October 29, 2004


Couldn't resist quoting this:

We may see some brief flicker of the insurgent flame yet, some last-ditch effort before Tuesday. If so it would be a good time to remember this: immediately after Al Qaeda castrated Spain with a few well-placed bombs the organization released a tape claiming the victory. That tape included this phrase: "You love life and we love death,." Anyone who ever served in the US Armed Forces knew the instant response to that, heard George C. Scott quote Patton, establishing the obvious common ground between American Forces and Al Qaeda corpses: "Your job is not to die for your country. Your job is to make the other poor bastard die for his country".

"You Love life, we love death"

The Marines will bring the love to Fallujah.

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October 23, 2004


Apparently there's some talk about whether to permanently assign support units including women to combat units. I am not a big fan of this idea. It has nothing to do with an aversion to women in combat; since I don't think that a woman's life is any more valuable than a man's life, I have no problem with women dying in war. However, I do have a nagging feeling about the effect that women have had on the military.

After reading The Kinder, Gentler Military: How Political Correctness Affects Our Ability to Win Wars, I gave up any notion that I should be a 19K. (I still would like to, but I don't think I should be allowed to.) I still argue with myself about what I think the role of women in our military should be, and my mind isn't completely made up. But there's a big problem coming out of OIF that doesn't have a solution: lust.

I almost typed love, but that's probably not right. I think what happens downrange is closer to what happens on The Real World or The Bachelor, where two people who are put in close quarters and extraordinary situations become convinced that they're in love. And when men and women are serving together, away from their families, for over a year, they bond in ways that alarm those of us back on the homefront. I have a few friends who work in our legal center, and they deal on a daily basis with divorces that stem from deployment. Sometimes the soldiers meet someone new downrange -- sometimes even getting her pregnant -- and they come back and kick their wives out. Sometimes soldiers get caught having sex when they're supposed to be on guard duty, which is dangerous to everyone they're supposed to be guarding.

There are only two or three females on my husband's entire camp in Iraq, and I prefer it that way. I don't think my husband would be interested in straying -- heck, I had to drag his disgusted-with-girls butt into the relationship in the first place -- but there are many men who might be tempted. And believe me, I'm not blind to the fact that it's a two-way street: the wives who are left behind are surrounded by temptation every day, and many of them ain't that virtuous.

The mixing of the sexes is hard for today's military, especially for hooah males in a PC culture. But sending men and women downrange together for a year has consequences, especially when soldiers only call their families once a month. I personally don't think we need more fuel on that fire.

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October 19, 2004


All I wanted to say in response to Greyhawk's vote was HOOAH, but his comments section wouldn't allow it! Now that's a glitch worth looking into: a milblog where you can't say hooah...

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October 17, 2004


There's a new website dedicated to SGT Prewitt if you'd like to pay your respects to one of our fallen Soldiers.

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Deskmerc also has a problem with people whose only knowledge of the military comes from movies. He comments on the absurdity -- both militarily and socially -- of the following nutjob quote:

Next group will be smarter, don't go to jail for 5 years, just take out the lieutenant

Boy howdy. Soldiers are requesting spots in my husband's platoon, which must mean they like their PL and PSG. But anyone who took out my lieutenant would have to answer to me after he answered to the Army.

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October 10, 2004


It seems I'm still getting visitors looking for information about SGT Tyler Prewitt. If you are a friend of his, you can read about how I knew him, my thoughts on his memorial, and the Stars and Stripes newspaper coverage of his memorial. He will not be forgotten.

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October 09, 2004


I agree with Greyhawk that it's time to reevaluate the Combat Infantryman's Badge.


Oh, crap. I'm still not used to the Gazette's new format with ten billion authors. My deepest apologies to John of Argghhh! for misatributing his work. In fact, I agree with John, since he was the one who wrote this post. I also loved Grim's anecdote in the comments section:

So I showed my wife this picture you lead off with tonight, hoping to teach her about the injustice you cite.

Pointing at the three guys sweeping the area with their rifles, I said, "Dear, do these look like infantry or cavalry to you?"

"Cavalry," she said.

"Really?" I asked. "What makes you say that?"

"Well, look how short they are!" she answered.

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October 08, 2004


Here's the Stars and Stripes coverage of SGT Tyler Prewitt's memorial service.

(A heartfelt welcome to SGT Prewitt's friends and family. For more, read how I knew him and my thoughts on his memorial.)

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October 05, 2004


I just got back from the memorial service for SGT Tyler Prewitt. I really wish I had gotten to know him better than our ten emails; he seems like an amazing guy. And his is a story that everyone should hear.

He left college after 9/11 and tried to join the infantry but was rejected because of his colorblindness. He then became a combat medic and deployed to both Kosovo and Iraq. Everyone spoke highly of him, saying he was always on the front lines, even when he would get reminded that as a medic he was supposed to hang back! They joked that he was the only medic with a sniper scope on his rifle; one of his fellow Soldiers said that Prewitt was equally a medic and a warrior.

In fact, his vehicle was hit by an RPG while he was trying to move forward to see if medical assistance was needed. They said that he remained calm and was instructing the people around him how to care for his wounds. His family came to Landstuhl and had to make the difficult decision to switch off the machines, but even in death Tyler Prewitt was saving lives. He became an organ donor, and his organs were used to save no less than seven other people at Landstuhl. I -- and his family -- take great comfort in knowing that his death brought so much life to others.

I wish I had known Tyler Prewitt better because he sounds like a wonderful man and the type of Soldier I would like to know. I'm happy that he touched my life in such a small way and that I got to hear his story.

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October 02, 2004


"Someone from your post died in Iraq this week, but he was someone from another unit," Mom said after dinner. "Oh. Who was it?" I asked from the other room. "Someone named SGT Tyler Prewitt."


SGT Prewitt first emailed me from Iraq in June, to ask for help with getting a transcript. We wrote back and forth a couple of times to get all of his education records straight, so when he decided to register for online classes in August, he contacted me again. He had just emailed me because he was worried he was too busy soldiering to concentrate on the class. Ten days before that RPG.

His emails were always signed TP.

His memorial is Tuesday, and I plan on going. I wonder if his family could ever imagine that his school representative, someone he barely knew, is weeping.



Here's my first chance to see TP's face. Surprisingly enough, that's exactly what I had imagined.

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