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  1. #1
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
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    Update from Iraq - things don't sound so good

    Here's the latest email from my brother Paul. He was sounding pretty upbeat not so long ago and was considering extending his stay there so that he could buy a new Shelby mustang. I was reasearching it for him. Now it sounds much more bleak. He is contracting to make $140k for the year and he was hoping to pay off his house and go back to school so that he could change career paths since airplane mechanics are no longer in demand (Delta is sending all of their repair work to Mexico since there is cheap labor there).

    Paul has sent pictures of some helicopters and tanks and other stuff...I can post them if anyone is interested.

    My brother was not very good in high school. He struggled and I think he joined the Army because he did not feel smart enough for college. His writing skills have come a long way.

    Little dreams

    Life is a funny thing, when your younger before you realize death could knock on your door at anytime your dreams are big. My big dream before leaving for Iraq for the second time was to buy a brand new Shelby Mustang GT500 when they were released in 2006. Having been here almost three months and at times feeling like the next blast could mean my life, I have finally seen the white elephant for the first time. You see, you can never truly see the elephant until you understand it. This is a Civil War term used by soldiers involved in a battle for the first time and seeing death. When I was here during the first gulf war in 1990 - 1991, I witnessed scuds pearcing the night sky and patriot missiles flying up to meet them in a shower of light. I've heard the chemical alarms wail endlessly, and been abruptly awakened to a dark figure in a gas mask screaming "Gas GAs GAS". I saw carpet bombing from B-52's lighting up the horizon late at night. But I never really understood that my life could end at that time, so I never really saw the elephant.
    This time is different, I've felt large bomb concussions as mortars and car bombs have erupted at the gate and around post. I've been touched by their concussion waves, and felt their raw power. Seen tracer rounds streaming to and from the wire. I have seen the white elephant, he is death and I know he rides the landscape in search of the dying. I know he is there because I can feel him when the alarms wail twenty minutes after a volley of mortars shakes the day. I feel for my brothers at arms though the most, for the do not only feel death they see him waiting on his pale horse just over the horizon every time they cross the wire. Yet they continue because their mission must be accomplished, whether it's in a fighter, helicopter, convoy or patrolling the streets on foot. Who knows what drives them, whether it's patriotism, family and the desire to be with them, the people of this land that deserve freedom after so much oppression, or just the desire to see their brothers and sisters at arms safely home. I salute the fighting men and women of our armed forces, no matter what their political belief's in this war, they are a family and may as many as possible return home safely.
    With that said, my dreams have become smaller and more real to me. I now dream of spending time with my wife anywhere, walking the mall, sitting on the beach, or enjoying a burger at the Jetty Stand in Brazoria, TX. Listening to a Jimmy Buffet look alike at Del's Lookout and enjoying a beer. The arguments that we had seem so trivial now and point less. I'm a great one for holding a grudge, and spent my last night at home mad and holding my ground for no reason other than pride. Life is to short to spend in fighting say your sorry and mean it, because tomorrow may never come.
    So many people live so hard and fast they never seem to realize the gifts they've been given. I think of some of my family and friends that spend too much time drinking away the past, and never seeing the future. Time is too short to spend it in a bottle when you can spend it with family. Your health and time on this earth is a gift from God, don't waste it frivolously and foolishly. Remember when it all comes to the end the only regrets are the time you never spent with the people you love. I think of Jeff, former owner of Jeff's on the Jetties, a friendly beach bum club owner. How he wasted the time he had by becoming enraged and taking another mans life. In the same moment he took his own freedoms and simple dreams away for the next forty years to life. Spending time in places no matter how beautiful or ugly without being able to share them with loved ones is just doing time.
    I dream of walking with my wife hand in hand on some secluded beach with no one there but us and the waves. Sitting on the couch in our home, so close together you can barely tell where one of us ends and the other begins. Spending time with our family's and friends just enjoying the conversation and each others company. Simple dreams that seem so far away at this time.
    I know I am a product of my own devices. Not life but my decisions in it have forced me to take the path that I am on. My lust for material things and the debt that always ensues from them. Even the best intentions can go astray when you lust after material possessions. Even if your buying them the intentions of using them to spend more time with the people you love. It's seems so simple, just spending time with them no matter what your doing is time well spent. Spending time trying to pay for things you hoped would give you more time together is foolish. Money may buy you many things in this world, but debt will surely buy you many sleepless nights and fights. So dream small, and include the people you love and those who love you.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  2. #2
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    Re: Update from Iraq - things don't sound so good

    My brother is out there as well.
    Working with the MOD as an engineer. (2 year contract)


  3. #3
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
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    Re: Update from Iraq - things don't sound so good

    Utter, your brother has a beautiful soul.

    I am one of those people who is against the war in Iraq, but supports the troops...I hate the game, not the players. He is doing a duty that no one ever wants to do.
    I hope your brother comes home safe...and soon. It sounds like he has figured out what life is really about. I figure if he knows, you probably do, too.
    Utter, don't stop loving him, worrying about him, praying for him. He needs to know you are there for him, no matter what.
    Tawn and I will keep him in our prayers.

  4. #4
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
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    Re: Update from Iraq - things don't sound so good

    My brother can throw some good stuff around, all though he is not usually so deep. I guess the environment is really getting to him. He is one of my favorite people in the world and I really hate getting this kind of news from him. Sometimes it seems better to be ignorant of the world and just focus on things that I can control.

    I hope he stays safe, but it does not sound safe to be there. I sent the guys a halloween package with candy and goodies, but it seems kinda trivial at the moment.

    I just felt like sharing since there are so many of our guys over there and I don't think we should forget them.

    Dez, where is your brother stationed? How is he doing?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5
    Bruce=GOAT's Avatar
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    Re: Update from Iraq - things don't sound so good

    Reading your brother's letter has really made my appreciate the things that I have, and I pray for his safe return and respect the "things" that he is doing to make life comfortable for all of us here.

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    Re: Update from Iraq - things don't sound so good

    Quote Originally Posted by UtterBlitz
    Dez, where is your brother stationed? How is he doing?
    He is in Camp Smitty, Jordan, Iraq


  7. #7
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Re: Update from Iraq - things don't sound so good

    My son-in-law just returned after a year and 1/2 tour. safe and sound. I know all the feelings you all are goint through.

  8. #8
    gap Guest

    Re: Update from Iraq - things don't sound so good

    I am working at Camp Lejeune, NC as a computer tech. It never gets past me what those warriors do for, not just us, but the whole world. The best I can do for them is make the NMCI project a little less painful.

    I was really touched by this letter from your brother. Would you mind if I sent a copy of it to my Pastor? There is some great stuff in there that would add some meat to just about any sermon.

    gap

  9. #9
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
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    Re: Update from Iraq - things don't sound so good

    Quote Originally Posted by gap
    I am working at Camp Lejeune, NC as a computer tech. It never gets past me what those warriors do for, not just us, but the whole world. The best I can do for them is make the NMCI project a little less painful.

    I was really touched by this letter from your brother. Would you mind if I sent a copy of it to my Pastor? There is some great stuff in there that would add some meat to just about any sermon.

    gap
    Go ahead and share it gap. He knows that I post some of his stuff for the public to see.

    He is cracking me up right now comparing himself to a duck. Calm and cool on the surface with little legs a pumping like mad underneath.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #10
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    Re: Update from Iraq - things don't sound so good

    I've seen the elephant he is talking about, it puts your whole life in perspective. In 1987, my ship was the first US ship to escort Kuwaiti Tankers through the Persian Gulf. I was there when the USS Stark was hit. You sometimes wonder as a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine "why am I out here doing this?" Then, you think of everyone at home that you love and adore and would doing anything for and then you suddenly realize "that's why I am here". The feeling you receive out there is one that you can't describe but you can see it in the eyes of another who has felt it also.

  11. #11
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    Re: Update from Iraq - things don't sound so good

    What very moving and touching thoughts and since you have given your permission Utter, I would like to share your brother's words as well. I too will pray that he is home safely and very soon. For some reason, I have a feeling you two love to harass each other in a brotherly/sisterly onery type way!!!

    Thanks for sharing Renee and my continued prayers go out to all of you that do have loved ones that are out there risking their lives daily.

  12. #12
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
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    Re: Update from Iraq - things don't sound so good

    Yes Paul and I are the "quiet" ones of the kids. We won't compete with the other two for who can be loudest, but instead we push each other in a big way on most anything else. It is all in good fun. He is also the one who comes to my rescue when something goes wrong.

    Feel free to share his thoughts. He has another 9 months before he is done with his contract and 9 months seem like a long time right now.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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