Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More of an update

I know that some of you would greatly prefer that things were all doom and gloom-some of the naysayers charge that all we IVAW members have to offer is negativity. Well, it's a great day outside, and I'm in a great unit with what seems thus far like awesome leadership, so you're all going to have to suck up some positivity.

Once again, I'm not going to name my unit, because they don't deserve the letters I'm sure they would then get from people who don't have anything better to do with their lives. But thus far, the first sergeant and the CO seem to both have their head screwed on pretty tight. Both of them have had a lot of experience, and they seem to understand the Army motto I live by: sometimes things and times have to suck really, really hard. Give your guys as much good times as you can afford, because the day will come when their lives will suck, and they may need that balance. They also seem to take the tack that it is who you are, and what you do for the unit, and not your political views, that matter. I haven't caught any trouble from that Army Times letter, and everyone has been just as helpful as ever.

IVAW in Germany is also very warm and open. Members of IVAW have helped me out, not more than my unit, as was the case back in the States, but about as much as my unit has. I also expect membership to start taking off at any moment, possibly even rivalling the US. People everywhere here seem really aware of the problems in the military caused by the Iraq Occupation. In fact, I have yet to talk to anyone here who thinks the war was a good idea.

Speaking of IVAW, I have once again updated my SGLI (Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance) at yet another SRP..and once again, IVAW comes in for a share of the proceeds. Idealogical opponents with quick tempers and hastier fists, remember if you accidentally kill me, IVAW comes in for a chunk of change! Well, a member, at least, because I couldn't figure out how to leave money to an organization on that form. But that member knows what I want them to do with it.

The cartoon I got the idea from is old as hell, and here. Just for those of you guys who like Vietnam so much.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Back in Business

Alright, as some of you knew, especially those of you who read the foreign newspapers, even by way of Babelfish, the fuss and commotion and vacation was caused by one thing: my PCS overseas to Germany. It’s a major deployer, and perhaps it’s my cynicism that causes me to expect to be wending my way from there to sandier parts. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a lot of regret at leaving the States, whether I do or don’t wind up visiting places my iMac warrantee won’t cover (They were very pointed about telling me that as soon as you get any sand anywhere in it, it’s done). There are a lot of people that I miss in the States, some of which I didn’t get to say goodbye to. It was in fact a nice surprise to see that, political views aside, as soon as I arrived various companies were fighting over who got to have me. That's either the nice thing about having particular skills, or a really sad statement on how desperate everyone is getting for manning. I'll let you decide. No, I won't tell you which unit seems to have won for the moment, they're a good unit, full of people I've served with before, and don't really need random people trying to light them up for the crime of not murdering me. I should be able to do some really good and useful work, if in fact I stay with this unit, and nobody else ends up winning. They're also offering to try to fix all the things that my last unit jacked up.

Some of you out there will cheer to find out that half of my family has completely disowned me for my IVAW work. I would like to take the opportunity here to alleviate some of their concerns about potential fallout and point out that Gunnery Sergeant Coppa, of the United States Marine Corps, currently serving on his fifth deployment in Iraq, has no knowledge of my political activity whatsoever to my knowledge, and therefore, anyone who thinks that he supports it is probably wrong. Yes, he’s family, and I love him very much whether he supports me or not, and hope for his safe return. But anyone who might have been hassling him because of me is barking up the wrong tree: his politics are his own. Oddly, the other half of my family seems to be taking the MFSO path; I seem to have precipitated my own miniature Civil War. I think everybody's Christmas presents are probably going to be in blue and grey.

Another thing I’ve been talking about has finally materialized. With thanks to an artist who made the design possible(who will be named as soon as he OKs it), I have now acquired what I refer to as “my IVAW tattoo”, though it is far more than just the logo, and reflects a lot of my more personal beliefs. The tattoist was shocked that my first tattoo, I chose to sit through thirteen hours of stenciling and needles, but I believe that if I’m going to do something, I may as well do it right. It is now permanently emblazoned on my arm, and I am very proud of it. I believe that if something is in your heart, it is moral cowardice not to share it. Photos will be forthcoming as soon as it heals. For those of you who are critical that my first tattoo is "not feminine enough", and purely military-related, I promise to take a butterfly-and-roses lower back tattoo into due consideration as soon as my first frontal lobotomy is complete.

I have seen the movie Stoploss, and will in fact be reviewing it for SITREP, which is the only reason that I'm not posting about it here. Suffice it to say that I was favorably impressed. Also, if you have PTSD, don't see it alone. I know I say that a lot, but I do like giving fair warning. I have not yet seen "Body of War", though I have been able to listen to the CD, which is absolutely fabulous.

There's a lot of stuff going on in the blogosphere I haven't really been able to react to. Now that I have more stable internet access, I will attempt it-but not today.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Vacation, and tattoo murmurings.

Alright, folks. Taking a "vacation" from blogging. I have a lot of stuff to do in a few days, and after that I will be in an area where I will have to switch my internet coverage, and it may take some time. I will officially be off the blogscene for about a week. I know there's some stuff floating around there that needs correction, some stuff that needs posting about, but it will just have to wait a week.

In other news, there is a fabulous artist who is currently involved in designing a tattoo for me. I never thought I'd be getting one, and I'm definitely not letting anyone else choose any components, but there are a lot of feelings in my heart that I don't think are going away. There are some great ideas which I hope can come together in a visual design. If it does, I will keep everyone posted on the status, and possibly take some pictures of the process.