My 4th Day at Fort Bragg

I reported to Fort Bragg, North Carolina on Sunday Night. I have to admit I was nervous. It is the Home of the U.S. Army Airborne, and the Army’s Special Forces. It seems I will come to know both very well. I am assigned to a new Joint Services PSYOPS Unit under the Army’s Special Forces Command. I am to be a member of the U.S. Navy’s first ever Airborne Division. I am very excited about that.

So far things have been pretty mundane, just a constant barrage of Physical Training, and then the typical military routine of ‘Hurry-Up and Wait’. We have been going through our medical processing and being issued our combat gear and new uniforms. Soon we will head to Fort Dix to go through our Class Room training and to conduct the first of our field excercises. Afterwards we will return to Fort Bragg to complete our combat training and our Airborne Training, and then we will be heading down-range. Down-range is how the Army refers to being sent to the combat theatre. It seems appropriate.

5 Days to go, and my Shipmates Bid me Farewell…

My fellow enlisted men took me out for lunch and drinks today. They presented me with numerous plaques, and awards before wishing me fair winds and following seas. Chris actually put it better, fair winds and following sands, he said. It was all very moving and greatly appreciated. Both of my civilian supervisors (Paula & Linda) came out as well, it was an absolute pleasure. Paula and Linda are two of the finest people I have had the pleasure to meet, and both helped me a lot and took good care of me during my time at the NAVICP.

What was most touching though was the Photo that they had framed and everyone signed, it included a beautifully mounted challenge coin with a First Class Crow on it. It’s gorgeous. My time working at NAVICP, and at SALTS has been very enjoyable, and has definately proven to be a growing experience. I’ve done my fair share of butting heads with people since I have been here, but then again, I do that everywhere I go. It’s really good to know that I have made so many friends. I will see if there is any way I can post some pictures of the Awards presented to me today, although I am not really sure I will have the time before I go. My primary goal before leaving is still to spend every waking moment of Quality time with Yasmeen that I possibly can. I love that woman more than life it self and I will miss her more than anyone or anything while I am gone. I find that it is very hard to leave, just when I was getting so spoiled by being able to be with her.

She has given me a very good reason to be sure I come home.

6 Days Left…

I have six days left until I have to report to Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I am as excited as I am nervous I think. I am doing my best to make sure I have not forgotten anything. It is important that I have all of my affairs completely in order before I leave. I think I am on track. I went and got my pre-deployment physical today. Doc said I’m healthy as a horse, and told me to do my best to stay that way and to stay alive while I am gone. He has served in Iraq himself, but he was only there for 8 months. That’s only 2/3 of the time I’ll be there. It should be interesting.

Yesterday the contractors from SALTS (the project I am currently assigned to) were kind enough to take me out to lunch. It was very nice. I am extremely appreciative of all the support I have be getting from everyone. I was a bit surprised to see that non of the contratctors who are retired from the military came out to the lunch, that was a bit of a disappointment. It’s funny because I have made posts to my blog in the past complaining about the nature of my job and the fact that I spend so much time sitting in a cubicle, behind a computer. I suspect I will have a whole new appreciation for the advantages of this job when I return home.

Condolences to a Fallen Comrade…


DoD Release # 1054-05 The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Pfc. Joseph Cruz, 22, of Whittier, Calif., died in Bagram, Afghanistan, on Oct. 16, of non-combat related injuries sustained in an accident at Organ-E, Afghanistan, on Oct. 15. Cruz was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, Vicenza, Italy.

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The Horrible Reality of War, and Man’s Inhumanity Toward Man…

There are a lot of soldiers currently stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq who have been getting in a good deal of trouble for exchanging horrid photos from the war, in exchange for free access to a pornographic web site. I personally find the actions of these soldiers disgusting and morally reprehensible. Whereas I do intend to report on my experiences in the war on this site, and I do intend to post uncensored photos on this site, it will not be in exchange for anything, especially not in exchange for something as petty and meaningless as access to a pornographic website.

The actions of these soldiers does nothing but to tarnish the image of themselves, their unit and the U.S. Military as a whole. They are a dishonor to us all, not because they are showing the pictures, but because they are showing the pictures for entirely the wrong reasons.

The photos in question can be seen here. Warning, most of the photos in the forum are extremely gory.

Afghanistan

So I realized that many of you who find your way here to my ‘War Blog‘ may not know much about where I am heading, so I decided to share a map, and a link to the CIA Factbook entry about Afghanistan. As well as the WikiPedia Entry on Afghanistan. Knowledge is Power.


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8 Days Left…

I still only have 8 Days left until I deploy. I have not gotten many details on what I am going to be doing or where exactly I am to report to or when. All I know is that I am to initially report to Fort Bragg, North Carolina then I go to Fort Dix, New Jersey then finally I will be off to Fort Hood, Texas before I am sent to my AOR (Area of Responsibility) in Afghanistan. I still have not gotten my Official Written Orders via Naval Message yet, and that is beginning to make me a bit nervous. It’s almost funny because I think at this point I might be a bit upset if they did not send me, simply because I have run up a lot of credit card charges getting ready to go. I have been eating out a lot, and drinking a lot, just trying to enjoy life, and I bought myself a snazzy new iPod. But if they don’t send me, I’m gonna be stuck with this over inflated Credit Card Bill, something I really don’t need.

So far all of my friends and family have been extremely supportive, and I am very thankful for that. The folks at Defending the Truth have been much too kind with their over-abundance of support and generosity. I feel bad because I had so many plans, not just for my own website and my own personal podcast that I had in the works, but also for helping to improve Defending the Truth, and with the Official Defending the Truth Podcast. All those plans are on the back burner for me now. I am off to more important endeavors I suppose. In any case there still seems to be so much left that I want to do, and that I need to do but there is just not enough time for it all. I mean, of course I want to spend time with my beloved Yasmeen (the one woman I love more than life itself), but I also need to make sure all of my affairs are in order, make sure my uniforms are ready, try to figure out what I need and what I can and can not take with me (I am hoping to be able to bring my laptop), and I still want to do some las minute tweaks and modifications to my web site, and my blogs before leaving…

So much to do, so little time.

Once more into the breach dear friends…

I found out today that I have been chosen to deploy to Iraq to fight in the War on Terror. I am to be deployed on October 24th for 18 months. I have to admit that when I first found out I was surprised, and actually a bit excited. I’d be crazy or stupid if I said I was not nervous, but this is what I joined the military to do. I have a commitment to serve my country, and serve I shall. So far all of my family and friends have been exceptionally supportive. The good folks at Defending the Truth have agreed to continue to provide me hosting indefinitely, and therefore I have created this blog to chronicle my experiences in the Middle East. It is my intention to update it as much as possible, though as of this point I am uncertain how often I will have internet access while I am there. I know there other soldier-bloggers, so I am certain that it is possible. If nothing else I also intend to keep a daily written journal while I am there. I will append this blog with entries from my journal, as often as I can.

I am still unclear as to the details of my assignment, but whatever it may be it is bound to be an experience I will remember for the rest of my life. I am not afraid. I am nervous. I actually feel that I have been waiting for this time to come. Naturally my family and loved ones are scared, and it pains me to see the fear in their eyes, but they know as I do, that this is what I signed up for.

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About Army Sailor

ArmySailor.com 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.