Running in Soft Sand: SEAL Training Part Three. But Truthfully More Alternate Stuff (I’ll Write Another ‘Proper’ BUD/s Post Soon)

I actually know this meme-guy: he was an Instructor in BUD/s Class 158. I Know. I was there.

 

 

A BUD/s Instructor, i.e., a ‘Demigod’

 

Or…

Alternate Titles:

“Lance’s Ramblings from his 115th Dream Stream”

(Sorry Bob)

“Call me if they die.”

‘Semi Consciousness Streams of Conscientiousness’

 

Raining upon My Hit Parade’

‘Nights in White Satin’ – that one makes no sense. That is why I put it in.

Vid Cred: Redbaron863

Or, last and least perhaps: “I have become my Grandfather, or How I became Andy Rooney in One Thousand Words or Less, an essay.”

Gentle Readers, it has not escaped my undying attention that I tend to lean heavily toward the overly-dramatic. The ‘trauma drama’ effect even. Call it a ‘crutch’ if you will.

Yep. Call it that.

This I do know. Therefore, I have (Through my magical powers derived from watching old re-runs of ‘Dragnet’—“Just the facts Ma’am. Just the facts.”—decided to ‘come on back down to Earth, Son’.

–Boz Scaggs: Lowdown)

My (solely appreciated) goal here is to present just ‘them’—just them facts.

I hope I am successful. For y’all’s sake.

When last we left our hero, he was leading his class to their first BUD/s workout. Well, you cannot really call it such: more like a medieval (‘I’m gonna get medieval on your ass’) torture session.

Whatever

 

Even at zero five (‘Zero Dark Thirty?), The Grinder was a hot, miserable place to be, especially NOT designed for yoga or even step-up aerobics, and / or certainly not Pilates. (Gay Pirates?) No. ‘Twas Wasn’t. There is a reason they (Navy) call it ‘The Grinder.” You go ahead and figure out the obvious.

But this day I do not wanna write about Those Lazy Crazy Hazy Days of Summer…

I want to write about this:

I think. I think I am. Therefore I am… I think.

–Moody Blues, With apologies to René Descartes

***

Now Y’all, much of that I wrote late last night. (Under Some Influence)

Didn’t publish. (Thank Baby Hey Zeus). But I woke up this morning

(Praise be to Allah—Ah Ha!) And you, yes you! (My Human Friends) were on my mind:

To MORE BAD News Stories. I shall list them below so that you may share in ‘The Misery’ That is OUR ‘New World’ (You may thank me later. Send cards and letters…)

  1. The Middle East is still throwing gasoline upon their (and our) raging fire

  2. There will probably never be closure nor justice for Michael Brown or his family

  3. Ebola is raging strong (But only in Africa: So, who cares, right? The WHO, that’s who)

  4. ISIS is our new (never heard of till yesterday) National Crisis & Clear and Present Danger (or new best friend for our Military Industrial Complex, off of which I tend to make MY living)—Much hand-wringing and soul searching over that one. NOT! Damn! Put me in Coach! I live for this shit!

  5. My dog has fleas… Fuckin’ fleas. Dogs!

  6. My British GF finds me… well, of late, she don’t (find me)

  7. I dreamt late last night about my favorite dead cat (Her name was Lucia and she was ‘The Cat From Hell’ and I miss her still—probably the only ‘real’ relationship I have ever had with ‘pussy.’)

  8. My blood pressure remains off the chart and I think I may have given myself diabetes: Type Duh

  9. I have been remiss in visiting and commenting on the blogs of my good friends

  10. Maybe I will just go and eat worms. Maybe I like to eat worms…

Now, Don’t let it bring you down, but that is how I woke up. (And I was happy to have woken up… for just-one-more-day…stay?)

And hey!

Don't stay here

Photo taken in Iraq (or Afghanistan) I honestly don’t remember…

There really is no point to this post. Let us just call it “Unconscious Stream of Consciousness”.

And I will most likely, delete it (and y’all know, I am quick on the mouse trigger when it comes to deletion: I see it as a form of… birth control. So read fast!)

So There.

Now to the ‘Meat of the Matter’:

KAREN

I want to write about ‘The Age of Innocence’: The Seventies.

Yep. I tend to live in the glory that was Roaming… You may bail out here. Here, in fact here is your parachute. Be certain to locate the RIP Cord before you exit the plane: Just a word to some wise and hey!

Bon Voyage!

***

For those of y’all who still remain, I want to write about Karen Carpenter. Not ‘The’ Karen Carpenter, but the Karen Carpenter that symbolized how I felt about the Seventies. Yeah, that one. Her.

***

I woke up with Karen Carpenter on my mind (and yes: I have posted about her recently, but I wanted to try to explain why now)

I woke up with Karen and sadly not in my bed, but in my mind.

Why?

Because… of the ‘Age of Innocents.’ I call her one. The first casualty of the sickness that guides us: This American Dream of having to be some other person. A person, in the spotlight who is …. Drumroll: PERFECT!

No one is perfect and certainly not me (though I am pretty close). Yet, no one is perfection. We cannot be. There is no God and if you believe that there is, you are about as far removed from ‘Perfection’ as a Human…

I should delete that sentence, as it is not Germane, nor German, to my point. Let me think on it…

Back to The Seventies: The Age of Innocents (I was innocent; were you? Probab’ly not.)…

I am running on empty now/here.

“I don’t know where I’m runnin’ now; I’m just runnin’ on…

The Seventies.

I would like some thoughts on that/those. From you! And then, having received same, I will continue. Maybe.

Your choice.

Shalom

Salaam

Namaste

Hook ‘em Horns

Peace,

–Lancers

And P.S. I am sorry for stealing all the vid clips. I will (I promise) accolade y’all later–more later–but later)

And: to any readers I have left:

I am in some form of cryxis: I will be, as Shakespeare once wrote, “King Richard is himself again.” once be.

Stay tuned…
Or not: Yer choice.

Peach,

Lanced

Oh! And by the way… Jackson Browne was/is an asshole

Read it here

Bye now…

Casspir The Friendly Armored Personnel Carrier

Fallujah.

Naturally.

Bumping along in a Casspir, a South African armored personnel carrier, on our way to Anbar Province, western Iraq. The year was 2007 and we were under attack.

Perfect.

Perfect? Yes. For you see, if you decide to get shot at in Iraq in 2007, the best venue for that is inside a Casspir. A Casspir is a big, white, heavily armored vehicle. During Apartheid, the South Africans needed such a vehicle; well, the White South Africans did anyway. The first time I heard of “Casspir”

I was somewhere close to Camp Speicher, northern Iraq and this was to be my “commute car.”  I thought instantly, after seeing my first Casspir, that it was so moniker-ed because it was this big white thing and, being an American, immediately thought of “Casper the Friendly Ghost.” I was wrong.

There is nothing friendly about a Casspir, aside from the fact that he (it) will save your ass.

Casper_Commuter_Vehicle

Riding in a Casspir is probably one of the most uncomfortable things one can experience. The seats are small. The quarters cramped.

The air conditioning nonexistent. The suspension sans shock absorbers.

The windows, smallish, which open up just enough to point a rifle through, or perhaps allow a round to one’s head. The driver, usually a Wanna-be Rambo with poor grammar and a poorer sense of direction.

No fun riding in a Casspir.

Inside Casper

But on that day, back in ’07, just outside Fallujah there was no better place to be. Casspirs were often called the ‘Best Bug-Out Vehicles’ in Iraq.

First they shot at us with RPG’s (rocket propelled grenades). They fell somewhat short. Following up, they hit us with AK47 rounds. (Those didn’t fall short) Our PLS truck

(Pallet-loading system) lost a windshield. Some of our “light-skinned” vehicles lost windshields and windows as well. “Casper” got hit, but the rounds barely scratched the paint (Thank you South Africa). No one lost his life, but we were somewhat shaken and more than a little pissed off.

Continue reading

“Letter From a South Park Jail” Part Two (Yes A Re-Tread)

This Is SICK!

I LOVE iT!

Reruns-but everyone sings it (Friday Night Funkin’ cover)

Cred for share: CesarFever

****


Jackie Venson

(Native Texan!)

“This Show Is Gonna Be A Sexy Show–

You’re Just Gonna Havta Deal With it.”

“Lose Your Imagination–Lose Your Mind”

–Jackie

****

South Park: Full-Day The First

For those who may not have read Part One,  

This is the continuation of a transcribed letter/email I sent to my Girlfriend while stuck in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

***

1820hrs: South Park

Checked into South Park and got me a bottom rack—With a Lockable Locker!

My Bottom Rack (with I-Pad)

First time that has ever happened!

Unhappy news is now it is too late to get to the CAC badging office and they are closed on Sundays. Therefore, I waste a day here. But at least I have you now (don’t I?) and can occupy my time with thoughts of us in Dubai in a few short weeks.

And just in case I take a pause from that lovely daydream, I have fetched along Ishmael, Captain Ahab, and Moby Dick to keep me company: just a little light reading.

Sunday 29 July 0830hrs: South Park Smoking Area

Sitting outside in the smoking area surrounded by Bosnians all on one table, Indians on another, Filipinos at yet another, a few Americans strategically placed, and on and on. Oh, and some Brits, also strategically placed.

The Gomers have a ‘work detail’ list. They are dreaming if they broach this subject to me. I am Forced to Be Here; that is all they will receive from me: My illustrious presence and my promise not to kill anyone while here. Every morning at muster, we are compelled to sign in on the Sign in Sheet. Lest we forget, there are signs everywhere to remind us:

“If You Do Not Make Muster and Sign In You Will Not Be Paid. And Furthermore: Not Making Muster Will Result In Disciplinary Action Up To And Including Termination (And An Ass Rendering Administered By Conan Our Resident Barbarian) Thank You for Complying and have a nice day…yada yada yada.”

South Park HQ

Don’t Lose Your Sanity Over The South Park’s Bull-Shit-Enmity

I found DynCorp to be a little too subtle for my taste. I always like to know exactly where I stand with a company I am helping to fleece the Government on the backs of low-paid TCN’s. (OK, I promised I would not ‘dis’ DynCorp. Overmuch.)

0859hrs: South Park DFAC (Dining Facility) Tent

Sitting in the South Park DFAC, such as it is, having some coffee, such as that is. AFN (Armed Forces Network) is on the TV. Yes, there is a television (another first). This is all we ever see over here (was the same in most parts of Iraq, but when I was in Basra, I could watch Al Jazeera—in English–but that probably wasn’t looked upon too kindly) and actually, it ain’t bad.

They pretty much broadcast the same shit one gets back in The States: CNN, Fox, ESPN, lousy movies, Andy Griffith, etc. The only way to know you are watching AFN, in fact, is by the ‘Commercials’:

All PSA’s detailing how U.S. Service Personnel are expected to comport themselves and various other things mil-centric. Some of these “Made in the U.S. DOD commercials” are quite professional and slick as Baby Shit, while others are so bad as to be hysterical. I love watching the bad ones–the ones that look like High School Plays.

1015hrs: DFAC

More coffee. Regarding last night’s rocket attack: (Guess I neglected to mention that) My Dear, this is just routine for KAF. As far as I know, it has been at least two months since the Taliban Assholes have actually hit anything or injured anyone. In other words, they usually can’t hit shit.

Point being, please do not worry about THAT.

(I just caught myself looking for the “Save” button on this steno pad. I must be losing my mind.)

1127hrs: DFAC

DFAC

Just returned from PX Mission: Mission accomplished. No apparent casualties.

1134hrs: Picnic Area

Got kicked out of the DFAC so ‘they’ could clean it before lunch time (1230hrs). Purchased an alarm clock at the PX since I have to get up at 0345hrs tomorrow to go to the CAC badging office and I forgot to bring my Dwyer alarm clock with me. “Hell Lance! It’s only money.” I now have three alarm clocks plus my watch.

“As God as my witness, I’ll never be late again!”

‘Picnic’ Area

Ran into an acquaintance from Dwyer. His name escapes me, but he told me Dwyer was slated for closure in December. Hmmmm…. I may be out of a job soon. Maybe they did cancel Christmas after all.

1255hrs: Sitting on my rack…

…after I came ‘home’ and discovered two Gomers with their butts parked on same.

They removed/relocated their butts as soon as I pointed out that I was not (in this case) a very nice person. In case you missed it, I am never a very nice person while I am stuck in South Park.

But then, I am not alone in this sentiment.

Lunch, or as we call it in The Texas, ‘Dinner’, was eat-able. I had the chicken because the other meat offerings were unrecognizable to me.

 Wasn’t bad actually; the chicken (yard-bird?) was burned to perfection.

OK, NOT My Rack

While I was on my PX Foraging Mission, I was also searching for the Gym someone at Dwyer had assured me was ‘Close to the PX’ – didn’t find it and now it is too bloody hot to go on another reconnaissance expedition.  

If you’re wondering how I am able to move freely about, sans escort, it is because ‘they’ changed the rules once again. This time for the better: A First in all my previous South Park experiences. Now those in possession of a valid CAC card are no longer restricted in their movements, bowel or otherwise.

Praise Be to The Great White Cat of the River Nile.

1313hrs: Sirens Again! Then the BIG VOICE:

*ROCKET ATTACK! ROCKET ATTACK! TAKE COVER! TAKE COVER!*

(Don’t these people ever give up?)

Be right back…

1315hrs: Still sitting on my rack

ALL CLEAR! ALL CLEAR!

Glad I didn’t bother to get up.

Probably a false alarm.

How do they expect me to get distressed when the BIG VOICE is female with a soothing British accent?

1405hrs: Sitting on my rack

Waiting on the Gomers to finish cleaning the DFAC Tent so I can get another coffee. I seem to drink heavily when I am on-board (bored) South Park.

Oh, I forgot to tell you… After I kicked the two Gomes off’n my rack, I asked one of them to take my photo (action shot of me writing to you)

Look for it amongst the attachments. It will be the one whut says, “Bad Mutha-Fuckah.”

“Bad Mo’ Fo'”

1435hrs: DFAC

I suppose it is time to explain why I use the term ‘Gomer’ when referring to TCN’s (and everyone else On Staff, for that matter).

During my Iraq Days, I had a good friend (Rick) who referred to the Iraqis as ‘Gomers’. Not sure how he arrived at that, but it seemed to fit at the time:

Gomer, Gomer Pyle or ‘Get Out of My Emergency Room’

(Really. Google it.)

Anyway, the moniker took hold. Took hold so well that all in our clique began using it to refer to all ‘others’.

And let me further say it actually became, over time, somewhat of a term of endearment.

Gomer 1 and Gomette 2 Amman Jordan ’08

We started calling each other ‘Gomer’.

Since there were several of us, now all Gomers, things could get confusing. To prevent miscommunication, we labeled each other ‘Gomer 1’, ‘Gomer 2’, ‘Gomer 3’, and so on. I was, of course, ‘Gomer 1’ (and I can prove that. I have documentation—and it was a high honor.)

There were never more than four Original Gomers, or ‘Gomes’ for short, but we did have one ‘Alternate Gomer’, just in case one of the Founding Gomers got taken out by an Iraqi Gomer with a lucky mortar shot.

Ten Gomers and One Gommette

Basra, Iraq ca. 2007

Welcome to the Gomer – Zone

Yes. We all lost our minds in Basra, Iraq, ca. 2005-2008

“Gomer-Zone”

Narrator: Lance Marcom

Cinematographer: Michael Perkins

All Rights Reserved

(Discovery Channel Mockumentary in pre-production)

***

2002hrs: My Rack

Was wonderful to discover several emails from you earlier.

Unfortunately it took forever to load Gmail and by the time I had finished reading them I had no time left to respond. It was time for everyone to start entering their hours on the electronic time sheets.

 We must do this every day and Management has no sense of humor if we don’t.

(Up to and including termination…)

Supper tonight was turkey, which tasted suspiciously very much like the chicken I had for lunch.

Available also was some roast beast, but I had to take a pass on that.

(My sense of self-preservation is quite well refined)  

I went on Walk-About for about an hour this afternoon, but of course it wasn’t the same as when I am ‘Home’ on Dwyer since I don’t have my ankle weights with me.

I’m proud of me for making the effort, at least.

2029hrs DFAC

Coffee. Hell, why not coffee? I probably won’t sleep much tonight anyway and I have to get up at 0345hrs anyhow. Ran into the aforementioned buddy again (still cannot recall his name), not that it matters.

Well, he told me exactly where the gym was and it is NOT where some other buddy back at Dwyer had told me. If fact, it is about as far removed from THAT location as is possible. If I am not too whacked out after the CAC Badging office, I will check it out and report my findings to you.

If all goes well, tomorrow will be my last full day here until I come through on my way to Dubai. I had an email from Shannon today, saying that Mike was still hanging on.

Christ! Firing that jerk is proving more involved than impeaching Clinton (or Nixon).

I was hoping he’d be gone when I got back, but now I’m not so sure.

This DFAC tent is actually pretty squared away, now that I am really studying it. It is small yes, but the Gomes keep it clean and tidy. Not really an easy task, given the scores of people who use it at all hours. I never leave a mess when I depart. I am good that way and am famous for cleaning my own hotel rooms before checking out.

Does that make me weird? Don’t worry though; I’m not anal about it.

One thing that strikes me funny about this DFAC tent is that there are three smoke detectors (that I can see from where I am sitting) that are all clumped together in relatively the same area—about six feet apart. Logic would seem to dictate that they be spread out a bit, but what the hell, right?

Makes changing the batteries much more efficient and less time-consuming, I suppose.

***

Part Three Soon

Re-Run Alert! Warmed Over Bull-Shite: “Dispatches From Iraq: The Man Who Blew Up Goats”

Cred for Vid: GoatStep

*****

I try really hard not to be asshole.

I truly Do,

But I Just Cannot Overcome My Nature

In ‘08 I gave my notice to Parsons and went to work for an Iraqi company called Leadstay. Leadstay was the outfit that provided all the heavy equipment and operators we employed at Camp Wolf in Anbar Province.

They worked under the direction of our EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) guys, (Tetra Tech) helping them to locate and destroy the UO (unexploded ordnance) that Saddam had so graciously left behind.

goats

The project, USACE CMC (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Coalition Munitions Clearance project), was a noble one and I worked for them two years, “Kicking bombs” as my IT guy referred to it.

Previously I had worked for Parsons on the USAID (U.S. Dept. of State) Rural Water Project.

We built water treatment plants for rural villages all over Iraq providing clean potable water to people who had never put lips to same.

Spent two years doing that. I was in the ‘Construction’ business. At CMC I had moved into the ‘Destruction’ business, or for you literary types: ‘deconstruction business’. The circle was now complete.

CMC was winding down in ’08 after having destroyed roughly four hundred thousand short tons of old live ordnance during the five years they had been ‘kicking the bombs’ which the bad guys would surely have turned into IED’s.

I needed to find a new gig.

leadstay_operators

Through my connections with Leadstay I was hired on as ‘Business Development Manager.” They paid me fifteen thousand bucks a month (In cash if I so desired) plus two percent of any new contracts I landed. Potentially very lucrative.

The Leadstay ‘Man Camp’ was in the ‘Red Zone’ just outside the wire of Camp Victory, which bordered BIAP (Baghdad International Air Port).

Electricity was hit or miss. The power grid from Baghdad was kind of like Texas weather; “If you don’t like it just wait a minute and it’ll change.” We had backup generators, but they were only for show.

The shower in my hooch often gave me little shocks, reminding me that “OSHA does not live here.” All the Iraqis (and some of us) were armed.

I wasn’t, but I had my eye on an AK-47 for sale in the duty-free shop Ahmed owned.  Mostly the Duty-Free was a liquor store.  We were only allowed to drink booze on Thursday nights. (Of course we mangled that rule, being ‘By God Americans!”)

I lasted about a month.

Continue reading

NO! Do NOT Look At This: It is a Sad Commentary. Depressing And Somewhat Up-Lifting All At-The-Same-Time. Put That In Yer Pipe–Smoke It. Perhaps You’ll Catch A Buzz

“Desperately Dire Straits”

Oh Fukken Forget it!

I Am A Cock-Eyed Optimist

And Shall Remain Thusly Such

Forever!

For Fricken EVER

***

I Miss My NAVY–Have I ever Lamented this?

“A Hundred And One Pounds of Fun”

(Perfectly Describes My Third Wife)

“Cock-Eyed Optimist”

Don't Drown Lance.
At least one shall miss you.
And your bullshit

Money For Nothing

Vid Cred: mzq88

Conditions:

I tripped on a cloud and flew eight miles high—

My mind Has Left the building.

Vid Cred: Too many to sort out.

***

Fuck it! I suppose I could credit ‘Kenny Rogers and The First Edition’ Yeah.

At least I can do that. At the very least… I can do that.

Suppose I just did.

Yer Welcome Kenny.

Only thing you ever did that was worth a shit

***

This Post is all-over-some place.

Sorry. Not Sorry

Text-Book Example of My Mind – Malfunction Junction

Dire Straits…

Y’all.

This is painful.

Because I am a proud veteran and proud of my macho almost Navy SEAL times two service attempts

(At least I showed up—twice)

Y’all,

I come with hat in hand.

Anyone reads me with regularity knows I am an alcoholic.

Pretty much a ‘functioning one’

Yet,

Money management is something I have always sucked at.

But I always maintained a backstop insurance policy.

A woman.

A rich woman.

A women I spent a great deal of my money and time when I worked in Iraq and Afghanistan, flying her all over the world to meet for for R&R’s… Barcelona, Rome, Dubai, London, on and on…

You know her name.

It starts with an R and ends with a…

Never mind.

I have spilt lots of ink on her already.

Point is, she has decided to cut me off in my last hour of need.

Refused  to HBO!

Help a Brother Out!

I will run out of booze and life within half a day.

You know what happens when that happens?

DT Man.

Then I die

Came close to that LAST TIME

I do not wish to go through that agin.

DT Man scares me more than any man

And, trust me, Gentle Reader:

I do not scare easy.

But he scares me.

He is hell-bent to kill me.

If you value me.

Or my work

And enjoy it.

Help me out

Call me

901.212.3039

Email me

lancemarcom781@gmail.com

Help me.

Cheers,

–Lance

LMFAO!

I do hope Y’all Know This is all Tongue-Firmly-Planted-in-My-Cheek

But…

Spare me a dime??

Or A rhythm?

I Do LOVE Gene Kelly

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (’51): “I Got Rhythm”

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (’51):

“I Got Rhythm”

Who Could Ask For Anything More?

Truth Be told..

I Place more value on the rhymeI

Love Judy Collins

“Letter From a South Park Jail” Part Two

South Park: Full-Day The First

For those who may not have read Part One,  

This is the continuation of a transcribed letter/email I sent to my Girlfriend while stuck in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

***

1820hrs: South Park

Checked into South Park and got me a bottom rack—With a Lockable Locker!

My Bottom Rack (with I-Pad)

First time that has ever happened!

Unhappy news is now it is too late to get to the CAC badging office and they are closed on Sundays. Therefore, I waste a day here. But at least I have you now (don’t I?) and can occupy my time with thoughts of us in Dubai in a few short weeks.

And just in case I take a pause from that lovely daydream, I have fetched along Ishmael, Captain Ahab, and Moby Dick to keep me company: just a little light reading.

Sunday 29 July 0830hrs: South Park Smoking Area

Sitting outside in the smoking area surrounded by Bosnians all on one table, Indians on another, Filipinos at yet another, a few Americans strategically placed, and on and on. Oh, and some Brits, also strategically placed.

The Gomers have a ‘work detail’ list. They are dreaming if they broach this subject to me. I am Forced to Be Here; that is all they will receive from me: My illustrious presence and my promise not to kill anyone while here. Every morning at muster, we are compelled to sign in on the Sign in Sheet. Lest we forget, there are signs everywhere to remind us:

“If You Do Not Make Muster and Sign In You Will Not Be Paid. And Furthermore: Not Making Muster Will Result In Disciplinary Action Up To And Including Termination (And An Ass Rendering Administered By Conan Our Resident Barbarian) Thank You for Complying and have a nice day…yada yada yada.”

South Park HQ

Don’t Lose Your Sanity Over The South Park’s Bull-Shit-Enmity

I found DynCorp to be a little too subtle for my taste. I always like to know exactly where I stand with a company I am helping to fleece the Government on the backs of low-paid TCN’s. (OK, I promised I would not ‘dis’ DynCorp. Overmuch.)

0859hrs: South Park DFAC (Dining Facility) Tent

Sitting in the South Park DFAC, such as it is, having some coffee, such as that is. AFN (Armed Forces Network) is on the TV. Yes, there is a television (another first). This is all we ever see over here (was the same in most parts of Iraq, but when I was in Basra, I could watch Al Jazeera—in English–but that probably wasn’t looked upon too kindly) and actually, it ain’t bad.

They pretty much broadcast the same shit one gets back in The States: CNN, Fox, ESPN, lousy movies, Andy Griffith, etc. The only way to know you are watching AFN, in fact, is by the ‘Commercials’:

All PSA’s detailing how U.S. Service Personnel are expected to comport themselves and various other things mil-centric. Some of these “Made in the U.S. DOD commercials” are quite professional and slick as Baby Shit, while others are so bad as to be hysterical. I love watching the bad ones–the ones that look like High School Plays.

1015hrs: DFAC

More coffee. Regarding last night’s rocket attack: (Guess I neglected to mention that) My Dear, this is just routine for KAF. As far as I know, it has been at least two months since the Taliban Assholes have actually hit anything or injured anyone. In other words, they usually can’t hit shit.

Point being, please do not worry about THAT.

(I just caught myself looking for the “Save” button on this steno pad. I must be losing my mind.)

1127hrs: DFAC

DFAC

Just returned from PX Mission: Mission accomplished. No apparent casualties.

1134hrs: Picnic Area

Got kicked out of the DFAC so ‘they’ could clean it before lunch time (1230hrs). Purchased an alarm clock at the PX since I have to get up at 0345hrs tomorrow to go to the CAC badging office and I forgot to bring my Dwyer alarm clock with me. “Hell Lance! It’s only money.” I now have three alarm clocks plus my watch.

“As God as my witness, I’ll never be late again!”

‘Picnic’ Area

Ran into an acquaintance from Dwyer. His name escapes me, but he told me Dwyer was slated for closure in December. Hmmmm…. I may be out of a job soon. Maybe they did cancel Christmas after all.

1255hrs: Sitting on my rack…

…after I came ‘home’ and discovered two Gomers with their butts parked on same.

They removed/relocated their butts as soon as I pointed out that I was not (in this case) a very nice person. In case you missed it, I am never a very nice person while I am stuck in South Park.

But then, I am not alone in this sentiment.

Lunch, or as we call it in The Texas, ‘Dinner’, was eat-able. I had the chicken because the other meat offerings were unrecognizable to me.

 Wasn’t bad actually; the chicken (yard-bird?) was burned to perfection.

OK, NOT My Rack

While I was on my PX Foraging Mission, I was also searching for the Gym someone at Dwyer had assured me was ‘Close to the PX’ – didn’t find it and now it is too bloody hot to go on another reconnaissance expedition.  

If you’re wondering how I am able to move freely about, sans escort, it is because ‘they’ changed the rules once again. This time for the better: A First in all my previous South Park experiences. Now those in possession of a valid CAC card are no longer restricted in their movements, bowel or otherwise.

Praise Be to The Great White Cat of the River Nile.

1313hrs: Sirens Again! Then the BIG VOICE:

*ROCKET ATTACK! ROCKET ATTACK! TAKE COVER! TAKE COVER!*

(Don’t these people ever give up?)

Be right back…

1315hrs: Still sitting on my rack

ALL CLEAR! ALL CLEAR!

Glad I didn’t bother to get up.

Probably a false alarm.

How do they expect me to get distressed when the BIG VOICE is female with a soothing British accent?

1405hrs: Sitting on my rack

Waiting on the Gomers to finish cleaning the DFAC Tent so I can get another coffee. I seem to drink heavily when I am on-board (bored) South Park.

Oh, I forgot to tell you… After I kicked the two Gomes off’n my rack, I asked one of them to take my photo (action shot of me writing to you)

Look for it amongst the attachments. It will be the one whut says, “Bad Mutha-Fuckah.”

“Bad Mo’ Fo'”

1435hrs: DFAC

I suppose it is time to explain why I use the term ‘Gomer’ when referring to TCN’s (and everyone else On Staff, for that matter).

During my Iraq Days, I had a good friend (Rick) who referred to the Iraqis as ‘Gomers’. Not sure how he arrived at that, but it seemed to fit at the time:

Gomer, Gomer Pyle or ‘Get Out of My Emergency Room’

(Really. Google it.)

Anyway, the moniker took hold. Took hold so well that all in our clique began using it to refer to all ‘others’.

And let me further say it actually became, over time, somewhat of a term of endearment.

Gomer 1 and Gomette 2 Amman Jordan ’08

We started calling each other ‘Gomer’.

Since there were several of us, now all Gomers, things could get confusing. To prevent miscommunication, we labeled each other ‘Gomer 1’, ‘Gomer 2’, ‘Gomer 3’, and so on. I was, of course, ‘Gomer 1’ (and I can prove that. I have documentation—and it was a high honor.)

There were never more than four Original Gomers, or ‘Gomes’ for short, but we did have one ‘Alternate Gomer’, just in case one of the Founding Gomers got taken out by an Iraqi Gomer with a lucky mortar shot.

Ten Gomers and One Gommette

Basra, Iraq ca. 2007

Welcome to the Gomer – Zone

Yes. We all lost our minds in Basra, Iraq, ca. 2005-2008

“Gomer-Zone”

Narrator: Lance Marcom

Cinematographer: Michael Perkins

All Rights Reserved

(Discovery Channel Mockumentary in pre-production)

***

2002hrs: My Rack

Was wonderful to discover several emails from you earlier.

Unfortunately it took forever to load Gmail and by the time I had finished reading them I had no time left to respond. It was time for everyone to start entering their hours on the electronic time sheets.

 We must do this every day and Management has no sense of humor if we don’t.

(Up to and including termination…)

Supper tonight was turkey, which tasted suspiciously very much like the chicken I had for lunch.

Available also was some roast beast, but I had to take a pass on that.

(My sense of self-preservation is quite well refined)  

I went on Walk-About for about an hour this afternoon, but of course it wasn’t the same as when I am ‘Home’ on Dwyer since I don’t have my ankle weights with me.

I’m proud of me for making the effort, at least.

2029hrs DFAC

Coffee. Hell, why not coffee? I probably won’t sleep much tonight anyway and I have to get up at 0345hrs anyhow. Ran into the aforementioned buddy again (still cannot recall his name), not that it matters.

Well, he told me exactly where the gym was and it is NOT where some other buddy back at Dwyer had told me. If fact, it is about as far removed from THAT location as is possible. If I am not too whacked out after the CAC Badging office, I will check it out and report my findings to you.

If all goes well, tomorrow will be my last full day here until I come through on my way to Dubai. I had an email from Shannon today, saying that Mike was still hanging on.

Christ! Firing that jerk is proving more involved than impeaching Clinton (or Nixon).

I was hoping he’d be gone when I got back, but now I’m not so sure.

This DFAC tent is actually pretty squared away, now that I am really studying it. It is small yes, but the Gomes keep it clean and tidy. Not really an easy task, given the scores of people who use it at all hours. I never leave a mess when I depart. I am good that way and am famous for cleaning my own hotel rooms before checking out.

Does that make me weird? Don’t worry though; I’m not anal about it.

One thing that strikes me funny about this DFAC tent is that there are three smoke detectors (that I can see from where I am sitting) that are all clumped together in relatively the same area—about six feet apart. Logic would seem to dictate that they be spread out a bit, but what the hell, right?

Makes changing the batteries much more efficient and less time-consuming, I suppose.

***

Part Three Soon