Sunday, October 25, 2009

It has been some time since I have posted on my blog - I have been in Afghanistan for about 4 months now - it's hard to believe some times.

Time has gone by so quickly and I haven't had much chance to post about the experiences I've had here and that may be a good thing.

Life is more complicated than good and evil; other factors include ignorance, manipulation, fanatacism, etc...

I wish I had the answers to some of the more difficult problems in the world - but that's why it's easy to be a Soldier - you aren't afforded the luxury of an opinion, you simply enforce the will of the people as dictacted by their elected leaders.

I hope you're all in good health and happy!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Here I go again on my own!

Okay, maybe not on my own - but they don't have an 80's glam rock song for "Here I go again with my platoon of Cav Scout killing machines!"

It's almost 0200 and we are going to get on a bus for the airport and supposedly fly out of this lovely training base and enter a secret destination in the Middle East before we go to Afghanistan. I'll give you a hint, it's a country that end's in "stan" (if you don't get this joke, try looking at a map of the area).

I wish I had taken more time to enjoy relationships before I left - I think we take friends and family for granted. I am grateful for the opportunity to have met so many people, and actually gotten to know them on a personal level. My dad tells me that the purpose of life is learning to have successful relationships - I am probably misquoting him, and I'm sure he would include more than that.

I don't want to sound dramatic - I don't think I'm marching off to my death. I think I'll be back in a year enjoying gelato, wrestling with Eli, and blasting bunnies on the weekends again. I just want you to know that I am extremely content to be a Soldier. Regardless of the politics of this war, whether or not you agree with the current or past president, I am privileged to know these men, and I wouldn't trade this opportunity for a more glamorous or higher paying position.

Thanks for your support - for me and my family. I'll talk to you from the other side.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Mob (short for mobilization)

These pictures are long overdue. I tried to make this all chronological, but I'm tired and I can't get the freaking pictures to drag up and down...

Here are the pics with captions:

Here we are at the air terminal in Las Vegas - all our gear laying out on the tarmac next to the buses. I clearly remember seeing a Soldier's wife standing on the sidewalk of the Luxor, waving as the buses pulled away to head to the airport, and I watched her try to be brave as she waved good bye. She lasted a whole 3 seconds and then broke down sobbing.

This is a picture of my Soldiers at the team live fire exercise getting some practice at 3 to 5 second buddy rushes.

1LT Manella took this picture of me at COL Warrior while I was "playing" with my M9 pistol.

This picture of me and SFC Anderson typifies the relationship between Platoon Sergeant and Platoon Leader. You can clearly see me trying to get a point across or ask a question. The look on his face needs no description.

Apparently I perform a functions check or clear my M9 about 50 times a day - people know I'm around when they hear the distinctive click of a Beretta deckocking lever being pushed.

This is me smiling as we are about to leave COL Warrior (a fake FOB) on May 9th.

This is a classic Soldier pose - the "flop". When you'd like to rest, but don't want to go to the bother of removing your body armor and assault pack.

Starting a ruck march. I just love walking. Everywhere. Seriously.

The m203 Range - we ran this range during the first week here.

I qualified in the prone, standing, at night, and as you can see - with an NBC pro mask on.

Firing the M203 from cover.

Here is 3rd Chalk getting on the plane for Indianapolis

Loading a round at the range.

View of the M203 range from the firing line.

Here is our barracks - our home away from home until some undetermined day in June.

Need I caption this one?

Overall, I am enjoying my job here and my time with the Soldiers I'll be working with over the next year. I find that I have very little time to miss the comforts of home, but from time to time I have little reminders of friends and family back home and your absence is more than notable. I'm glad I have just enough time to remember those I miss, but not enough time to brood over you. Besides, you're all having a huge party every day without me, so what do I care? ;-)

Take care all

2LT Brough

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Camp Atterbury

I've been with my platoon at Camp Atterbury for a few days now and I am enjoying getting to know them and train with them.

Pictures and more details to follow!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Various Updates and Thoughts

I find myself at a crux in between periods of extreme activity where I don't imagine that I'll very much time to blog. So... here's some updates and random thoughts:

Resident Evil 5
Holy cow, this game is fun and crazy. I only need to say one word and you'll know why I like it - zombies. Becca and I have spent a lot of quality time together killing zombies and bioweapon/monsters.

Interestingly enough, some people claim that this game is racist because the main character of the game is a white male, who spends most of his time shooting dark skinned "bad guys".

This tells me that they didn't really play the game, since the "bad guys" are primarily white male scientists who invent zombie viruses, and the victims of their experiments are the oppressed african populations who have been exploited and turned into zombies by use of genetic experimentation. Also... in co-op mode, the other playable character is an indigenous African woman who is professional, intelligent, etc... Also, the characters are saved by a non playing character named Josh, who is also an African - and likewise is an adept, intelligent, professional soldier who is appaled at the experiments being performed on his countrymen.

None of this was really an issue to me since I just have fun trying to get headshots on zombies.

Concealed Carry
I signed Becca up for the class - she was pretty much kicking and screaming in protest, but she was a good sport in the classes. Will she be actually buy and carry a pistol? Who knows, so criminals beware because she's a decent marksman.

Job Woes
The company I work for has done done layoffs two months in a row, and fired 4 others for various reasons. The economy is hitting them hard apparently. I couldn't have picked a better time to be deploying since I'm guaranteed to have a job for the next year.

My Platoon Sergeant
I lucked out BIG TIME and got the best platoon sergeant I could ask for. I could go into details, but unless you have some time in the Army, I don't know that the details would mean anything to you. Suffice it to say that I feel very confident deploying with the strong NCO leadership in place in my platoon.

President Obama
During the past 8 years, I got soooooo sick of the infantile whining of liberal douche bags referring to President Bush by all sorts of demeaning terms. Especially puzzling were the ramblings of high school drop outs with ghetto grammar and bad credit, who in crude terms referred to former President Bush as lacking in intelligence. One doesn't graduate from Yale, become a rated Air Force fighter pilot, or become the President of the United States by lacking intelligence.

You can argue that a President isn't living up to your expecations, by presenting thoughtful facts and observation about his policies and actions, but as soon as you start of with "That idiot..." or a bigoted statement in regards to said individuals race, religion, etc... you lose credibility.

While I certainly did not vote for President Obama, and I find myself at odds with his political policies, you can be sure that I hold respect for the office of President and my Commander in Chief. In private company I will share jokes and discuss politics as only friends can, but I abhor those who use public and open forms to speak in overly familiar deragotory terms toward the President of the United States. There are many ways to express your dissent without becoming infantile and degrading the highest office in our great country.

Thus, you will never on my blog see me using playground style deragotory terms to describe President Obama, since they'll demean me more than him, since our current President (much like his predecessor) in spite of his faults has so far, has been dignified in the face of boorish criticism.

I'm sure you've all heard President Obama's plan to increase the number of troops along the south eastern border of Afghanistan. Traditionally, this has been the area that has seen most combat action since the topple of the Taliban. I'm curious to see how this plan is implemented - I'll have a pretty good view of how the situation develops ;-)

Las Vegas
Becca, Eli and I will be heading to Las Vegas on the 12th of April to kick off my unit's mobilization. We'll be there for a week before we say good by to each other for a while and head to our mobilization training site.

I am biased, but I am blown away by how much Eli understands relative to his young age. I suppose we underestimate most children in this aspect. I have had the unfortunate task of explaining to Eli that I will be leaving him for a year and the reasons why. He has been very understanding of why I have to leave and has promised to take care of his mother for me while I am away "fighting bad guys" and helping the people in Afghanistan, so that they have access to thing we take for granted, such as clean water, hospitals, electricity, sewer, education, etc...

I don't know what public opinion is for the war in Afghanistan, but I hope that my platoon's presence in country helps make Afghanistan a better place. I believe that it is often the actions of individuals that make a difference, rather than the actions of armies or nations.

I hope to serve well, and eventually come back so I can be a daddy again.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Camp Roberts

Cody, I am glad that my blog still has at least one fan. I need to be better about updating this blog, but to be honest I have been pretty short on time.

I am currently at Camp Roberts, having the time of my life! 18 hour days, filled with exciting powerpoint classes and lots of infantry battle drills in the mud. For those of you who are getting high readings on your sarcasm meters, you are actually incorrect. I have been enjoying my work here - I shot expert on the rifle range for the first time in my career, made a female lieutenant from another platoon eat/drink mud in the gun turret while I drove our HMMWV through giant mud puddles at 35 mph, and have eating scrambled eggs, bacon, and french toast nearly every morning for the past 10 days.

My unit is getting ramped up for deployment to the middle east - I'm not going to say where because it wouldn't matter anyways since I'm sure the location will change at least 3 more times before we get in country, and I took a class of operational security and now I'm trying not to post open source information that an enemy might use against me and my boys.

Needless to say, I'm very excited for the opportunity to serve my country and take part in an experience that few other people will get to have. They say that freedom has a savor that only those who fight for it will ever enjoy. I hope to experience that.

For those of you who wonder what we've been up to since this Christmas, here's the rundown (Becca's Blog has more/better info and pictures):
  • I graduated from Scout Leaders Course, unofficially turning me from an Armor Officer into a Cavalry Officer. During the course, I was party to one of the worst ice storms to hit Kentucky in decades (lucky me).
  • I went back to work at ADP for 5 days - yay!!! <--what does your sarcasm meter register for this comment?
  • Becca and I went with my parents to see my cousin Adam's wedding in Prescott, AZ, where I almost killed a fat hippy lady.
  • I went to Camp Roberts for some outstanding training in Army Warrior Tasks!
There's a lot more to it than that, but this will have to do for now!

Scouts Out!