

Jeff Pruitt said...

Zeyad used to be a regular read of mine but like so many he others he too left Baghdad.

After that the frequency of his posts went down so I quit reading it but it looks like he's updating more frequently again...

Jeff Pruitt said...


I remember this post to pretty much be the beginning of the end for Zeyad. There were several fascinating posts around this time period...

Stan Matuska said...

To most of us, 'war' is just a word that we can only imagine what it's like. To those with actual boots on the ground, it has to be synonomous with hell.