Independence Day: Enjoying Your Freedom? Don’t Thank a Veteran…

Independence Day for Americans is a day where we signify the birth of a nation; the start of the grand experiment known as democracy and the establishment of a set of systems and values that would go on to define the United States, of which we are still continuing to how should I say, “refine” as necessary.  Perhaps “tweak” is a more apropos; refinement lends more towards the purposeful processing, removing of impurities or unwanted portions in order to reduce the content of the substance down to a more pure, valuable or useful state. Some may think the United States is being refined, others may think the contrary. Nevertheless, days like the 4th of July have great meaning behind them, that like Continue reading

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Every Form of Contact

It seems like my old buddy H.R. McMaster is back in the news, now as our new National Security Adviser.  Here’s hoping my interactions with him now will be different than when I did so in 2005 in Tal’Afar.  I saw this Mother Jones article on ‘The Hero of Tal Afar’….

 Hero.  Some might call him that. Others may not. After all, it was a long time ago.

 But it reminds me of a time, long ago, back in Tal’Afar. It was a hell of a day…

  Continue reading

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Twelve: the hours in the day

Which my heart still beats

Reminding me that I made it out

When you never did.


Continue reading

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Book-Bound in Sweat and Blood, Replayed in the Theaters in Their Heads

I haven’t had time or energy to post much recently as work has been crazy-busy, and we’re putting in a lot of hours. But something recently came to my attention that I could not let rest only in my head, or in my tortured soul: Kevin Powers. For those of you who do not know, Powers is an Iraq War veteran and author of a few books, including the very popular The Yellow Birds.

 I read Powers’ book The Yellow Birds in 2013.

I think I read about it in a magazine while I was either on a plane or in a waiting room Continue reading

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Addiction (part 2)

Continued from Additcton (Part 1)

We had already got our fix that day.
An overdose perhaps,
But that did not stop
Them from providing more;
Nor us from enduring it.

Coming down, after several
Hours-in, we were rolling home
When that fireball erupted Continue reading

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Addiction (part 1)

You never knew you
Needed it until they gave
It to you.

Young and naive
Maybe you might have dreamt of it;
Pretended it.

You might have asked for it;
Sought it, prayed for it
Imagined it, feared it.
But when it comes
The rush is beyond belief. Continue reading

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A Special Veterans Day Pages From My Pocket: Post-Deployment Dream List

I’ve neglected to write entries for the “Pages From My Pocket” series for several weeks now. Work has been ridiculously stressful and busy, and by the end of a commute and dinner, I grow weary. And then writing becomes hard. And since this time has elapsed, I recognized that the neglecting to write had got me thinking about the other things in my life that I have been neglecting. Which brings me right back to that old, tan, dusty and worn-out notebook.

In my notebook from the Surge I found some loose-leaf stuff wedged in between some of the pages. Like a time machine, they were wedged into pages that represent a snapshot in Continue reading

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Life gets in the way 

I haven’t posted anything in over a month now. Though I had plenty to say and write about the Pages From My Pocket series, as well as other quips, tales and thoughts – life has just gotten in the way. 

Work is insanely busy. I struggle to find time to even pause to reflect on what my life is like now, though the stress and angst with work and life should pale in comparison to my life overseas. 

I will write. That I promise you. Just bear with me. 

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Contact: Time Measured in Seconds —

TBOTB Blog sponsored by: Protalus Discount Code: ffvillage Support Wounded Warriors Publishing Contact. What is it? It’s a radio-call; it’s an event; it’s something you receive, not something you get to give (there are other words for that); it is what you train for. What is contact? I realized that contact means a little something different to […]

via Contact: Time Measured in Seconds —

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The Print Shop: Pages From My Pocket

In this week’s edition of Pages From My Pocket: The Print Shop

There were a lot of anti-Iraq force (AIF) support networks and facilitation cells in Tal’Afar. I remember that there were a lot of ‘shops’. A lot of businesses got used to disguise locations to build IEDs or car bombs. A lot of businesses were required to fabricate a number of things associated with conducting their counterinsurgency. Back in these early days of the war, a lot of things were ‘tell-tale signs’ of insurgent activity or threats. A car that had a bunch of munitions thrown into the trunk would make the back end ‘ride low’ due to their weight. SO, we looked for a lot of vehicles that ‘rode low’.  I think that once this technique was discovered it was quickly remedied. Cars that were to be used as Continue reading

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