Thursday, March 30, 2006

Those who know me well, know that I'm a gym rat. The base gym on Camp Shelby (where we were training for the past six months) really sucked, so I was missing the opportunity to go somewhere and push heavy stuff up in the air. Well, the gym here in Kuwait is awesome, so as soon as the jet lag had settled, and I had a couple good nights of sleep I went to go work out.

I ran for a few minutes on the treadmill, then stretched out, then I decided to kick the session off with an ab workout. I picked up a medicine ball, set up an incline bench and started doing incline medicine ball crunches. At the second set, I somehow managed to bang my head against this metal handle at the top of the bench. I didn't think anything of it, it didn't really hurt, so I just kept going. Then one of the guys in another platoon came running up "Sergeant Murphy, you're bleeding all over the place!" Seems I'd kinda busted my head open without even realizing it. He put some direct pressure on the cut, and as I looked around to see who had witnessed this little scene, our brigade commander (full bird colonel, no less) is on the bench right beside me.

What a way to start out a year long combat tour.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Well, here we are in lovely Kuwait. The training schedule isn't very intense. They're letting us acclimatize a bit, I guess.

It doesn't seem nearly as hot as it was when I was here five years ago (of course then I was here in the summertime). And it actually rained for two nights, which just freaked me out. Rain, in Kuwait? That's unpossible!

We're finishing up some mandatory training events, then we'll be moving north. I'll post more about that when I'm allowed, but just know that I'm happy, relatively healthy (got a nasty desert cough), well fed and well rested.

Drop me a note, internet access is troublesome here, but not impossible.

Monday, March 20, 2006

"When a man seats before his eyes the bronze face of his helmet and steps off from the line of departure, he divides himself, as he divides his 'ticket' into two parts. One part he leaves behind. That part which takes delight in his children, which lifts his voice in chorus, which clasps his wife to him in the sweet darkness of their bed.

"That half of him, the best part, a man sets aside and leaves behind. He banishes from his heart all feelings of tenderness and mercy, all compassion and kindness, all thought or concept of the enemy as a man, a human being like himself. He marches into battle bearing only the second portion of himself, the baser measure, that half which knows slaughter and butchery and turns the blind eye to quarter. He could not fight at all if he did not do this."

-Stephen Pressfield Gates of Fire

"Looking darkly upon Hector, swift footed Achilles answered, 'I cannot forgive you. As there are no trustworthy oaths between men and lions, there can be no love between you and me. Before then to glut with his blood, Ares, the god who fights under the shield's guard. Now the time comes for you to be a spearman and a bold warrior. You will pay in a lump for all the sorrows of my companions you have killed in your spear's fury.'

-Homer The Illiad

Here we go. Pass time is over, weapons are back on our shoulders, and very soon it's off to war we go. I'll keep the photos coming as much as possible. Keep us in your thoughts and your hearts. In the end the only recognition we desire is that we are not forgotten.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Good times in the crescent city. We're on our four day pass prior to getting on the airplane. New Orleans has been a TON of fun. It started out with one of my friends stepping in a puddle of vomit, then having a drink thrown on him by a female impersonator. Good times.

Last night saw us running around like idiots (me in my "Fuck me I'm Irish" green t-shirt), and drinking WAY more than is probably good for us. And thanks to my skill (ok, my luck) at the blackjack tables we've been able to do most of this almost for free.

I also must give a shout out to the women of New Orleans' finer gentleman's clubs. Good looks, southern charm, and a sense of humor probably make life alot easier around a crowd of drunken soldiers.

I'm going to try and maintain this blog while we're 'over there', but I don't have any idea what internet access on our FOB will be like, or even what kind of time I'll have available. We're combat soldiers, and the demands are likely to be pretty heavy. But I want to keep my friends advised of my status, and activities as much as possible.

So drop some comments, say hello, and if you're in the big easy this weekend, look us up and buy us drinks.

SSG Murph