Tuesday, January 29, 2008


They're building a wall. Actually they are building several. This is the main occupation of Daniel's squad, when they're not pulling guard duty or walking extra patrol.

The wall is to be the presence in the future, which the Army is currently. It divides ideology. It prevents the flow of animosity down dusty streets which have seen Hatfield/McCoy-like dedication to the anhiliation of the enemy within.

Doonesbury had a comic about the point which Daniel said was "spot on," in his experience. The CLC (Concerned Local Citizen) wanted the Army to blow up the house where an intelligence target was located. The driver asked why and the reply was, "Someone from his family killed someone from my family."
"How long ago was that?" was the next question.
"About 1,300 years ago."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

All Quiet on the Western Front

I am out of town for the next few days and wanted to post something so regular readers wouldn't be left high and dry. (un)Fortunately he said nothing is going on.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Strange Dichotomy

Daniel took a mandatory class yesterday. It was on suicide and why it's a bad thing.

While he wouldn't argue that point, the humor of it was that the Army does not want you to kill yourself, however the very nature of the job is a willingness to give of one's life.

He didn't want to get too esoteric about it, just chuckled and got a cup of coffee so he didn't fall asleep during it.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

Daniel 3:19 had the king of Babylon (located near present day Baghdad) throwing Daniel and his friends into the fiery furnace for refusing to worship him.

Modern day Baghdad has its fiery furnaces too. Daniel took a picture of this one this morning.

An instrument of Saddam's torture, re-ignited to heat up sectarian violence? No, an oven at a bakery where they stopped early in the morning, just in time to enjoy bread right after being taken out.

Daniel says:
fresh baked bread is wonderful....I only got one piece, but it was mouth watering, warm, and still soft. I ate it not less then a minute after coming out of the oven
Diane says:
Yum. Did it have a hard, but still supple crust?
You're making my mouth water btw
Daniel says:
it wasn't too hard, or crunchy, but it was a nice crust. biting into it, your teeth sink into warm bread, the steam rising from it as you consume it
Diane says:
Do you get to do this very often? Be at a bakery in the middle of the night?
Daniel says:
not at night no, but we do go to bakeries often, when we have the chance anyway. the LT is a bread monger

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Words from beyond

I was profoundly touched by an article in Stryker News today, while looking at things for Daniel. It was a tribute (with the link below) to Maj. Andrew Olmsted, who lost his life in Iraq. He was not 2nd Cav, but was of note among other things, as a military blogger. His final blog entry was profound and touching. I know that all soldiers write a final note to friends and family, should the unspeakable happen, but I have never been privvy to one before.

I don't know what Daniel wrote. I pray God's mercy that I don't have to find out.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

From the Department of Defense

America Supports You: Calendar Provides Troop-Support Ideas
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3, 2008 – New Year’s resolutions frequently include good intentions, such as joining a gym, calling parents or organizing closets. But through its America Supports You program, the Defense Department is helping Americans resolve to support the nation’s servicemembers throughout 2008.

America Supports You is a DoD program that connects citizens and corporations with military personnel and their families serving at home and abroad. It’s ringing in 2008 with a 12-month calendar suggesting ways to support the nation’s military men and women and their families each month. “Remembering the troops at a time when people are already setting goals will help keep the nation’s servicemen and women in the forefront of our minds throughout the year,” said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for public liaison and internal communications. The calendar, which can be downloaded into Outlook or iCal calendars, is available on AmericaSupportsYou.mil.
The site not only offers ideas on how individuals can support the troops, but also contains information about troop-support groups in their area. Some suggestions found on the calendar include sending Valentine’s Day cards to troops serving overseas during February or lending a helping hand to military families during April, the Month of the Military Child. When summer rolls around with swim lessons, camp dates and family vacations, the June calendar includes a reminder to donate frequent-flier miles to servicemembers and their families who so often are separated. September brings the opportunity to join in or plan a local America Supports You Freedom Walk to commemorate victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and to honor veterans, past and present. The calendar also includes ways to honor servicemembers on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. “There are so many ways to show the military men and women we support them and the work they do,” Barber said. “I hope people nationwide will take the time to remember the troops when setting their New Year’s goals and that they find the reminders in the calendar helpful in achieving them.”
For more information about the calendar, visit AmericaSupportsYou.mil and click on the New Year’s Resolution icon.


We haven't heard from Daniel in a few days. The Seattle Times said 2 soldiers were killed over the weekend in Diyala province, so they are probably on blackout.

No knocks on the door, so it's not Daniel. I don't look forward to adding more names to the roster however.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Rockets Red Glare

Daniel says:
We had a rocket attack the other day; 6 rockets whizzed over our tent
Diane says:
Over is a good word
Daniel says:
The Iraqis are very good with direction, but thank goodness they are horrible with angles, otherwise we would have been gone for sure, the rockets hit about a mile over the FOB