Archive for July, 2006

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

Parody: You’re A Grand Old Flag ,
George M. Cohan, with Jerry Politex

You’re a grand old flag,
You’re a high flying flag
But you’re never made of asbestos.
You’re the emblem of
The votes they love
Politicians have made you a mess.
All their hearts beat true
For a spare vote or two,
So they’ll always lie and brag.
Never hypocrisy be forgot,
Keep their hands off the grand old flag.

Quote: The Real Meaning Of July 4th, Derek Maul, Command Sergeant Major
“This is our government; this country belongs to all of us.” Indeed, how can freedom crumble when both the idea of liberty and the responsibility for its stewardship reside in the people? How can such a dream be eroded when authority is vested not in a favored few but with the average Joe? The extraordinary influence of American citizens is guaranteed in the very Constitution that breathed life into this nascent republic when it was struggling to find its feet.

However, every time government acts to increase the distance between real power and the people our government is commissioned to serve, we move a little further away from the meaning of July 4.That’s why it concerned me so much last [year] when the Supreme Court aligned itself with government and corporate interests at the expense of the rights of individual property owners. It is not the first such move however; I smell the makings of a trend. When the government makes arrests on the basis of secret evidence; when taxing agencies overreach boundaries and abuse their power; when evidence increasingly suggests that, while we trusted them, leaders knowingly deceived us; when members of Congress award themselves privileges and benefits not available to those they purportedly serve; when the lifestyles of our representatives in Washington more closely resemble those of rock stars or European royalty than public servants.

People tend to withdraw when they feel powerless and “out of the loop;” people tend to stay away from the ballot box when they no longer feel any relationship to those who govern; people tend to live outside the political process when they stop believing it pertains to them.Don’t get me wrong; I’m not worried that we’re going to have another revolution in America. Instead, I’m worried that people aren’t going to care any longer; I’m concerned that they won’t believe any more.

Opinion: Letter From Oklahoma: July 4th, 2005 And I Can’t Celebrate, K.J. Lovell
The current wave of change should send a wave of shock through any normal thinking person in America. The changes are daily and growing in gravity. We the people have voluntarily given up our civil and constitutional rights, whether through apathy or simply being too busy to pay attention to current events. We continue to do it daily with no regard to the big picture. Here are ten examples of where we could be heading:

Verse: I Am A Patriot, Steve Van Zandt
I am a patriot, and I love my country, Because my country is all I know.
Wanna be with my family, People who understand me. I got no place else to go.
And I ain’t no communist, And I ain’t no socialist,
And I ain’t no capitalist, And I ain’t no imperialist,
And I ain’t no Democrat, Sure ain’t no Republican either,
I only know one party, And that is freedom.

Me & Unsinkable Molly Brown…

One week ago today my convoy was struck by a Suicide Bomber with a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device. It was a shocking experience indeed. It was definitely an eye opening one as well. I have been shot at many times. I have had rockets fired at me, I have been attacked in plenty of other ways, but this one was a complete shock to me. Simply because it was so unexpected. It was a lovely morning, and we had just left the wire when all of a sudden a light blue sedan came speeding into our convoy. It had already exploded before I realized what had happened. I was actually stunned for a second, and then our training kicked in and we reacted. Everyone reacted quickly, and reacted very well in my opinion. Nobody gave into panic, and in my opinion everyone reacted as a well trained professional. But I can say this much, despite what you may have been through before, your first IED strike is a real shock to your system. I think it is the suddenness with which it all seemed to happen. I was within 10 meters of the blast, I suffered substantial hearing loss, and even now my ears are still ringing. I have been getting headaches fairly regularly as well.

I find myself lying in bed at night reviewing the events of that day over and over in my head. When it first happened we thought that one of the vehicles in our convoy had been destroyed. I can not forget the feeling I had when I thought I had lost four comrades. My heart absolutely sank. Luckily no one in the convoy was killed or seriously injured. I can’t help but continue to feel like a piece of shit because my first reaction to the explosion was “Thank God it wasn’t us!” Everyone has been telling me that such a reaction is a completely natural one, but that does not change the fact that it is also a really shitty one. All I can take solace in as far as that goes is the fact that I immediately recognized that it was a terrible thing to feel. I keep thinking back to the image of the corpse of the man who had attempted to kill us, his upper body torn in half laying on the ground… No blood at all.

I can’t help but think of the hate that boils inside of me when I picture his face in my head. And I continue to think of how lucky I was, my door was pierced by a piece of shrapnel, but it never hit me. I think about the flaming bits of rubber on the hood of our vehicle and the crap that covered our windshield. It was definitely an amazing experience that I do not wish to repeat. I am more angry about the situation than I am scared, but it also helped me recognize the level of complacency I had allowed to build up inside of me. It was a good experience in that nobody in the convoy was hurt, and I learned how well I could react to such a situation. It also helped me realize that it is very important to me, that when I get back home I take the time to do one thing I have been wanting to do for a long time… I intend to visit friends all over the country. People I serve with here, friends from Defending the Truth, and friends who I have known for years but now live far away… And I am taking my mom to the Grand Canyon…

Yes, I have definitely decided that I am going to do a lot of traveling when I get home… I can’t afford to waste anymore time.

In the mean time I just have to hope that the luck that myself and unsinkable Molly Brown share holds.

Coming Soon…

A few weeks ago I had the good fortune to be able to go on R&R pass to Qatar (a small country on the coast of Saudi Arabia). While I was there I did take a lot of pictures, and I do intend to post many of them up here soon. When I got back to Afghanistan we hit the ground running and I have been pretty damn busy. I have not had the time to update my blog as much as I would have liked. I will do my best to make up for that and get up some pictures just as soon as I can. Also, with the events of last week I was naturally a bit busy and also a bit preoccupied, so unable to really get to my blog.

It’s kind of funny, I looked at a few of the other blogs being maintained by folks in Afghanistan that are listed on MilBlogging and some of them get updated daily! I have no idea how anyone over here possibly has the time to update their blog daily. Good for them I suppose. I wish I had more time myself to dedicate to such things…

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About Army Sailor was originally started during my deployment to Afghanistan from 2005-2007, I documented my experiences in training and through combat. I now use it to chronicle my ongoing military career, and relevant news and events in my life and around the military. This is NOT an official Department of Defense website! The opinions contained herein are solely those of the author.