Friday, April 13, 2007


So it's my birthday today--I'm 24. Another year come and gone. Somehow, 24 is hitting me the way most people get hit by 30. I suppose it's the age when one can no longer pin one's indicretions upon the recklessness of youth. It's just a hair off of 25; the quarter-century mark. Needless to say, I didn't tell too many people about it at work--NCOs like to make you do extra PT for your birthday. Some celebration.

I broke my finger while out on mission two days ago. It was a Line mission, 2nd Platoon--I got attached because they didn't have enough people to do the job. I worked for thirty hours in the rain and mud, with no sleep and nothing substantial to eat beyond a few strips of jerky and part of an MRE. Ended up crushing my hand beneath an industrial-grade jack as I attempted to heft it into a storage unit. Spent most of today at the clinic, getting fitted for a splint. Can't feel the tip of my right middle finger, and the doctor says I may never regain sensation. On the upside, I don't have to do push-ups or lifting for two weeks, and I have a convenient excuse to give my chain of command the finger.

Tomorrow's our party to celebrate the halfway point in our deployment. Somehow, I'm less than enthused. Our First Sergeant loves him some unit functions--"mandatory fun," I call them. So we have some unit bullshit to do tomorrow--sports, obstacle courses, crap of that nature. Honestly, I don't really care. The only thing I really care about these days is just getting some time off, time alone. And on top of that, there's this.


Fifteen months now, is it? Honestly, I'm not sure how they're going to start implementing that--nothing here is official until we hear it straight from the mouth of our Captain. I'm not going to trip about it just yet; but should I hear anything from my commander, my readers can expect me to have a few choice words on the matter. Stay tuned.

So yeah. Turn 24 in a place where I have no reason to celebrate; break my finger, doing a job I hate, and get yelled at for my trouble; find out I'm staring down the barrel of an EXTRA three months without my wife; have a party to celebrate a milestone that likely no longer exists...

And now I'm coming down with a cold.

Shoot me in the face already.


Blogger cinnabari said...

Hm. Happy birthday seems inappropriate, and yet. If you think 24 is a shocker, picture 34. *g*

Ouch on the finger. Just ouch.

I saw the 15 month deployment shite. Thought of you at once, and Anne, and how fucking stupid it is to stretch people who're already worn to nubs for another three months to meet quotas.

Sigh. Have a cup of hot tea, skip the cigarette, and burn the cold out with something spicy if you can.

7:40 PM  
Blogger iamcoyote said...

Sorry about the finger - Happy Birthday, though! Wish you could celebrate with Anne, but there will be many more to come in many better places than where you're at right now. I can see that you'd have not a lot to celebrate, though. And a cold, too. Dangit! Plenty of liquids, big guy, take care...

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhhh, yes. They get you in theater and then extend you. That's why they always leave the orders with the NTE date. Sorry to hear your birthday is being wasted over there. Trust me, 30 is worse! After 30, they just leave you going "Damn, another one?"

Keep your chin up.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Seven of Six said...

I'm really sorry brother for the extended tour. Good company however, ...longest tours of duty since WWII...!

No Purple Heart for the finger?
Keep the chin up and head down.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...sports, obstacle courses, crap of that nature."

Are you in the Army or a frat? :D Well, I guess it would explain all the ROTC guys in my fraternity.

Anyway, Happy Birthday. I hit 24 myself on Monday. Just remember where you WON'T be for 25 :D That was either supposed to be words of encouragement, or it ended up being super depressing, and I'm sorry for that.

Next birthday the Boddington's is on know, if we're in the same geographical region and whatnot.

Peace, Love, and Hops,
The TB

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anne said...

I'm not sure what chaps my ass more-- the idea of spending another Christmas without you, or the fact that the admin. is trying to pin the shakeup on the Democrat's spending bill. How does it feel to be held hostage by your commander in chief?

Sorry baby, I'm just a bit bitter over this. Please everybody, speak up. Write your newspaper, write your congressperson, get the word out.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Ripley said...

Happy B-day, my brother in Germs! (I've got a cold, here, too.)

15 months... It's infuriating to see our troops and resources squandered so carelessly, and at exponential levels of incompetence. I can't imagine what it must be like for all of you to hear our politicians pulling numbers out of their ears, attempting to find the magic formula that might grab a few extra votes.

Positive vibes to all of you. We want you home - ASAP, if not sooner.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

You will be happy to know I wrote three letters yesterday to my representives. Got an email back already from Ben Cardin who tells me how hard he is working on this matter. We'll see.
I feel your pain. I really do.
Umm...but not about the 24 thing. Try 44 on and then we'll talk. If I could be 24....

4:16 PM  
Anonymous delia443 said...

Well, birthday greetings and I broke my toe when Bryan and I moved into our apartment (together!!!) In the middle of February, it still hasn't healed, so I feel your pain. At least that's one of the few things I have to bitch about.

Aaaaand yeah, I saw the increase announcement. Rest assured, my keyboard is worn out writing letters to these morons in government, in addition to the Obama campaign literature I've been collecting. Student Dems VP is not a fun job when this kind of stuff is going on, especially when that bitch Hilary looks poised to win the nomination. If it was up to her, I'm sure you'd all be serving 24 month tours.

My personal politics aside, I'll leave you with the words of my favorite public television personality, Red Green: "Remember, I'm pulling for ya'. We're all in this together..."


11:23 PM  
Blogger Seven of Six said...

Anne, I have to two most idiotic Senators, McCain and Kyl! I can't decide which one I dislike more...wait, yes I can, it's Kyle. The biggest bu$h boot licker ever! McCain is just stoopid. However I have a great congressman, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva! Fantastic Progressive! Only thing, he tells us not to get too cynical! Ha! Fat chance, too late.

Did someone mention a birthday? Dude, what I wouldn't do to be 24 again. I was in Hawaii smoking some serious Pakalolo then. What a wasted few years, literally. If it's any consolation I just turned 50. I can't wait for the next 50, that's how longe it will take to fix the shit the neo-cons have started.
Stay safe man!

5:37 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Happy belated birthday! You share the day with my brother. I hope the finger heals soon. I hope this war heals soon.

1:37 AM  

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