Tales From The Rear

To celebrate my buddies Josh, Matt, and the rest of the crew who are currently on their way home from the cradle of civilization, and in order to mark the two year anniversary of our invasion into said cradle, I have decided to do a little war reminiscing.

I recently found out that my mother has kept copies of all the e-mails that I sent her during my time in the conflict, and hoping that I may in some way have sounded wise and whimsical in my time away at war, I decided to read through the letters.

Alas, all I really found out is that I'm a jerk.

Now, a lot of soldiers who wrote to their families during the civil war had quite a way with words. For example, John W. Dean of the Union's Company I, 19th Regiment wrote:

"Dear Father and Mother, I take my pen in hand to write you a few lines to let you know how I am getting along. I am well and harty as ever and hope when these few lines arrive they will find you as well..."

Touching, really. Now here is my first letter to my parents once I was aboard the USS Ashland and sailing across the Atlantic Ocean:

"Hey Guys-
This sucks. Well, now that I've made that clear, whats new with you guys? Nothing new with me - that's for damn sure. How could something be new when I can't watch TV, talk on the phone, or even walk for more than a few hundred yards without falling into the stupid ocean. This is ridiculous. Why don't they just fly us over there? Do you have any clue how much of the taxpayers money we're wasting right now? I don't even want to think about it. Ludicrous!

Anyway, I live in a room the size of my bedroom with eleven other guys. We eat, workout, occasionally play cards, and sleep. That's all we do. That's all we possibly can do. This sucks. I don't care how "proud" someone is of me - everyone can go to hell as far as I'm concerned. I can't wait to get off this god forsaken ship.

Anyway...I miss you all and can't wait to hear from you.


P.S. Send me some crack so I can fail a drug test and get off this damn boat."

In hindsight, that's not quite as poignant a tone as I was hoping to strike.

Later that month, after President Bush gave a speech, I had the following to say about the Commander in Chief:

"I couldn't really care less what Bush says (Unless it sends me back home.) The guy's an idiot."

A stirring rally cry.

Later that April, my mom found it pressing to e-mail the results of American Idol, in order to tell me that some Marine dude was on the show. My reply:

"I hope they kick that damn marine off the show and send him out here to replace me. That guy is not exactly pulling his own weight in the whole war effort.

I'm sweating my ass off here in Kuwait while he's back in L.A. living like a rock star.

To hell with him."

For some reason, I don't think The History Channel will ever include my correspondences in any of their specials.

Anyhoo...Get home safely guys.

Happy St. Paddys weekend everybody!

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