Thursday, December 25, 2008
As I sit before the fire this Christmas night, with my family in my line of sight, I reflect on the 30 years and two weeks I spent in the service of our country. For 25 of those years I was home not one Christmas. I don’t think that unusual, I don’t ask for sympathy. I did what I did because my country called. I did it so that my family could rest free. At the same time, the sacrifice was not so much mine as that of my family.
As I look on line at images from around the globe of deployed comrades in arms, I think of the families they have left behind to defend my freedom and that of my family.
Then I reflect on those with whom I flew. Thirty percent are dead, that is less than one a year, but the odds add up. You fly to the edge, you won’t always come back. But, they gave more than their lives, they gave so much of their family.
We live free because of those warriors who defend us.
Charge your glass, raise it high. Drink to them.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
..... It's freezing here. I'm sitting on hard, cold dirt between rocks and shrubs at the base of the Hindu Kush mountains along the Dar 'yoi Pomir River watching a hole that leads to a tunnel that leads to a cave. Stake out, my friend, and no pizza delivery for thousands of miles.
I also glance at the area around my ass every ten to fifteen seconds to avoid another scorpion sting. I've actually given up battling the chiggers and sand fleas, but them scorpions give a jolt like a cattle prod. Hurts like a bastard. The antidote tastes like transmission fluid but God bless the Marine Corps for the five vials of it in my pack.
The one truth the Taliban cannot escape is that, believe it or not, they are human beings, which means they have to eat food and drink water. That requires couriers and that's where an old bounty hunter like me comes in handy. I track the couriers, locate the tunnel entrances and storage facilities, type the info into the handheld, shoot the coordinates up to the satellite link that tells the air commanders where to drop the hardware, we bash some heads for a while, then I track and record the new movement. It's all about intelligence. We haven't even brought in the snipers yet.
These scurrying rats have no idea what they're in for. We are but days away from cutting off supply lines and allowing the eradication to begin. I dream of bin Laden waking up to find me standing over him with my boot on his throat as I spit a bloody ear into his face and plunge my nickel plated Bowie knife through his frontal lobe. But you know me. I'm a romantic.
I've said it before and Ill say it again: This country blows, man. It's not even a country. There are no roads, there's no infrastructure, there's no government. This is an inhospitable, rock pit shit hole ruled by eleventh century warring tribes. There are no jobs here like we know jobs. Afghanistan offers two ways for a man to support his family: join the opium trade or join the army. That's it. Those are your options.
Oh, I forgot, you can also live in a refugee camp and eat plum-sweetened, crushed beetle paste and squirt mud like a goose with stomach flu if that's your idea of a party. But the smell alone of those 'tent cities of the walking dead' is enough to hurl you into the poppy fields to cheerfully scrape bulbs for eighteen hours a day.
I've been living with these Tajiks and Uzbeks and Turkmen and even a couple of Pushtins for over a month and a half now and this much I can say for sure: These guys, all of em, are Huns. Actual, living Huns. They LIVE to fight. Its what they do. Its ALL they do. They have no respect for anything, not for their families or for each other or for themselves. They claw at one another as a way of life. They play polo with dead calves and force their five-year-old sons into human cockfights to defend the family honor. Huns, roaming packs of savage, heartless beasts who feed on each others barbarism. Cavemen with AK 47's. Then again, maybe I'm just cranky.
I'm freezing my ass off on this stupid hill because my lap warmer is running out of juice and I can't recharge it until the sun comes up in a few hours.
Oh yeah! You like to write letters, right? Do me a favor. Write a letter to CNN and tell Wolf and Anderson and that awful, sneering, pompous Aaron Brown to stop calling the Taliban 'smart.' They are not smart. I suggest CNN invest in a dictionary because the word they are looking for is 'cunning.' The Taliban are cunning, like jackals and hyenas and wolverines. They are sneaky and ruthless and, when confronted, cowardly. They are hateful, malevolent parasites who create nothing and destroy everything else. Smart. Pfft. Yeah, they're real smart. They've spent their entire lives reading only one book (and not a very good one, as books go) and consider hygiene and indoor plumbing to be products of the devil. They're still figuring out how to work a Bic lighter. Talking to a Taliban warrior about improving his quality of life is like trying to teach an ape how to hold a pen; eventually he just gets frustrated and sticks you in the eye with it.
OK, enough. Snuffle will be up soon so I have to get back to my hole. Covering my tracks in the snow takes a lot of practice but I'm good at it.
Please, I tell you and my fellow Americans to turn off the TV sets and move on with your lives. The story line you are getting from CNN and other news agencies is utter bullshit and designed not to deliver truth, but rather to keep you glued to the screen through the commercials. We've got this one under control.
The worst thing you guys can do right now is sit around analyzing what we're doing over here because you have no idea what we're doing and, really, you don't want to know. We are your military and we are doing what you sent us here to do.
You wanna help? Buy Bonds America.