? My husband's platoon barely has time to eat or sleep, and some units in Iraq have time for parties that would make fraternities jealous? What on earth is going on?
I've avoided writing about it so far, but one of the hardest things about the deployment for me to handle is the difference in mission. Some soldiers are working around the clock while others have so much free time that they're bored or causing trouble. Where is the sense in that?
I know I'm biased and think that my husband works harder than anyone else in Iraq. And maybe he does get more down time than I'm led to believe. But his company's sector is the size of Kosovo, so he doesn't even have time to go to the gym or talk to me. He's allowed 30 minutes on the computer, but often he doesn't take the full time because he's got too much to do. When he was in Najaf, he fell asleep on the phone with me: his platoon was working four hour shifts with two hour breaks (four on, two off, four on, two off) for an entire month. Not all units in Iraq are doing that.
I am trying to understand the distribution of missions in Iraq, but I can't. I hope that when my husband comes home, I can ask him more about what he's done. Perhaps I've misunderstood, but I think at the end of the day my husband would be far too tired to go to a mud wrestling party.
Sarah - I doubt your husband has time for mud wrestling, as most soldiers do not. The soldiers in those pictures were transitioning out and had free time. I've read someplace before about the pool parties, etc. - it's usually State Dept and DoD staff or embassy staff that partake. The soldiers I adopted at Camp Victory have zero time for that kinda stuff. I don't know where Camp Bucca is located - but - it might not have soldiers that go out in the field, etc. Like I said - these were 'lucky' soldiers in the sense that they had time and place to do these things. I don't think it was anything serious - just letting off steam. But nonetheless - it sends a bad message to some people.
Posted by: Kathleen A at February 08, 2005 07:27 AM (vnAYT)
There was a phenomenon I noticed during my time in green: When we were working, we were working our tails off. But, when we weren't working like madmen, we were often bored to tears. It always seemed like there was either too much to do, or nothing to do. The military always used to leave me amazed at how the big green machine runs.
Posted by: Cerberus at February 08, 2005 08:17 AM (nzIoS)
Cerberus is right...your field time is spent between two modes, frantic activity and stretches of nearly intolerable boredom. Gulf 1 was like that, nothing to do but train and find dead goats and camels for GPS waypoints.
On the other hand, REMFs always throw parties in the field while us folks holding the sharp sticks dig holes. The grass is always greener, however...while MPs and supply and commo folks get to have drunken mud fights in the rear, its those folks who are always begging us "please, let me shoot a burst from the main gun" or "can I fondle your sniper rifle?" You never see a grunt ask "wow, can I fill out that parts requisition form? That looks so cool" So it evens out.
Posted by: Jason at February 08, 2005 11:12 AM (565iX)
I was astounded when I found out that while my buddies and I were invading Iraq, the well-fed guys who were in Kuwait or sitting in the Persian Gulf got paid the same imminent-danger pay as us.
Posted by: Eric Johnson at February 09, 2005 12:56 AM (84Org)
This post, not the event it describes, explains two of our weakest areas in the military.
First, as you have said, often times family members are left in the dark, even when realistically speaking telling them some information would be harmless. I'm not saying that a spouse, friend or other loved one needs to know time, place, or event specifics but a little more of what goes on may actually be good.
Second, who cares what the "REMF's" are doing? Yeah it sucks we have to get down and dirty while others still sit at desks and "fill out that parts requisition form". It all has to be done. Anyone who doesn't like what they are doing or is jealous of the living conditions of others can always change their MOS/AFSC (Job Specialty). A person in the military is only limited by themselves. Yes, we all belly ache about certain career fields getting off "light" or "easy" but the reality is everyone has a job to do so let them do theirs while focusing on your own.
"I know I'm biased and think that my husband works harder than anyone else in Iraq." This is how every spouse or family member should feel. This is the kind of support our Soldiers, Sailors, Airman, and Marines need.
Great post! It is refreshing to see someone who is sooooo into their spouse.
Posted by: SlagleRock at February 09, 2005 11:09 AM (AtSju)
First time poster! I also read ARMOR G and have to say I love both blogs! On topic:
We called them 'pogues' in the Marine Corps, same thing as REMF's.
While I agree everyone has a job to do, not all jobs are equal and that's a fact. I was in the infantry 0311 and yes, while we did our share of bitching about how unfair things seemed to be sometimes, we always had immense pride in the fact that we were grunts and not pogues.
Posted by: Jpck20 at February 10, 2005 12:45 PM (PMa6H)
I was in VietNam for about a month and at DaNang which is about like being stationed at a gigantic airport so I saw zero horrors. We repaired airplanes and that was about it. So when I saw the TV show China Beach I used to wonder where was this place? You didn't get much further to the rear than us and we never saw that many woman! And romance? The TV show was full of it plus drama but where I was the job was 12 on 12 off 7 days a week. Also as stated earlier working was the only thing to do. I love your and your husbands sites and am very proud of the service he's doing. You guys are changing the world!
Posted by: Drake Steel at February 14, 2005 01:09 AM (eeb6P)
Didn't appreciate all the work that went into making it possible for him to do his JOB.
The POGUES appreciated what he did though and never demanded that he grovel in front of them as he would have them do.
Posted by: Jay101 at March 06, 2005 09:31 PM (rCLtG)
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