Funny Email from a Soldier in Afghanistan

My friend Darci's husband is deployed in Afghanistan. Darci has been blogging about his experience – and her own –

as they got the news of his departure and now as he has been serving. I asked Darci if I could re-post her husband's most recent email on my blog to give it wider distribution. Josh (Darci's husband) is extremely funny, so I'm not sure this is representative of all or most or many other soldiers' experiences, but I thought it was worth a read because of the glimpse it gives into reality of day-in-day-out life. I should mention Josh is an elementary school teacher in his real life, it sheds light on the first paragraph. If you want to read more of Darci's blog, you can find it here.

They Call Him Baci…

"It is so hot today. BOO! We were out on a Humanitarian Aid drop, and (soldier) and I were pulling security at the entrance conducting personnel searches and crowd control for the villagers who were picking up the aid. Man, those Afghani woman are certainly gaining a sense of independence even if they are still wearing their burkas. They were so fiesty and nasty. It was like they all had listened to a Kelly Clarkson CD before they showed up and got all fired up. One of them gave me the finger when I told her to step behind the cone. Then she kicked the cone. I made her go to the end of the line. That behavior is uncalled for. I had the terp explain that she was going to get her rice and flour too, but if she pulled a stunt like that I was going to give her stuff to someone else. I felt like I was back in the classroom. I could sense eye rolling behind the burka but what can you do. She behaved herself the rest of the time, but seriously worse than a little kid.

The men on the other hand must have listened to a Bob Marley CD b/c they all showed up smelling strongly of pot. haha I told them all to get a line one behind the other, and they all get in a rank instead of a file. The terp said that is the only kind of line they know b/c that is how they used to line people up to shoot them. Well, that just makes you feel bad, and then you can understand why the lady is so grouchy. If nothing else, I taught this one village how to get in a line one behind the other. My great contribution to the war on terror and counterinsurgency. haha. I would like to introduce modern toiletry products such as antiperspirant. I searched more than one individual with the "dam has broken" sweaty pits. haha. Personnel searches-definitely drew the short straw on that one.

"Things of course are silly here. There are so many officers without enough to do. Majors seem to be especially bitter and the most likely to exhibit behavior that is too big for their britches. I am always getting in trouble. haha. You know if I am getting in trouble you can imagine what kind of trouble other people are getting in. haha. It is only 1:00 PM and I already got in trouble for being too loud-I was laughing haha, exhibiting horseplay-it was added to the offense of laughing too loud, wearing my sunglasses on my head-a common offense for me, my uniform being dusty-we have being driving around all morning, not washing my hands long enough before going into the chow hall (there are sinks outside that you have to wash your hands in before being allowed inside) apparently I was well outside the 20 second mininum-a new rule, and finally I got in trouble for saying that this place was-stupid. I said this after I was yelled at for not washing my hands long enough. haha. I don't care, it is so funny. (soldier) and (soldier) is like this place blows, and we all get a chuckle out of seeing what offenses people get in trouble for. I want to write Obama and tell him he does not need to send any more troops to Afghanistan-he just needs to make the ones that are here all work everyday-haha. I went to the gym in the middle of the afternoon because we were on a night cycle a couple of weeks ago and the gym was packed and I was like do any of you do anything-why are you here. haha Oh well, just a few more months. God love the great state of Illinois. Be sure to give those Guard boys a big shout out when you guys go to Chicago. haha. Tell them to hurry up. haha. I feel so bad for them. I just want to be like brace yourself-it is going to blow. haha

"The other drivers and I started taking stickers/wrappers off things like gatorade, cigarette cartons, and bottles, and starting putting them on our trucks. We call them our sponsors. When we finish a mission we all get on the radio and say I would like to thank my sponsors GoJo, Gold Bond, and Gatorade. We all joke that our dream is to drive the Guard Car. haha. Of course we all talk in a NASCARese accent. I said the other day, "they offered me the Army Strong car and said heck no, I'm holding out for the Guard car-Dale and I are tight-he just don't know it yet." Of course I am the funniest at it. haha. When someone gets in trouble for going to fast on the FOB or hits something else when we are out and about, I get on the radio and I say Oh my God, we just lost power bar AND gatorade b/c you couldn't drive right. haha. I am sure eventually we will get in trouble for the stuff tacked onto our trucks, and have to take it off, but it is funny for now.

"Jokingly, one day I did this 'inflight' brief before this mission. I called us the Camp Phoenix Taxi Service. Now it has turned into this big thing, and now they make me do an inflight brief before every mission. I say "Greetings from the cockpit. Just finishing up some paperwork before we push back from the gate. On behalf of Camp Phoenix I would like to welcome you aboard flight ____ with roundtrip service to _________. Our flight time today is roughly ____ depending on traffic patterns and potholes. We expect sunny skies with light to moderate insurgent activity (the level of activity changes based on our intel brief for the day). We are proud to be codeshare partners with KBR who are providing our meals today. On the menu is chicken or chicken. (this is funny b/c that is all KBR serves in the dining hall is chicken.) In the event of insurgent activity, you may use your seat cushion how ever you see fit. (this always gets a big chuckle). Due to budget cut backs and rising fuel costs, there is no movie, blankets, or beverage service other than warm water on today's flight. I invite you to sit back, relax and enjoy the flight. Flight attendents prepare for cross check and departure." haha. Always the comedian. This guy from BDOC-(Base Defense Operations Command) came up to me the other day and said, "Are you the in-flight brief guy? We think it is so funny!" What can I say. Maybe the Phoenix Gallivanter will interview me. haha. Big Dreams"

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Toilets, Fish, and Foolishness

Happy July, folks!

I am alternating between being tired and cranky and neither makes for uplifting and entertaining bloggage. So I have been practicing avoidance therapy. It works!

What have I been doing lately?

Fixing toilets… check… so proud of myself!


Finding a new home for my fish tank. Here it is at my place and in process of being dismantled…


And in its new home… GORGEOUS!

And going to good bye parties and social gatherings. Some of the shenanigans…

EmbarrassedPosterSarahShae jerms

Barnes x2ClevebgersFrancoisWill

Since I was silly enough to let it slip that I did synchronized swimming in college, my colleagues honored me with a routine of their own… This was truly one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time. The best part is how serious they all are.

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Sunday Morning Ramblings

It's 9am and I've already gotten teary at the Free Hugs video and the scene when the puppy chose his new family on Animal Planet. Hmmmm… Wonder what that means? Better make a chocolate run.

Along those lines… there is something that has made my life oh so much happier in the past two weeks. Something you would never expect to have that kind of impact. Something totally innocuous. Not a living thing. Not an event. Not a form of entertainment. It's a brand new…

Martin's Grocery Store! Oh my… I worked in pet stores for a while growing up and pretty much my whole paycheck went right back to the store each week. Why do I have the feeling that that's exactly what is going to happen with Martin's? From the produce, to the organic selection, to the deli, to the salad bar, to the bulk foods aisle… Oh my… It's like crack to me: addicted from the first step in the store. But oh so blissfully happy.

A Sunday morning ritual for me is reading PostSecret. If you don't know what it is, check it out at People are fascinating. Pretty much my whole life has centered around people in one facet or another, so this kind of glimpse into someone else's life is amazing. There are always a bunch of postcards that resonate for one reason or another. This morning, it was this one…

Like everyone else, I had both extreme highs and extreme lows and everything in between in high school. My best friend in the world is from then, I've never had another friend like him since. In some crazy WTF alternate reality, I just went back to my 20th reunion last summer. 20th. Twentieth. 2-0-t-h. That's ten plus ten. Holy cow! When did that happen?

I had to go. I had some pretty intense friendships and relationships that had a big role in shaping me into the adult I became and I was hoping to see those folks. I also wanted to see all the dickwads who were so friggin mean to everyone and everything around them. Basically, I needed to face some demons and I wanted to reconnect with some very special people. Your typical high school reunion.

The reason this resonated was that the dickwads who were organizing the event only managed to invite their friends.Assholes. I only found out because my BFF still lives where we went to school and he heard about it and told me. Despite many many many offers to help organize, plan, and find people… all of which were rejected… they plowed right ahead and only managed to notify 40 people. Piss me off… just as selfish and self-serving as back then. Well, we agreed at the time that we wanted to have a 25th reunion in order to try and get more turnout and the call just came out (from a different person this time) to start trying to reach people. This time, I am hopeful.

And now, in order to purge myself of the acid-like feelings I apparently still have towards my jackass classmates, here are a couple of cute kittens for your (my) viewing pleasure…

Similarly, I am already excited for Halloween this year for some reason. So here are some nice photos of cute dogs in costumes… By the way… why do dog owners seem to dress up pugs far more than other types of dogs? I'm not complaining, they're fabulously cute, but still…

SupermanSpiderHot dogsBeedog

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