Abridged Notes From the Front April 2008.

Below is the final installment of my web site updates from our ’07-’08 deployment to Iraq. What is left out are the threats of physical violence I offered to Marines whose poor decision making was likely to ruin our time off in the near future. For instance, there was the brain surgeon who was sent back on the advance party who determined it was a brilliant idea to consume an entire bottle of tequila by himself.  Though dumb, this would probably not been an issue until he decided he needed more alcohol and the only place to do this was off base. He drove all the way to the front gate where he side swiped an MP car abruptly ending his tequila fueled libo adventure. As the MPs opened the car door to see if he was injured, the Marine poured out on the road like a bowl of oatmeal. Upon hearing of this, company 1stSgts still stranded in Iraq began head butting each other with vigor.

It is customary to receive 96 hours of liberty (four days off) immediately upon returning from a deployment. This is followed by two weeks of stand downs, safety briefs, and returning warrior classes. I admonished Kilo Company not to lose their minds during the 96 unless they wanted to jeopardize the block of leave to follow. One of my go to lines was to remind the Marines all the alcohol in America would still be there next weekend and they really didn’t need to try and drink it all over the 96. They could lose their minds on leave all they wanted, but not before.

Oddly, this admonishment actually worked. We didn’t have a single liberty incident until the company went on leave and Marines promptly went bat guano.  Marines were arrested for racing crotch rockets on the interstate at near the speed of light. Marital dramas kept my phone ringing the entire leave block. One Marine divorced his wife. She immediately married another Marine from the same platoon. Another of my guys went really big and was rolled up by Army MPs for making quite a scene on leave in Japan. Awesome.  

I felt these weren’t things family members needed to know about on our battalion web page though:

Aloha! After a well deserved leave block that included eating acres of brownies and other home made confections designed to ruin the rugged masculinity of our collective physiques we have returned to the island home of the world’s finest America’s Battalion. 

    Our numbers have swelled somewhat with the arrival of our new Marines from the School Of Infantry.  We have welcomed them into the tribe with open arms and training is in full swing as we shoot up the rifle range and plan our future operations in preparation for our next deployment. 

    On the night of the 29th the Marines of Kilo Company enjoyed a formal dinner with the rest of their brethren from 3/3. Your Marines were looking sharp in their uniforms despite the best efforts of home cooking while on leave. Our spouses and dates were particularly lovely and a number of the wives performed a hula dance as part of ceremony. Very cool.  A great night of fellowship was enjoyed by all as we looked back at a successful deployment and lean forward into the future.

    The boys are back in town doing those things that others are unwilling or unable to do in order to keep the wolf at bay.  Iron sharpens iron and as is our tradition your Marines are honing themselves in anticipation of that day in the future when they will be called upon to do what Marines have always done, make history.   

Semper Fidelis!
1stSgt M. S. Burke


Refugee from the island life…

Just another ho-hum month in paradise.
America’s SgtMaj

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