From my cousin's son D, from southern Louisiana, who just arrived in Iraq. He had enlisted in the National Guard to help pay for his college education five or six years ago. He is a really nice young man, not sophisticated, from a poor family, but unusually kind and thoughtful to everyone. One of nature's gentlemen. I hope that survives the next 18 months and that he comes home safely. I've tried to take out most of the identifying details.
Hi ya Big Family!
Sorry about being out of the loop for so long! I just kinda locked myself out of my own email account. I forgot the "Secret Password", and the Army is a big stickler for red-tape and paper-work nightmares. But I'm back in, and I just got done cleaning out about 407 emails, most of which was Russian Porn Spam-- weird, I have no idea how that happend :)! But I did see a bunch of emails about me floating through the family email tree, and I just wanted to give you all a Big HELLO!
So let's start with the important stuff! What are each and every one of you sending me for my B-Day? I'm turning 2X, which by the way makes all of you very very old, and you should all know that, in case no one has told you lately!!! No seriously, I'm turning 2X in a [non-U.S.]-run Forward Operating Base (FOB) in semi-southern Iraq, how not normal is that!
I have to tell you guys, I almost didn't come on this deployment because of all the hurricane stuff that had happend back home in the past couple of months! Katrina happened just before Labor Day weekend, and I was slotted to fly home for that "Family Fun Day" where we drank and ate and played with the kids, but mostly drank! Well, I had to break my mother's heart on that one. When news finally got to me of what had happened, I called and called until I finally got through to my unit, who only had a skeleton crew left in [Louisiana city] while most of them were already in New Orleans working day and night to keep things under control! Not a fun weekend for me at all, seeing all those fellow coonasses [Cajun slang for other Cajuns, but my mother says, "It's very rude"], tired, de-hydrated, without food or power for days. They came in truck-loads, or walked miles, old, very old, and young, too young. I have to tell all of you how much that made me hurt, for us, for our city, for home. I had to leave after that weekend and go back to work in [another state]. Needless to say I had a very bad attitude for a while. It wasn't easy for me to choose between our home and the Big Army, especially after [Hurricane] Rita hit y'all. I told my chain of command I was coming off the deployment and going home to work. Well, needless to say they talked me out of it. Right now there's a huge deficiency of people like myself in the Army, and we're needed like you wouldn't believe, so, I had to leave for the "Box." I never got another chance to come home-- no leave, not even a break or pass to do much of anything-- not that I'm complaining, just that I wanted to come home and thank all y'all for the emails and everything!
So real quick let me tell you about Iraq, funny place, people here aren't what you'd think.... you think they're okay, till you get a look into their psyche, and then you go, "WOOH, these people aren't okay." It's winter-time here, not too bad really, great sunrises and beautiful sunsets! Everything's dusty or foggy, depending on the wind and amount of ground-level air pollution. And yes, visibility is very limited, not yet a scenic place, but you can almost picture how it will be one day when these people get their act together.
And please excuse, if my tone sounds harsh towards the Iraqis, understand that I'm toning it down for the sake of being politically correct with the family, I know the [great-]Aunts read these emails too. You just have to understand that the locals here never worked for their own freedom, they were cowed for decades by fear and death, murder and corruption. No matter how hard you try to appeal to the hearts and minds of these people, they don't really know how to believe in themselves and certainly not each other. Hopes lies in the children, beautiful children with hope and wonder in their eyes. I love playing soccer with the kids, little brats are better than me some of them. But fear is rampant in this world, thugs, corrupt individuals, insurgents especially are the rule here. Mostly violence is the spoken language in this country, sad to say but very true.
Sorry about the long tirade, but I just want all of you to have a realistic idea of what happens here. I'll always try to be objective with y'all, for I know how many smart, educated, knowledgeable, and witty individuals we have in our family, and then there's MN!!
Listen if it helps, my address here is: [ ]
It's funny they actually took a NYC postal code and spread it all over Iraq, so it's really cheap to mail stuff home (hint, hint!!).
Love y'all, hope everyone's doing well, and that no one is spoiling their kids. I just couldn't take one more Christmas with everyone's bratty kids!! Especially after being in Iraq for 18 months!! Haha, just kidding, one more bad joke for the KING of poor taste humor!!