I recently came across your publication online, while settling an argument with a fellow soldier about the validity of F.T.A. as a known acronym. Upon further analysis of your site I had feelings I haven’t felt since before I joined. I would like to join your organization and help if educate if I can.
A bit about myself, I’m a 24 year old E-5 in the Army National Guard. I’m currently deployed at FOB Kalsu, I’m an NBC NCO but they have me running --- ----- and ------ -------. I have no real purpose over here, while more essential people were left home for bullshit excuses. One even just won a “policeman of the year” award. I’m sorry to also say that I was also one of the “brainwashed” soldiers for so many years, and that I’ll probably have to re-enlist simply to support myself and my wife. The pay isn’t great, but it’s a nice supplement to my civilian job (I’m a butcher).
So anything I can help with, let me know. I’ll just have to keep playing “their” game, while putting up with the facade.
I stumbled upon this site as I was settling a debate on F.T.A and its meaning. I am a young soldier and apparently one of the few young soldiers that knows this. I learned it from old grunts that I meet at classes and my job here. I used that acronym on the desktop of my computer and have gotten mixed results.
When I found your site, I became excited to find a military paper, more precisely a soldier’s paper, that will cut through the bullshit. I guess that is because soldiers write the articles, or most of them. I read the “Stars and Stripes” and “Scimitar” only to find so much b.s. that it makes me laugh.
If anybody out there wants to know the state of affairs at FOB Kalsu, in a lowly Sgt.’s opinion, here they are. I won’t complain about living in tents instead of trailers, won’t complain about wearing the IBA since we’re kinda prone to mortars sometimes, won’t complain about the chow hall food, and won’t complain about the heat.
All of this, and more, I always thought was part of the “package deal” with going to war, this isn’t a Disney Cruise. So when I see someone from Baghdad complaining about not having a paintball field, I wonder if they consider the outposts where people have to sling real lead.
But what pisses me off at my FOB is that we have a battalion telling a brigade what to do. We have some soldiers that can do pretty much what they damn well please. We have upper enlisted (say E-6 and up) having sexual relationships with lower enlisted. Everyone knows about it but nothing is done about it. I may have been gone from home for a while, but I still love and remember my wife.
But if you want the one experience that sums up my feelings of being over here, it goes back to Kuwait. We were sent to the range one day with very vague directions. Well, we became lost, not seeing the dirt road we were supposed to take......in the desert.
What we did find, however was the end of the road as we call it. No lie, the road just stopped as if cut off by a saw. Past that was a set of steps and the frame to a building on top of the slab the steps went up. When one went up the steps and looked past, there was nothing but desert.
That’s how I sum up how I feel here. I’ve hit the end of the road and guess what, there’s nothing there.
For a solution to the war we’re in, I don’t see one now. The best one would have been prevention. But now that we’re here, what can we do?
Some of the locals want what we’ve promised them. They want a more western style life, they want hi-speed internet, 2 cars in their garage, and they want stability without fear of a tyrannical ruler.
Don’t get me wrong, there are people that want to kill us too. Mostly they really want us gone, they don’t want “big brother” and his guiding hand shaping their new government. We’ve ousted their former ruler, let them take charge of themselves.
I love America and I’m sorry to say it, I love Iraq. These are a proud, intelligent, and friendly people when treated as such. I joined the National Guard because I love the U.S. and will re-up because of such.
I would also do anything in my power to help any Iraqi should they ask me. We need to concentrate on getting them ready for their own government and get out of the way.
– Sgt. C.C.
FOB Kalsu, Iraq