Archive for July, 2011


This is the first post done completely by touch screen.  I’m using my android tablet to draft it so please bear with me. Soon I’ll be going to the ‘airport’ on my way to Afghanistan.  While I am kinda excited about moving on to make more money, I am apprehensive about going there. I will be in a safe area of the country so I’m not worried about danger. If its my time, then its my time, no sense in running.  But while I’ve been able to keep my shit together since. I left home in pursuit of fortune, I’ve felt more alone than anything.  I’m surrounded by people, but for the most part I am alone here.  I do have time nearly everyday where I chat with my family, I wish I could see them.  I really miss my wife.  I miss her companionship, conversation, everything.  Some of you know how I feel.  Some know what it feels like to be away from loved ones, some of you don’t and never will.  I don’t write this in hopes of sympathy.  Not at all.  I do not need sympathy as it does not benefit me at all. I’m just using this seldomly read forum to express some feeling.  I do have someone I talk to out here, but he is not a substitute for my family.  Nothing other than my ladies will do, but I am here for them.  This is our sacrifice for the future.  There is so much I could say about this place.  Today’s temp was 122°F.  Kuwait is constantly dusty and windy.  The people here are all dicks.  My roommate is an absolute slob with some serious personality/mental defects whom I’m growing to hate as a person.  My supervisor is not all that great at his job.  The list goes for damn ever.  Minor inconveniences, but without some sort of outlet, it simply compounds.  Oh well.  This is the path I’ve chosen, suffer now, rest later.  Thank you all for your time.

Advertisements

So here I sit, on the sixth floor of my tower, in my apartment in Kuwait City, overlooking the ocean.  New roommate whom I’ve met before, with a boss damn near 10 years my JUNIOR.  Company cell phone in my pocket, company vehicle available once I get my driver’s licence (but I drive anyway).  Sounds like I got a pretty sweet deal going on out here, huh?  Well lets cover how I ended up here and what had to be endured by my family and I.

The living room. Not a bad spot. Not a GREAT spot either....

First thing I had to do was survive my enlistment without event, and complete the never-ending quest of checking out for EAS.  I almost didn’t make it though.  I ran into numerous obstacles in surviving, and in checking out.  I actually crossed the physical threshold on a junior Marine about 1 week before terminal leave.  He disrespected me so flagrantly that I actually blacked out and when my mind turned back on I already had closed the distance, and grabbed him.  Fortunately he wasn’t a complete idiot and did not make things worse by making any sudden movements or loud sounds while my mind wasn’t home.  Had he done that I probably would have begun beating on him, and that would have been bad.  Oh, all of this was going on with a space boot on my foot, due to my ankle surgery (as mentioned in previous blogs).  As for my checking out, I ran into some major delays with the dental and medical portions.  My shoulder was still not good to go but I needed a surgeon from the Naval Hospital to say it was so I could be found medically fit to separate.  This had to be done via appointment.  the appointment was about 10 days into my leave period.  The appointment took all of 5 minutes.  Needless to say, I was a little bit upset about that.  I also had a tooth extracted, you know, just because.  Then begins the medical screening for ITT.  I had a dental exam, medical exam, and shots to get.  All of these activities were conducted in the state on North Carolina, and required a shit ton of hours to get to.  My dental exam was in Jacksonville, fair enough.  I sat there in the waiting room forever waiting for the dentist to get there.  Why was I waiting?  Because the dentist lived in Wilmington, and there was a huge fire burning between Wilmington, and Jacksonville and traffic was all kinds of jacked up.  But the dentist finally arrives, and my 5 minute exam it conducted.  Yes, I was pissed about that, but happy that I was done.  The shots were done in Fayetteville which is about 3 hours from Jacksonville.  So after driving for 3 hours, and waiting for 20 minutes, I got 3 shots in about 5 minutes.  Yes, I was fucking furious that this could not be done closer to home, but it was done so that made me kinda happy.  Medical was done in Wilmington, about 1 hour away.  I got there and had forgotten that I needed to fast for some blood work.  It didn’t matter though because I got my fat ass on that scale and saw a number I didn’t think was possible.  I will not share that number with you, but lets just say that seeing that number sent my blood pressure through the roof as I was so damned pissed at myself.  Guess what test was next….. they checked my blood pressure, and it was pretty high, which pissed me further, and made it higher.  As you can see I am spiraling out of control at this point.  Well, I managed to keep it together on the outside,, but inside I was a mess.  I did my piss test and of course I was not worried about anything because I have not touched drugs for quite a long time.  I wasn’t even on painkillers for my surgeries at this point.  Then cam the blood work.  See I had forgotten to fast, but in an hour or so, I’d be back within their test window.  So blood work time comes and the nurse tries to get some blood.  Seven sticks, two nurses, and one bonafide doctor later, they finally get their blood and I get several band-aids.

Yep, they hooked me up with some band-aids.

Well I knew what had to happen, I had to lose a significant amount of weight and lower my chronically borderline blood pressure.  So begins a really effective, but shitty diet and PT routine.  Mass doses of thermogenic fat burners, no/low carb protein, water, and PT, followed with vitamin packs.  I lost the weight, and it sucked doing so.  Being laid up for months cramming in surgeries before my EAS was a strategic error on my part, but I was still able to pull it off.  With my medical package completed, I was given my flight date to depart to Ft. Benning GA where ITT and several other companies go for processing en route to the middle east.

You are good to go! Trust me, I'm a doctor.......

There are also soldiers there.  Tons of them, of all shapes and sizes and walks of life.  Mostly National Guard and reservists.  If you have never worked with the two aforementioned groups, then you don’t fully understand disappointment, and frustration with someone you THOUGHT was in the military.  Most of these people were complete tool bags.  Just getting out of the Marine Corps, my view of the military might have been a little biased, but nothing could have prepared me for the jackassery that I witnessed at Ft. Benning at the hand of those reservists and guardsmen.  Did I mention that the staff was reservist/guard?  Well they were, so that just added to the suckitude of being there.  After a week of processing, when I thought I’d reached the finish line.  I was incorrect in that assumption.  The medical people at Benning did not appreciate my recent weight loss, or my lower blood pressure.  They ignored my new results that I had to get in order to even be sent there.  They saw the first ones, and made a decision.  I was sent home, absolutely dejected and no longer drawing a paycheck.  I had already received my last paycheck from the Corps, and now here I sat with a half paycheck from ITT for one week of ‘work’ plus my signing bonus.  My wife was there for me, and she was supportive.  I had coordinated with ITT to return to Benning to finish my processing and finally get into theater.  ITT held up their end of the deal by getting the paperwork done for my return.  I did my part by not getting fatter, and showing up.  I finally completed Ft. Benning and flew to Kuwait.  I was still not too excited about to where I was going in Afghanistan, and what I was going to be doing.  Sitting in a TCF with my thumb about elbow deep in my ass unable to actually troubleshoot my own equipment was not something I was looking forward to doing.  I needed something that would allow me more growth.  Enter Mr. Edison, a soldier I worked with in Okinawa years ago at Ft. Buckner.  He had just switched contracts to go to a section called the MST in Afghanistan.  He would be able to get knee-deep in the gear and actually perform maintenance.  I was excited, I asked how I could get on with that.  He directed me to the MST boss and after speaking with him I jumped contracts at an immediate pay cut, at a higher salary.  I know it does not make sense, but it works like this: When you go to Iraq, or Afghanistan, the State Department adds 70% of your base salary to your first 40 hours, so I would make more money in Afghanistan, but at a lower hourly rate.  With the MST, I could still go to Afghanistan for work, but at a higher hourly rate, on top of all the labor perks that come with working out of Kuwait (more on those in a later blog).  So here I sit, in Kuwait, car keys in my pocket, ready to whip it on.  There is always more to the story as about a month has gone by since this point that i could speak on, but who wants to read a 4000 word blog?  Nobody, that’s who.  So enjoy the reading and be sure to leave a comment.  Thanx!