20 February 2006

Breaking the silence

Firstly, let me apologize for not posting anything in a while. The whole registration thing kinda bummed me out. Since the last time I posted, ... I'm having trouble remembering how long ago things happened. I realized this on Saturday when Katie called me saying that it had been a while since we last talked. I said that it had only been two days since we had last talked on Thursday. Long story short, she was right, we last talked on Tuesday. It got me thinking, though, about my perception of time and I came to the conclusion that I'm not keeping good track of how long ago things happened. So if I seem to have dropped off the face of the planet, chances are that I'm just wrapped up in work and haven't realized how long it's been since you last heard from me.

Interestingly, in a lot of the emails and chats that I have been getting lately I've noticed that people seem to be more concerned about me recently. Perhaps the tone and content of my posts and emails lately has been a bit more down than usual and while I appreciate the concern people are showing, please don't worry about me. I may get upset or grouchy, and without Katie to kep me on the straight and narrow it's easier for me to get grouchy, but it's nothing to worry about. I may not be the biggest, fastest, strongest or smartest Soldier in Iraq, but I certainly am able to hold my own when it comes to perserverence. I spent 11 years in Barrow, remember? =)

It's really interesting how similar this place is to Barrow. You're confined to a very small area. You see the same people every day. Everyone cheers when one of your buddies tour is up. Although the type is different, the amount of weaponry is about the same. You're surrounded by people who probably don't like you. In fact, if you inverted the temperature and added or removed the mortars it would be nearly impossible to tell the two apart!

Also, and I don't mean to add feul to the worries, I came to the realization today that I don't really have a peer here. Everyone is either senior or junior to me which naturally leads to socilization barriers. Now I was never a really sociable guy to begin with, but I just find it interesting that I'm in yet another situation where I'm more or less alone socially. Makes me wonder if it's self-imposed or if life just happens that way for me. Again, please don't worry, I'm not depressed or angry, just making some observations =)

A few (?) days ago I was given the honor of re-enlisting one of my Soldiers. He decided that he wanted to go out to Saddam's Crossed Swords to conduct the ceremony. Of course we got pictures =)

On a more interesting note, I recently re-kindled my interest in geocaching. For those who don't know, geocaching is a hobby where one person goes out into the world with something to hide, hides it, records the location on a GPS and posts the location to a website for other people to find. About four months ago now I hid one of these caches in the mountains in southern Germany and I just now got around to posting it on a website (www.geocaching.com). Unfortunately, it seems that they have a policy that they won't post caches unless the person who submits it is able to revisit the cache on a regular basis to ensure that it's maintained. Naturally this excludes this particular cache of mine since I'm in Iraq and it's in Germany. So now I'm looking for a new website to post my caches to, but it seems as though this particular site is the only one out there that covers my parts of the world =(. So until I find a good site that doesn't have silly rules let me post it here.

If you want to see where I hid my very first geocache, you can use Google Earth. Just type the following into the search box and you should get flown to the spot: n47 24 37.69 e10 58 24.24

Again, please don't worry about me, I'm doing ok! I'll try not to let so much time go again between posts. =)


Anonymous BensWahfy said...

Lubz0rz j00!!!!!

Blogger Larry L. Bradley said...

Hey Hon, Just read your new posting. It was so good to read, again, what you have to say. The similarities you described between where you are now and your years on the North Slope were unsettling. Remember when we asked ourselves, "Why in the world did the Lord put us here?" We asked ourselves that question more than once, too. Several important things from that experience: 1)That was where you and Robert gave your lives to the Lord; 2)you were baptized in the Alak swimming pool that frigid Arctic Sunday evening; and 3)we all learned how to be better and more devoted Christians. I will say, with a great deal of confidence, that whatever may be the reason you are where you are at this time, a lot of good will come out of it just as it did with our experience in the Arctic. Everything you recalled about the place was 100% accurate. Living there made you much more mature and mentally tougher than most of your peers. Perhaps that experience then prepared you for this experience now. Remember to thank the Lord for all that you have now. I do that everyday and you and Katie and your son are part of my thanksgiving. God bless you and your family, Ben. All my love. Dad

Anonymous Justin said...

well, guy to guy, I wasn't really worried. i know the value of a good venting session online, and i take em for what they're worth (usually). a little whining is a decent use of binary i guess. I believe in ya man.

also, even if you do feel down, just remember that there's enough happy go-lucky fruit-nuts out there to counter act you. that always makes me feel better about...whatever...ok, i go now.

Blogger Rob said...

I was just wondering today if you had any buddies over there, or people to take care of that ya got close with. Looks like you answered my question before I asked it.

Blogger Robert F. Griffing said...

Nice to hear from you again! Keep up the posts. BTW what is the desert analog to a polar bear?

Blogger bandit.three.six said...

The closest I could guess would be a camel spider. Luckily for me they're not too common in my area. I've heard stories though... *shudder*

Anonymous Steve & Anna said...

Ben - just want you to know that we enjoy reading your writing on the blog and we do pray lots for you! We miss getting the chance to know you more and love your wife! God gave you an awesome lady - but we know you know that!
Official Congrats on being a dad of a boy!
your friends, Steve & Anna


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