Back to Iraq

Art La Flamme, a Cynical-C reader, fellow Twitterer, blogger and all around jolly good fellow is in the army and headed back to Iraq for the next year. He recently blogged about his experience getting ready to return to Iraq:

I’ll be there for a year, or until they tell me to come home. I should get a two-week-or-so break somewhere along the way.

I’d like to keep blogging here during the year. I am sure there’d be things to write; I know, though, that the Army is a bit cautious about blogs, so I will have to see what wickets I’ll need to jump through in order to blog. Feel free to email me and ask questions; if I can answer them, I will, and if not, I’ll either lie (ok, no, not really) or I’ll just fess up that it’s not appropriate for me to answer, for whatever reason. If I upload photos, or blog here or elsewhere, or bookmark neat things, it’ll all show up in this RSS feed.

I’ve had people ask me different questions about this adventure. The questions generally fall into a couple of categories.

Aren’t you worried about going? No, not really. Things started to sink in Sunday morning, early, that it was almost time for change. I think I get more angst about the change, the picking up and going someplace, than I do about where I’m going or what I’m going to do there. I do a pretty good job of living in the now, and it’s only that slight anticipation that my now will likely change that gets me thinking about it. But no, it’s not worry. I’ll be fine…

What’ll you be doing there? I’m a staff guy. There’s no door kicking for me, no jumping out of a helicopter as it gets ready to set down on the objective. I sit and think deep thoughts, ask questions, give a briefing from time to time, and make an all-out effort to avoid making PowerPoint slides (not just while in Iraq, but in life in general). It’s not a bad deal, and it’s stuff that I’m actually well suited to do. But through all that, I remain ready to all of those basic soldier skills we expect of every soldier; if they need an extra gunner, I go.