February 3, 2008 (Email from Baghdad, Iraq)

Due to boredom or sincere hatred of being stuck in such a ridiculous location, my friends and I have turned on each other.  It is not a nasty rivalry; it is more of a playful fun way of jabbing at each other.  Believe me we all have respect for each other, but it gets a little dull being polite to these jokers, hence tomfoolery ensues. One recent action left one of buddies in a close to tearful state. In began with him leaving his notebook unsecured and his girlfriends phone number on the front page, well the rest of the section and I took it upon ourselves to lift said number from said notebook and may or may have not called said friends girlfriend while said friend was in another office attempting to fix a machine.  In order to mend this bridge we may have called him while his girlfriend was on speakerphone so they could talk to each other. However, every time we called him and attempted to connect him to his lady friend he hung up.  We eventually decided to tell his girlfriend that he did not want to talk to her.  I am sure that they will break up soon which is really convenient because we already have her phone number.

Every Saturday we play a wonderful impromptu game of volleyball, one in which the whole battalion is involved in. usually we all just pick a side and start playing, but if a larger group of people show up we end out picking team via two captains. It reminds me a lot of elementary school, how we would all line up and be picked by our skill set in the event we would be participating in. Somehow I would always be picked either last while getting the bitter beer face made towards me or I would be picked in the top tier of the grouping while being teased the whole game for my inadequate play.  A recent event in volleyball left us all with a wonderful story that we all will remember. One of the players on my team was going for the ball but the ball kept drifting over her head so she attempted to move out of the way to allow the CSM who was behind her to get it, however the CSM stood his ground without attempting to react towards the play, possibly in anticipation for his teammate calling the ball.  Our crowning achievement was the next moment though.  In the next instant the ball decided it was on a one way course to the crotch of our highest enlisted soldier.  It hit with such force that it bounced off of his crotch as if there was a metal plate sewn into his pants.  He stood his grown though while everyone laughed their asses off.  I am still laughing and it has been two days.

I have learned many things during this deployment, one of the more recent lessons learned I received from a commercial that played during the SUPERBOWL.  We are not graced with the wonderful commercials that the SUPERBOWL normally plays because we view television through the Armed Forces Network, meaning we are force fed Army re-enlistment, Army Equal Opportunity and or thanks from any random number of pseudo celebrities who put on a fake smile and thank us for accomplishments that they know nothing about.  The point being that one of the commercials during the SUPERBOWL that played was about taking care of your baby, more specifically not shaking your baby. Now I have been shaking babies for a long while now, but when this played I learned my lesson, no more baby shaking for me.  I will just go back to playing with matches in the house and smoking while filling up my car with gasoline.

It has been a few days but my knee is still tender from an unfortunate rendezvous with a concrete slab. That slab hasn’t called me back either and that really bothers me.  I have been rubbing it with icy hot in an attempt to be able to bend it; however this medicated rub has only worked as a temporary fix so far.  The timing could not have been worse, I was all excited to run a 10K but alas my 10K was not meant to be.  When I woke up the morning of the run I could not bend my knee at all and felt the bruising raise up into the middle of thigh.  I have decided that I need to go to sick call and have it looked at by a Doctor who I cannot sue for malpractice. What a wonderful world of incompetence we live in sometimes. The Doctors of the Army are well known for their flow chart use, when I was active duty I actually had a Doctor tell me, he was serious at the time, “You either have a common cold or psoriasis”.  I am not the smartest person but I am pretty sure that psoriasis is a skin condition. It reminds me off an old riddle, what do you call a doctor who graduates last in Medical school?  Doctor.

Leave a Reply