Tuesday, September 19, 2006

This will be a quick post but I wanted to put this Poem "The Final Inspection" on here for someone who just lost a loved one in Iraq. Jay Williams from Madill who is here in Afghanistan with me, just lost his cousin in Iraq and I wanted to tell his family and everyone out there who has lost a soldier here in Afghanistan or Iraq that Im truly sorry and hope that one day very soon we can all come home and be with the ones we love..

The soldier stood and Faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the cheek?
To my church have you been true?
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."
~Author Unknown~
It's the Soldier, not the reporter who has given us the freedom of the press.
It's the Soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.
It's the Soldier, not the politicians that ensures our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
It's the Soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Well Im sure you all know what this blog will be about so enjoy!!

Exactly 5 years ago today I was 1 day into Basic Training at Fort Benning, Georgia. Like all the rest of the days we were going into our class rooms to start off the day and begin all the wonderful training the Army had to offer (ugh) I remember the rest of the day like no other. We took a 10 min break after the Chaplain came in and whispered something into one of the Drill Sergeants ears. After we came back they had the TV on and all of us sitting there watching the 2nd plane crash into the Trade Center. A few guys ducked their heads and a few other had tears running down their face, come to find out one of the guys dad washed windows at the Trade Center and anothers Aunt and Uncle owned a deli just down the street. There we are new recruits and seeing what terrorism was doing to our once Free country. I can't really describe what I felt, shocked clueless I just sat there and it felt so unreal that I shouldn't be there that this wasn't happening. After 30 min or so we were released to call our families and let them know we were ok and see how they were with all of this. I remember the phone lines being busy and standing next to the guys who were trying to call back to New York. So our day was one we would never forget and it was that night in bed when I realized that I wouldn't get to spend my next four years in college but defending the country we love so much for the terror we all hated.

So now here I sit in Afghanistan fighting the "real terrorism". Whenever this deployment started even though I didn't want it to happen I felt it was kinda my duty to come over here and defend our Freedom. I spent 8 months for my Egypt deployment, laying on the beach, playing in town going on numerous MWR trips. So when a chance came up to defend what we love so much I felt deep down it was part of the reason I joined the Army and now was my chance to do it. The people of Afghanistan didn't attack us but the country was infested with terrorist and now we want to change that for the better..

Five years ago I never thought I would be here now in Afghanistan but I am and I hope one day the country can go back to the way it once was. We have changed so much in the last 5 years, the school system, the government, the Army as of last week Major Roper and I started the process to recruit the first female ANA soldier. Everyone wants this place to change for the better, that and 9/11 are why we are here. I don't think we would be here on any other circumstance if the USA wouldn't have been attacked. Im not taking away from 9/11 any at all but what if we wouldn't have come here to stop the Taliban? What kinda of fear or war would we be living in? Maybe the kind these people lived in for over 30 years.. Deep down I guess Im glad we're here, there are so many great people here that deserve a better life than a lot of people have in the states..

So again, here I am Sept. 11, 2006. 5 years after that horrible tragedy sitting in the last place I ever thought I would be. This afternoon I was standing outside of the Chow Hall after our 4th moment of silence for the collapse of the south tower. I was standing with a few Afghan Nationals who work on Phoenix, as we watched the American flag go up the flag pole, Waheed turned to me and with a very sad and quite voice, "Today is a bad day for Americans and a very sad day for you." I agreed and thought for a second and turned back to Waheed, "Yeah its a very very horrible day for every American, but the day after was a great day for all the innocent people of Afghanistan."