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To follow the milblog conference, Ive been pretty busy and almost couldn’t attend the conference itself. Its all good as Im already back in DC and taking care of business once again. Recently Abu Musab al-Zarqawi released a video where he dismissed Iraq’s new government as an American "stooge" and called it a "poisoned dagger" in the heart of the Muslim world. He continued to tell about how he has been beating the coalition forces there from his directed attacks and such. Granted there are attacks going against us, but not all are directed from him. Some are chance encounters others are planned deliberate attacks.

The fact of the matter is that he is feeling the pressure about what is going on in his homeland and what little support he is receiving. The Iraqi people are growing and discovering what their new democracy is and how it changes their lives. Pathetic portrayals of “his” men drawing in the dirt explaining how they attacked our forces is a sign that that’s the best they have to put on their video that they are sending to the world? No video of what the are preaching? I think it would have had a much better punch if they had footage of their attacks……but wait you have to attack US forces to film it. They have their propaganda films which are set up cameras at ambush points to catch the attacks on American forces but usually they don’t work or get captured by us. The films that get out are doctored to benefit them and their goals, i.e. propaganda.

This is yet another timid attempt to get all of our panties in a wad and worry about “future attacks”. These losers are so on the run the last thing they want to do is attack Coalition forces and especially within the US. Speaking of losers though……..Osama………….haven’t heard from him in awhile aye? Guess its hard to video yourself with every blond 6 foot Coalition member looking for your sorry butt. No worries he will slip up soon enough.

The best part of all of this is Iran. Yea, Iran. Because they are now beginning to see what democracy is doing in Iraq and they are beginning to say, if they have that, we want that too! So no doubt here soon another Iraq nuclear flex will appear in the press trying to stifle the sway of their citizens and down play what the US is accomplishing in Iraq and believe it or not in their country to.

Iraq and its country men are getting stronger every day. They have received guidance, training, supplies and help from the US and now the time has come for them to step up and take over. Below in the “Combat Update” it describes exactly that. Iraqi’s doing the work and taking charge and US forces beginning to ease up their efforts until needed to kick the crap outs someone once again.

The dirtbags are on the run!
Semper Fi
Capt B, sends…………..

Just before I departed for the Milblog conference I attended the 2d Marine Division Memorial service for its fallen Marines, Soldiers, Sailors while fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
It was a nice morning and the bad weather held off as families began to arrive in the grassed amphitheater. I stood almost in the very back to give all the seats possible to any family members that arrived. VIP’s and the like began to sit as the chaplain began to read and eventually every service member of the 265 that were killed name was read one at a time. Family members sat and cried and you could almost watch the families be identified as a name was read, their parents, wife or kids would begin to weep even more only to be comforted by friends and in some cases fellow widows. I was holding it together pretty well I thought as the names were like ghosts coming back because I could remember what I was doing when I recognized a read name in Iraq. Death is terrible but if you read here before you know my thoughts are when its your time it your time. I thought I was holding it together at least until a young Marines name was read and his wife and two boys (5-6 yrs old) were standing in front of me. The wife began to cry harder and her two boys felt the fear of mom being upset and that fact of another reminder that dad wasn’t ever coming home and they to began to cry as well. The younger of the two boys knew what was going on and began to try to console the older brother by hugging him. All crying harder although the names continued to be read. Total strangers tried their best to comfort them but the void in their life was permanent. That’s was the toughest for me. To witness the part of the family members soul yanked out from their service members loss. All 265 Marines, Sailors and Soldiers answered the call. They wont be forgotten and they are all hero’s!

Iraqi soldiers capture four insurgents, steady in progress toward relieving Coalition Forces by year’s endBANI DA HAR, Iraq (April 26, 2006) -- It was pitch dark when four insurgents were captured in this town of 3,000 nestled along the Euphrates River in Iraq’s Al Anbar Province. With the prisoners secured and on their way to a detention facility; Iraqi soldiers celebrated the achievement with stoic professionalism. They’re proud of the fact more insurgents are off the streets of this small town, and that they captured the bandits without the assistance of the U.S. Marines – which has been an uncommon occurrence in the few years since the end of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. “We are sending a message to the insurgents,” said “Ahmed,” one of the Iraqi soldiers involved in the capture of the four insurgents. “There is a new sheriff in town.” In recent months, the soldiers – all from 2nd Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division – have demonstrated their ability to operate without the assistance of Coalition Forces, said Staff Sgt. Mike Wear, intelligence chief assigned to the Military Transition Team here. Moreover, Coalition Forces here say the Iraqis’ latest successful counterinsurgency operation is indicative of their overall progress in recent months.They have independently raided insurgent hideouts, located weapons caches and set up traffic control points to catch insurgents transporting weapons in the past few months. “I believe that with the progress they are making with us and the (Marines) in the province, these soldiers will be ready to take over their battle space in six to eight months,” said Lt. Col. Owen Lovejoy, senior advisor for 2/2/7’s military transition team. Most importantly, the soldiers have given a sense of security to local residents, according to “Mohamed,” who enlisted in the Iraqi Army just recently. Moreover, residents feel the Iraqi soldiers from “2/2/7” are providing that security, instead of relying solely on Coalition Forces for such protection, said Mohamed. The recent successful counterinsurgency operation by the Iraqi soldiers, dubbed Operation Bani Da Har, was the fourth fully independent operation Iraqi soldiers have conducted since February, according to the Military Transition Team responsible for mentoring the fledgling Iraqi Army unit. The soldiers’ recent accomplishments has led Lt. Col. Owen Lovejoy, 42, the senior advisor assigned on the Transition Team, to believe the Iraqi soldiers here will be capable of independent operations in western Al Anbar province on schedule. While all of the Iraqi soldiers here say they are glad they are keeping the peace here, some have a more personal interest of ensuring insurgents are kept off the streets, and unable to intimidate residents. Some, like Ahmed, grew up amid violence stemmed from Saddam’s dictatorship, he said. The young Iraqi soldier said he looks forward to any chance he gets to fight insurgents like those who terrorized his family when he was growing up. Before Coalition Forces ousted Saddam Hussein from power, theft and vandalism was commonplace, said Ahmed. Growing up, gun fights were a regular occurrence in his neighborhood, and would often keep him awake at night, he said.“There are a lot of children that will not have to grow up in fear of insurgents and criminals who have no respect for others and human rights,” said Ahmed, through an interpreter. “When the Marines leave here we are going to be the ones responsible for protecting the innocent people.” At the Iraqi soldiers’ camp here, Ahmed said he will never forget the day Hussein was captured by Coalition Forces. “I will take pride in assuring no child ever has to go through what I did when I was a kid,” said Ahmed.But now, Iraqi Security Forces are beginning to take the lead in operations such as the one Ahmed and other soldiers from 2/2/7 conducted to find and detain insurgents hiding among the local populace, according to Lovejoy.During the raid, the Iraqi soldiers demonstrated not only their ability to conduct a successful counterinsurgency mission, but also to plan and support such an operation. Prior to the raid, Iraqi soldiers established a central command and control structure – an essential piece of the puzzle to effect military operations here, according to Wear, 28.In less than 30 minutes, the soldiers established a combat operations center, complete with communications equipment, supplies and maps. Moreover, they completed the task in near-total darkness, using minimal light to prevent attracting enemy attention, said Wear. The feat impressed Wear, who added that such a task would be difficult even for a well-seasoned U.S. Marine unit due to the limited visibility at night. The soldiers also planned for any emergency situations which may have arisen, said Wear. They formed a quick reaction force – a team of soldiers designated to respond to emergencies, such as medical evacuations and providing extra firepower in the even of an enemy attack. Just six months ago, the Marines were in the driver’s seat of such operations, while Iraqi soldiers simply “shadowed” them to learn tactics and procedures for conducting security operations in Al Anbar Province, said Wear, a native of Port St. Joe, Fla. Now, they are doing it themselves, said Wear. “A few months ago, the Marines were running the operations and we were their just to watch and learn,” said “Hasim,” another 2/2/7 soldier. “Now, we are running the show and the Marines are just observing our progress.” The soldiers’ steady progress has laid the ground work for future multi-company-level Iraqi Army operations in the region, according to the Marines. “We have learned not just how to conduct operations, but how to conduct them with limited resources, such as sunlight,” boasted Hasim. Since the Transition Team arrived in Iraq three months ago, the Iraqi soldiers have also demonstrated an improvement in their ability to collect their own intelligence, a key factor to counterinsurgency operations, according to 1st. Lt. Jesse Cope, the Transition Team’s logistics officer. “One key success the soldiers had this mission is they developed the intelligence and it led to the capture of a highly sought after insurgent,” said Cope. Another factor contributing to the Iraqi soldiers’ steady progress is the experience they’ve gained while working hand-in-hand with the Hawaii-based 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment – the U.S. military unit assigned to provide security here until Iraqi Security Forces are ready to take over operations later this year. The Marine battalion arrived here more than a month ago, and has worked side-by-side with their Iraqi counterparts nearly daily to quell insurgent activity in the region. “All the rifle companies continue to give capabilities to the Iraqi soldiers when they train with them daily,” said Lovejoy, a 23-year Marine Corps veteran and Brookville, Fla., native. “The rifle companies are ultimately building them for success.”


(pic of Capt B, Marty from AnySoldier and “Taco” from Sandgram)
The first annual MilBlog convention is over. What a pleasure it was to meet everyone and put a face to a name. Thank you all that got to attend for those that couldn’t you got to come out next year! I departed for the convention at 1400 (2pm) on sunnyfriday afternoon which would put me in the Walter Reed area in plenty of time to go bash some pinkos! Entering Va, the sky’s opened up and everyone decided to get on their cell phones and drive 45 mph in front of me. So if you were on I-95 around then, I was they guy shouting at you to move it or loose it sister!!! Arrghh!! By the time I got in to the area it was 2000 (8pm) and I headed over to Mr & “Ma Bells” (Taco’s mom & dads house) where I stayed for the weekend.

What great folks, great hospitality and care. Thanks again guys!! We went out the night before to meet everyone at “Frans O’Briens” and share some story’s. It was a great time for all to meet and recognize our like minds. The next day, we headed for the convention while yes, it continued to rain. The conference was divided up into the three panels where all of the panelist spoke and shared their experiences and techniques. Lunch was sponsored by Military.com which provided great chow and educated us on the improvements of their site and where its headed. A very professional event through and through put on by “Andi” and served great for the first event.

An overview of the conference was that the “word” wasn’t getting out to the American people and Milblogs and Blogs in general filled that gap and continued to overflow and may take over the entire information requirement one day. In general the information flow that blogs fill is described by me in three ways. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

The Good
What we are seeing today and what’s to come in the future. Technology continues to expand and in conjunction with that so will blogs and ways people need to get the information. Giving accurate information from a source is worth its weight in gold. A good rule for any blogger is to stay in your box. Talk about what you know and talk about it well. That’s a solid guide for any blogger, novice or experienced. You can help the machine grow by educating friends and people you care about so they too can know the truth. How tuff is to send a friend a link in an email?? In the future, we will see Podcasts, live feeds and instant information which will require the media sources to rise to the competition or be left behind. Currently, they are slipping in my opinion and will be left behind as a new era of information sources appear.

The Bad
Inaccurate information or no information at all. Look back 10 years where email and the internet was an infant and where its at today. What will it be like in another 10 years? Letters from soldiers and infrequent phone calls as recent as Desert Storm help demonstrate the strives that have been built from bloggers and other sources. In the past, “other sources” have told the story and haven’t done a respectable job in doing it or told the story with their spin on it. This is why blogs can be so powerful.

The Ugly
Summed up, the media. Many “sources” take a basic topic, read into it, add their two cents then fire hose it out to the masses. The worse part is that everyone listens and believes it for gospel. Hello sanity check, here come blogs in your face. Some say I want the info from the Government. OK, that could be done but then all those bed wetter’s out there would scream like little girls because “it would be tainted” by the Government in their favor. Then you have some say they want info from the “only” source, the current media stations. Holy bat shit! Yea great idea. That would work if we fired most of the current media freaks and replaced them with bloggers WHO get the info they talk about from the source (usually themselves) who are making the news. Do bloggers put their spin on what they write about? Yip, they do but they are also human and keep things original and don’t get paid for persuading the public in one way or another. Bloggers don’t tell a story about Iraqi’s in Ramadi rioting then show footage of Iraqi’s in Baghdad running around and selling it as Iraqi’s rioting. What would they gain by doing that??

From the conference, blogs have become a sanity check, a source of information, entertainment and even therapy for some. If you can take a Milblog, generate support for service members and increase the education of the average joe about what really is going on with the warrior, family member or average joe…………then I say blog away until your fingers bleed, then tape them and blog some more………….within your box.

One Marine’s View is adapting. I say adapting because Im not in Iraq anymore and we Maries always adapt and overcome. So a few additions that you will see on the site in the near future in conjunction with posts, in no particular order are below:

Here I will get you the info on what the bad guys are saying about a topic. How they perceive things and how they use the information

If you have been to the site before you’ve probably seen these at the end of the posts informing you of what the hell is really going on the battle field.

In the past Ive been reluctant to post donation, charity etc events. I truly felt if I did one then I should do all. So in the future when you see this title you can expect some information on something where someone needs your help. Come on folks, give til it hurts……….or enlist and go to Iraq, your choice!

Last but not least……

Here I will bring the attention to a warrior, citizen, American that has done the good deed and perhaps paid the ultimate price. Its not a mourners board but a place where you can find out about warriors like Sergeant First Class Smith (Fist Medal of Honor recipient of the Iraq war)………this will be good!

While I drove back another 6 hours today………in the rain today I thought about the conference and where we are today and where we are headed. The center of it all is you. You, me everyone needs the truth and as much info as possible to support, affect and to make a difference. If you want sit aside and let others tell you what’s going on around you then don’t bitch when you don’t get the real deal. You can make a difference!

Returning to base, Capt B sends
“Semper Fi”

TCB (Taking Care of Business)

(Taking Care of Business)
Got back from Norfolk, hid some Easter eggs, smoked some Easter Maduro Cigars and washed the car to only have it downpour on it. (Note to all third world country’s, if you have a shortage of rain and need an invasion, call the Marines and ask for me because it is a guarantee to have it rain shortly after I wash my car!)

Easter was great with a sunrise service with Marine Corps Band, and to the point message. Followed up with a Cracker barrel breakfast the holiday was a hit. Not to fully enjoy Monday off we departed again on the road to Washington, DC. We got there late afternoon and decided to go for a run to the monuments downtown. Not have seen the WWII memorial, that was our target (3 mi each way). Great run and a lot of scenery so my fat butt was happy as the run went quick) We got to the memorial and although somewhat crowded we checked it out and must of stood out as a few people asked if we were Marines and then about the memorial. Running back we blew through the Lincoln memorial (very cool) and then back to the key bridge area. Staying at the Key Bridge area (nice area) there was plenty of restaurants to enjoy. Before we went to eat we stopped by the Iowa Memorial. Regardless of how many times I see it it is pretty cool. I picked a nice place called Orleans steak house to eat at (kick butt prime rib & recommended by Taco so how could I go wrong?).

We began the day at the Pentagon taking care of business (Note: Pentagon is the biggest building in the US by square footage). We began our trek through DC dressed in our “Service Charlie” uniforms (tan shirt & green trousers) and got some stares although there are a lot of “joes” (Army Soldiers in their uniforms/camies in the area. I couldn’t help but to remember Sept 11th and what must have been going on here in this building during the terrorist’s attacks. The picture at the top of this post is of the entry point of the aircraft into the pentagon and where a Marine flag still stands.

I swore I heard the Darth Vader sound track playing as three of us motored through the Air Force section of the Pentagon. Completing our business there I happen to look upon the walls of the section we were in and low and behold there were some of my Marines from 1st Bn 6th Marines which I commanded in Afghani. They had some great shots of them on display with other forces on that wings wall. I started naming the knuckleheads in the pictures to my buddy there and could remember the exact day, temp, and smell they were taken.

Now back in Lejeune, we went and visited the wounded Marines Barracks here on base. There are a couple dozen warriors that are here with the gauntlet of injuries. These guys are studs though and don’t complain. Many nag the Commanders there to get back to their units. One needed his jaw re-broke to begin his recuperation. He told the docs and his Commanders, I can chew, and breathe and can wait on the “re-braking” process. As the docs agreed he was sent back with his Marines in Iraq. This actually is one of the biggest mental contributors to wounded service members. They just want to be with their men and feel guilty sitting on their butts. Just like these studs I met many Marines that were amputees and returned to active duty in country. Its part of the healing process in a way.

Some of the best news though ….. ….the events that were requiring my attendance during the MilBlog conference were moved and NOW I will be attending the event. I plan to be in the area Friday night, hit the Key Bridge Marriot then head over to la la land. So stand by you nasty twelve sandwich eating, pinto driving, pot smoking, flower child, Kerry lovin PINKO’s. Ima on my way to your neighborhood and Im bringing hell with me!!! I’ll be the one with the “See me, if you have a compliant” sign, cigar and in a kilt!!! Swords are optional! Buhahaha!

Keep attacking!!!
Capt B

CAMP AL ASAD, Iraq (April 16, 2006) -- Half a world away from families and friends back in the United States, thousands of U.S. Marines, sailors and other service members spent Easter Sunday in a combat zone here. At this airbase in Iraq’s western Al Anbar Province, church services on the holiday which celebrates Christ’s resurrection served as a small break from daily operations and seven-day work weeks for U.S. servicemembers here. Easter Sunday is a chance for Christians to “renew baptismal promises,” said Lt. Cmdr. John T. Hannigan, a Catholic Priest and military chaplain for Regimental Combat Team 7 here. Though liturgy is celebrated the same here as it is back in the States, worship in Iraq for America’s military men and women allows for a more “focused” experience, said Hannigan.“Since many times we don’t have the religious supplies here that we are used to having for religious services back in the States, we make do with what we have and the symbolism seems to come out ,” said Hannigan, a native of Chicago. “It all seems holier because I am a couple hundred miles away from where Jesus walked the earth,” said Cpl. David M. Jeske, a 21-year-old from Auburndale, Wis. Jeske, an ammunition chief for 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, RCT-7, attended Easter Sunday services at his unit’s remote base in the middle of Al Anbar’s barren desert – Camp Korean Village. While some forward operating bases offered Easter Sunday services for U.S. servicemembers today, those stationed in more remote locations in western Al Anbar Province will have full Easter services throughout the week, said Hannigan. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Christopher M. Jack, a medical officer for the Forward Resuscitative Surgical Suite at the Marines’ base in Al Qa’im near the Syrian border, is missing out on two special days with his family back in California – Easter Sunday, and his son’s fourth birthday, which is tomorrow. “I've been thinking about my wife and son the entire time,” said Jack, a 34-year-old from Joplin, Mo. “My thoughts are with them now."More than 23,000 Marines, sailors and soldiers of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force are currently deployed in Al Anbar Province. RCT-7 – a Marine infantry regiment based out of Twentynine Palms, Calif. – is responsible for providing security to and mentoring Iraqi Security Forces in the roughly 30,000 square miles of western Al Anbar, stretching from just west of the Euphrates River to the Jordanian and Syrian borders.


Leave was great and now its back to the gridiron. Things have been going fast and Ive pretty much snapped into the routine here in the states now. There hasn’t been any PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in my experience or really in many other Marines I know. We all experience being shot at and blown up but I guess the combination of getting old and the training we receive you just adapt to it. “OK Im not going to flip out or anything” (said from the Jerry McGuire Movie as you imitate the body spaz)

My billet (job) recently took me to Norfolk, Va and the Norfolk Naval Base over the past few days. Good ole Navy guys, god bless em. Always around to take us Jarheads to war. During the butt flattening drive I began to think of the 228 Marines, Soldiers, and Sailors that were lost over the year I was in Iraq. Their families and how they must not be forgotten, ever. I did think about them recently again as I came back home. Standing on US soil just before meeting my family as I returned from Iraq. I thought to myself there are some families not here today and have nothing good to look forward to coming from Iraq.

You think of all the what if’s and close calls we had. The times you left the base to head into a dangerous convoy, stressed about the IEDs etc and only to hear of injuries from indirect fire on the base you just departed from. Im a firm believer that when it’s your time, its your time and you might as well not worry about it. Be prepared to meet your maker and then get on with your life and make the best of it. Its too damn short!

I thought about each and every name that I read, heard or saw regarding being injured or killed. Its not like they woke up that morning and said well today is it. Nope they pressed on and whatever was their fate they were ready to take it on, head on every day. As much as it rips my guts to see the young knuckle heads here (dependants of fallen warriors) that don’t have a daddy anymore, I know their daddy or mother died doing what they wanted to be doing and they died warriors. It’s not another number of some scumbag news agency’s Iraqi war tally. It’s not another shot to our leaders to drive a point home to get out of Iraq or Afghanistan. Its about men and women doing their job across the pond in harms way and kicking the crap out of anyone who gets in their way. Summed up, their Americans.

Its easy for some to shake their head and spout disbelief and criticism about our involvement in Iraq. Its easy for them to push blame and disagreement towards our leaders. I think it cowardly for them to do it but if they choose to react this way they must know that without our leaders, the ones for them to blame, thousands of Iraqis would simply be dead now and even possible thousands of Americans as well.

I haven’t been to still since Ive been back and had a quick two day trip to DC where I elbowed my way through neighborhoods to look for a possible house to live in. Low and behold from one hook up to another I get in contact with this real-estate agent. He was a vet like many are in that are and he decided to wear his “Don’t blame me, I voted for Kerry shirt” when he met me. ………..First impressions are a lot in my book. His, well……..not so much. I put up with his antics and listened as he tried to sell me a house way to big and expensive for what I need. My better half told me while he was out of the car, “look past his T-shirt” as I just mumbled something (nice of course) under my breath.
I didn’t buy a house from the guy because he had that shirt on or his views. Hell, its what I love about this country. We have and allow everyone to have their own opinion and beliefs. But when “JACKO” starts slamming my fellow leaders and fallen warriors in front of me, stand the hell by.
Regardless of what your beliefs are, never slam the fallen warriors or make their death miniscule. They rate much more than that and during this holiday season, take a couple seconds and remember the little ones and other family members who will wake up on Easter without their warriors.

Semper Fi from the states!

Yes, Im going to go get a cigar………….

AL ASAD, Iraq -- In the early hours April 3, Marines and sailors with the Incident Response Platoon prepared for an operation that would take them outside the wire and into the local town of Baghdadi, Iraq.The IRP is attached to Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, Marine Wing Support Group 37 (Reinforced), 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and is responsible for providing security in support of response and pre-planned missions throughout the Al Anbar Province.Their scheduled task was to escort members of a Civil Affairs Group and Police Transition Team to a housing complex where they would carry out their mission.Once the convoy arrived safely at the small outpost, the Marines were able to give a much needed break to infantry Marines with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment who had spent three days in the area with little sleep.The same day, multiple roadside bombs were discovered and a seven-ton truck rolled over in a flash flood in the Western area of Iraq. Although this was a dangerous mission, the group of Marines returned to Al Asad Air Base later in the day without incident.

It is with my deepest regret that I will not be able to attend the Milblog Conference this year as expected due to a situation that has arose that requires me and my position in the Marine Corps to attend during the dates of the conference. Unfortunately, although I just returned from Iraq, we are Marines 24-7 and we are never “off”. I am truly disappointed that I have to withdrawal and appreciate being invited. I apologize for any inconvenience that it may bring to you and the conference.

Milblog Conference (April 22nd)The 2006 Milblog Conference will take place in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 22, 2006. The conference is designed to bring milbloggers together for one full day of interesting discussion on topics associated with milblogging. We will explore the history of milblogs, as well as what the future may hold for this medium which the military community is using to tell their stories.

Dinner Cruise aboard theAmberjack V Saturday, April 29 7pm-11pmEnjoy a wonderful buffet dinner with DJ and dancing to follow as we cruise around the Hudson River. Take in the beautiful views while passing the Manhattan Skyline and Statue of Liberty!


MISSING WITHOUT ACTION One week back in the states. My hair began to grow out, I wore green camies instead of tan and I continued to get back to the civilized way of life. Not dropping “F” bombs at everything, not getting shelled as I sat in the head for about 45 for no real reason, getting use to driving again, other people and the many many colors and things to look at. The Mrs and I decided to “Get away” and head to a small Island called St Lucia. Sandals Resort has three properties there. For around $5,000 you get a nice trip for two all inclusive. Flying through Barbados you jump on a smaller plane to land at even the smaller run way. Clean beaches and plenty of stoags and free chow you begin to relax and relax I did. No email, blog phones notta, just disappeared. Surprisingly, not many people knew or said anything regarding military as I wore a hat most of the time with my stoag of course. This place is for couples only and I highly recommend it for you guys out there in the dog house. Waking up to the surf vise the shells and eating breakfast on the beach was a sure delight. Never needing to look far for a cold drink with their 12 bars and almost as many restaurants we had a nice time. Its not a spring break drunk fest as many cruise ships dock on the other side of the island. I met with many non Americans, British, French, Canucks and even Americans the same. Few mentioned the military, Iraq or anything regarding and when they did, I could have described things to them all day and I wouldn’t have done any justice to the events I had been through the past 2 years in Afghanistan and Iraq.

We just had to get away. I haven’t taken a day off in the past 3-4 years and hell I forgot what it was like. So the hot sun, clear water and friendly atmosphere was very healing. I did meet a young couple and after kicking his butt in Texas hold em, he disclosed his sorrow for his brother who was killed in Iraq (Army). Coincidently, in Ramadi. Hell I was probably in the area when it happened. He wasn’t bitter and was proud that his burial was done right. I was glad for that as sometimes things can get ugly. I felt like I owed the guy something but what??

Things have been pretty smooth back here. No Post Traumatic Stress or Jumpiness although some things still “get” my attention. I am so very grateful even after seeing the poverty on near by islands near St Lucia, how lucky we are as Americans. Seeing things here after being gone so long is sobering. We are so very lucky and if you are taking them for granted as I did before deploying you need to kick yourself in the ass and refresh your memory. Oddly, the only person that said thanks for” Iraq” was a security lady in Barbados when she saw on my ID that I was a Marine. They know about Marines (Grenada) and appreciate us.

In a way I thought there would be more “Thank yous”, etc, etc but really there wasn’t. I wasn’t looking for that but the one thing any service member wants is a “Thank you”. By the way the comments on my “Im Home” post blew me away and served as one of the best returns presents I could ask for!

Now with every day and changes it looks like I may be moving to the Washington DC areqa with a new job. Doing two campaigns back to back they are telling me to chill out awhile and move to a job outside of infantry to teach others. More on that later.

There is one thing you all need to remember. NONE of this would be possible if it weren’t for AnySoldier! You need to continue to help deployed service members and AnySoldier. If you send things to service members perhaps take a break and make a donation to AnySoldier.com. Without your support they cant help us. Without their help we are truly on our own!!

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Capt B Sends.................(from back in the States)