Saturday, March 31, 2007


I've been really shitty about these posts, haven't I?

I'm not sure what it is. Ever since R&R, I've tried to write at least a half-dozen posts, all of which got scrapped. Leave, I suppose, was excusable--after all, I had a wife to catch up with--but with everything going on in Recon, I feel as though I'm letting myself, and readership down.

I'm just tired, I guess. When we're not on mission, we spend our time doing a lot of brute work moving equipment. It's getting hot these days, and in the afternoon we amuse ourselves at the motor pool by bawling out chain-gang ditties and old Antebellum spirituals. Between mission recovery, daily chores, my recent PT test, and the firing range I helped organize today, I've just been burnt out (I ran a two-mile stretch in 13:13, by the way).

I'm back working with Oz again, as I mentioned before. He finally got his PFC back, and with us living in the same room, Support now outnumbers First platoon by two-to-one. Brooks is the only remaining member of First, and as we've moved on to more satisfying work in Recon, his interactions with us have become increasingly frosty. He wanted to be chosen for Support, so I suppose he resents us, but over the last six months he's become increasingly sullen and confrontational. No wonder Recon didn't want him.

Things with Recon, though , are going well enough. As I said earlier, I was the Ammunition NCOIC for yesterday's range, and considering that I handled this all after pulling a late-night guard shift the day before, my leadership was impressed. I like Recon. I feel I have potential here. My NCOs are already trusting me with more responsibility than I ever had in First, and already my supervisor is telling me to start preparing for the promotion boards. It might mean losing my Recon slot, but for the first time in a while I feel like I have a legitimate shot at making Sergeant. Not like Sergeant Killeen was ever going to send me.

It's not that I'm lacking in material for writing. I guess I'm just feeling a little stifled by the whole "warblogging" thing lately. I've noticed my current-events blogs get the most by way of hits, but honestly I spend enough time warring with my battle buddies over their ideals, and the idea of doing it here seems less than appealing. I like being able to blog from a combat zone, but ever since leave I can't help but feel homesick. I got back in touch with part of myself over leave, and though I should be writing about what I see here, more and more I find myself dreaming of life Back on Earth.

I should apologize. I'm in a bit of a creative rut lately, and for that I'm sorry, both to myself and on behalf of my meager readership. I'm not going to quit the blog anytime soon--at very least, I'm resolved to see it through the end of this deployment--but I do feel like my writing needs a certain shot in the arm.

Reader feedback would be appreciated.


Blogger Jason said...

As much as I enjoy your blog, I would rather know that you are happy, healthy, and excelling in whatever it is you find yourself doing. Whether you post regularly or not at all, I know the thoughts and prayers of myself and many others are with you and all the troops in Iraq and elsewhere.

10:59 PM  
Blogger Mike Kretzler said...

You can't force it, just let it be. Keep safe.

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something I thought of; remember you're actually still on planet Earth, just a really really shitty part of planet Earth. I don't know if that helps or not, but as someone said above, "I would rather know that you are happy, healthy..."

The TB

2:39 AM  
Anonymous Solo said...

Just go with the flow.

4:19 AM  
Blogger cameo said...

hey buddy.
haven't been here for a long while.
stopped the blogging thing myself.
just wanted to say hi and i'm thinking about you.
hang in there.

6:07 AM  
Anonymous mamaworecombatboots said...

I’ve only discovered your blog recently. This is what it means to me: your powerful words show me your world, the world of a military man in a hard place. I need these words. My son will be joining you soon. I am finding out what it is like to be the one who waits and like all old vets, I wish I were going and he was staying. Your words help me. Your words show me his world. And that helps me—it is what it is. I can deal with it, as long as I can see it. You help me see it. Your worries, your pain, your triumphs.

I can’t be there. But I am here. I care about you. I care about your wife, who, along with me, waits.

Thank you for blogging. But don’t do it for us—do it for you. You don’t owe us a damn thing—we owe you. Come home safe.

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anne said...

You have my utmost sympathy, and good luck to you and yours. The hardest and most important part of the waiting game is letting go of what you can't control. Those who manage to do it thrive, those who can't drive themselves crazy with worry.

You're right, I wish I was there with him. God help anybody shooting at my husband if I was there...Milo and I have been through tough times before, but this is so hard because this time he's going somewhere I can't follow. Helplessness and frustration come with the territory.

If I can just give a little advice to you and all those others playing "the waiting game," I'd like to help. First, you are not helpless. Figure out what you can do and do it with style, whether it's sending out care packages or lobbying your congressman. (Remember, letters are as good as packages, because some of these guys have limited space) Second, shut off the news. Watching newstelevision, especially the cable news outlets, will make you crazy with worry. Third, don't feel bad if you don't get letters back or enough phone calls. The APO is often on the other side of post, and the phone lines are long & the connections sporadic. All of this is assuming your child is on the best supplied post in the country, which he is probably not. Just remember that your child loves you, and he's doing the best he can. We're all doing the best we can.

Good luck to you, and I hope your son comes home safe as soon as he can.

9:45 AM  
Blogger iamcoyote said...

Anne- great advice, all of it. As we used to say: the hardest job in the Navy is the Navy wife's. Same Gulf, earlier war for me. Mama, I second the advice on letting go of what you can't control based on personal experience. Your boy needs to know he doesn't have to worry about you, and you need to sleep sometimes!

Milo, don't worry about us, we're patient. Your posts are worth waiting for, and really, you have a lot on your plate. I've enjoyed all the stuff you write about, even if I don't comment on all of 'em; I'm sure I'm not the only one. Write what needs to get out - it'll come when it comes.

It sure is tough to get back into the swing of things after R&R - plus you have a new job with new responsibilities. Pretty cool, Milo, it sounds like you've fit in just fine. And already thinking of Sgt, eh? That's great!

Take care of yourself, as always. Write when you can, do what you must. Hugs to you and Anne; give yourself a break, dropping back to earth after 2 weeks in heaven takes a little getting used to.

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I consider your posts the gems of life. If I find one this week I am happy. If I don't, there is always next week. Please, just do what you can to survive, then post when the creative urge returns. I can wait.

6:18 PM  
Blogger cinnabari said...

No pressure. We aren't gonna stop reading you if the posts get sporadic. And I for one don't care if it's warblogging, a poem, a diatribe, or a memoir that shows up when text does appear. 'S all good. Just happy to 'see' you, is all.

9:34 PM  
Blogger GiG said...

I have to second cinnabari, and all the others. I'm just a "lurker" most times, but I do enjoy each and every post you write. At the same time, I understand how difficult it must be, missing Anne, and having a new, very demanding job. I hope you just take it easy, write when you feel up to it, and when you do feel like writing, we'll be here.

Stay safe, and take good care of yourself.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous delia443 said...

I don't have a comment...haha, can you imagine ME without a comment?!

Well, I do, but I can't quite put it into words that make any sense.

So I guess I have some news. My previously war-hawk parents have come over to the dark side and are now actively writing Rogers, Stabenow, and Levin so that you can come home.

It probably has something to do with the fact that two of my cousins are threatening to join the military.

So yeah...

I read whether or not it's interesting. I think we've all got an emotional investment in you so we'll be here. Just do what feels right and stay safe.

Anything you need, btw? I'm sure Anne takes great care of you, but she shouldn't have to bear the whole cost.

Love and the prayers of an atheist,

2:35 PM  
Anonymous WitchWay11 said...

I'm usually a lurker myself, but as a writer who hasn't written anything at all in far too long, I appreciate your request for feedback but assure you that you're doing just fine. And anyway, it's not like we've all got a paid subscription to the finest in entertainment here. *You* are letting *us* into your head, sharing your thoughts and experiences in your own time and in the order in which you deem them shareable (I made that up - "shareable" heheh). I admire your writing, your thoughts, and your ability and willingness to let us in. Thank you for that and for your service. I hope we can bring you all home soon, safe and sound. But in the meantime, know we're all out here thinking of you and - dare I speak for others - in awe of you for your strength, your bravery, your gifts. So, just...thank you. Like others said before me, I like hearing from you, even if it's just to know you're okay. Don't worry about "wowing" us every time. :) Just take care of you. Blessings to you and Anne.

10:23 PM  
Blogger Hayden said...

You write and think. It's who you are. It's why we read. You owe nothing to anyone, including the haze of transparent readers out here in the blogosphere.

If you don't write about it now, you will at another time. You will always find readers.

give yourself space to be. Perhaps you'd like to visit a completely different world for a break - if so, I offer this link. It isn't mine, I have no personal interest. But I think you will like it, and maybe it will soothe your soul.

A virtual vacation to somewhere wet, cold and fecund.

stay safe.

4:54 AM  
Blogger fjb said...

The only feedback I have for you is an echo of what's already been said.

Concentrate on staying safe, and don't worry about what you write or how you write it. I think most of the people who visit here would be happy with a simple "hi" once and a while. I think we are all fully aware that you have many things on you mind other than posting on your blog. You have nothing to apologize for.


5:11 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

My son was just home on leave and seems to be having the same reaction as you. Very homesick. Can't wait to get home. I'm sure its a difficult transition to make.
Hang in there and stay safe.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Homesickness is the worst part of being deployed. Anne has given everyone great advice. I will only piggy back on what everyone has said by letting you know we just want to know you are okay. If you stuck a post up that said, "I'm here." then that would give us the relief we look for. Just stay safe. You are not here to entertain us.

12:51 AM  

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