A Drive

Rockstar energy drinks. Maybe slight mental fatigue. Slipknot kicking your ass through the comm system. Convoy. Close proximity. Flashing lights. Moving with a sense of purpose. Police escort.

The energy drinks and the Slipknot are extra fuel to this fire of excitement, even though we weren't actually doing anything cool. The blocked off intersections, the red and blue flashing each way you look, following the vehicle in front of you closer than you probably should be. Riot control police in full gear. A handful of protesters, who are honestly barking up the wrong tree. Just to throw it out there, we don't make the decisions.

We weren't supposed to talk about what we were going to do last night, even though I'm sure the media knew. From what people tell me, they've taken some kind of interest in soldiers and this little conflict again. I said nothing about what we were off to do, and still the protesters had a better idea of where to go than I did.

And here is where I shrug, yawn, and say oh well. I float like leaf down river of life.

I was going to close this post up and leave it slightly cryptic but obvious enough to the google-savvy, then I tested a little something out and came up with this almost INSTANTLY. Its from a little website called InfoshopNews.org. [My editorial remarks in brackets just like this cute little sentence.]

People Needed in [Somewhere] to protest Stryker Brigade

[Because its too expensive to go to the White House, or Pentagon, where decisions are made. I wonder how many of them actually vote?]

Anti-War ActivismLess than half of the Stryker Brigade has parked in the [omitted by me] with more coming tonight, March 3. We NEED people to come down (direction provided below). I cannot communicate the seriousness of this quickly and so, please, realize that machines that kill people are getting ready to move out [whereas explosived that kill people are still being planted along roadsides. Why doesn't anyone protest that?]. The sheer reality of it is overpowering [No shit, how do you think WE feel?]. To those of you who read the news items that come in to this sight regarding Greece or Denmark should know that we are not doing nearly enough in this country [and this is not going to change anything] and if we do nothing as these machines roll right in front of us we do not deserve any respect from the people in the rest of the world [says who? What do you care what the rest of the world thinks? You can't please everyone]. If you absolutely cannot make it, keep looking for updates. This is all spur-of-the-moment and we are doing the best that we can but we need more help and more radical input [Totally].


URGENT: 9:30 tonight - [Somewhere]
author: Edward Letkavic
Mar 03, 2007 19:22

Poeple are meeting at the [somewhere] at 9:30 tonight to disrupt the war machine [everything went smooth as butter. I didnt even see any protesters until we were leaving on buses. And they were just standing there. I thought maybe they were carrying on cordial conversations with the riot police dudes].

It was decided at the meeting held today in Tacoma that people should meet at the [someplace] at 9:30 tonight to disrupt the war machine.

It's not only possible but quite probabale we can delay or even stop the shipments from coming through Tacoma[HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ah hahaha hahaha.....ohhh hahahahah......AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh man hahahahaahahahh....oh wait, there's more... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHA AAAAAH HAAAHAAAHAAAHAAA....]. All we need is a large presence. That was perhaps the most frustrating thing last year during the Port of Olympia protests: people were not there when we needed them the most. All we needed at one point was 100 people total to take non-violent direct action to stop the military convoys. We should really take advantage of the privaledge we have - if this were Iraq, we'd got shot from being even a mile away from a large US military presence. If the weapons ship out, PEOPLE WILL DIE... [news flash buddy, that's inevitable. If these DONT ship out, people will die. Its all one of two sides of the same shit-smeared coin].

(There should be a lot of folks there tonight. Bring instruments, warm clothes and blankets, cameras... for good times.) [I saw like...four people I think.]

Also, bring still cameras and video cameras. [I brought mine, but at the last minute I thought that it could probably be seen as disrespectful if I were taking pictures of them, so I just left it in my pocket and went about my night].

Here are the directions:

[Second star on the right, straight on til morning].

If you can't come at 9:30, come later. We'll still need you.

-tear it down-


Ok, now don't get me wrong, for being the little smartass that I am. Its cool that these people are passionate about this, and their hearts really are in the right place. They are exercising a right that we swore to defend. Some will argue that this conflict has nothing to do with our rights, and that may be true.

"....your only job is to bring the guy to your left and the guy to your right home safely, and complete the mission. You are not IN the political fuckin' arena."

Soldiers don't make the call to go to war. We never know the whole story, the big picture. It isn't our job. Its not that we're mindless tools, its just that we aren't politicians. We don't wear suits. We wear body armor that makes your back ache. Its not blind service. Soldiers seem to question all of this shit more than anyone else. But we still do our job. Why?

Well here's why, pull up a chair and get ready for a nice cold dose of truth. Here's the deal: No matter what your opinion is, or how many romantic notions you have of world peace and third world countries being magically transformed into wonderful prosperous societies, there is always going to be strife and conflict. Its part of being human. War is not some new invention. Its older than the wheel. Its just a part of life. Now you may not like that, and with good reason. But your feelings on it aren't going to change it. At all.

Habib the pissed off Iraqi who has no job and pretty much nothing to live for is still going to accept a donation to his family, at the expense of his own life. He's still going to hop into some piece of shit car and floor it, and crash it into what he thinks is the target some rich dude told him to blow to fuckin oblivion. One less nobody who otherwise would not have cared, and the fuckers that propagate it, well they live on to hire another poor sucker to die for their cause.

Lets just imagine the troops being pulled out right now. I'm no political scientist, but I'm confident enough to say that the people of Iraq would still continue all the sectarian violence that's been going on for HOW long?

So peek out of your opinionated shell and accept the fact that this world is fucked, and fucked hard. Its backassword and doesn't make any sense at all. Nothing in this world makes sense. None of it is logical. SHIT HAPPENS. Protesters trying to stop us from completing our mission, that's only going to result in us waiting quietly while the police do what they have to do to get them out of our way.

On that note, the police seemed to have done an excellent job. There didn't even seem to be any tension. Now, I didn't hear it, but one of my friends had later said that there was a woman with a bullhorn, but spoke only briefly. In a way that kind of bummed me out. I kind of do want to hear what they have to say.

If you want to change all of this, don't get in our way and try to make us look like bad guys. That just makes everything worse. Instead, vote. Go to Washington. Write letters to congressmen, that will be skimmed over by some lackey and thrown away. Target the political leadership, and hit their economy. Boycotts are stronger. But then again I dont imagine you guys buy too many rifles or protective vests, or fancy Oakley eyewear (atleast not the ballistic kind).

Here's what a soldier is. And what a soldier is not.

A soldier is not some robot, or some creation that just popped into existence. No one was ever born a soldier. A soldier is a regular person. A soldier bitches and gripes and complains and jokes and drinks and looks for great times full of tomfoolery and dumbfuckery. A soldier is that person you went to high school with. You probably never even imagined him in uniform. A soldier is that kid who used to deliver your paper. A soldier watches the same TV shows you do, listens to the same music, comes from the same cities, goes to the same schools, drools over the same women (or men). We don't sit around waiting to go to war or ruin lives or destroy shit (well...we won't complain about blowing stuff up either). But when we have to go to work, we suck it up and we do it.

We can't quit or jobs or tell our bosses to go fuck themselves. The government has us by the balls with a Stallone death grip. From there, you either get your ass in a bunch of trouble doing dumb shit, or you go along with it and do your time.

We aren't morons. Some of the most intelligent guys I've ever met are right here in my unit. We are regular people, with a much different job. Don't protest to us, it can't change anything. Bark up the right tree. And fuck it, kudos for doing what you believe in. That's what a real American does if you ask me.

A real American voices how fucked up this is, because that's his right, possibly even his duty.

A real American tells the first guy to shut the fuck up because he feels its justified, because that's his right, possibly even his duty.

A real American is passionate about something, anything, and bites down hard on it, and locks his jaws like a pit bull and wrestles it to the ground and gets everything he can from it.

Regarding this, you guys say tomato, I say the tomatoes are over that way, pal.


  1. Anonymous said...
    You make me cry, and you make me proud. You've always been able to see both sides of any issue. Although I am petrified for the soldier, I am very, very proud of the man. Just remember to give credit to your mama when you are famous for your gifts of writing and seeing things in a light no one had ever noticed, or been able to explain, like you.
    I love you, bud. Mom
    Anonymous said...
    Wow, way to tell it like you see it. Great post.
    Cathy B
    Anonymous said...
    This is from the mom of another Stryker soldier there...thanking you for your writing, good and true. Appreciate it! It's how I can know how things are going there.
    julie anna said...
    Very well said. I saw on the news that the protesters were going to be outside the gates this evening (Monday) during rush hour to protest the Strykers. I was going to go see them -and stick my tongue out at them- but this Armywife had hungry kids and a tired husband to take care of. They just don't realize that everybody behind these gates are just normal people trying to live an especially hard life. We (and especially you Soldiers) have enough to deal with as it is.

    I used to ignore them or laugh at the excitement, but now I just roll my eyes because you are right, they need to take thier protests elsewhere. We can't do shit for them here.

Post a Comment