I am back in the US. Not quite home, but I am in the US and happier then I can describe. We arrived at Fort Riley early in the morning a couple days ago, and haven't even really slept since then. A combination of de-mobilization, equipment turn-in and jet-lag has prevented most of us from getting any sleep, but we really don't care. Tomorrow I will be back in Philly and while it it will be sad to say goodbye to everyone, the sense of relief I feel about being home is overshadowing everything. I am also praying for my friends still over in Iraq; times are tough right now, but they are leaving soon - I really hope it goes quickly and safely for them.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
That's how the war in Iraq has been going on. When it started, I was on my way to Afghanistan, so I was a little preoccupied to fully understand why we were going there. After my past year here, I have seen some definite progress, and I have felt extreme frustration. I want to be proud of what we have done here, and I am, but at the same time, when our Prez says something like this, I want to puke. Romantic? Really? I guess it is, maybe, if being away from your family for years on end is romantic, and enduring situations that you never want to think about again is romantic. This summary of his comments says it all, and says it well.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
While my posting has been slow and infrequent, life has been pretty busy. In between trips to various Iraqi training bases, I have been packing and trying to out-process (complete the required paperwork to leave). This is a good dilemma to have, as nothing brings me more joy than out-processing.
I will write more and post a bunch of pictures once I am Kuwait, but for now I am happy knowing my time here is very, very limited!!
Posted by Jason at 2:53 PM
Friday, March 7, 2008
Dear Mr. Gall,
This letter is regarding your remarks in a recent Stars and Stripes article about the IRR, “Army mustering IRR members, reinvigorating force”. The article in itself is nothing surprising – the Army had no handle on its IRR system, more than half the recalls didn’t show, yadda yadda I’ve been bitching about those same things for over a year now. However, at the end of the article you are quoted as saying something that turned my face red and caused everyone in my section to laugh at the size of the vein in my forehead as it swelled to abnormally large status.
But to ensure fewer unpleasant surprises in future mobilizations — like call-ups
of dead IRR members — Army officials plan to physically muster no more than 20
percent of “their smiling little faces” each year, Gall said.
I guess it’s funny though to you though, that we aren’t smiling and how angry we are. I guess it’s funny that despite years of honorable service, we were called up and treated like second class citizens for over a year. Yes, we are the dreaded IRR, and despite having a lifetime more experience than most of the people who thumb their noses at us, we’re still treated like second thoughts.
I guess it’s funny that we left families, school, jobs, homes; we left these things unfinished, we lost out on promotions, we put everything on hold. We tried to start a new life for ourselves, and despite being rudely interrupted, we answered the recall – we understand our obligation and we honored it.