21 March 2006

Step 1: Make hammock

Step 2:
Step 3: PROFIT!

That's right folks, hammock v1.0 has been successfully tested and found to be in working order! I put the netting together over the weekend and just got the spacers to keep the ends from rolling over on me. I would post a picture of it, but it's dark out and my phone camera sucks so it wouldn't show up, but I'll be sure to take a picture of it tomorrow in the day and post it.

In other news, I guess it's the 3 year anniversary of the war. Yippee! Where were you 3 years ago? I was at Wazzu watching on TV as Baghdad was shocked and awed thinking, "I wonder if I'll ever have to go to Iraq?" Now I'm walking through buildings that I watched get blown up on almost-live TV. Funny how things work out like that.

I remember being on campus in BDUs every Wednesday. On one particular Wednesday there was a protest (suprise, suprise) and people supporting both sides turned out. Since I was in uniform I had to just keep my mouth shut and keep walking. As I walked past the supporters I got some smiles and thumbs up and as I passed the opposers I was offered pamphlets that had more information about the war in Iraq. After I had passed both groups I overheard a couple women talking about the supporting group saying, "If they're so in favor of the war, why don't they join the Army?" Upon hearing this I stopped and looked at the two. After making eye contact with both of them I smiled, shrugged, and held out my hands to say, "What the heck do you think I'm doing?" One then said to the other, "Yeah, like him."

That was a good day. =)

Sort of in the same vein, I've been feeling a bit down lately. I'm reading a book that Katie got for me, I can't remember the title of the book, but the book deals with helping men find their manhood. Sure I'm a big bad Soldier in Baghdad, Iraq, but I look around and see these troops coming back inside the wire in their HMMWVs with bullet strikes across the windshield after having traveled down Route IRISH for the third time that day and it makes me feel like I'm not doing my part. I find myself wishing that I had tried harder for a job that would involve me kicking down doors and slapping cuffs on bad guys. I see FoxNews specials about ground-pounders in Fallujah looking into the camera saying, "We told them to surrender, but they said they'd rather die. So they're gonna die," followed by images of a building exploding. I compare that to the highlights of my day, things like, "I'm sorry sir, but your request doesn't justify installing several thousand dollars of equipment so that you can see the guy you talk to on the phone next door." Deep down, we support troops all secretly hope that some crazy set of circumstances arises that would put us in a position to save our buddy or shoot a terrorist or spot an IED before it detonates on our convoy.

For me, it's not so much that seeing these guys makes me feel like less of a man, it's more like I don't feel like I've earned the respect that is given to war veterans. The guys who stand guard at the checkpoints in their body armor in 130 degree weather for hours on end, they've earned that respect. The guys training Iraqis to patrol the streets fight insurgents, they've earned that respect. Sure, the work I do is important to the war effort, I just don't really feel personally responsible for much of it.

In the end, I'm putting my skillset to work to help the fight. It may not be what ya see on TV and I may not be able to see the change that I'm affecting and I may not be a trigger man shooting bad guys, but you better believe, I'm going to make sure that those guys who are doing those things don't have to worry about commo. I like to fall back to the pacifist line of thought that if you contribute in any way then you're just as responsible as the one who does the killing.

So pay your taxes, fly a flag, and to those guys strapping themselves into their trucks and sleeping in the dirt, shoot a bad guy for me. I'll make sure that you can call home and tell mom all about it.

Here are the before/after pictures of the hammock




Blogger Justin said...

Well, keep up the good work man. You're doing your part a heck of a lot more than I am mine. You're doing a good work and support personnel are just as important. I'd say I know the feeling, but I don't. Keep up the good work all the same. I know that I for one am proud to call you friend.

Anonymous Brian said...

Well just so you know, your very thoroughly bragged about, back here... when footage or talk of the Green Zone comes up, I make sure to mention who's in charge of the com work over there.

I had thought up some more funny coments relating to your previous post. When I remember, I'll try and email you.


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