Military stories from past to present, both wars.

Good plug for Military Bloggers

July 8th, 2008 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

Today, I sat down to get a haircut (man do I look forward to this) from my favorite barber Ackmad, here at Camp Adams. For five dollars, he will cut you right down to the scalp and then something happens that you never see anymore. He pulls out a can of shaving cream, lathers up your neck and around your ears followed by the insertion of a fresh straight razor blade and he starts trimming your rough hairy skin. The sound of that razor running down the back of your neck is a sensation I just can’t put into words (and if you had a bad barber, maybe you couldn’t hear them either) but I enjoy that one part of the haircut the most. Maybe it brings back memories as a kid watching the guy shave my dad on Little Creek Amphibious base. It’s the little things that create permanent memories to be treasured when I’m old and sitting in a nursing home I guess. Well, maybe the awesome massage that the female Japanese barbers at Camp Foster gave you and normally would put you into a micro nap, stands out. Now that was a good haircut! Although my brothers in Iraq can attest to the “Hadji man massage and bean snap” which scared the crap out of me. See, when you finish up there, the guy (he’s Nepalese) starts to give you a deep neck massage, then as he works up into your scalp, he puts you into a loll like the guy who charms a Cobra, causing you to just follow the flow as he rotates your head side to side. Then, without warning this guy grabbed my head and snapped it to the left causing a loud pop! Holy Crap, Batman! If you aren’t expecting that, then it’ll put the fear of God into you thinking “This idiot just broke my neck.” I mean, did he go to school to learn to do that? How many guys get sent home with a cracked something attached to their brain housing group? I know now why they call it the bean snap, but I think it’s more like wringing the neck of a chicken!

Stars and Stripes

Well, back to the real reason I was writing today. I opened up my new copy of Stars and Stripes, when an article caught my eye on page 7. “Powerful Posts” an article on Military bloggers and the growing domain that we all write in. They took the history back to Lt. Smash and how he really broke into reporting on the war, but the greatest thing was to turn the page and there was a picture of Major Pain’s “One Marine’s View” followed by a picture of the greatest collection of Military writing in the world, “The Mudville Gazette” (if anyone knows how they came up with that name, please tell me) where you can find bloggers from almost any place that the US has a base. The best part was realizing that that I am friends with four of the writers mentioned, Major Pain, CJ and Marcus from “A Soldiers Perspective” and Carla from “Some Soldier’s Mom.” Also, I’ve had the honor of meeting the others mentioned at the first Mil Blog Conference back when I got home from Iraq in the spring of ’06. It was very cool to put faces to a name.

I think writing is a fantastic outlet and I thoroughly enjoy sitting down typing but I’m afraid that you won’t read most of my posts until I put it in a book down the line, retire or the war ends. While I’m a big proponent of free speech, I really must consider a couple of things each time I write. First, will my rants jeopardize the lives of my friends, co-workers or myself? Believe me that the bad guys read our post as well! Second, is this a topic that is classified in some way which falls back to the first rule? Third, is this something that although I feel a certain way, it could affect me down the road when someone with more juice on his/her collar reads it and decides I’ve crossed the line? I have had many posts rejected by my “Publisher” (really my folks), who act as a sounding board for me, because some of what I type, although true, would bring some bad light onto a subject that probably needed to stay dark. If I worked for some National rags like you see in most major cities and didn’t care who or what I hurt, then trust me that you would be shocked by some of the pieces I could put together on a variety of subjects.

Operationally, I would love to tell you all the inside scoop as to what our guys are doing, who they are killing and the great success they are having, but somewhere I fear that I might reveal a detail that could be used against our boys out there and the guilt of being the one to release that nugget would haunt me forever. For OPSEC reasons, I change all names of bases, people, dates and call-signs. Just so anyone out here with who reads my post says “This guy is dorked up, that didn’t happen there, it was here” they know the reason why. All of us who post out here, walk a fine line in the war and it’s up to us to police are own. I guess that is why you will read mostly day to day mundane things on my blog with the hope that some of it might give you a chuckle. Well, I have to go take off to work out. Please give my friends Major Pain, ASP and ASM a big shout for me and tell them they are looking good on the ole Stars and Stripes!!Semper Fi,Taco

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