Wednesday, January 28, 2009

There's lots of threads in ole Duder's head, man

At the risk of being totally stream of conscious, I'll try to give an update. I am still in what is called a "Warrior Transition Unit", which has grown to the size of a battalion while I've been here. "Warrior Transition" in the bizarre politically correct speech of any Federal Government agency is the Army's way of referring to Soldiers who are wounded and injured and may not be able to do what they used to be able to do.

I myself am doing pretty well, although I have had a minor set back on the shoulder. That said I am still tracking to be at 90% six months out of surgery for something I was told could take 12 months. So in addition to regular physical therapy (aside: physical therapists are some sadistic SOBs, it should be called Pain and Torture), and general working out I have been working on finding employment once I am released.

What fucking timing you say? Yeah the economy is a little shitting to be looking for work, which is why I have several COAs (Course of Action) running at the same time - looking for professional civilian work, looking for contract intel work locally (which there is a fair amount of where I live), and keeping the recruiters who deal in contract work overseas on the hook as a fall back plan. There is some good money still to be made in Iraq, especially with my background, but really I am not up for that.

I have also been trying (spectacularly unsuccessfully I might add) to learn how to type, teach myself Spanish, trying to forget Arabic, reading all the books I've bought and never got to read, catching up on what is going on in business and IT (my civilian profession) and studying for a 4 hour certification exam.

That's how I cope I guess, always have had to be busy. It's how I dealt with Iraq - work, work, work. And it's why Bosnia was such a tough deployment for me at first not enough to do (boy did that change, but that's another story, only Widge and some asshole I won't mention know much of it)

The last thing I have been trying to grapple with is, as the Clash said so eloquently "Should I stay or should I go now..."

I have been on Stoploss (don't feel sorry for me, I knew damn well that would happen, as should every service member who isn't on their first enlistment) since November of 2007 (say it ain't so!), so if I do nothing I will be out of the Guard when my terminal leave is over. Originally, I had no thought of staying in after I got back, but that was before greedy bankers ate my my 401(k) (which I think is now a 124(f)) so the Guard retirement looks a lot better, especially now that deployment time can be used to draw pay earlier. There also is the matter of my Naval Reserve Commission, which the Navy screwed me on when I refused to puss out of my deployment to Iraq, the details of which is probably another post. I have thought about going to my Congressmen to fight to have it reinstated, but then who probably end up working for the same asses that fucked me over in the first place. A lot depends on what happens on the job front, although my family wants me out no matter what, I have to make sure we have health coverage, and I only have 6 years to get a retirement, so I have to be practical.

So that's whats up. Pretty normal and boring really. I have been able to see a few buddies now and then, and that is always good. We had a great Regimental Dinner a few months back, and all I can say is getting a hotel room was a good call. The picture to the right is pretty much how I remember it. My buddy "Joe" is back from Asscrackistan, and I think my friends in Kosovo will back soon.

That's all that's fit to print, maybe I'll write some war stories soon. Or maybe not.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Come Clean you KBR bastards

This week reports surfaced that KBR, a military-contracting firm, may have unnecessarily put American troops in harm’s way. Today, I took a stand with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) in calling for accountability.

Please take a minute to do the same.

Visit, and tell KBR to come clean.

Pass it on.