Across the Wire at Night

I crossed the wire for the first time. The wire is our term for the base perimeter, beyond which safety is definitely not assured. And just to keep things interesting, my first trip across the wire occured at night, even thought I'd had just three flights since flight school, all of them during the last three days of pre-deployment training Yuma, AZ. In other words my fourth night flight turned out to be a combat mission beyond the wire in Iraq.

I was completely lost during the pre-flight brief, but my pilot in command reassured me that he knew what was going on and all I really had to worry about was flying the aircraft. He had spent one of the previous nights riding along in one of the CH-46 helicopters operated by the Marine Corps unit we are replacing.

We began strapping up after the brief, body armor and all. I slid a full magazine of nine millimeter rounds into my pistol and a full magazine of 5.56 millimeter rounds into my rifle, and for the first time in my career I had to think about why we carry bullets.

I asked myself -- and realized that for the first time the question wasn't hypothetical -- if I would have the capacity to pull out my weapon, rack a round into the chamber and fire with the intent of killing another human being? If I am in the situation where I am firing my weapons, how did I get there? A crash? Or is there a landing zone where the enemy takes up a position in order to open fire on the aircraft while we are on the ground? I mentally rehearsed how I would manipulate my body in order to reach my weapon and use it.

We started up, took off and made our way off base, stopping by the test fire area to make sure our weapons worked. The CH-46 led the way firing first. As we looked through our night vision googles, we could see their rounds impacting the targets with large plumes of fire and smoke interrupted by the streak of an occasional tracer round. The power of the weapons gave me some reassurance that we would be able to defend ourselves pretty well.

Our schedule and execution was right on. I was able to fly all of trip thanks to coaching from the pilot in command and the crew chiefs. My posterior was killing me from the constant sitting over the six hour trip and my forehead was burning from the weight of the night vision goggles. My longest night flight before this had been two hours.

After we landed, packed our gear and made three or four trips to the hangar to put things away. We headed to the post flight brief, where I noticed my eyes were burning around the edges of the eye lids, at the point the lids meet the surface of the eyeballs. Exhausted, I had to stand up in order to make it through the brief. Overall, the first mission was a lot less stressful than I had expected. Now there are many more to come, and I hope for all of us that they are as uneventful as this one.

-- Written on 3/4/2006

By Bert Stover |  March 16, 2006; 7:50 AM ET  | Category:  Al Asad, Iraq
Previous: Al Asad Services | Next: A Near Miss Over Baghdad


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God Bless keep up the good work. I'm up early today and soon this link will be full of the vile anti-American posts of our "courageous" liberals. Keep in mind they don't speak for the vast majority of Americans. I hope you understand how the Press and the liberals constantly release push polls in order to discourage Bush. Its nothing against you so you should never even consider taking it personally or seriously. You and the rest be safe.


Posted by: Brick | March 16, 2006 09:21 AM

good morning Brick, how about a big hooyah for your glorious leader... the boy king... the incredible (in)Curious George!

how dare anyone try to discourage such an optimistic man (i guess you can afford to be optimistic if you're a draft dodger).

Posted by: dave | March 16, 2006 09:32 AM

There is nothing anti-American in questioning the judgment of government and national leaders. In fact, there wouldn't be an America if people back in the 1770s didn't dispute and disrupt the status quo.

And being critical of the war and how it is being handled is not a slam against Bert and his colleagues in Iraq. After all, they're fighting for America's honor -- which is more than Bush, Cheney or Rove ever did.

Posted by: E. Etage | March 16, 2006 09:39 AM

You can't criticize the war and simultaneously claim to be supporting the troops. Anything that emboldens the enemy, whether that's the intent or not, does not support the troops.
Go, Bert!

Posted by: Stick | March 16, 2006 09:42 AM

Stick... yes you can.

how does criticizing the war embolden your enemies?

Posted by: dave | March 16, 2006 09:49 AM

Critizing the way an effort, in this case the "occupation and rebuilding", is not unpatriotic or non-supportive of our military.

As a Marine who served in both the Viet Nam War and Desert Storm, we who fought and were tasked to make decisions understood that tactics and strategy are dictated by the fluidity of the situation. If one concept doesn't work you MUST change the plan.

That is what has NOT happened in Iraq.

Supporting our military is not blindly following a failed plan - it is devising and implementing a new one that solves the problems, not exacerbates them.

Posted by: Ryan | March 16, 2006 09:54 AM

Invading an Arab country without an international mandate or a clear plan for ensuring stability or security for the people there seems like a pretty good way to "embolden" Arab Islamic extremists. By Stick's logic, the president, the secretary of defense, and any member of congress who shirked his/her oversight duties and voted to authorize the war in Iraq cannot accurately claim they support the troops. Those who confuse criticisms of war policy with criticisms of the war fighters are repeating some of the greatest mistakes of the Vietnam era. The brave men and women in Irag and Afghanistan are not the target of any sane person's criticism. It is the policy that endangers the lives of these patriots, with questionable goals and poor preparation for the feasible achievment of these goals, that warrants criticism. Members of the armed forces are now carrying the burden for the poor planning of the Iraq war by the civilian leadership. They should be honored for their sacrafice, and those who have necessitated that sacrafice because of their ineptitude should be held accountable. Those who blur the distinction between sound, rational policy criticisms with irrational criticisms of the war fighters do so for the purpose of providing political cover for their party or president. Thes political hacks are not patriots. They are scoundrels of the highest order. This cheap political trick undermines the respect that service men and women deserve.

Posted by: B.S. | March 16, 2006 10:14 AM

It's good to know as you slide the magazines into your weapon that you can defend yourself if necessary. On the other hand, why have we put our citizens in the position of defending themselves in Iraq and why should we be killling Iraqis? We are certainly not defending the United States. Every lie used to justify the attack on Iraq has now been utterly repudiated.

A recent poll of our active duty troops in Iraq found that over 85% stated that they were in Iraq because Iraq collaborated with the attacks on 9/11. Even the president has admitted that that is not true. So we are left with our families in Iraq being asked to give their lives for a desperate fantasy. However, this can not last forever. As in Vietnam, our troops themselves, brothers like Bert, will eventually turn against the war.

At the end of the day, nobody wants to die or be permanently disabled for a pack of lies told by scoundrels like Cheney and Rumsfeld.

Posted by: An American | March 16, 2006 10:15 AM

Criticizing the war "emboldens" our enemies?

How about comments like "Bring it on"???

Posted by: almundy | March 16, 2006 11:23 AM

How does criticizing undermine the war?

1. Calling Bush a liar undercuts his ability to negotiate peaceful and dimplomatic initiatives that are in the best interest of America.

2. The constant dragging on of Abu Grabe coverage well after the punishments have been made undercuts our military's credibility to operate peacefully with Iraqis who want to support us.

3. The democrats efforts to rewrite history to make Bush seem like the only one who believed there were WMD is dangerous for good policy.

4. The banning of the Military from liberal law schools hurts the entire country's readiness and ability to defend itself. This readiness allows us negotiate peaceful settlements by projecting a strong military.

5. The impeach Bush movement is unjustifiend and dangerously irresponsible. It encourages our enemies who know that democrats are on their side in this war.

6. The constant stream of negative developments in Iraq by the liberal media is nothing more than an 2 year long anti-bush editorial. It hurts support for our troops unnecessarily at home and encourages the enemy to continue killing women and children.

7. Admiting the Taliban at Yale. Nuff said.

Democrats are slowly becoming dangerous to the security of America. Somebody should publicly accuse them treason.

Posted by: Brick Sellerman | March 16, 2006 11:59 AM

When I joined the Marine Corps in 1969, I had no concept of facts or truth. My country, my nation, my way of life, be it well or no, was in jeopardy of the communist expansion. We would be well afeared of a creator god establishing the pure theocracy that the bible teaches. Ask your neighborhood Jehovah's Witnesses for a copy of the book,"What does the Bible really teach?",and consider your\our situation today. Try to stay on one subject, the guide to life and everything cannot be expounded in one sitting. Certainly Jehovah's promises and purposes can be documented, but you need to consider the source.
You who are well versed in the scriptures, being sure of your position, listen.
over and again we are cautioned against wolves.

Posted by: brian | March 16, 2006 12:00 PM


Sounds like you had relatively uneventful first mission. Congratulations! I'm curious though, were you in VMC conditions throughout the flight or did you have to use instruments at any time?


Posted by: SethBeck | March 16, 2006 12:32 PM


Unfortunately you were right.....

It seems that there is a subset of the population that do nothing but troll the internet looking for instances of someone backing the government or the troops just so they can hop up on their soapbox to refute what they've read.


I can't say that I've ever known anyone to change their mind or their slant due to a political argument. People believe what they believe and nothing is going to change it.

Hammering away with rant after rant on a forum where one of our guys is simplying trying to communicate first-hand what it's like over there and what they are going through just seems very misplaced to me.

Ok, I admit it....I just don't understand some people.

Posted by: Tom | March 16, 2006 12:41 PM



freedom of speech?


and what are you all doing morons?

you embarass me.

Posted by: treasonous? | March 16, 2006 01:03 PM

I thought this blog was about Bert Stover and his personal view of the US effort in Iraq.

I think if we can take what he's said to date as read, we can be assured that the military is well trained and equipped, well led, professional, impartial, and doing the job the national leadership has set for it. Tactics and methods may change over time as the enemy's tactics and methods change, but if the strategical intent of the war was to oust the Saddam regime and help the Iraqis built a stable political and economic enviornment in which the personal freedoms of ordinary Iraqis are respected and protected, as far as I can see, that strategy remains on track. Certainly there have been and will be errors of judgement that could be called "tactical mistakes" or "blunders." We may suffer setbacks or tactical defeats that the media will describe as "misteps" or "failures." No conflict ever proceeds completely "according to plan."

But if this endeavor succeeds, we may see a reverse "domino effect" in the middle east: we may see ordinary citizens in Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and elsewhere demanding the freedom to vote in a free election, read a free press, watch satellite TV, surf the internet, pursue an education and seek a level of economic success without hinderance or interference from their governments. The spread of personal freedom is like a cancer to the terrorists. Ultimately, it may be the only thing that brings them down.

Terrorists, who have nothing to offer in freedom's place but a nihilistic view of an endless apocalypse, understand this better than we do.

Note that I said "if we succeed." War is by nature an uncertain business; not even the world's only superpower can foresee or control circumstance or happenstance. So let's hope and pray that Bert Stover and his mates stay safe so they can return to their families and loved ones. Considering the stakes they are risking their lives for, perhaps we should pray even harder that the mission they are embarked on succeeds.

Posted by: DJBundy | March 16, 2006 01:04 PM

do you believe things should be addressed as-if spin were the truth?

Posted by: I believe the situation is addressed from the perspective of truth... | March 16, 2006 01:05 PM

I didn't know that they'd linked the Iraqi occupation to terrorists.

I though there were no WMD or Iraqi connection...or are you just making that up?


Posted by: terrorists? | March 16, 2006 01:07 PM

come on douches. Why do we have to turn this blog into a bunch of rants about how sucky the administration is? Yes, yes free speech, and all that. And I am not a big fan of this war or the executive leadership of this nation. But there is a better place to have this debate. What you've done is turn this blog into a debate about who was right and who is more authentically American and how dumb leftists are and how dumb rightwing people are, and you're drowning out everyone else.
I read this to keep up with Mr. Stover because I am interested in his experience as a soldier. And I read the comments, hoping to read from combat veterans of all wars, and military spouses or kids or siblings about their experiences with war.
So, would Michael Moore's intern, whom I generally agree with, or whoever you are, please STOP posting on this blog and find another place to disseminate your views?

Posted by: stan | March 16, 2006 01:24 PM

fly safe and ignore the negative comments. all the thinking people are for fighting and winning the war. Again, many thanks for serving. hope you will be home soon.


Posted by: "E" & Molly | March 16, 2006 01:26 PM

"Michael Moore's intern"

"all the thinking people are for fighting"

what's this?

Posted by: a citizen | March 16, 2006 01:42 PM


Posted by: a warrant officer disperses supplies | March 16, 2006 01:43 PM

Amen Stan. Thanks for writing what many of us think. Those posts belong elsewhere.

Bert - way to go. We all appreciate your effort and will keep you in our prayers.

Posted by: Virginia | March 16, 2006 01:53 PM

he's either there and there's an offensive on or he's in the air and it's 1:00 AM.

Transmission be held to a minimum.

Posted by: there is no bert stover online right now... | March 16, 2006 02:07 PM

Bert, good luck and hang in there.

It's a shame the first post here had to be a flamebait. Hopefully the warmongers here will be there soon to help back you up.

Posted by: | March 16, 2006 02:24 PM


Best of luck to you. Please know that you have a legion of supporters hoping that you get your mission accomplished and come home safely.

You can see that things are pretty heated, at least in some quarters, here at home. I just want you to know that, while many veterans, such as my father and I, disagree with the act of going to war, we support you in the fullest. One of the reasons that we question our leadership is that we know that you, as good soldiers, cannot. We want to make sure that they take care of you and therfore we try to hold them accountable. You are fighting for the ability of a free people to express their dissent, just as the founders expressed in the Declaration of Independence, a particularly disrespectful document. We are exercising that ability and we do so with the knowledge that we must do so in ways that do not dishonor your service. We also know that constructive dissent is what America is all about.

Thanks for fighting for us. We'll keep fighting for you.

Posted by: Another Vet | March 16, 2006 03:18 PM

Bert, Thanks for your insightful views. Be safe and be quick. Your training will see you through.

Posted by: J Stratton | March 16, 2006 03:20 PM

big props to Another Vet

everyone here is for you, Bert, but some of us think your leaders are inept, careless and have thrust your country into a very dangerous position.

come home safe (and soon)

Posted by: dave in toronto | March 16, 2006 04:30 PM

I thought that you might have been getting busy because it's been so long since you last posted here.

There are family and friends of your unit that look to you for news and information.

You have our support and only need to let us know of any needs!

Posted by: Oldsurfer | March 16, 2006 06:40 PM

Bert I'm glad your mission was a safe one. When you talk about your PC, mention his name so that we know he is ok. Your thoughts on how you would feel if you had to use your weapon are thoughts and feeling that I am sure all the pilots feel at one time or another. Just trust in your training and please mention some of the other guys too. Be safe and tell my husband I love him. VTH, CW2. We are all praying for your alls safe return.

Posted by: bjlh | March 16, 2006 06:43 PM

Dear CWO2 Stover,

God bless you all. We seem to have many different versions of what it means to "support the troops". I.e. "oh, I hope they don't hurt themselves but I certainly don't want them to accomplish anything..." For myself, it's simple. As long as you guys are there, I hope you come back safe from every mission and I hope you kill millions of insurgents before sunup.

Posted by: Brian L | March 16, 2006 07:11 PM

grr, kill, kill

Posted by: johannesrolf | March 16, 2006 07:59 PM

George Washington was an insurgent.

Posted by: Observer | March 16, 2006 08:00 PM

I have some letters from the front from my grandfather who was in the Wehrmacht, and who had come within view of Moscow. how proud he was, how successful that Blitzkrieg was, how they dealt with the Untermenschen, read Russians. that was an immoral war of aggression, like that in Iraq. and I for one have had enough reports from the front. bring 'em home, the troops, put them on trial in the Hague, the architects of the war.

Posted by: johannesrolf | March 16, 2006 08:03 PM

On behalf of my boss, I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to dave, almundy, and company for your continued support. Please keep it up! It's been fairly rough for us as you can imagine and our casualty rate is well over 80% but as long as you maintain the pressure on your end, we'll keep blowing up innocent bystanders, cutting off heads, kidnapping women and...uh, oh - I have to cut this short, I think the 101st is knocking...

Posted by: Abu Musab al Zarqawi's Intern | March 16, 2006 08:07 PM


Congrats on your first time out. Continue to stay safe. I don't know if you even read all the comments on here, if I were you, I wouldn't.
But if you do, know that you do have people behind you that support your efforts, your courage and bravery, your love of your country and your devotion to your job. Thank you and to all of the troops there with you.

Posted by: Cali-Girl | March 16, 2006 08:15 PM

Hats off to johannesrolf, who recognizes the fundamental similarity of racist wars by large militarized powers, whether the aggressors are called "Nazi" or anything else.

As a youth I read some English-language Nazi propaganda. It was a real eye opener in its similarity to what we were hearing from our government at that time about Vietnam and even more similar to what we are hearing now about Iraq and Iran from criminals like Cheney.

And his prescription is perfect. Our troops: bring them home alive. The architects of the aggresion: to the criminal justice system.

Stay tuned now that the troops have turned against the war. Why should they die or be disabled for a pack of lies?

Posted by: An American | March 16, 2006 08:25 PM

Cali Girl writes:

I don't know if you even read all the comments on here, if I were you, I wouldn't.

Ah, but Bert Stover is actually experiencing the war and appears to be a thinking person. He is reading the posts and will presumably turn against the war like the majority of our brothers and sisters in theater. When your comrades are killed for nothing but narcissistic lies, and you experience the racism and bloodshed going on all around you and you see the living hell that Cheney and Rumsfeld have made out of a country that did us no harm... you get sick to your stomach and you either go crazy in some way or take a principled stand against the war.

Posted by: An American | March 16, 2006 08:37 PM

REMEMBER the current fiasco/regime STARTED?

probably not, it was actually more than a few years ago.

key player:
Bush Sr. is the former head of CIA, Congressman before that, Vice President, then President...probably more than 30 years of his life making connections...

George H.W. Bush Sr.:
sent April Gillespie to Iraq, who with a nod and a wink told Saddam that his border dispute with Kuwait was an internal matter. I think Saddam was suckered into invading because the US needed a new enemy after the collapse of the soviet union....

Saddam invades Kuwait, we now have an official reason to be there....
looks like we'll establish a presence in Kuwait, we already have one in Saudi...our CIA trains them...CIA trained the 9/11 pilots.

Saudi Royals was given the rights to Saudi Arabia by the Brits after WWII, the Royals were put into power...

who owns the ports on US soil? the Brits...who's supporting us in Iraq?

Protecting the Kuwaiti's:
We go into Iraq with Stormin Norman....and kill a couple of 100 thousand Iraqis and

stop short of know why, WE'RE GOING BACK...that's why we stopped...

and now that we occupy, are embedded in Kuwait,
we put the country of Iraq in stasis with embargoes until we need it........or the world economy is shifting and things are ripe....China Pakistan, and India are emerging...

THEN, the family needed to this case the international riche, which includes the Saudis, Kuwaitis, and the US Affluent that stand to make a bit of cash....mind you the Germans, English and French have their hands in this...but your buddy dubya, is the gawdfathers only visible son....unless you need the state militia called to keep Terry Schiavo from being a grandstanding event...

so we intervene on national television...bombs going off, constant coverage, city surrounded, surveillance on every living thing that's bigger than a booger..

and somehow, miracle of miracles, like the virgin mary turning up on your french toast:
Saddam escapes from Bagdhad with three tractor trailer loads of cash, $9 BILLION$ in CASH right? Anyone in dubyas extended family gotten riche lately?

the museums were emptied right? ha ha ha...that's rich.

as far as conspiracy goes,

there never was a CIA/NORIEGA/BUSH Sr. connection right? and the Chilean president wasn't asassinated in DC with full CIA knowledge, and where'd that white up George W. Bushes nose come from? Panama?

the thing of it is,
the United States suckered, under George H.W. Bush, Saddam Hussein into attacking Kuwait, so we could be the "heroes", and become military lead us to this point....

walking down the road with no impetus to replacing our dependence on oil, a non-renewable resource....because it's not to the benefit of the countries leaders

this has a lot to do with _families_ working together _not related by blood_, as well as politics that don't include you as a positive recipient of thier efforts, as well as...

helping you to understand that it isn't all cowboy hats and honesty leading you...

Saddam was deliberately mislead into attacking Kuwiat, by President George H.W. Bush, we indicated that we would look the other way if Saddam wanted to reacquire some land and oil wells that he thought the Kuwiatis had we would have an excuse to extend our influence.

did we tell Saddam Hussein the truth?


it wasn't to our advantage.

the bushes intimately understand the middle eastern tribe mentality, they have trbal mentality, they protect and work with their own....they use the government to get what they want for their tribe

ps. you're not included in their tribe....

morons in charge and morons voted them in...using demagoguery as a political tool needs to be exposed....predjudice as a tool.

you want a better country quit pandering to morons and pandering to hate.....

the point of it is, the bush family, is trying to bury some information that needs to be understood

the ultimate threat to this country is people that can write but can't think or see...or don't want you to.

I would suggest that those who would use thier governmental office for personal gain at the expense of the citizens lose thier citizenship, and be charged with treason and their properties confiscated....

intimidation as control shouldn't be tolerated....
read the bill of rights, the right to bear arms was specifically inserted into the Bill of Rights to prevent the United States from being taken over from within, which is what what is happening now....

that's the point, a dictatorship and a congress that takes advantage of citizens, doesn't deserve to serve....

tom delay: violated his oath of office twice and not a single member of congress has the oats to call him on it....cowards or fellow crooks?

who needs to look for leaks when anyone with two eyes can see a pattern...of deceit and corruption.

Posted by: the basis for your current spate of patriotism? chew on this... | March 16, 2006 09:03 PM

An American writes:

"Bert Stover is actually experiencing the war and appears to be a thinking person."

Yes he is a thinking person, as is the loved one I have over there serving with him. Contrary to what you unsupportive people may believe, our service men and women believe they are doing some good over there. You can disagree, you can argue, but they see that 50,000 Iraqi's have been liberated, have a tyrant out of their lives and are living again without fear of having their government execute them for thinking their own minds. It's not perfect, no, but our troops over there are seeing things first hand and believing what they are doing is for the good. Do you negative people, that are using this blog as an outlet for your hatred of our government, have loved ones over there? Because of Bert, I'm getting to see things through his eyes and that of the person I care about that is with him. That is important to me and the other families that use this blog for what it is.

You sign yourself as "An American". Ya sure about that? Because my American standard holds up and I'm proud of my flag, my country and I don't make flippant comments about my military men and women.

Posted by: Cali-Girl | March 16, 2006 09:18 PM

Yes, I'm sure about that. This is my country.I am not unsupportive of our brothers and sisters in uniform. I am unsupportive of the criminals like Cheney and Rumsfeld who started the process that has turned Iraq into a living hell, unleashed a raging civil war, and is daily subjecting our brothers and sisters to the stench of burning flesh.

How many more must die for their arrogance and vanity?

Posted by: An American | March 16, 2006 09:34 PM

Fine, then if you are as supportive as you say you are, then direct your negative comments to those you oppose, not in Bert's Diary of what is going on with him. Cheney and Rumsfeld are not reading this and Bert will not be giving them the message.
I think Bert and the men and women that are there with him need to have positive comments. They are over there. That's not going to change any time soon no matter if we like it or not. And they are without their close family and friends. The least we can do, back here at home, is let them know we support THEM.

Bert, sorry for this on your blog. This will be my last comment to someone other than you.

Posted by: Cali-Girl | March 16, 2006 09:44 PM

Yes, Bert and/or others like Bert WILL be giving Cheney and Rumsfeld the message as they turn against the war and act upon their consciences with the benefit of what they have seen first hand.

Our soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen turned against the war in Vietnam and will do so again in Iraq. It is already happening.

By the way, our brothers and sisters in Iraq are also citizens of a country where we are not yet extremely afaid to speak our minds. If we respect them we will
discuss the criminal reasons for their being sent to the livng hell that Cheney and Rumsfeld have made of Iraq, not just wave the flag and shut our minds and mouths. That's the American way.

Posted by: An American | March 16, 2006 09:59 PM

"An American" - You are one simple S.O.B.

Same goes for johannesrolf. It's one thing to engage in honest dissent and criticism of how this whole affair has been handled but the B.S. your trying to sell makes me vomit. If you're for anything less than the complete success of our military in the current endeavour - no matter how dirty and lousy the job is turning out to be - you are giving aid and comfort to the enemy. I've had it with every last one of you cowards trying to equate our military with the Wehrmacht or Bush with Hitler or George Washington with Al Qaeda in Iraq. Get your head out of your @ss already. The hypocrisy that is glaring with all of you bastards is the deafening silence each time Zarqawi releases a snuff film, or Theo van Gogh is murdered, or a bomb deliberately rips apart innocent bystanders..

I certainly have criticism with how the war has been prosecuted so far, but I have a much greater criticism of your illogical arguments and erroneous analogies. I dare you to go to the airport and greet any returning servicemembers with your load of crap. Do that or shut up you gutless wonders..

Posted by: Are you f'ing kidding me? | March 16, 2006 11:32 PM

just not your direction for it.

if Bert and a few thousand others is being put into harms way, it's not by the truth.

It's by sheilding the nation from the truth under the guise of "being patriotic."

which is not what you're doing..

god doesn't take sides.

people that USE gawd take sides...

good luck in your next life time as a peasant, under control of a ruthless leader.

Posted by: you know, I agree with your anger... | March 17, 2006 12:00 PM


Great read. Here's the real truth: Do your best, trust your men and equipment, listen to the guys who have been there the longest, use your time to learn everything you can about the area and the people you are fighting for and don't voluneteer for anything out of pride but volunteer to be there for your buddies.

The neocons and leftists in here have, probably, never served their country in a combat situation and words from them don't mean a thing. If they really cared they'd do something about it like join up or protest but my take is most of them are just blowhards w/anonimity as their only shepherd. Take care, write your family often, and know that we all hope your tour goes well and you return home as soon as you can.

Posted by: Wes | March 17, 2006 12:41 PM

How soft are you, are you a soldier or a girl scout. My back and eyes hurt and you had to stand up during the brief. And you had to question whether you could pull the trigger, Bert you are a punk, and I have 3 words for you Permanent Battle Captain.

Posted by: fellow warrant | March 17, 2006 02:47 PM

I am really glad this blog exists.

Most of the comments here are ridiculous.

Posted by: Nate | March 20, 2006 10:33 AM

Bert, my props go out to you and all the great warriors serving in Iraq. I did 2 1/2 years in-country, by free choice, and I don't regret a minute of it. I was fortunate to have competent airmen of the United States put me on target many times and their brave actions saved this kid's a** more than a few times.

This is the first and only time I will post here. But, I want to ask the hypercritical on this blog a quick question:

Why would you choose this site to express your demoralizing political views? These guys are just doing their jobs the same as you go to Wal-Mart everyday and stock shelves.

Seriously, get a grip and if you want to comment on Iraq, go there for 3 weeks and see how you feel when you come home. Your dillusional and out of touch thoughts are the backbreaker of your own nation.

Posted by: JWB | March 28, 2006 06:55 AM

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Posted by: Allison Trump | May 19, 2006 01:13 PM

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