Thursday, October 27, 2005

Our Walk Through Life

What is the human condition? Here in Iraq we fight terrorists and insurgents. We give them names (haji, towel head, rag head) to peal away their humanity. We focus only on the horrible things that have happened so that we can bring ourselves to kill, but in doing so we too become changed. No longer do we fit in when we get home. We become outsiders and misfits amongst our own families and distance ourselves as others too distance themselves from us.

Alone, it becomes easier with time to be that way. You can't let others know the things you have done because they would never understand and it would only serve to make us even more alone.

We must build as well; we become so proficient at building that we could be engineers. Walls are our specialty, so we build them thick and high around ourselves. Theses walls shut out all the pain and hurt we feel when others can't seem to understand why we are the way we are, or when they judge and condemn us as if they were God Himself. The walls don't just keep those things out, but they serve to keep so much in as well. All of it, the guilt, the pain, and the fears we have can be kept deep inside where nobody will have to see them except ourselves.

That is ok though, because from there we can learn one last and important skill, that of the beast tamer. Like a monster everything we keep inside locked away can take on a mind of its own creating even more pain. Some of us fall apart at this point, hitting the ground so hard that we decide we can not get up and so it ends.

The rest of us learn tricks to keep that beast inside so that nobody will ever have to see how much of a monster we have become. In doing so we can continue our walk through life. That is the soldier's cost of war, and it is ours to bear alone until the end.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Just Another Piece

Always, the smell of burning things. Today it is burning trash, tomorrow maybe it is the burning oil fields. To me this is Iraq. Last time I was here it was the same, garbage piled high in the streets until eventually it gets burned just to get rid of it.

Some things don't change. I remember driving through Baghdad and seeing the streets piled high with trash. Slick with grease, grime, and blood. Get enough of it all and you have your foundation all over again.

That is what we are trying to rebuild Iraq with these days, grease, grime, and blood. No wonder we can't seem to finish it all. There just gets to be so much of it that your feet slip and you too are covered in the same blood and filth, until your soul is just another piece of it all.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Still Alive

I have arrived safely to FOB (forward operations base) Speicher (pronounced spiker) alive and well (and yes I am back with my unit again, the 3rd ID). One thing I would like to say is that any misgivings I once had of working with the National Guard (sometimes called Nasty Guard by some active duty soldiers) from New York State are gone. I have spent the better part of 9 months with a wonderful group of people. I have made friends that I won't soon forget and I am grateful for the caliber of person I have found in the 42nd ID.

Here at Speicher I live in a giant dust bowl, but the base is HUGE. I can't publish exactly how many days I have left here in Iraq, but it is less than 3 months and for that I am grateful. For all of you who read my blog I want you to take care, and again thank you for your comments and the time you take out of your day to see how I am doing. Regular postings will resume now that I am settled again.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

A Change for the Better? We Shall

Sometime in the near future I will be going to my new base. They say change is good right? We shall see... Home is closer each day but some how it still seems like a lifetime away. Here is my new address

Sgt Zachary Scott-Singley
B Co 1-3 BTB 3ID
FOB SPEICHER
APO, AE 09393

All of you out there who read my blog, I want you to take care and I give you my thanks for your time and comments. When I first started writing I never thought that anyone but my friends and family would read. Again, Take Care

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Choices

Everyone has choices. I have made mine and must live with them. My choices have me thousands of miles from home for the second time, with weapon in hand. I find myself surprised at times, wondering how it came to be that I am where I am, but then I look behind me and I can see every turn that brought me here.

Responsibility? I take it, all of it. I have to live with my choices and they have not all been simple ones. Bad choices have been made as well as good. I am not some fly caught in the web of fate.

Hindsight is 20/20 right? What should I have done differently? Doesn't matter because I can not go back. It was my hand that signed the contract that enlisted me as a soldier. What I thought would happen doesn't matter, what matters is what did happen.

So here in Iraq I sit for the second time. What matters now is to get back home. To return to my wife and kids.

Friday, October 07, 2005


Me after work
Originally uploaded by nevadog.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ghost of a Father

I get so scared sometimes that my kids will think I have left them. That maybe their daddy doesn't care about them or that they will forget me. I know you will tell me that these are hollow fears but to me they aren't. To me they are as real as the fears of heights or flying are to others. It isn't hollow for me, but instead I am filled with self doubt and sadness.

Over the phone I always talk to them and tell them how much I love them, but of course it isn't the same as playing with them and giving them hugs or holding them after they have been hurt. Those things are real to a child.

I feel like I am the ghost of a father right now. Two of the last three years I have spent away from my wife and children. There are times I am amazed that Tara my wife is still around waiting for me. To her it must feel like so much of our marriage has been spent just waiting for me to come home. Praying that I live through the times I am not there.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

RAIN

It rained the other night. The dusty smell of the rain as it hit the ground reminded me of my Grandfather's farm. I remember the cold mornings after a rain when everything was quiet and it felt like the world was mine to explore.

I miss those days, seems like they were lifetimes ago. Someday I would like to have land, just to have it. My own place where I can be alone and still find adventure. I think that the kid in me would like that very much.