Saturday, January 21, 2006
peace (1) comments
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
Pay no mind to the rabble, pay no mind to the rabble
Head down, go to sleep to the rhythm of the war drums
my life is a fucking cliche (0) comments
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
i've been calling high school students for the last two hours..i finally gave up and made two up though.. what a stupid job.. my boss claims to be in top physical shape, and he claims he's practicing for a marathon or some shit.. well we took a pt test last week, and i had a bruised nerve in my back that made my back hurt like shit and made me lose like a third of the feeling in my right arm... needless to say my score went down from the last time, but i still fucking did better than most of this company..WHAT THE HELL?! oh yeah and i smoked my boss on the run, and i got the worse run time i've gotten since basic training.. my back hurt so fucking bad.. the point is, he's a liar and a fucking cripple did better on the pt test than him.. GO RECRUITING! (0) comments
Monday, November 07, 2005
lets see what's new with me?
well, i'm a recruiter now, so that's goin on... uh... it's been exactly a year since i came home from iraq, uh.. i have a great girlfriend, she's probably the only person on earth who actually knows anything about anything about how i've been doing since i've come home from iraq.
i don't think i'm doing so well. i don't even know how i feel. when i first came home i was having horrible nightmares, i spent most nights waking up multiple times in cold sweats with my heart pounding up into my throat. sometimes i was too afraid to go back to sleep. my confidence was completely shot, i had no clue how to function in a regular environment.. you'd think surviving a war would give you confidence..haha.. nope... then december came... against most people's wishes i started seeing someone, who i'm still with and everyday feels better than the first. that month was the best month of my life. i didn't care what anyone thought about it because the way i saw it, i just came back from iraq, so i was going to do somthing that made me happy. the nightmares subsided with the rare exception, the war was a distant memory, life was golden. i almost completely broke down one night in daves car, at first he seemed almost annoyed with it,but after a few minutes i think he changed his feelings about it. i didn't even know what i was saying it was weird, i was shaking so bad i had trouble lighting my cigarette. i caught my breath and pulled myself together. the first episode in a series of severe guilt for being home.. do they call that survivors guilt or some shit?
i went back to washington.. i was really sad to go, but...all things good or bad must come to a close eventually... i love washington though, i love my friends there, they're my brothers, we came home together and no one can take away from us the experiences we shared for a year, cheesy i know. for the most part, the war didn't come up in a bad way except for the occasional drunken episode that could strike any one of us, haha.. every now and then i had a slice of december come into my life for a weekend or a week and it was golden..
then i got the orders for recruiting school. awesome..more than likely i'd get to come home and to do this, so that was awesome, it was the begining of a light at the end of my tunnell, all i wanted was to come home. so bad it hurt. going to that school was my first serious taste of actually having to adjust to being home... leave didn't count because it's a vacation, the newness overpowered anything else. being in ft lewis didn't count because the only people around me were the same people around me in iraq, it was just us in a different place. recruiting school was my first taste of having to deal with people. the anger started. the only good thing in my life was the love of my life, she puts up with me, haha..
i started getting angry, at everybody, whether or not it was deserved i almost blamed everyone around me for not having been in the war, i selfishly felt like most of their issues didn't matter because they weren't life or death, like they were petty nonissues. i started getting paranoid, like everyone thought i was a joke or somthing, like nothing i felt was real to them so they thought it was funny or stupid. i started feeling like that stereotypical war vet that everyone laughs at, who hasn't quite adjusted. who just can't get over it. i used to be a happy drunk, i started getting quiet and antisocial whenever i was in a social setting. the jumpiness started getting worse. the slightest thud or bang would bring me back for a split second, the imagined sound of bullets zinging by my head and rpgs whizzing past and explosions and machinegun fire and people screaming and people dying and bleeding, bodies breaking apart..all swimming in my head for a split second, all too real, leaving me competeley disoriented, sometimes i'd totally forget where i was. probably up to 20 times a fucking day. still the occasional nightmare but no where near as often as when i first came home. every complacent second in my day became filled with iraq, it still does actually. i kinda started noticing that maybe i wasn't quite adjusted to being home, but i made no real attempt to do anything about it, i almost savoured it. somthing just didn't feel right. luckily i'm too much of a jackass to make anything immediately apparent to people around me, maybe that's why no one takes me very seriously. haha
then i went back to ft lewis, i was only supposed to be there for a few weeks, but my recruiting school background check got backlogged and i ended up staying for about 3 months. it wasn't so bad because for about the first month and a half i didn't even have a real job in my platoon so i just went home everyday. my mind got a lot better when i got back to ft lewis. it felt good to be back with my friends who got me, haha what i mean is my friends who understood what i was feeling and most of whom were feeling almost the same way. i decided that once i could finally come home, i should make a roadtrip out of it, and my girlfriend agreed, so she flew out here and ended up staying about 2 and a half months out here, she was only supposed to stay like 2 weeks. it was alright though cause although she was bored she also didn't have any responsibility for anything, so she enjoyed for the most part. after being in washington a while the anger came back, and the jumpiness never left. what first materialized in south carolina between us came back a while into washington. mainly, me being angry about iraq and inadvertently directing it at her. it put strains on our relationship at times that almost broke it, but we tried to work thru it, mainly i tried to work thru it since it was pretty much all me. i didn't understand it, the anger just got worse over time, the feelings of paranoia and blame for everyone. iraq was starting to fuck my head up. one time me and her were watching a documentary about injured soldiers who returned from iraq, and one guy's voice got fucked up, and somthing about seeing him in his uniform and hearing him talk tore me up, i broke down.. i made her hit stop and my head fell into my hands. i just sat there sobbing like a baby and she just watched, she wasn't sure what to say. i don't remember what i was saying, somthing along the lines of "it's not fair" i pulled myself together and she didn't say anything, i hit play and we just kept watching, no one said anything about it.
finally i got my orders to leave. we were both really fucking happy. i cleared post, had one final night with my friends, and then we headed out on our roadtrip. the roadtrip was fucking great. first we visitied mcmahon in oregon, he was in iraq with me, he'd recently gotten out. we had dinner with him then drove thru the night to jeff's place in california. i think most of you remember jeff. him and his wife went with us to san fransisco then me and jayne spent the night there. we headed straight to the grand canyon the next day, that was probably my favorite stretch of driving. the grand canyon was amazing. we got there in the middle of the night and sat on a bench looking into it, you couldn't see anything but a grayish black blur, you could see the lights of buildings and hear the wind blowing thru it so it gave you an idea of it's magnitude. watching the sun rise over it was probably one of the most peaceful moments in my life. me and the person i love most wrapped in a blanket on a bench just quitely watching the canyon slowly come into view. perfection
then we headed on the longest stretch of road to her dads in texas. texas was fucking awesome as well, we spent about three days there. that was a really fun time. the most laidback, fun place i've seen. we left from there to new orleans, that was a cool drive too, it rained a shitload though. we almost weren't going to go but luckily we did, cause i mean now it's ruined. we spent 2 nights there. it was a blast, that place never stopped. nonstop party, we kinda just kept to ourselves though but it was nice. i pretty much ran out of money so we drove straight home. we got home at like3 or 4 in the morning and swam in my parents pool until like 9 or somthing. it was an awesome morning, it felt so good to be home. it felt like i came to the end of a three year journey. it felt like everything turned out alright, i was home safe with someone i love. the danger long past.. perfection
i spent a total of 45 days off from any work, it was the greatest siesta ever, i just completely vegetated.
we got an apartment together and were pretty much broke until i started getting that recruiting pay.
now i'm a recruiter, i am not sure i can begin to describe what i am feeling right now. at first i felt completely miserable, i hated being home, the boredom of life here was making me feel complacent. i finally got my anger under control for the most part, and that's really helped our relationship a lot. now i live in groundhogs day. i wake up everyday, shower, spend a few moments with jayne, then i have to leave. i hate leaving. the hours are too long, i work 70-80 hours a week. i'm suddenly expected to jump thru hoops for a joker whose done nothing in his army career worth speaking of. a year before i was laying waste with a SAW, living on the edge of death with my best friends. i feel like i'm living in office space. the first sign that it was gonna stress me out made me let go, i don't care about this job. i'm bored. i'm too bored to be angry. i need somthing exciting in my life. i'm at some kind of crossroads right now.. do i go back to the infantry? or do i move on? my parents told me about an awesome school in orlando... i could go there and become a recording studio technician, that'd be fucking sweet, i know nothing about that shit, but they could teach me. so what do i do? i need time to think.. i still havn't gotten over iraq and i think that's what's drawing me to the infantry side. sometimes i feel like i need to go back, like for closure or somthing. i know it won't give me closure, last time it just ended one day, no finale.. we just stopped going outside the gate one day.. that was it. so if i go back will there be closure? iraq feels like a half answered question to me.. i don't know what i'm looking for... i don't want to leave jayne though. i don't want to put her thru what i put my family thru. i don't want to put them thru that again either. let alone the rest of my family. or my friends. but somthing is lingering in me right now.. everytime i turn the news on i wish i was over there. it's the guilt. the guilt of knowing that some of my friends have to go back, that whether or not they like it, once wasn't enough. most of my friends have gotten out of the army and are moving on to different things. do they all feel this way sometimes? why do i feel guilty? why do i feel like once wasn't enough.. i don't need to prove anything to myself or anyone else, i know that's not it. it's somthing intangible.. like i need to go back. i used to look at it as a last resort if my life goes to shit.. but it's not going to shit. i have a lot going for me. what is wrong with me? will i be even more fucked up if i go back.. i'm lucky, i know someone whose legally insane from iraq, a great guy, a great friend of mine, he should've been awarded at least a silver star for one particular event, all he got was a fucked up head and a disability check from uncle sam.
are we todays vietnam vets? i know vietnam was way more fucked up, but back then they used to tell vietnam vets that nam wasn't so bad compared to WW2. on the other hand they say if we had the same medical technology as the vietnam era then 9/10 of the injuries in iraq woud've been deaths so far.. that'd put us at over 10,000 deaths at this point. so i dunno... i'm getting off on a tangent.
my anger ended after one particular event.. me and jayne talked it thru and that really helped.. maybe i just need to talk it thru sometimes.. maybe that's what i'm doing right now. i'm not medically depressed, but i'm depressed.. iraq has had a profound affect on my life. good or bad it's left it's mark.
you never feel as alive as you do after being faced with imminent death and making it past unscathed.... cliche as it is it's true. maybe this is my withdrawl from that... i don't feel alive anymore.. i just exist. it's weird.. but i've never been as comfortable in doing somthing as i did in iraq. i can't explain it.
i've never been as terrified as i did in iraq.. real terror has a way of making you look at things differently.
now i travel around the civilian world trying to find people willing to take part. mostly i hear everyones thoughts about the war. and i've been called a few nasty names.. i've even been accused of being an ugly american for having taken part in the war.
since i've been home i've been thanked a handful of times but asked if i've ever killed anyone far more times. i act like it had no impact on me,i even joke about it but one time i tried to hint that it did and my best friend brushed it off as a stupid feeling.. like who really cares.. well sorry everybody, it leaves a mark.. it does bother me sometimes.. sorry best friend, and you are my best friend, but you couldn't know what that feels like. what if right now some kid's dad is dead cause of me, some moms son, a widows former husband.. those are lives that ended. little stories that i closed. i'm not going to speak of it the way i did anymore, it's disrespectful to the dead, my little defense mechanism to avoid any more guilt. it's serious... sorry i've gotten off on another tangent.
one of the few times i've been thanked has been by my father.. the other one was a WW2 vet who i thanked in return and the other was a woman who pulled up next to me when i was on my way home from work in ft lewis one day. maybe a couple other times as well. anyway, the most profound one was my dad. he found an award i got from iraq i guess. anyway he found me in the kitchen, walked up to me and shook my hand. he said "nick i wanna thank you for your service and for what you've done" it was really the only time i truly felt appreciated. usually when i've been thanked or somthing i get embaressed.
this weekend a whole bunch of my family came in for a surprise party for my parents 25th wedding anniversary. being with everyone made me happy. i don't even have to be interacting with anyone, just sitting back and watching everyone, and knowing that i'm a part of that, that makes me happy. it's sort of brightened my bleak existence. well that's unfair to say, because everyday i go home to a great girl, and what little time we spend together everyday is the only part of the day i consider worthwhile. but i want to incorporate that with a complete day that i feel is worthwhile. i know i can't leave her for a year and go to iraq because that would kill both of us inside. but that little lingering feeling. j blegh i need to sit down and think.
overall now i'd say i'm doing better than i was most of the earlier part of the year. i'm too numb and tired to care or be angry, and what i do now will never stress me out, i flush everything out of my head the second i walk out of the office, but i know that there can be relapses. i'm not as jumpy anymore, i don't get as angry, the nightmares are very infrequent, what used to be multiple nightmares a night has now become maybe one or two a month. however, every moment that i'm not occupied with somthing i think of iraq, my back is fucked up and my hearing is a little impaired. i still get sad, and now the most common emotion i feel about iraq is a nostalgic longing. i know it's a long road and i know that i still have work to do to adjust, i've been doing pretty good overall at trying to improve. i love her, she's stuck with me no matter how fucked up in the head i was or how i acted and i owe her a lot for that. she helped me feel better and she still helps me feel better. she's an integral part of my life now. that's my comfort. if i was alone this past year i don't know what i'd be writing right now. but i'd probably be a lot worse off.
Two years ago i was a nineteen year old PFC setting out into the unknown, not knowing if i would make it home again or if any of my buddies would either. Luckily none of my close friends died, i'm thankful for that, even though i know people who died while we were over there. Lots of people got injured, all varying in seriousness. some people completely lost their minds, everyone came home a little different. did it all really happen? that whole year? was it real? i'm pretty sure this has degraded into a ramble so i'm gonna wrap it up. we'll see what this next year has to offer...
PEACE I'M OUTTA HERE (1) comments
Saturday, February 26, 2005
shit, it's been a while since i posted on here. lets see.. i made it back from iraq in one piece. it's great to be back. at first it was strange, it took a little bit to adjust, but now it feels almost normal again. when i went home in december i found happiness. now i never want to go back to iraq. at first i did, but now.....hell no. december was the best month of my life, it made the whole previous year worthwhile.
sometimes, when i think about iraq it feels like it never really happened. like it was some weird dream or somthing. it's funny, because while i was over there that's how i felt about home. still though, sometimes, i look around, and i can't beleive i'm actually home. the other day i was walking to my car and i stopped to get my keys out of my pocket. when i pulled the keys out i looked down at them in my hand. then i looked up at the car. it was the same car i drove in high school. all of a sudden it felt very strange to be standing in front of that car. it was a surreall reminder that i was home, and that iraq was over for me. i mean that's all really dumb and none of it makes any fucking sense, but everyday it's little things about normal life that seem so surreall to me, that i'm back. it feels good to be reminded that i'm home.
i don't think a day goes when i don't think about iraq though. that place has stolen a part of me. a small piece of my soul will always want to go back there.. back to my weird little "star wars meets twilight zone meets vietnam meets the wild west" world. i'll really miss it. most of me wants to move on and start a life, but there will always be that little part of me that longs for one more raid, or one more firefight, or just one more patrol. mostly though, i can't wait to get out and go to college, and just get on with my life. i'd rather miss iraq than go back and get shot in the head or blown up or somthing. MUTHAFUCKER I'M HOME
PEACE I'M OUTTA HERE! (0) comments
Friday, February 04, 2005
Thursday, February 03, 2005