Gardening 2015

Before the season starts I like to kind of lay out my gardening vision.   I didn’t do that this year and honestly I got kind of a late start due to everything that’s been going on in my life.

First, last year wasn’t anything special.   Around the time it was really go time to get things in, I found out my girlfriend was pregnant and we spent a lot of time getting the house in order for new family life.   I didn’t get to spend the time with the garden that I would’ve liked to but that was ok, there were still some successes.    I remember one point around the fourth of July thinking that I was going to get the time to give the garden the weeding that it needed and getting called back in the house twenty minutes later to help a guy installing a shower in my house.  Ugh…

So anyways, maybe it is better I’m writing this at the precipice of the productive season and I have a little bit better idea of what’s going on…

My Jerusalem artichokes came back, as I expected…and then some.   These things are going absolutely apeshit right now.    My green onions look great and as far as perennial acting annuals, dill and borage came back…and lots of it.   I pulled a lot of it early on, just so they don’t overwhelm me.    Fennel is noticeably absent, which is ok.   Two years ago during a really bad year about all I had was fennel and collard greens (both volunteers) and it felt like I ate it every day.    I like fennel, but there’s only so much I can take.   Maybe there is a plant or two mixed in with the dill and that would be ok.      I’m planning on using the borage this year in tea.   Apparently it’s good for nursing mothers and some of them in Mary’s “mommy” group have asked about it.    The flowers taste kind of like cucumber, so it’s not too bad to drink.

So far I’ve harvested a lot of turnips and radishes.   I have lettuce I’ve been using and a ton of pac choi.   My arugula bolted really quick and for some reason I couldn’t get spinach to grow, which was really disappointing because it really isn’t rocket science to make that work.   I’ve picked a few snow peas and snap peas already, should be more coming in very soon.    There is kale and swiss chard that would be ready to pick in small quantities and the collards will get there soon.    Some beets are close and I’ve picked a few carrots already.

As far as summer things go, I have about 10 tomato plants of various kinds, jalapenos, kung pao, Hungarian and banana peppers which all usually do well.   I have some bell peppers, which are always kind of disappointing but some people around here hit the jackpot with them.   Everyone loves bell peppers, I’d hate to not at least try them each year.   Usually I wind up with a couple of bullshit peppers per plant.      I have zucchini (grey and traditional dark skinned), cantaloupe, watermelon, Armenian cucumber, regular cucumber and yellow squash going.   Oh, and a luffa gourd plant, which should be interesting.     I have sunflowers (volunteers from last year and Rostok, the traditional Russian kind) and corn (red and traditional golden sweet corn).    I have pole beans and some french bush beans going too.

I have some winter squash started.   French pumpkins (these did really well last year), Boston marrow squash, Hubbard squash, butternut squash and acorn squash.    I also have some sugar pumpkins.    I have cushaw squash, which I’m really excited about.   I had never seen one of these things until last October Mary and I went to Jamesport, MO, an Amish community and stopped at a greenhouse that had produce for sale.  They had a ton of these and they’re HUGE!   I can’t walk past something like that and not at least be curious.   The lady there said they’re good for pies and they had a sign that said something along the lines of “old time variety, ask your grandma about them”.    I didn’t have my ouija board handy, but I ended up buying one and just dicing it up and roasting it.   I forgot exactly how to describe the flavor, but I remember saying “wow, this is a nice squash”.  I want to say it had a creamier flavor to it than butternut or acorn.   I hope I get some of these because they are a cool squash.

My perennials are doing great.   I’ll probably get a few dozen apples between a few trees, a couple of cherries, one peach and one apricot.   I’ll get a lot of dolgo crabapples too.    I’ve got some grapes coming in as well.   I think the most exciting thing for me in this regard is my kiwis are finally *really* producing.   The female vine is covered in kiwis right now!   I’m also looking like I’ll have a bumper raspberry crop too, I’ll probably have to make jam and/or freeze them.    Strawberries have started trickling in, I’m not sure how well they’re going to do.   No blueberries and a little bit of serviceberries will come in.    I’ll get some currants, white and red, not sure exactly how much.   My aronias are doing really well, I think there’s 3 or 4 plants covered in berries.   That’ll be enough to get me through the year.

As far as perennial herbs, I have all the catnip I want and I’m working on getting mint and lemon balm all over the yard.    I’ve also got a nice bee balm plant, which means I’ll make some good “Oswego tea” this year.

So far the actual maintenance of the gardens is going well.    I’ve been keeping up on the weeding and mulched heavily.     I took a day last week to completely comb through everything and pluck weeds.    I think the garden is laid out pretty well this year, so that’ll help keep things in order.    I also started marking seeds with popsicle sticks, which is a simple thing that has helped me a lot to keep tabs on how things are going.    I used to do it all by memory, which was only so good.    Now I know where to look and it’s helped me catch some problems with germination and not haphazardly throw stuff in spots that could overgrow/shade out other plants.

It’s looking like it’ll be a good year….

The Instincts and Characteristics of Chickens

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So I’m a couple months into my experiment into raising chickens and so far I’m more into it than I thought I’d be.   It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a couple years now, but always had a (good) reason to put it off.    One year my wife and I split in the middle of me building a coop, the next year I found out I had a baby on the way and lots of things around the house to focus on.   Some of the dust has settled, but not all of it – still lots of lose ends around the house I need to tie up and other things that take my time…and throw a baby into the equation and I don’t quite have the free time like I used to.   I figured getting some more living creatures that require me to do something a couple times a day would be too much of a hassle and not what I need right now, but Mary wanted to get them this year too.

Anyways, I really enjoy these ladies and I’ve found that I can sit and watch them….be chickens for a long time.   I never really thought too much of it, but they really are aesthetically pleasing.   I can’t help to feel a little Walden-esque when I notice the intricate patterns of their feathers and how each one is unique.

I’m getting used to their nature and instincts.   They don’t like to be separated.    When I pick one up and put her in a pen I have for them, it’s very likely that the chicken will fly out or at least try to.   When I bring another chicken to the pen they start making their happy sounds, like they’ve been separated for some meaningful period of time.  “Oh, thank God you’re here!”.   When one gets out of the pen, they usually stand on the other side of the pen looking at the other chickens while trying to figure out a way to reunite.   The other day I put one back into the coop and while I was going for another chicken, she darted out like a bat out of hell and jumped back into the pen to be with the others.   It’s kind of funny when about half are in the pen and a few are in the coop and one is lose because they’ll seem torn as to where they should go.    This instinct also makes it easy when you have most of the chickens in the coop, because the lose ones will gravitate back to the flock.

Hawks and other predatory birds are a big threat to chickens.    The other day they were out in their coop and a robin buzzed them.   It was funny to see them all freak out and duck for a second.   I had them lose in the yard recently and saw a group of three or four of them stop in their tracks, freeze and stare at something.   When I got closer, I saw it was a garter snake coiled up and ready to strike.   Their look was something along the lines of “what the fuck is that….?”   One of them got brave and got closer to it, I was hoping to see her peck it and see what happens.   I doubt the snake could do much harm, but would probably just try to GTFO.   So yeah, the predator awareness instincts are there.

I’m seeing some instinctual behavior from my dogs too…. One dog that is a hunting/retrieving breed watches them closely and has gone after them.    I don’t trust her, but sometimes she seems content to just watch them without salivating.    One time one flew out (before I realized that they don’t like the be alone) and Juno chased it around the yard, I figured she was a goner.   She cornered it and it looked like she bit it, but somehow she got away.   I know a little bit more about the nature of both, so hopefully I can keep the chickens a little bit safer from her.     The other dog is a herding dog and seems to be protective of them.   Sometimes he’ll challenge the other dog when he thinks she’s getting too close to the chickens (he did that with the baby too) and other times he’ll bark at me when he thinks she’s up to something.

Anyways, I really enjoy just sitting and watching them hunt for bugs, forage, scratch, jump, fly, chase each other and all of the other things that chickens do.    Sometimes it’s hard not to laugh when it comes time to catch the chickens and I have to chase them around.  They’re fast and get around pretty well, but still pretty docile so it’s not *that* challenging to catch them.    Oh, and that subject, I’ve definitely noticed that my barred rocks are a lot more feisty than my red hybrids.  I have four of each and usually I wind up catching the reds first before I have all the barred rock hens.    Both are docile breeds as far as chickens go.

I think I’m sold on being a chicken person.    The coop that I have might not be sufficient as the chickens get bigger (I didn’t expect to actually wind up with 8, either) and it definitely won’t do over the winter so sometime soon I might have to upgrade what I have.

I’ll keep posting about my chicken experiences…

Turkey To Buy Aircraft Carrier

Turkey Signs $1B Deal For Landing Platform Dock

Looks like Turkey is going to purchase a Landing Platform Dock (LPD), in other words, a small aircraft carrier, from a Spanish firm.

Countries buy military hardware all the time, but this stands out to me.   I had a feeling this was going to happen sometime in the next decade or so.

Aircraft carriers are a great way for a nautical nation (which yeah, is about everyone except Bolivia, Switzerland and Mongolia) to project power.   There’s the obvious of being able to send out jets or helicopters from pretty much anywhere in the ocean.  When the US wants to send a chill down someone’s spine, sending an aircraft carrier group is one well-worn page in our playbook.

The less obvious answer is that with all the bells and whistles of an aircraft carrier, having one can give a country the ability to set up a little slice of home pretty much anywhere in navigable waters.   There’s communications equipment, power generation, medical facilities, logistical systems in place, a large crew to draw skills from, mechanical shops and so-on.   If a nation wants to project force (or even a humanitarian mission), it’s nice to have all those assets readily available.   It’s like a floating fully-functioning military base and makes venturing away from home so much easier.

Now we wonder *why* Turkey would want/need one….

First, Turkey does have a strong military culture and they really take this sort of thing seriously.  The military is very well respected in Turkish culture and as simple as it sounds, I think they just really appreciate having cool shit.   We do too.   I really think the status symbol of having a vessel like this actually is part of it… but not all.

There’s Russia next door, who just made a pretty bold move in the Black Sea region (i.e. Turkey’s backyard) by annexing Crimea, although they already had a large naval base there.   Maybe Turkey is a little worried about Russian expansion?   Russia has always been the boogeyman for them as historically Russia has always really, really wanted to take Istanbul for strategic and cultural purposes (due to the city’s importance to Orthodoxy…and the fact that it’s the only outlet to the Mediterranean.

However, Turkey has began to look eastward a little more towards Russia and China instead of the US and NATO.   Recently there’s been an increase of cooperation economically between Turkey and Russia, notably in the way of oil pipelines.    There’s been friction between Turkey and the west since Operation Iraqi Freedom and Turkey’s participation in NATO seems a little pointless these days.   It made sense when the USSR were the bad guys.    In other words, I don’t know if Russia is *really* the reason they’re getting it.

The Middle East is falling apart.    There’s the war in Yemen, Syria and Iraq.   Then there’s the Kurdish issue on Turkey’s frontiers (which occasionally manifests into a terrorist attack in Istanbul). The relationship between the US, who keeps the status quo in the region and Saudi Arabia is strained….and so is the relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia.   Israel is still militarily strong, but not as strong as we make her out to be and probably not capable of projecting power outside of her current sphere.     That leaves Turkey and Iran as the two coherent powers in the region and I think it’s really likely that they’ll wind up fighting one way or another over the scraps of the current Middle East.    I wrote about Saudi Arabia becoming the world’s largest arms importer recently – they see the writing on the wall too.

I can’t help but to think of the John Michael Greer book I recently reviewed, Twilight’s Last Gleaming, and the scenario where Turkey assumes the United States’ role as protector of Saudi Arabia (you know, the country with a shitload of oil) and winds up fighting a war with Iran, who also have designs on Saudi Arabia’s oil.

Geographically Turkey is *kinda* separated from the Middle East by rough, mountainous terrain and a lot of instability (Iraq, Syria).  In order to project more power in the region, they need to up the ante in their airlift capabilities and their navy.   Having an aircraft carrier is a good start if Turkey ever wanted some kind of presence in say, Saudi Arabia or the Gulf States…or easier access to Iran, as the border between Iran and Turkey is rough and mountainous too.

Relations with Greece can still be a little testy, so it is possible that this aircraft carrier could be use to strengthen Turkey’s position in the Aegean/Mediterranean.   The navies and air forces of Turkey and Greece still bump shoulders out along the <disputed> frontier.    Look at a map of the two countries and see all the islands scattered in the Aegean and possibilities for disputes between them.    There’s a lot of antagonism in the region, but I don’t think trolling the Greeks is the reason why they would buy this thing.

A few years ago when I heard the term “neo ottomanism” in relation to President Erdogan and Turkey, I was little confused as to why they would say that.   Now it kind of makes sense.   There’s a good chance there’s going to be a vacuum that needs filled as the US declines in power and Europe becomes increasingly neutered.   This leads to opportunities for countries like Turkey to flex their muscles a bit in their own neighborhoods.   I think we’re increasingly heading towards a multipolar world and I think Turkey will be in the position to be one of the world’s powers, albeit lesser than the US, China and Russia and this purchase is just one hint of what’s to come in the next decade or two.

Carter: Iraqis Showed ‘No Will To Fight’ in Ramadi

Carter:  Iraqis Showed “No Will to Fight” in Ramadi

 

So ISIS, ISIL or IS or whoever they are have been on a tear in the ol’ sandbox as of late and probably the biggest feather in their cap is taking the city of Ramadi.   By all accounts it’s completely out of the Iraqi government’s hands and most people have fled, causing the city to completely collapse.   Ramadi isn’t exactly an insignificant place, it’s one of the largest and most strategically important cities in Iraq.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter recently went on record basically saying that the reason Ramadi fell is because the Iraqi Army is a bunch of pussies.    This has been the general feeling out there from those of us that have dealt with them professionally, but it’s never been publically acknowledged at such a high level.   Carter states that we’ve provided them with all the training and equipment they needed to be successful but the missing ingredient is the Iraqis’ will to fight.

I’ve been thinking about this one a lot lately because I have an interview with a guy who dealt with the Afghan Army coming up for another project I do and this article seemed to pop up at the right time.

So when I was in Iraq we had a company of Iraqi Army guys in the town we occupied.    We didn’t have the national police guys because shortly after we took over, “ali baba” (the insurgents) rushed their compound and executed about thirty of them and they never came back.   We had to work with the ING (Iraqi National Guard) quite often, like manning checkpoints with them, checking in on their compounds during patrols, seeing them out and about and/or having them do simple jobs during our operations.   Sometimes they would come to our base, but we would keep some distance.

They made TERRIBLE soldiers.   The average 18 year old American kid that shows up to boot camp is probably more “locked on” after three days than most of these guys.  No discipline, no desire to seek self-improvement and completely unreliable.   Honestly I worried more about getting ‘accidentally’ shot from these guys more than the *real* bad guys.    Worst of all, they had no balls.   They were afraid to show their faces, they were afraid to leave their compound, always running away from the fight, never showing up for duty and completely unreliable when they did.

These guys acted like a bunch of armed children.   I remember one time explaining to one ING guy at a checkpoint I was running with the “help” of a few of them that I was going to punch him in the face if he didn’t shape up – and I meant it.   They had no military bearing and pretty much spent their time playing grab-ass, lots of stupid “hey mistah! ficky-ficky! (like sex)” jokes.

Obviously we didn’t hold these guys in very high esteem.   When we would find out that they took casualties, there would be a completely calloused attitude towards it, like they weren’t even human.

After thinking about it a bit more, I realized that these guys were the lowest common denominator of society, morally and professionally.   We destroyed their economy so it’s not like there was a whole lot of opportunity anyways, but these were mostly guys that just needed the paycheck without *really* wanting to make the sacrifice.     Morally speaking, well, let’s say someone invaded the US Red Dawn style or something…  What kind of people would want to get in with the occupiers, even if we were more benign than some other historical occupations?   You have to be kind of scummy at least to sign on with the “other side”.    So basically you have people that would be the equivalent of door-to-door vacuum salesmen in the US with a sadistic streak heavily armed and charged with carrying out some of the security duties in a war zone.

While we questioned their meddle for being easily spooked, the reality was that we had nothing at stake except for ourselves.   What I mean by that is that our families were safe and sound half the world away and we knew there would be a day when we would go back and Iraq would be on the other side of the planet.   If we died, that was the worst they could do to us.   The ING guys had their families in Iraq and it wasn’t uncommon at all to come home and find their wives, children, etc. killed if they were found out to be in with the Americans.  I remember some insurgents basically setting up a checkpoint on a major highway searching vehicles for signs of collaboration and killing people on the spot.   Knowing that your family could very likely get killed for your actions could really take the wind out of your sails.   Although little threats of terrorists plotting attacks on military families ran through the rumor mill, that was definitely not something we had to deal with and as a society we’re still completely detached from war like the way some other societies experienced it up close and personal.  It’s hard to really get down on these guys when you take their situation at the home front into consideration.

I thought it was kind of funny that the regular people in Iraq trusted us a lot more than they trusted the ING.   They knew that we probably wouldn’t mistreat them and that most of our dealings would be above board.   Those guys would abuse their power and they were very corrupt.  In fact, one town that we dealt with had a protest when the Marines were leaving and put the ING in charge.   The gist was “please don’t leave us to the mercy of these shitheads”.   We were at least regarded as professionals, sometimes even admirable, while these guys not so much.   People weren’t afraid to approach us, whereas they were to approach them due to powerlust or just simply being frightened.    I remember one time when the ING called us to do their heavy lifting – because an old man told them off and they didn’t want to deal with them.

I have to say that I did tend to like the older guys who served in Saddam’s military.   They were better soldiers and more mature.   They had better stories too.   I think with these guys their situation was a little bit different because they were soldiers by trade and the ING was the only place they could take their skill and get a paycheck.

I want to say “yeah, no shit!” to Ash Carter, but we shouldn’t have been surprised it was going to wind up like this.   How could we expect to disband the professional army and then hire a bunch of unemployable dudes, give them some notional training and throw them in a uniform and give them a gun and expect anything more than complete failure?  I think there’s also a case of us believing our own bullshit on this one, where we came for completely altruistic reasons and that the Iraqis would be falling all over themselves to build a little slice of America right there in the middle east.

The situation is complicated and so are my feelings on the ING – do we look down on them with contempt for their shortcomings as fighting men or do we empathize with the reality of their world, being people driven by need and/or small dick syndrome into situations where they are undertrained and highly likely to get some real blowback from their neighbors in the way of having themselves and/or their families killed?  Even though I haven’t had the best experiences with the ING, I would say that most of the everyday Iraqi people I encountered – the farmers, shopkeepers, mechanics, teachers, housewives, laborers, etc. had a sense of honor….and I wish them the best of luck.  They’re going to need it being caught between an inept government and the ISIS extremists.

Putting The Chicks Outside Overnight For The First Time

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The temperatures are looking like mid-60’s over the night with a slight chance of rain.   The chickens are six weeks old and they have a lot of their feathers.   It seems like a good time to try leaving them out overnight.    I’m a little nervous, but that’s where they’re ultimately going so why put it off if we can?

I’m sure every noise I hear will have me up to see if there’s predators out there.    I have seen possums, raccoons and the neighbor’s cat in my fenced yard, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility.   I guess we’ll see.

It’s kind of funny, but I feel a bit of an attachment to the chickens, kind of like pets.   I’ve enjoyed watching them….be chickens over the past few weeks even though I know there’s a good chance something will kill them and there will come a day under the best-case scenario where I’ll have to cull them when they outlive their usefulness.   We don’t offer a pension plan here….      Anyways, best of luck from all enemies foreign and domestic, chickens.

Jade Helm Again…

I’ve been thinking about the Jade Helm thing again and went to see what the new developments were and saw this post from Infowars about the US military trying to operate “covertly” among American citizens in American cities, allegedly to train to occupy other countries.

In a previous post I mentioned something about the military always trying to fight the last battle and figuring that this kind of training would fit right in with that mindset.

I started thinking about one “operation” I did in 2004 before deploying to Iraq.    It involved the NCOs of my company getting into civilian clothes, getting dropped off somewhere in Dana Point, CA, an affluent sleepy ocean-side town and using urban navigation skills to find our way around.   Here’s what happened:

– we got dropped off at a high school parking lot.    Made a lot of Saved by the Bell jokes, being as it was a Southern California high school.

– A small group of us wandered off and found a donut shop in a strip mall and had donuts and coffee.

–   Wandered through some residential neighborhoods.    Had to traverse a hilly and shrubby section of land.    Decided to walk around it instead.
–  Walked to the beach.    Hung out with our shirts off for a while to soak up some rays.

–   Went to a grocery store.

–  Split up into smaller groups and kept walking.     Got picked up by “the chopper” (see:  the one privately owned vehicle that someone in my platoon had, an old Taurus aka “the Clitaurus”), got bitched at by the platoon sergeant for being far away from where I should’ve been.

– Ate a late lunch at a fancy restaurant on the beach and then headed back to Pendleton.
A handful of people in Dana Point complained and it was in the newspaper that Marines were doing this.   More people wrote in with things like “we don’t care” or “we’re glad they’re here”.    This was still when everyone was gung-ho about the war.

 

What’s the point of this?   Just saying that this kind of training isn’t exactly new and odds are most servicemen will probably have as unassuming time as I did.   I still think there’s not much to raise an eyebrow out with this.

“Mad Ghosts in the Triangle of Death” Article in Soldier of Fortune

I finally did get to read the “Mad Ghosts in the Triangle of Death” article about my old unit the other day.   Most of it had to do with a platoon in my company that was detached from us to become a CAP (I forgot what the acronym actually is) platoon.    Basically they went all over the place either training the Iraqi Army, working with engineers and some civil affairs stuff.    It did put them into some interesting situations and thus they have a lot of cool photographs which made it in….the main paragraph of the story is the platoon posed in front of a controlled demolition, which looks really cool.

The story is basically that we showed up in 2004 to this area south of Baghdad that didn’t get a lot of attention in the earlier days and it became a hotbed for the insurgents.    We started being very aggressive with patrolling and making a presence through the area as well as some big operations and shows of force and activity went way down.    When we left the other units that replaced us didn’t run as tight of a ship as we did and lost a lot of soldiers.  A few were captured and killed out of this area and it was the site of the massacre chronicled in the book Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death , which was really gut-wrenching for me to read. Sometime in the future maybe I’ll share some of my “Triangle of Death” stories and thoughts but today isn’t that day. Oh, the author did make the ISIS/Triangle of Death connection as I expected.

Reading SOF was fun, its probably been twenty years since I’ve picked up an issue. I remember ads for all kinds of cool stuff, but I didn’t see much that jumped out at me (although a ‘be a man among men’ Rhodesian army shirt would be cool). Like a lot of magazines it did see stripped down (although it is going all digital). I remembered the infographic with the map of the world and little snippets of news about conflict around the world, which was cool.

I don’t know if I’d pick up another issue of SOF. It was cool to read about something I was a part of and I’m sure they get some good articles here and there, but it didn’t seem quite like how I remembered the magazine. I saw a lot of gun ads (I have no problem with guns, they just bore me – I know, that’s my problem), a few editorials that boil down to “political correctness is bad” (yeah, yeah, I agree) but there was a little bit from these exotic conflicts around the world that makes the magazine what it is. I don’t know. I might at least like their facebook page to see if something comes across that interests me.

Week Two With Chickens

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I can’t believe how much these things have grown in two weeks.   It seems like they’ve doubled in size and they’re starting to put on feathers.  The yellow chicks just started getting red feathers today.   They’re climbing and making short flights in their cage.

They’re messy.    You can change their water and then minutes later it’s full of their bedding and cleaning their cage is kind of a pain in the ass.  They like to scatter things all over.   Mary can’t wait until we can put them outside.    I really like sitting and watching them though.  They are kind of cute and entertaining.  I don’t want to get too attached though because it’s likely that they’re not all going to make it to adulthood.

I’m also amazed at how much they eat.  I’ll fill a mason jar full of food in their feeder and it’ll be gone within the day.

So yeah, so far everything is going good.

So Our Exploits in Iraq Made Soldier of Fortune…

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I always thought Soldier of Fortune was a cool magazine when I was a kid… articles about guys going to the far corners of the earth to sling led with ne’er-do-wells, advertisements for the Anarchist Cookbook and other exciting things, Vietnam POW conspiracy theories, etc.    Just the kind of things that a young red-blooded American boy needed in the post-Soviet era.

Anyways, looks like they’re doing an article about my old unit in Iraq.   Even though it won’t be about me personally or anything like that, I’m still like “whoa, cool, I’m going to be in Soldier of Fortune!”   I guess that’s because we’re talking about a small enough unit to make it personable to me, not just “Marines in Iraq” or whatever, it’s specific to my battalion on my deployment.
This might have something to do with my old battalion commander making the rounds on some second and third tier media lately (maybe I can get an interview??? ha. ) talking about how we dealt with the ISIS guys there before they were ISIS and how we need to go back to the Middle East.   Can’t confirm/deny that, but it could be true.   I think he goes over well in some circles because his foreign policy stance makes Dick Cheney look like Gandhi.  He gets high marks from me as a Marine officer, but I can’t say I endorse his foreign policy ideas.

Anyways, I’m looking forward to seeing what they say.

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