I haven’t had access to a computer but I found an app on my phone so I can try to keep an update as long as my phone service stays decent. Which has been quite the task over the last week. I’m out in grayling doing training (if you want to call it that, more like training how to fight boredom). I got out here July 15th and I’m here til Aug 9th. It has been about a million degrees everyday and with the lack of showers and laundry it’s defiantly not going to be made into a scent for febreze. The first 3 days I got here we were actually doing training you’d expect from America’s elite fighting force. Patrolling, learning different squad tactics, sleeping in the woods, etc. But with the lack of organization and the excellent leadership at the highest point it has turned into quite the clusterf***. The cap of military units in Afghanistan has made it so we can’t bring everyone in our unit and with the highers trying to figure out who’s going and who’s not it has left a lot of us in the gray area of training, including me. This is the area of people that they are trying to figure out where to put. The fat people that aren’t going for sure, the people that are coming up on their end of contract time, the people that don’t want to go, and the people like me. The ones with mos’ that aren’t needed over there but still want to go. They are only allowed a certain number of “combat troops” so whatever number that is they fill and then add however many they can as “security forces aka secfor”. Which most likely is what I will be doing. It’s the guys that guard the base, go on convoys, and kind of just hang out in country in case they’re needed for anything. Not the most exciting thing but it sure beats drilling back home. Since they don’t know which people are doing what there is a large number of us in “training limbo”. Which means I’ve sat here the last few days with no real training mission. Luckily I got picked up for the HMMWV licensing class so I got to spend some time doing that and getting a license. The ones that didn’t get so lucky spend their days laying in bed and going to the PX. It is too the point where the ones doing this are done with work at 630 am and are left with nothing to do but catch up on sleep and tell the military tales of sex and alcohol. It looks like where they’re at now is just going through and asking who does and doesn’t want to go. When you join the military, whether active or reserve, during a time of war, you should atleast be ok with the fact that you will be put in a combat environment. And I think everyone is “ok” with it when its forced. When given the choice you begin to see all the “motivators”, the ones that have been dying to get over and have been asking for so long to get deployed suddenly have every excuse on why they can’t or don’t want to go. It’s a big reality check and I have found out that as much as I dislike some of the things about the Marines, I am not one of these people. I have been bugging and harassing the people that influence the decision in hopes of them getting so sick of seeing me that they put me in whatever billet is available just so I leave them alone. It has helped me build a little confidence in getting picked to go because now when I talk to my company 1st sgt he tells me he’s trying to get me over no matter what it’s doing. It has also helped with my wanting to be a dog handler because apparently when they thought they had to go, being a dog handler was a good option. When they were given a choice, I guess the second guessed it, seeing how 3 of the dog handlers have backe out of it. It’s not that I am some bloodthirsty killer that just wants my chance or some extremist that wants to defend this country. When there is a little of both of that in me, it’s just a mixture of a couple things. In no order these are some of my motives to go: the money for school is something that is almost impossible to find anywhere else, the untaxed money you make there, the experience of being in an environment like that is a once in a lifetime chance, wanting to defend our country from animals that devote their lives to killing innocent people(ours and their own), and wanting to make the sacrifice that the other military members that have given their lives atleast have some sort of justification. It’s hard for some people to understand why anyone would want to put themselves through all this and sometimes when I’m getting yelled at for not picking up ciggarette butts and other trash that other people have put there or getting yelled at for being too nice to my juniors I wonder why I do this too. This is all just kind of a rant I went on but I’m just doing this so hopefully I can read this is 20 years and see what 22 year old Ryan was thinking. I also wanted to let Veronica know what’s going on rather then explaining it over the phone, I’m hoping this is a little easier to understand. And I just want to tell her how lucky I am to have her in my life, putting up with this and everything else I have put her through. She’s the most amazing girl I could ever ask/hope for and I don’t go a minute in the day without realizing how blessed I am to have her.

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