Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Promise

There are battles which need to be fought and there are battles which serve no good purpose. Afghanistan and Bin Laden lay forgotten as if they were discarded toys left by a spoiled child.

Iraq is the new frontier of poor foreign policy and poor planning. Even the soldiers can see it. Why do you think nobody is re-enlisting? They don't want to keep leaving their families to go fight a loosing battle and to die for an empty promise. The promise that somehow staying in Iraq makes America safer.

We have created a martyr factory here, and we are beginning to wade through the next Vietnam. How wrong do you want to be before you close down shop and send the troops home? 2,000 dead? Is that wrong enough? How about 10,000?

There is a field back home at Ft. Stewart, Georgia. There a tree has been planted for each soldier who has been killed in Iraq. After we returned in 2003 there were only a few trees, now an entire side of the field is full of them. My sister asked where they would plant more now that the row was complete and sadly I replied, "we still have three more sides to fill." Maybe then when we have enough names for a beautiful war memorial we can leave Iraq.

Monday, September 26, 2005

My Dog

Originally uploaded by nevadog.

Here is my Dog Benny.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The land of Oil

Here is the land of oil
Where death can be a sunset away.
The days have no length here,
They end only when they end.

The sweat slick brow of a soldier,
Who bears armor, weapon, and Flag.
From his eyes he sees Iraq,
Even Dante could not say more.

Looking at them scurry in the sand,
The boy's mind begins to wander.
Like ants he thinks, as he remembers
The Americans at their base.

Here is the land of oil,
Where life is measured in blood.
The soldier only sees his hell,
The boy calls this land home.

Friday, September 23, 2005


Originally uploaded by nevadog.

On the Tigris in Tikrit, Iraq.


Originally uploaded by nevadog.

Inside the second oldest Christian Church in the world.

Tikrit, Iraq

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

On Killing

I remember back in Baghdad in 2003 when the 1st Armored Division had just arrived. I was in line at the PX (post exchange, it is the army's version of Walmart) and I overheard two soldiers from the 1st Armored Division talking about how they couldn't wait until they had killed someone. What kind of desire is that? I felt sick.

I had already killed and I remembered a quick rapid fire succession of feelings upon learning just how many my platoon and I had killed. First I felt glory, then sickness, and now I have only empty sorrow...

That day so long ago I didn't say anything to them, those two soldiers. I did pray that they never got their wish because they did not know what it was they were asking for.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Patriot

I remember when it used to mean something to have a flag. When it wasn't just the popular thing to do. Now you wear a flag lapel pin and it really doesn't mean much. Just go to your local supermarket for proof. There you can find things like Patriot's Choice bottled water and red white and blue chips.

A patriot is not just someone waving a flag or some sharply dressed business man with a flag tacked on his suit jacket. The patriot is known for their actions. The patriot doesn't have to shout it out from the tops of buildings or through the bullhorn of the media.

Take a look at the Patriot Act. Where once US citizens had privacy they now have a catchy term, an oxymoron... What kind of person must reiterate how patriotic they are by using such lovely names. Names like Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom. I thought you were supposed to endure hardships, not freedom. Perhaps you can tell me what kind of person that would be.

The true patriots are people who exercise their rights. They are the voters (yes all of them, not just the liberals). They are the people who make America work. People like the fireman and policeman, the people who bring you your mail, doctors, and teachers. They are all those things you wanted to be when you were little. They are the scientists, the farmers, and yes, even the soldiers.

I say only this in closing, they can call it any number of patriotic names, but let them pry your rights from your All American hands only when you are dead. To trample and walk so blatantly on American rights is not the action of a patriot, and let no one tell you otherwise.

Monday, September 12, 2005


Lucky Man
Originally uploaded by nevadog.

Yes, she is beautiful and I am lucky.


Five years ago today was the day I was married to the most amazing woman. There were many things that I didn't know about her then that I do know now.

I didn't know that I would love her more now than I could ever love her then. I didn't know she would be even more beautiful than the day we met, and I didn't know she would be the one to help me through some of my hardest times in life.

She is beautiful, sexy and a wonderful woman.

My wife and best friend


Friday, September 09, 2005

Another Day In Iraq

And so it begins, another sunrise, another day in Iraq. The land of 1,000 lies. Where we tell each other things are getting better when really we have only gotten used to the smell of our own shit mixed with theirs. You can gift wrap it all you like, but it doesn't change what's inside.

Another day in Iraq, more suffering. Some things will always remain constant, the heat, the sand, the stars, and the sky. Yet, some things have been made worse. Another day in Iraq. For me, another day in a foreign land, for others it is another day at home.

I see cars stopped on the banks of the Tigris River. Are they setting up mortars? Perhaps they are only swimming. Here you lose your innocence, where they teach you to trust no one because anyone might be your enemy.

So you take their advice... You're still alive aren't you?

Another Day in Iraq, another day away from home, another day...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


I have been informed today that my address will soon be changing. For everyone that has sent me a package I want to say thank you so much, and for those who have just sent one, fear not, it will find me. Now for those of you who might have been thinking of sending one I recommend that you wait until I can post my updated address for you. Again thank you all so much, for the mail, and ESPECIALLY for all the support that you have given me.

I remember when my platoon was deploying this time around everyone was talking of making their own blog and to myself I thought, "there is NO way that I will be making a blog..." And here you have me 8 months later with such a wonderful group of people posting comments and offering me both support, and insight into many different ways of thinking.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Not Enough Sandbags

Since the day I joined the Army, I have been doing one of really only two things. I came to realize this through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. You see, we have had the opportunity to do so much, yet we keep falling so very short.

I Remember When I was at DLI (the Defense Language Institute) in Monterey California. It was beautiful there and I spent my days learning. I was learning such an interesting subject, and from such wonderful people. Arabic, that is how I spent my days. There was one Syrian, one Palestinian, and two Iraqi teachers. These people were wonderful and taught me so much, both about the Arab culture and about the language. It was during the end of my language training that I was called very early in the morning by a friend of mine who said turn on the TV. Numb is how I felt all that day as I watched the horror of September 11 unfold minute by minute. Every one of us soldiers wished we were there helping our fellow Americans.

I missed Afghanistan as well. I was busy training in Texas, where I learned the other aspects of my job (the non language aspects) and by the time I was at my final destination I already knew where I was going... You see for the whole first half of my enlistment I was training. I realize that we train for War so bear with me here. Training was all I had done, and I missed the War against those responsible for the atrocity that was 9/11. I was bound for a different place. A place that had little to do with 9/11.

At this place, you know of as Iraq and so many know of only as hell, I did the second thing. I was there the day of the invasion. In fact I was a part of it. I crossed the border only a few hours after the attack started and did so in my chemical gear. We fought and destroyed many, many people. I partook in War. It didn't end when we reached Baghdad. For 2 months I was there amongst the Iraqis every day, and when we were told we were going home all of us were ecstatic. We started our re-deployment briefings consisting of how to control yourself and not kill your spouse (in reality that was what the class was about but it was worded with much more political correctness), medical briefings about possible malaria cases, and many others.

You might wonder how I found myself in Fallujah a week after all those briefings that we took in what was then our base in Baghdad inside the Ministry of the Interior. Well, we had to take over this place from another unit who was too small and who hadn't just fought during the invasion. We took over operations from them because we were good at aggression. I spent my days in Fallujah and the surrounding places, like Abu Graybe (not the prison but the city), Al Khandaria, and the Jordanian hospital. There we all honed our skills of War.

Those were the two things that occupied my entire time in the Army (over 5 years, modest for some, yet quite a while for others who have never been to war). I was either training or at War.

Now I want to clarify two points before I go on. First I want to explain that I have met some really great Iraqis here in Iraq, and that I have done many good things for those that I could (I have never just gone out killing). The second point I want to clarify brings us full circle. You are probably cursing me right now, wishing you could yell into my face how soldiers are SUPPOSED to train then fight in Wars, and of course I can't and won't disagree with you (I am not a conscientious objector). However, I do want to interject something into your rant at me. We are more than just some trained War machines, we are citizens who have sworn to protect America. We are the ones (both active duty soldiers like myself and national guard and reserve) who could have been there helping those in the Gulf Region. We are the ones who should have already found and captured Bin Ladden in Afghanistan.

So many want to know why I came back to Iraq, even though I have been involuntarily extended (stop-lossed) and I don't believe in the War here. I came because I do honor my country and the contract I have signed (even if my enlistment time is not honored by the Department of Defense). When I enlisted back in 2000 it was to serve the American people in their time of need. Like so many others here in Iraq who feel so bogged down, I wish I could be there in Louisiana helping those who so desperately need us right now. Perhaps if we were home we could have saved more lives, filled more sandbags, and brought peace to the city. I am sorry that I can not be there. From the bottom of my heart I pray for all of you who have been affected by this storm.

From a soldier in Iraq to the American people,

Sgt Zachary Scott-Singley

Friday, September 02, 2005

A Call For Help

If you can find it in you, please help out the victims of hurricane Katrina by donating to the Red Cross.

Hurria, if there is a way to donate money to help the over 900 killed and hundreds wounded from the pilgrimage in Baghdad please let me know and I will post that as well.

For those who pray, both Iraq and New Orleans have need of all the prayers you have.

I read on the help page of THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES that to help out in Iraq you must contact the Iraqi chapter directly. HERE is how you do that.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Daddy's little girl

Daddy's little girl
Originally uploaded by nevadog.

I love you Linnea