Observations on life and other stuff


Trip to Iraq is off now, right after I got all my shots too.

No one wanted a fat, broke dick old civilian along.

Oh well, my feelings are NOT hurt.

Thanks for all your kind thoughts and e-mails.


Serious midlife crisis here.

Yes, the proposed trip to 'the box' kicked it off.

I live a good, satisfying life. Great wife, good kids, good stable job.

And yet I wanted to walk away from that for just a bit and go someplace not pleasant, not nice, hot and dry and not a little bit dangerous, as well.

and I am disappointed that I wasn't allowed to go and do it.

What kind of sick fuck am I to volunteer and to want to go and do this?
To cause worry and distress to MLW and my Kids.

Not to mention the rest of my family. I actually made my mom cry when I told her I was going.

Am I trying to recapture a bit of my youth? To have one last adventure. Instead of buying a red sportscar, I get to go to a warzone?

No awnsers here, just questions.


More essential reading from the G-man

You must read "Imperial Grunts" by Robert Kaplan
and "Generation Kill" by Evan Wright

Further News from me. I am TDY in Northern Virginia for about 7 more weeks taking a Army Civilian leadership school. I have found myself rather bored. Simple fact is for veterans, like me, the school is just too easy. For example we need to do a briefing on the 9 Principles which are
Mass: Concentrate combat power at the decisive place and time
Objective: Direct every military operation towards a clearly defined, decisive, and attainable objective
Offensive: Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative
Surprise: Strike the enemy at a time, at a place, or in a manner for which he is unprepared
Economy of force: Allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts
Maneuver: Place the enemy in a position of disadvantage through the flexible application of combat power
Unity of command: For every objective, ensure unity of effort under one responsible commander
Security: Never permit the enemy to acquire an unexpected advantage
Simplicity: Prepare clear, uncomplicated plans and clear, concise orders to ensure thorough understanding

A use a battle to discribe or explain each principle. This was supposed to take a week to prepare. My four person group did it in about 2 hours. We have a retired SF Major, a retired MI Major, and an Ex Artillery Captain with a degree in History. I had the battles outlined an maps selected in 30 minutes.

So I guess that means I have the weekend off. Might go see "A History of Violence."


HI I'm back for a bit.

Youngest son cracked me up the dinner table last night.

I was putting a spread on my bread, when Oldest son asked for the butter, I said it wasn't butter but was "Smart Balance Omega buttery spread."
Youngest then annouced in a dead serious voice:

"The butter that does not kill you, makes you stronger."

I am going to have watch the Neitchze quotes around.


MOre essential reading:

Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades both By John Scalzi

Both these books rank right up there with Starship Troopers and The Forever War.


I'm restarting this journal...because I need a place to vent.

MLW has got her orders to report to active duty for a year. No Iraq, or Afghanistan, stateside or CONUS as we say...but still pretty far from home.

I have serious mixed feelings about this.

Don't want her to go, but knowing she has too... how will this affect the kids, who are now 14 and 11?

Also the fact that I personally support the war is tossed in...I kinda think we as a family might have given enough to the military...My brother and I are veterans of DS-1, MLW of OIF-1 and now again another year of active duty.
Nephew is a veteran of OEF.
Questions everywhere and not really any anwsers I feel comfortable with.

Except to say, we do what we always have, which is the best we can in difficult circumstances and look for better times later.


Might as well vent like hell.

I think that anyone that has seen combat deserves the highest respect. But that doesn't mean that if you haven't seen the elephant that you should not recieve respect for your job and how well you do it.

I have several young soldiers that work for me. Now I am firm beleiver in management by walking around. Over heard a couple of them saying words to the effect of "Why should I listen to him (meaning me), he has never been to war."

See I don't go around displaying on my "I love me" wall my military stuff. I display my civilian awards, diplomas, certificates, since I am now a civilian.
But young Sergeant torqued me off so the next day I hung my
Yound Sargeant was impressed.
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Getting ready for MLWs active duty. Packing, arranging for housing and transport. We have been thru this before and it shouuld be old hat, but it isn't.
Simple truth is as we both get older, our time together gets to be more important to us. A year apart is a lot, or seems to me now, when I was 29 my year away from her was not that big of a deal.
Also it is amazing how much stuff we each just do for each other and the other doesn't even think about. Like transport of the children, money management, investment strategy all that. Not to mention just the everyday things of laundry, shopping and so on. Being a single parent just sucks, sorry it just does.

Oh well...some of you have kindly asked where MLW is going. Sorry not going to say. Not that what she is doing is ober secret, because it is not. It is just a matter of privacy and not giving out any info other then what you have to.

But anyway thanks for the nice PMs about my situation...even you liberals, it surprisingly means a lot to me to know you care.


You never know how much stuff you have until you try and pack it up and load into a car or two for transport.
Life you to be so much simplier. Hell when I moved from Indianapolis to Lawton, I packed everything I owned in two shipping crates and my turbo daytona hatchback. That is isn't happen now that is for sure.

Oldest sons new nom de internet is cadet, the boy wants to go to the Air Force academy (glup) so bad he is already contacting the Air Liason Officer and wants his mother to find an AF general to write him a letter.

I am concerned , I'm not sure it is healthy for a 14YO to be so focused at his age.


I didn't write this, but I had to post it once I read it.

I am your son's Sergeant. I am his team leader, his squad leader, his platoon sergeant, his sergeant major.

You raised a fine young man, and fate saw fit to stir in him the desire to become more than he is. You birthed him, suckled him, and lavished your maternal love upon him. You taught him, worried for him, and, when he became a man, you shed a mother's tears as he stepped out into a dangerous world...

...And he found himself beneath my wing...

I have trained him in the arts of war. I have imparted the wisdom of my years of military experience. I have celebrated with him those times when duty required that he could not be back home with you. I have celebrated his birthday during a frigid patrol in West Berlin. I have admired pictures of his family in a fighting hole in a jungle on a Pacific Island. I have shared the bounty of the care package that you sent to him, munching on cookies on the hood of a jeep beside a rice paddy in Viet Nam.

I have yelled at him during a firefight, telling him that I was not willing to explain to you why I got him killed in some far away land. Once the battle was over, we laughed about that, and then I told him to sit down in a quiet place, and write to you.

In this place that is the Service, I am his father, his mother, his elder brother, and, sometimes, his Salvation.

I promise you that I will look after your son, your soldier, your sailor, your airman, your Marine, as if he were my own blood.

Should he fall, I will hold him, comfort him, and, should he pass on, I will kiss his brow, as a mother would, and weep for his loss.

He will not fall, however... He will listen to me, just like he listened to you, and the happiest day of my life will be when I dismiss him and his mates, and see him seek you out, and return to your arms after a job well done.

Your Son's Sergeant


The family and I move out to get MLW settled in her new place tomorrow, also to get some family time in before she reports for duty.

In typical fashion for us, we have route maps, communications plans, rest stops planned...hell everything but a five paragraph opord (operation order). But that is just the way MLW and I do things, plan and replan then execute.

More essential reading from me.

Mercenary by Mike Hoare, This is the memoriar of "Mad" Mike Hoare who fought as a mercenary in the Congo in 1962-1964.

Also A War like No Other by Victor Davis Hanson, which is a thematic history of the Peloponnesian War.


Depression is no fun

For about the last 3 weeks, have been on the knife's edge.
Drinking way too much, snapping at the kids, even when they weren;t doing anything that deserved a dressing down.
Snapping at my employees, again when they basically didn't deserve it. Also having a nearly full on melt down on one of them for, well, just being herself, really.
Also I have had a near constant headache. Body aches unearned. Always tired but not being able to sleep, then falling asleep at very inconveninat times, like in a meeting with the Battalion Commander.
I recongnized the symptoms and dragged myself to the doctor today...Prozac take me away. . .
I hate needing a drug to get thru the day. But I was truely afraid I was going to blow a gasket. A person with responsiblities cannot not afford to lose control. Or at least I can't. So here I am now taking happy pills.
At least I don't have to worry about the sexual side effects, since, well I'm not having sex. See the glass is always half full.


Happy pills seem to be working very well. I am sleeping more, seem much more focused at work. I haven't had a drink in three days (okay not a record, but the drive to drink is just not there anymore).

My employees notice I am happier, well less grouchy, as do my children.

No fits of anger, no strange urge to crash into people on the road.

Better living thru (brain) chemistry!


Congratulate me. I got a promotion today. I moved from being a GS-12 Branch Chief to being a GS-13 Division chief. For those of you keeping score at home that makes me the equalvent to a LT. Colonel. Also a $6,000 pay raise per annum.



Oh and yes, the post Valentines Day weekend was way too good, in the bag of mad weasels way. honestly it is just nice to have the campanionship of a good person, not too mention a great wife.


the other day got a strange look from others in the car beside mine.
Soon knew what it was.

Me and the sons singing along, very loudly to "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner."


Put Cadet on the bus to New Zealand today. This was a surprisingly emotional experience for me. Felt like I was going to burst into tears. I already miss the guy.

Of course I didn't demostrate these emotions to him.

I just told him: "Have a good time, be careful and come back with your shield or on it."


Time and time, it all marches on.
My best friends daughter, the girl I think of as my Niece is a midshipman (person) at Annapolis. My God, I used to rock her to sleep, now she is 19 and embarking her military career.
His next oldest daughter starts acting school in Los Angles in the fall semester. And used to baby sit her when I could so Mike and his bride could get a night out. Where does it go, all the time between babyhood and adulthood. At least where did it go for me and them.

Cadet and Spartacus started school today. Sophomore, and 7th grader...Another oh My God.

I have always thought my primary giri, or obligation, is to raise my sons to be good people, good men, and good citizen, I think that you have to be all of them to be one of them. I seem to be succeeding, but the problem is you really don't know those things, sometimes until years after the fact.
All I can do, all anyone can do, is thier best and pray that it is good enough.


Cadet has been selected to attend the Air Force Academy Summer Seminar. Basically making him a shoe in to get accepted to the Academy proper.

He told me he wants to fly Warthogs:

The A-10 Thunderbolt II is an American single-seat, twin-engine, straight-wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic for the United States Air Force to provide close air support (CAS) of ground forces by attacking tanks, armored vehicles, and other ground targets, with a limited air interdiction capability. It is the first U.S. Air Force aircraft designed exclusively for close air support.

The A-10's official name comes from the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt of World War II, a fighter that was particularly effective at close air support. However, the A-10 is more commonly known by its nickname "Warthog" or simply "Hog".[3] As a secondary mission, it provides airborne forward air control, guiding other aircraft against ground targets. A-10s used primarily in this role are designated OA-10.[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-10_Thunderbolt_II

He aslo told me not to tell his mother. he didn't want to worry her.


Cadet has now been accepted to the Naval Academy Summer Seminar.

So now he gets to PICK which academy he wants to attend.

Yes! My warrior-geek children rule!