EASTER WITHOUT THEIR WARRIORS Leave was great and now its back to the gridiron. Things have been going fast and Ive pretty much snapped into the routine here in the states now. There hasn’t been any PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in my experience or really in many other Marines I know. We all experience being shot at and blown up but I guess the combination of getting old and the training we receive you just adapt to it. “OK Im not going to flip out or anything� (said from the Jerry McGuire Movie as you imitate the body spaz) My billet (job) recently took me to Norfolk, Va and the Norfolk Naval Base over the past few days. Good ole Navy guys, god bless em. Always around to take us Jarheads to war. During the butt flattening drive I began to think of the 228 Marines, Soldiers, and Sailors that were lost over the year I was in Iraq. Their families and how they must not be forgotten, ever. I did think about them recently again as I came back home. Standing on US soil just before meeting my family as I returned from Iraq. I thought to myself there are some families not here today and have nothing good to look forward to coming from Iraq. You think of all the what if’s and close calls we had. The times you left the base to head into a dangerous convoy, stressed about the IEDs etc and only to hear of injuries from indirect fire on the base you just departed from. Im a firm believer that when it’s your time, its your time and you might as well not worry about it. Be prepared to meet your maker and then get on with your life and make the best of it. Its too damn short! I thought about each and every name that I read, heard or saw regarding being injured or killed. Its not like they woke up that morning and said well today is it. Nope they pressed on and whatever was their fate they were ready to take it on, head on every day. As much as it rips my guts to see the young knuckle heads here (dependants of fallen warriors) that don’t have a daddy anymore, I know their daddy or mother died doing what they wanted to be doing and they died warriors. It’s not another number of some scumbag news agency’s Iraqi war tally. It’s not another shot to our leaders to drive a point home to get out of Iraq or Afghanistan. Its about men and women doing their job across the pond in harms way and kicking the crap out of anyone who gets in their way. Summed up, their Americans. Its easy for some to shake their head and spout disbelief and criticism about our involvement in Iraq. Its easy for them to push blame and disagreement towards our leaders. I think it cowardly for them to do it but if they choose to react this way they must know that without our leaders, the ones for them to blame, thousands of Iraqis would simply be dead now and even possible thousands of Americans as well. I haven’t been to still since Ive been back and had a quick two day trip to DC where I elbowed my way through neighborhoods to look for a possible house to live in. Low and behold from one hook up to another I get in contact with this real-estate agent. He was a vet like many are in that are and he decided to wear his “Don’t blame me, I voted for Kerry shirt� when he met me. ………..First impressions are a lot in my book. His, well……..not so much. I put up with his antics and listened as he tried to sell me a house way to big and expensive for what I need. My better half told me while he was out of the car, “look past his T-shirt� as I just mumbled something (nice of course) under my breath. I didn’t buy a house from the guy because he had that shirt on or his views. Hell, its what I love about this country. We have and allow everyone to have their own opinion and beliefs. But when “JACKO� starts slamming my fellow leaders and fallen warriors in front of me, stand the hell by. Regardless of what your beliefs are, never slam the fallen warriors or make their death miniscule. They rate much more than that and during this holiday season, take a couple seconds and remember the little ones and other family members who will wake up on Easter without their warriors. Semper Fi from the states! Yes, Im going to go get a cigar…………. COMBAT UPDATE AL ASAD, Iraq -- In the early hours April 3, Marines and sailors with the Incident Response Platoon prepared for an operation that would take them outside the wire and into the local town of Baghdadi, Iraq.The IRP is attached to Marine Wing Support Squadron 274, Marine Wing Support Group 37 (Reinforced), 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and is responsible for providing security in support of response and pre-planned missions throughout the Al Anbar Province.Their scheduled task was to escort members of a Civil Affairs Group and Police Transition Team to a housing complex where they would carry out their mission.Once the convoy arrived safely at the small outpost, the Marines were able to give a much needed break to infantry Marines with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment who had spent three days in the area with little sleep.The same day, multiple roadside bombs were discovered and a seven-ton truck rolled over in a flash flood in the Western area of Iraq. Although this was a dangerous mission, the group of Marines returned to Al Asad Air Base later in the day without incident. **NOTE** It is with my deepest regret that I will not be able to attend the Milblog Conference this year as expected due to a situation that has arose that requires me and my position in the Marine Corps to attend during the dates of the conference. Unfortunately, although I just returned from Iraq, we are Marines 24-7 and we are never “off�. I am truly disappointed that I have to withdrawal and appreciate being invited. I apologize for any inconvenience that it may bring to you and the conference. Milblog Conference (April 22nd)The 2006 Milblog Conference will take place in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 22, 2006. The conference is designed to bring milbloggers together for one full day of interesting discussion on topics associated with milblogging. We will explore the history of milblogs, as well as what the future may hold for this medium which the military community is using to tell their stories. Dinner Cruise aboard theAmberjack V Saturday, April 29 7pm-11pmEnjoy a wonderful buffet dinner with DJ and dancing to follow as we cruise around the Hudson River. Take in the beautiful views while passing the Manhattan Skyline and Statue of Liberty!
Thank you for the update, I'd like to wish you, your family and all those wonderful Marines a very Happy Easter.

God Bless and Semper Fi!!!
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