Tuesday, August 10, 2004

I'm Soo Fucked

"These words I write to keep me from total madness."
-Charles Bukowski

242 comments:

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warren said...

Hi.

I found out about your blog a few days ago, and after I read the entry "Men in Black" I was amazed. I started reading older entries until I had read every last entry you've posted so far. So I just want to thank you for sharing your thoughts, because they're wonderful. You write with honesty and sincerity, and you don't have to be Ernest Hemingway to do that.

I hope your superiors continue to let you write. I wish you could tell them that I, and no doubt many other of your readers, think this is much better public relations material (i.e., propaganda) than any sort of stuff you'll see on a .mil website.

It goes without saying that I appreciate your service in the military, as well. Thank you.

Steve in Boston said...

Dude, keep writing until they tell you to stop. You have a tremendous talent of putting us all right there, beside you, as each event you describe unfolds. Your BC likes what you write, as do the many fans you have rooting for you each day. Just see how the Plt does. If he causes your writing to become too watered down or filtered, just keep a journal instead of the blog, and then blog when you are out or publish it as has been suggested by people far more knowlegeable than I.

Keep the faith and stay safe!

- Steve in Boston -

exfbonnie said...

Damn.....the plot continues to thinken. Wow, CB - I cant even imagine how much this blog has or will affect your life. Whatever you decide to do (wheather you continue or not)you already know how you have affected everyone elses life...pretty amazing considering that you are on the otherside of the world.

By the way, the reason why your counter disappeared is because your hits a day exceeded the amount aloud, or you would have the choice of paying to still have that counter. But it really doesnt matter now, you know that word on "MY War" has spread like wild fire, and you will continue to have people looking at this stuff probably for years to come.

Good Job, CB - you didnt even realize what you were doing by this. But my family has gained a new friend, and several others since doing this.

Jason -- USA said...

DUDE...can't you tell your BC apparently loves your stuff??? i'd think HE would be disappointed if you stopped...and as far as i have read...you've done NOTHING WRONG...look its up to you if you want to keep writing...but you've already provided a look into your experience like nothing before...we will all be honored if you keep writing!!!

Joe Black said...

I just found the blog yesterday and I was surprized at the level of detail you were allowed go into. Then last night I was thinking that with the internet being 'new' and everything maybe the army just hadn't got around to putting together a censorship mechanism.

As it happens I'm a reasonably active anti-war activist in Ireland, you may well have flown through Shannon airport on your way to Iraq. Some 80 people have been arrested so far trying to prevent the use of the airport for military refueling, those interested will find lots of details at http://struggle.ws/wsm/shannon.html

Anyway one thing I do find a bit grating about a lot of the anti-war movement in Europe is its tendency to dehumanise US soldiers. I guess that's echoed by the tendency of the pro-war movement to dehumanise Iraqi insurgents. It's a product of war. I thought this blog was pretty useful in counter acting the first tendency and in terms of activism on the war enables you to get a much better sense of the way things are going then SKY or CNN.

So I'd say keep it going. But maybe given my background you should count that as a vote against rather than for?

ALa said...

I second everything that Bonnie said...we have gained a friend-- a friend that we worry about all the time! I have faith that you will continue...you are the star of Mosul. I think it rocks that the Pentagon is reading --Hi Rummy!
Be proud that you have touched this many people...I think they just want to make sure that you don't 'pull a Geraldo' over there...
I await tomorrow's post.

Susieq said...

Don't you DARE stop blogging! I am SO hooked! Of course, we agree that anything that could potentially harm you or our soldiers should not be printed. As far as I can tell, none of that has been done.

You are our breath of reality back here in the States. We are not hearing these type of things! I'm glad you have readers in Washington, lest they forget those who really ARE sacrificing for Iraq!

"May the Lord bless you and keep you. May His eyes continue to shine upon you...". Blessings for your wife and family, as well. We love our soldiers!!!

Chris Ash said...

If your popularity is anything to go on, there will be a shitload of disappointed fans if you stop writing here. I feel that you're opening a lot of hearts and minds and that your writing is doing a lot of good.

That said, do what you have to do. Don't stop writing even if you aren't posting (save 'em as drafts and publish 'em when you get home)

Good luck, you're in our thoughts.

Kat said...

Dude...he loves it. Keep writing. If you had done anything to endanger your mission, you'd be already busted. Right now, you just giver what amounts to "after action reports". You'll be fine.

Of course, you are known now. So you can't fuck up and be anonymous like you were before. But hell, you want to be nobody the rest of your life? You gotta take some chances.

Now get out there and write.

RR said...

CB -

I agree with one of the earlier posts. If you REALLY want to avoid get in SERIOUS trouble with your superiors then you had better keep posting. Keep gonzo journalism alive and don't let success corrupt you. Stay safe.

Cpl Ness said...

Man, you have hit some seriously deep notes here, and you tell it like it is, no flowerly language, I compliment you on your writing.
I sincerely hope that you keep up this blog, as long as there is material for it. If not for us, then for yourself, as therapy. I love the insight you give, and I will pray for you and your fellows over there.
Keep it up, seriously.

jerseycityjoan said...

Please, please keep blogging for as long as you can.

I've only been coming here since last Thursday, I think, but I find myself checking several times a day to see if you've posted something new.

A grateful reader who wishes you the best, always,


Joan

strykeraunt said...

WOW!! Your blog scared me a little this morning. I came here first thing because I heard a rumor last night that Michael Gilbert was doing an article in the TNT (tribnet.com) about the attack last week. I suspected that he was going to give you all a little more credit than the rest of the media, so wanted to copy it to you or send you the link. (The link is too long so I copied it and will post below) Anyway, the person who told me about the upcoming article also expressed concern that you may get shut down. We both said that we hoped that didn't happen. Then when I open your blog this morning....BAM there it is (the title said it all), I was half scared they were shutting you down, but reasoned that you would not be writing if that were so... I understand that if they try to change what you write to the point that it is no longer you, you probably won't want to do it anymore. However, I have a strong feeling they won't. Its probably a good thing to have someone read your stuff so that something doesn't accidently slip.

BC and Plt Sgt., THANK YOU FOR MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION. The world needs to know the truth and all of you guys need to know how much you are really supported. I really don't think that the media could do this well if they tried because even if they were there, they just are living it like a soldier.

Below is the Michael Gilbert article (Tacoma News Tribune, August 10, 2004). I will bet that even he is reading your site!!

Stryker brigade slammed by insurgents
MICHAEL GILBERT; The News Tribune

It didn't get much media coverage, but troops from the Fort Lewis-based Stryker brigade say fighting last Wednesday in Mosul was the heaviest and most sustained combat they've seen in their nine months in Iraq. Insurgents with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, AK-47s and improvised bombs fought a series of coordinated, running attacks against Stryker and Iraqi troops. One estimate put the number of attackers at 30 to 40, another at more than 100.
Either way, U.S. and Iraqi forces killed an undetermined number of them - the official estimate is at least a dozen - while suffering no losses themselves.

About a dozen Stryker troops were wounded; all but two returned to duty, said Lt. Col. Kevin Hyneman, the brigade's deputy commander.

Hang in there and keep writing...

distortedviews said...

If this does turn out to be your last post I hope that you know that people will worry about you every day. So if you decide that this is it and you would rather not deal with it, then you will be missed. All that I ask is every once in a while just drop a small note here letting us know that you're ok.

C.J. said...

Don't stop blogging. This is my favorite site on the web now. The stuff you're writing about is incredible. People back home need to see this stuff.

American Soldier said...

I think the account of your life in Mosul is something that has been missing since the on set of this war. The true realism in battle. Remember at the beginning when that news anchor rolled into battle with soldiers and he had a camera setup and reported on the soldiers move. Bloomberg was his name I do believe. He unfortunately died of an aneurism while in Iraq. But while he was alive, he brought reality to the war. The American people need that sense of reality, and you have been able to provide that.

Not to pump me up but to make a point I will say that I have accumulated quite a following myself. With my blog that entails my life as I'm about to deploy to where you are now. The point is people want to know, they get fed this CNN, MSNBC bullshit and half the shit is false.

Keep this blog going, it is therapeutic for you and comforting for the people back in the states.


American Soldier
www.soldierlife.blogspot.com

Toni said...

Whoa - as soon as I saw the title I thought well there he goes. This one is done. LOL. This has happened to a couple other mil bloggers and now I get emails from them. So, I'm happy to see you weren't shut down but I can imagine how overwhelming the response to your writing would be! Wish the other two guys wouldn't have been shut down and think their commanders were short sighted. That's the positive side for you at least your chain of command is forward looking.

Captain Holly said...

Don't give up writing. Your blog is priceless.

And don't give up hope, either. There are alot of people here who are praying for you and your comrades.

We believe in you.

redhatchet said...

Keep it going. Myself and my buddies are about to deployed and look to this site (amoung others) for a source of info. Infantry always.....

Legion said...

Love your blog. A lot. I think it is extremely well written and gives us an insight that is sorely missing from the media.

But, as a vet (former 82nd Airborne 4/325th) I gotta also respect the tough choice your BC is making.

I hope you continue to write it. I'd venture to guess that they won't hinder you much at all. They gotta lot of lives to look out for, your's included.

Good luck, soldier. Come home safe. And thank you to you and all the other members of the Armed Forces who are putting it on the line for those of us back home.

strykeraunt said...

Oh crap, never mind about my copy of the TNT, a poster in another comment section (I think it was Men in Black) provided a better link. I am bring the link up to this top article so that more can see it.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1188540/posts

The Oracle said...

CB - You are exactly what the American people need to understand what we're doing in Iraq and why it's absolutely essential that we give you guys everything you need to stay safe and do your job.
You are quite possibly the best and most powerful voice the Army has right now. Your BC has a duty to make sure no mission-compromising information gets into your posts, but I'm sure he recognizes you're professional enough not to let that happen. I think he's a fan, just like me and thousands of other readers. He's just exercising due diligence while giving you the green light to carry on.
I pray that everyone up the chain of command from you understands that interfering with your posts would be a public relations blunder of the worst kind.
And, yes, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (the book) was brilliant - it has the best first paragraph in 20th century American literature - but the movie sucked.
Just keep fighting and writing and don't worry about the rest of this shit. It'll all take care of itself.

Nas said...

In the media, we hear only of your screwups, your deaths and injuries, your defeats, and every challenge is painted as a black cloud.

I tried writing to my local papers to say that they should get off of their lazy butts and look for stories of good that we're doing in Iraq. Stories of valour, bravery, heroism, courage, and sacrifice; since surely these too are news, and surely they would attract an audience to their papers. But whether they simply ARE too lazy, or whether they simply can't find it in themselves to be patriotic, I don't know.

So I began searching the net, and found out about blogs a few weeks ago. Now, I check your site and several others daily. Obviously, with the hits you get, there is an audience. You fill the vacuum the media created.

I now have more than just a nameless mass of green to pray for each day, and I let my friends and family know of the good we're doing that they don't see anywhere else.

By all means, keep writing - even if you can no longer post on the blog. I for one will buy your book when you publish.

(Oh, and add some Google ads to your site if you're getting that many hits. You might as well make some money, and that is a just and decent way to do it).

Gil said...

Young man, don't you dare stop writing. The service you are performing everyday on this blog could literally win this war at home. The American people get fed lines of hooey every day from the media; you just tell your story.

Your BC just told you the entire army was watching your efforts, do them proud, keep writing. You got called into his office because someone way high in the pile wanted to send you a message- you are doing fine.

If you were whining, pissing and moaning, he would have come down on you like a ton of bricks. Instead he just asked you to make sure you didn't do anything that might hurt the troops.

Write lad. Write! Do it for your your fellow soldiers and do it for the truth. Don't let up, not for a second.

If I might suggest, contact the Washington times, the Detroit News and the Wall Street Journal, they might pay to sydicate your blog in print.

Good luck and come home safe.

Grace said...

All good things must come to an end. I started doing search on blogs after I read about one, ironically, in People magazine. Not long thereafter, his blog was pulled. I saw this coming and was hoping it didn't come so soon.

If you're worried about the content and about getting in trouble, maybe you could make it a personal (with passwords required to read) blog where there aren't thousands of readers yet you still get the satisfaction of writing what's on your mind so you don't go crazy.

I wish you much success and, most of all, safety until your return.

Quality Weenie said...

You started writing about how popular your blog has become and I thought "oh crap he has to stop because someone found out about it" and immediatly went right to the end of the post to find out the ending instead of reading all the stuff in between.

Hope you continue writing, it's very insiteful and your a wonderful writer.

Poonchance said...

CB-
Your commanders have made a wise choice. Of course you're not going to compromise your unit or mission. I think having your Plt Sgt look over your stuff before your post is a good compromise so that they have there asses covered.

Your accounts are real. They are graphic, uplifting, scary, raw and inspiring. Sure, you inject your opinions. You're not a reporter. But this first person view, with good and bad stories, makes me feel more that our country is doing the right thing over there. I think it's because it's honest writing. And it sucks when you right about fellow soldiers getting hit...but if you know the story behind it, rather than a CNN body count, it means so much more. That's the difference. Your commanders hopefully know this. You've put a "face" on this for me...and I wish you well.

BTW....No pressure!! Ha....

Peace out...and keep rockin.
AP in the NYC!

donna said...

Please keep posting. I feel I am getting a real sense of what is going on instead of what the news says. Its not all good, but not all bad (as some would have us believe). I check your blog at least once a day - I do worry if you don't post something every day. You are such a gifted writer. You paint a visual picture of events in your life there. I think its necessary for those of us here at home.

Sgt.Loco said...

Drive on Trooper!!! You are foing a good thing by sharing your experiences. I think you BC is covering his 6....obviously he likes what you are doing. Of course OPSEC is a major concern but I don't think you have violated it. I am sure that if you PSG needs to approve you psot there may be a lag in posting but don't let them hold you back.

"Get Some"

Jeffrey said...

Man, I just about had a heart attack reading that blog, CB! All those situations in my life where I knew shit was about to explode came back to me. That damn sinking feeling.

I'm still a little wired from reading that. I'm sipping on my coffee VERY slowly this morning.

I was a young boyo in the late seventies and early eighties, so I dig all your music references too.

*

Basileena said...

From College Park, MD

YOU HAVE TO KEEP WRITING!

Dragon said...

Take a deep breath and relax, but don't stop blogging because of this. Look, it's your blog and you can do what you want. If you want to stop because you're sick of it, or it takes too much time, or whatever that's fine. But don't worry about trying to meet people's expectations, you got to this point by being yourself, just keep doing that. Don't stop because someone thinks you're good. You've got a natural gift enjoy it. I wouldn't worry about the censorship thing, your Sgt sounds like he's got his stuff in one sack. Just my $0.02.

Oh BTW, Col, USAF, 27 years, hang tough.

Blind_Guy said...

I feel like writing a long message here about many things, but I won't, I'll do that in an email. I've been reading this since the beginning, after I saw you comment on a blog I read often. Back then the comments section usually only had a comment or two, now there are so many I hardly ever read them all any more. You and many of the readers here know me as a sort of black sheep. I'm a pacifist, anti-war, leftist.

When I first started reading this blog I sent you an email. I called you an intellectual, you laughed. But as I read this last entry, I realize now more than ever that it is true. You have a unique ability to write. You portray war as it is, as Guernica portrays it. And as I have read this I have realized what a resource it is for you. You're writing style, story telling ability, personal analysis have grown emensly from when you started this.

I'm starting to blather, my point is, this is your outlet, regardless of who reads it I don't think you should stop. I think you need to press on. I've never read anything here that seemed the least bit compromising in any way shape or form. Whether you run these entries by your Plt Sgt or not (I don't trust any authority figure who wants to edit such work "we won't censor you" sets off alarms in my head) I think you need to keep writing. If it becomes impossible to do it here, do it in a notebook, but whatever you do don't stop writing. Writing is the most powerful tool there is, it serves as a release for the writer and is the basis by which the reader forms thier world view...

Even as a antiwar activist, I will tell you this, if I were the president of a university, you would be the first person on my list to give an honorary degree to. Godspeed to you CB and be in peace.

B

nick whalen said...

This is an excerpt of a review of your blog which I wrote in mine:

"He is a farely good writer but that does not matter, what matters is that it is of substance, raw, unedited, pure, crisp, refreshing, real, no bullshit, captivating, just the real deal, the way I like it. What a complete and utter joy to read through.

I hope it makes you think twice about what our men and women do for this country. No matter how you feel about the war, whether pro or anti, you need to read this. His stories are simply awe-inspiring. I hope he will be able to put them in book form as I will sure as hell buy a copy, no make that several copies and distribute them to my family and friends."

Keep writing, you will be sorely missed should you choose not to continue writing. You do us all a favor. Everyone who has not been to war, or has not been in the military, not only benifits from your entries but learns from them as well. You put the humanity back into this war. You need to keep it up. WE the people of the United States of America need to know this side of the war. Your blog balances the bullshit we are force fed by the MEOs (Mainstream Entertainment Outlets). It's not even that though, people all over the world read your blog. Many, as in the case of the anti-war activist in Ireland, have changed the way they feel after reading your blog.

YOU make it real for everyone who can't be there with you.

Stay with it, or I'm flying to Mosul to kick your ass should you choose to stop.

Remember, watch your corners;)

-Nick

titolito said...

If nothing else convinces you, maybe you'll pay attention when someone attacks your wallet. Can you imagine all the free time you'd have if you stopped writing in your blog? You'd have to buy a lot of DVDs and books to fill that void. Cash money that could be well spent of huge kegs when you get back home.

Besides, you obviously have THOUSANDS of loyal readers. Some very GIVING loyal readers. More free stuff dude!

As far as that O-6 is concerned, he'll read the rest of your blog and realize that there is no OPSEC violations.

Speaking of cash money: ever consider what this blog could do for you? Sorry. It's just the capitalist in me.

Keep safe and KEEP WRITING.

Kelley28 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
PROJEx said...

I only found your blog two days back. I got so touched that it made my eyes wet! That is saying a lot. You make this experience as real as I have ever seen - in any written format. It comes straight from the heart and that's why your blog has touched so many people.

You have a great talent for writing. I sure hope to see much more of you. Look out for number [you] and be safe.

Cheers...

Moron99 said...

Please don't stop!

There are two wars being waged. One is for the Iraqi's and the other is for the heart and minds of American civillians. At home, one camp is deeply entrenched in the idea that you and your fellow soldiers are changing the world for the better. We believe that the work you are doing is immeasurably important and will benefit not only Iraqi but American interests for generations to come.

The other camp wishes to paint our soldiers as slaves to the imperialist desire of a corrupt government intent upon stealing Iraqi oil for personal profit. They portray the US as a unilateral regime bent upon world domination.

Your contributions to the war at home are enormous. You provide us with hope and faith that our soldiers are good people making the world a better place for our children. Please don't stop.

Chris said...

You should keep posting. People need to understand what actually happens over there. I have no connection to the war. I don't know anyone who serves. Blogs like yours are the only connection I have. As long as you can publish without any BS you should do so.

Paulnib68 said...

Been reading for a short time now after your blog address was posted to a forum I frequent. Very interesting and informative, and it'll be great reading should you ever decide to put it into marketable format. I'd highly recommend you do just that. It's almost gauranteed you'd get a publisher interested.

I'd like to to chime in with the others and say, don't stop if at all possible. Even if you get censored, which does'nt seem likely, it would still show everyone who reads alot about the realities of war. We know now your style of writing, and any major deviation after your last post should be a clue to anyone astute enough to pick up on it. I agree with the others that it seems more like the powers what be approve, and only want to be sure and cover all the bases. Which to me is a good thing, and should be applauded.

You have great potential, and what you are going through now, though horrible and tough, in the end in my opinion will only serve to add to your already apparent good character and experience, allowing you to only get better in your writing.

This is a great blog, and your'e doing a great job on two fronts. Your'e job as a fighter, and your self appointed job as a writer. In both you should be very proud of yourself, as obviously all the rest supporting you are.

Good luck and here's to hoping you get to leave that sand pit soon as humanly possible.

deity said...

You need to have your wife set up a post office box so some of us will be able to donate anonymous funds to the cause.

Phoenix_Blogger said...

CB- Thanks and best of luck!

Moron99 said...

also,

like titolito said, there are a ton of people who would give you anything you ask. You keep referring to $2 per hour Inet access. One word from you and I think you could get enough PayPal money that everybody on base could have a blog.

evan said...

man....dont stop man! keep writing till they tell ya to stop or something

Green said...

If you want to stop, stop. Don't do this for us, we curious surfers waiting for your doses of an alternate reality. Do it because you like to.

I've been reading, without comment, for some time now and I too have told everyone I know of your blog. As you state in the beginning of your latest entry, you give it to us without much in the way of political bias, and I respect you for it. I wish some of the commentors would be as kind.

"It's your thing.
Do what you wanna do."

Green

Toblin said...

Sounds like you got a pretty cool BC. I guess you know that he's looking out for the Army, the mission, the unit AND you. Take his advice clear all future entries with your SSgt. It's simple, if they insist on changes you don't want to make, don't post it and stop blogging. Neither you nor the Army needs the hassle.

Thanks for the blog and stay safe.

firstbrokenangel said...

NO NO NO NO NO!!!! CB - NO!!! Do not stop writing - ever!! Keep doing it - you have so many fans, so many people who care about you, so much to give and share and it's excellent. (I did tell you I'd do the editing and then you could send it in to get a book published!) You cannot stop! Absolutely not - write it all down, keep it all down and don't let it get censored. You need to do this; it is also the BEST THERAPY in the world. Not only have we learned about you, cared about you, boosted your morale, but we worry when you don't post. You haven't given anything away or any name out - are you kidding me, do not stop, I beg of you. We need you and you need us!!! Like that OP you did where you had to break into some person's home with his wife and kids sitting there having dinner - he was a bad guy and you guys took him out but you never said who he was or why he was being picked up so that's a good example of not giving out info that would bother or hurt anyone. This is good for you and it's great for us. My God, the love and support and encouragement given to you by all of us brings tears to my eyes. It's like 'ADOPTING A SOLDIER' but better and you can't give it up - no way in hell can you give it up - the world is reading you now and we all want to see this published some day but mostly, we have cared about you and your experiences, your humor, and grateful for not only being in IRAQ protecting our freedom and our rights - which are the same as yours even if you are in the Military!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's your first amendment right as it is for the rest of us. It's the first thing I do - I check in - you are a desktop item and I check every morning and every night to see your post or posts. There is nothing in what you've ever written over the past three months that would ever danger your base, your unit, you or any other soldier or an Iraqi people. My God, CB, it's the thing that keeps me going. You have not let anything out - those kinds of things you leave on the wordpad or notepad - so you can get to it later and add it in before you send it in to be published. CB, I would go nuts if you didn't write. I, like you, have read other soldier's posts, and you're right, it's like reading a recruit folder. That isn't what we need or want and it's not you. You could be a millionaire after you get back and get published; you are an excellent writer and you have let us into your life and your experiences and that, CB, is a GIFT!!!!!! Take full advantage of it, please, and DO NOT STOP WRITING AND NO ONE HAS TO READ IT BEFORE YOU POST IT, PLEASE. If you feel that you're scared and don't want to post, pick someone to send it to so they can hold it for you BUT pleazzzzzzzzzzze don't stop writing and posting and allowing us into your life. You are not doing anything wrong - you've created something that is absolutely marvelous. My God, the fighter pilot who got shot down as you guys came into Iraq - the young one - is now a CNN consultant plus he has his own show at times when he does interviews and he has other projects going for him as well. He visits newly homed people. He goes to counseling sessions for soldiers and he is making money hand over fist just because he was kidnapped, found later with others, and had an opportunity opened to him because he had a knack for it and now works for CNN and others as well. THAT IS WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU. And WE are going to continue to follow you even when you come home. No one needs to see what you write and say, okay, you can post that - you know better - you know what you can't say or do that's why I said to put that other kind of info on the notepad or wordpad for future use, but when you write, we are right there with you. And with all the prayers and all the love and support you are getting, it's like you have a protective barrier over you to keep you safe from harm. DO NOT LET THIS BE YOUR LAST POST. Please.....you mean so much to all of us and even tho the world may be reading you now and whom will continue to read your stuff every day..... you have every right to let us in and let it out and it's not harming anyone or the military. I've gone back to your very first post and read everything from there on up to the present and you have a GIFT that no one has the right to take away from you now or later. You aren't giving out secrets, you are not hurting anyone, you aren't telling the enemy anything, all you're doing is writing a journal about your experiences, without names, relieving everything inside you, so NO, CB, do not stop. You have to remember, we CARE about YOU. Do NOT give up or give in; you have nothing to fear, so take a deep breath, in, out, in, out, in, out, hold your head high, carry yourself with the dignity that you deserve and have and know there are probably millions who care about you, look forward to your posts, irregardless of what you say and I do not want to see ANYTHING change!!!! Your gut instinct, your gift, the fact that you can bring us right into whatever you are doing, makes you the greatest writer in the world right now and that is something you just cannot give up. If your commander wanted you to stop, he would have said so - but irregardless of the military, you have an integral right to write - an thereby not mentioning names and stuff, you are not putting anyone into danger. You've made quite an impression on us, on those who read your posts, and I'm sorry, I'd be lost if you stopped. It wouldn't be right. What you are doing is fantastic and I'm really passionate about what you say and yes, most of us have linked to you and told others to link to you - one guy wrote on his blogroll that your site "rocks" so he did read it as well but you can't stop. Hell, we don't even know your name but we will when it gets published. You've got a future even if this is the only thing you ever write and publish. Then it will be carried in libraries for others to read later in time, then history books. You are invaluable but most importantly, you are invaluable to your fans. WE CARE ABOUT YOU and when you post every day, we know you are OKAY. When you don't - like Sunday both 91ghost and myself made mention of it, so don't stop and don't give up and hell, don't be afraid of the brass. You're not talking politics, you're talking about YOU and your experiences. We've adopted you, CB and we're behind you 220%!!! NEVER DOUBT THAT. Never doubt it. All the way, we are being you, all the way and there is nothing the govt, the military or anybody has any right to say you cannot do this, so do not stop - ever!!!! I am not kidding. So take a deep breath, do not be afraid or intimidated, and just continue being you - curses and all.

Hugs

~ C

venom8514 said...

Please don't stop writing!! Most people give a generic view of this war, but you make it so personal. My husband is going back for his second tour and what you write about are all the things he's not saying. It's nice to have an idea of what's really going on over there so I understand him a little better. Plus you're just a great writer!!

marsfromspace said...

Keep writing...it is the best gift you can give to your self.

Desultory Girl said...

Whether or not this is you last post on the blog, I enjoyed getting to read your experiences. If you write the book I'll read it. I had good laughs reading this post and all you previous ones. It is like you dodged a full magazine, I would have been scared sh*tless too :). This is like a story with a happy ending, I'm almost in tears. My best to you, CB. I am proud of you and it is a pleasure to know you.

I can imagine you must be overwhelmed with everything, but you will do what's best for you. You and the troops are in my prayers for strength and safety.

perezidential said...

No, don't stop writing! You should just take their advice and allow someone to look it over. For whatever they tell you to take out, just post it in another private account, and when you get out of the Army, you could publish the whole uncensored truth in a book.

2S4F1273 said...

A couple of points:
Ain't success a bitch? You've hit lots of common nerves in people who might hit each other if they started sharing their "takes" on what you say. It would be great if you could keep going.

The platoon sergeant review is probably an inevitable compromise. But I hope he can avoid the impulse to pre-censor ("Do you have to say it that way?") as well as containing any editorial aspirations he didn't otherwise know he had. It's going to be hard enough for you to keep the edge that's made your blog the phenomenon it's become.

I copied all of your earlier posts when I was referred to this blog last Friday (2 cushions - CommandPost.com and rednecktexan.com). I've started reading through the posts and the comments and saw your book lists.

I'll add one: Achilles in Vietnam. The author is a psychotherapist specializing in PTSD who noted a lot of similarities between his patients and the descriptions of Achilles' behavior in the Iliad. Very powerful book.
Here's a review link: http://www.albany.edu/scj/jcjpc/vol2is5/achilles.html

Stay very safe, keep your head down and watch your blog back as well as your physical back.

di said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
liminal said...

It would truly be a damn shame if you stopped your blog CB. So, please don't. At least continue writing for yourself and publish it later. And you definitely should publish. You have a really unique voice. So, don't slow down for anybody.

your iraqi-american comrade-in-words,
lim.

gremlin said...

Keep writing. Stay Safe. They're just CYA for OPSEC reasons. You're a good soldier, so you don't have anything to worry about.

1SG MP (ret)
Mosul Iraq '03

Sara said...

CB--you are the stuff of legends...I have so many analogies running through my head about your current situation (getting "caught"), but, really, they don't matter. I too about passed out when I read the title of your post. As ridiculous as it sounds, I felt stressed out reading your description in much the same way that you did "getting sent to the principal's office." I think we are all impressed with how many different kinds of people you are reaching and affecting (wow, the Pentagon!), but the one I am most impressed with: the fact that one of your fellow soldiers was sitting right next to you, reading your words, without a clue as to who you are. It's...well, the word "magical" comes to mind. That soldier, and the other soldiers who are reading this, need you more than we back home do. I think you are doing a far greater service to them than you realize (read: MORALE). Would I like it if you stop posting? Hell no. I'm almost embarrassed to think how obsessed I am with your blog. But, I'm sucked in. I think it's more than obvious now that we want you to produce a book when you come home. But if you can't, just GET HOME SAFE anyway. Keep writing, whether here, or through email (email yourself your posts if you have to!), or an "old fashioned" journal. Your whole experience in Mosul, heck, even your time in the army, has been transformed by your writing. Who woulda thought that it would take a trip around the world to go fight in a war to produce an amazing, talented writer? You never thought of being a writer before, it's just kinda happened. That's vocation, pure and simple. Regardless of whether you continue your blog or not, you now have more opportunities than you ever thought possible. That is a gift. You gave us a gift, and we want to return the favor. It's freaking Christmas practically, the way you are being offered things left and right. You're right: there are an amazing amount of good people out there. We know you aren't doing this in the hopes of someone footing your college tuition bill, or making you a rockstar, or whatever. You started this as a response to the "pure garbage" that you encountered. You wanted to present the truth. Beyond fighting for your country, what's more noble than that? I'm also beginning to blather, like a previous poster said, but damnit, it's because I/we care about you more than we even understand ourselves. I can imagine if you got shut down, there would be a petition for your re-instatement overnight. And you know what? If the Pentagon reads you (it's funny to think of a building as an entity), and finds no issue, well, you're doing fine.

P.S. I keep meaning to email you about some books I want to send you--and I better do it now, so you can have some new material to read if you do end up with a lot of free time. ;)

strykeraunt said...

Hey Di, could you please give CB's wife a big hug from a stryker soldier's aunt!! She must be very proud (in more ways than one) of this very fine man she married. These guys have had me on pins and needles for the last 10 months...I am looking forward to that freedom bird that will be bringing them home. (sorry kilr0y, that was a little sappy:D)

CB, don't you dare stay there in order to continue this blog. You need to bring your butt home with the rest of the brigade...pass the torch on to someone in the 1-25 and get that book published. I am one of the thousands that will buy at least one copy. Could I possibly get a signed copy?? :D

Conor said...

If you keep writing, we'll keep reading. Be safe and good luck.

Rich Maclone said...

Hey man, just found your blog by accident. I hope you keep writing, it's good for the soul. May God bless you and your fellow troops. I hope the war ends tomorrow, but until it does I hope Jesus protects you and your friends and your brothers in arms. If you ever get to Cape Cod, you drink for free with me and the boys

Billy Vonnegut said...

What an amazing BC. He could have handled this in so many fucked up ways. His actions alone have changed my view of the military almost as much as yours. Blog, don't blog. You've done far more than anyone expected of you already. Go out on top if you're tiring of it. I'm appreciative of what youv've dump on us thus far.

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." -Hunter S. Thompson

firstbrokenangel said...

see? You couldn't have more support if you asked for it - you got it and I agree - we'll pay the $2.00 an hour! I am not kidding; for everyone if necessary but you know how to pull us in with you and that is a true gift. You'll do fine, just relax and don't worry about it - besides you're not giving out secrets - or names - a good writer is YOU.

DO NOT STOP WRITING - CURSES AND ALL!!

AGAIN...

~C

tropical said...

cb the way i read it, you've been given the go-ahead by the higher ups. i mean if they wanted it shut down, why wouldn't they have just ordered you to shut down. the way i see it, you are SAFER now if you continue to blog. why well because 1) the sgt is going to review it, 2) the officers know about it and told you you can continue. at this point, if anything does hit the fan later on it looks to me like there are alot of heads between you and the fan. like all of the above. they knew, they reviewed how can you catch sh---t?

Army Mom said...

Keep writing. They would have already shut you down if they wanted to do that. Now you're "protected." Even the news reporters need to be reviewed so they don't spill beans that should be confidential so as to protect you guys. We're all here rooting for you and praying for you and every other red blooded American there!!! I'm a teacher. Please thank a teacher, your parents, and keep up your great work on and off the field!

Jrkms

summer said...

You better not stop writing. i will be so mad. The first thing I do every morning is read your blog. Dont stop writing please. This blog is going to make you rich. I can feel it.

Pat in NC said...

Since you are paying in order to post, I assume you do not have a laptop computer. If you have to submit your copy before posting, that would be a problem. Rather than donations toward hourly fees, getting you your own computer would be better. Is there a computer and printer available in the command center? If they want to proof your copy, request access, write, save,print and then post when okayed. Please keep writing for the emotional release it must give you. God bless you and all of our troops.

Some Soldier's Mom said...

CB... Please do not stop blogging. Two of my sons are in the service and one is on his way to the Box now... Your blog is a link to him (though not in a Stryker Brigade) and to all the other soldiers we support whole heartedly. We have a huge family of doctors, nurses, lawyers, mailmen, computer geeks and we ALL read your blog. You really are the no. 1 spokesperson for the Armed Services at the moment. Keep blogging, CB. You'll be glad you did. WE'LL be glad you did. It is a real service to us all.

Jolly Roger said...

Dude, Keep writing. From an 30 yr old ex 101st soldier, and self admitting news junkie. your blog is the first that I've found is actually letting us know what it's like. the miniscule amount of real Journalism coming out of Iraq ( that americans get to see) is sooooo frustrating. Doctors lawyers all those people now you can count a bunch of tattooist in that as well.
www.jollyrogertattoo.com

Keep writing, dont endanger the mission but keep it up...

Bithead said...

No reason to stop at this point.
Sounds to me like the man was trying to avoid leaving you the impression you'd been chewed out, here.

I'd take it at that, and keep going... but I would have the stuff cleared, as he says, first. Not that I think you'd ever endanger the guys your with by intent, but ya never know. And anwyay, letting them vet the stuff seems a reasonable policy, given the conditions you're dealing with.

(Shrug)
Keep going.

Jason said...

Keep up the good work.

artbyruth said...

CB- What you need to do is write a really complimentary post about your BC...you know, about his life and courageous military service to our country! Wink, wink.

Just kidding.

YOU MUST KEEP POSTING! Please keep writing. You are doing your country a great service by keeping us informed with the truth...it is the TRUTH that sets us free.

Write for yourself and your own peace of mind. We all support your efforts and pray for your safety.

God is indeed with you!

preacher_medic said...

CB--I hope you continue to blog, but the decision has to be yours. You are doing a great service not only for civilians, but for the morale of your fellow soldiers. You put a personal voice to the things taking place over here. Although your "relative" anonymity is no longer there, you still have the freedom to continue. I agree with Gil, your BC gave you the greenlight. Please continue it through at least till you redeploy home and we know you are safe. God Bless you and your unit for being in harm's way and may He keep you safe.

aznando said...

Hey man,

I have never commented here yet but like thousands of other people read everyday. First thing when i wake up I read your blog. I'm addictid I hear that from alot of people that I tell about this Blog. Ive been reading since close to the begging. I think i found it from a friend on a Military website somewhere I dont even remember. After that Men in Black entry I had to tell everybody i knew about this Blog. They loved it too. I love reading this thing and I know its gotta end eventually but wish it wouldn't come now. It's going to be kinda a drag to shoot everything by your PLT Sgt before you post. It takes the journal just writing what you feel aspect out of it. I dunno what your going to do, but thought I would just toss in my support for this Blog and wish you luck.

Peter V said...

Even a story about getting an "at-a-boy" you can make me feel like I'm going to throw-up. Keep up the writing and posting.

Stay safe we are praying for you and your fellow soliders (including the BC).

Pennstate said...

CB,

You know what is amazing about your blog? Your words have to ability to captivate a diverse audience, regardless of their political/religious/social/moral ideologies. Whether they agree with you or not, they can't help but to respect your opinions and you as a person. And I suspect part of respect has comes from the fact that your writing is so Human and unhindered by political/religious labels. I wish our "leaders" in politics/government today have your ability to unite and reason with people. What makes you so principled is that you don't care much for "principles". I thank you not only for entertaining us but also for challenging us to realize how much "off-the-shelf" political beliefs have hindered our reasoning process.

exfbonnie said...

Dangle that F'in carrot, CB.

phenderson said...

CB,

All I can say, is I too am addicted to your blog...
Keep posting. I have a brother who is in the Army and he is currently stationed in Bosnia (last day is December 31st). I can truly say, that I certainly appreciate what you have done for me and many others who need to have our eyes constantly opened to the physical, emotional and psychological risks and tolls created by the war on those who serve in the armed forces.
I hope GOD watches over you and protects you and the rest of the soldiers.
I would not change anything about your blog outside of the coarse language often used, but then again, you are a soldier and that is what soldiers and sailors do.
Keep on blogging. I don't think you will get in any trouble, now that thousands, perhaps millions of eyes are watching your back, on a daily basis...

The Colossus said...

Keep writing.

Keep it to stuff that can't possibly compromise the unit -- after action stuff on your fights, how the battle looks and feels, how the folks in your unit take care of each other. Stay away from politics.

People read you for the color. There is no one in the press with the balls to do what you are doing, which is real war reporting. They sit in the Green Zone and think they're in Havana pre-Castro.

If you get a chance, get Bernard Fall's "Street Without Joy" -- or shoot me an email, and I'll send it to you.

God bless you. Shoot straight.

David said...

I would encourage you to keep writing. As long as you use common sense in what you are including, which I think you've done so far, its unlikely that it will have bad consequences for you. Plus. as you are seeing, there is a huge demand for no-bullshit reporting on what is happening in Iraq. The more you keep writing, the more you tap into that markey, and the more likely you can turn it into something when your tour is over.

Suzanne said...

Try it out. Let them do whatever it is they want to do and see if it works for you. You can always decide later if it's too weird or just doesn't work for you. Just don't leave us hanging without even giving it a try.

Please.

And he's right, you should try for a book deal.

alix said...

well, i s'pose this is gonna be comment number 951, so noone's gonna read it, but i thought i'd give it a shot...

cb, you scared the shit out of me! but i heartily commend your BC for his restraint and wisdom. guess he likes seeing someone tell the truth, too, because he's prolly tired of the watered down version the press is producing (emphasis on producing, btw).

anyhoo, when this war began, i considered myself a pacifist. apparently not a staunch one, as it didn't take long reading your blog to turn my head around. mind you, there are about as many opinions on this war as there are elbows, but the common ground is that we support our brothers, sisters, fathers, sons, third cousins (you get the idea...) who are over there fighting the good fight.

the media does a HUGE disservice to our country by not telling the TRUTH, good and bad. you, sir, have rectified that. i hope one day that i'll be able to hear your name, see your face, and say a silent prayer of thanks for what you have done, for me and thousands of others.

if you do not write another word here, write it for yourself. make the experience serve YOU. blessings abundant to you and your wife. i'm still be praying for you and your fellow soldiers every night...

from the lonely woman/soccer mom - now who's busted? ROFL!

apocalypse now said...

Hey Charlie Bravo, just checked out your site for the first time. I heard about it from some guy in my company. Anyways I was there with you when the shit went down in Mosul. It really brings back that day vividly for me. I was scared shitless too, even if i was only in the drivers hatch. Anyways I'd like to thank you for putting the word out, the news really didnt do us justice. Its nice to hear good things about our unit for a change (go to hell SOF). I hope you continue to share our experiances, it is very well written and I enjoy your work.
PS---michael savage sucks!

lucas said...

I really appreciate what you are doing and I hope you continue to do it.

David said...

KEEP WRITING! The best we get here is is the liberal left telling us how wrong the whole war is. Right or wrong, it is a war we are in and you are bringing the truth home. Most of America supports your effort but never gets the opportunity to say how much we appreciate what you are doing because that does not sell news or the Democrat agenda they support. Your comparison of reality to what CNN and the BrokawRatherTodayShow bunch feed us daily was classic. Your writing is fresh and from the heart. GREAT JOB!!! If I were Tom Clancy, I would be concerned about now!!

tim mccolgan said...

Don't even entertain the idea of quitting writing....you are a diamond in the rough!!! Don't worry about any errors in spelling or grammar....All that will come. If you don't continue the blog, at least keep a detailed journal for when you get back. At an absolute minimum...do posts to keep everybody up to date on how you are doing. People DO care about you guys. I hope you do continue, just as all the previous posts indicate. I look at this every day...thanks for ALL you do, both on the battlefield, as well as the computer screen. Ya gotta look at as thumbs up from above!!!!! Stay Safe & Rock On!!!

cbran said...

Don't you dare stop writing!
I just found your blog today and was so riveted that I've been reading from the beginning instead of getting my work done!

You have really brought it home to thousands of us in a way that our (mostly) sorry media ever could or would. You are more appreciated than you could ever know.

Keep writing!

betsy said...

CB, please do not stop writing. You not only show us what is really going on over there, you put us in the middle of it. There are very few of your entries that I read that do not leave my heart pounding for one reason or another. Whatever you decide to do keep safe, come home and write that book!

Blog Guy said...

CB, since I found your blog I've gone back and read every post and I've sent the link to everyone I know. As has been said already on here, the choice is yours and you can only do whats good for CB. BUT... know that you have an army of fans out there that will keep reading and supporting if you need it. Thanks for all you and your brothers over there are doing.

And if you find yourself on a layover in D/FW airport on the way home let me know and the beer is on me!

Josh said...

You shouldn't stop. It's really one of the most illuminating things I've ever read, about my generation or otherwise.

Steve said...

CB, I don't usually add comments to blogs that I read but I had to tell you how much I enjoy reading your Blogs.. this is the only way I can get the straight scoop about what's going on over there.. I don't even watch the network news anymore cause they are so full of shit. Please continue to write!!

Semper Fi
Steve M.

MickeyMe said...

I've already sent you an e-mail saying my column about you, "This American Author's Blunt Observations," is up and running. Now, listen everyone: if CB does get told to stop this blog, we have the right to protest in his behalf. Don't think we can't do it. We can.

CB, I was a civilian employee for both the Army and the Air Force for 20+ years. Both are famous for the old "up and out" routine. Who knows? Their next step for you could be a promotion and a safe, quiet, stateside job behind a desk. Hey, don't knock it. I saw more than one guy get this treatment. It's called blackmail. So what?

If you want to include an e-mail address here for your top dog... well, it's no sin to write him and thank him and his troops for their fine job. Hmmm?

Garret said...

Good grief... well, it's not like I can add anything that the previous buhjillion people haven't, but I will say that I can understand if the blog is becoming something of a monster. I've read where people started a blog, the blog becomes really popular, and then maintaining it becomes a real chore for the author.

I'd hate for this to become like another job to you. As long as you get something positive out of this, keep on truckin'. Follow your instincts on this one. :)

itismedavid said...

CB -

I can't add anything more meaningful than others have said but just add another 'tick' mark under the number of people who read and LOVE this blog. American soldier said it best (and I have now added him to my daily read list - many people are addicted to these real-life blogs; I guess we really need to get our own lives).

Don't stop posting unless it becomes too much of a hassle. If they don't let you post on "missions", write about the weather, what book you're reading, publish poetry, whatever. Just let us know how you and everyone in the plt is doing.

Keep up the great work.

Mel said...

I found your blog two days ago and read you quoted in the Tacoma News Tribune this morning. I hope you never stop writing, ever. Keep up the excellent work.

Why Can't We All Just Get Along? said...

DON'T STOP!!!

I have been wondering what was going to happen as your site has been becoming more and more popular, and I don't think it could have gone any better. I knew the higher-ups would find out sooner or later. I have not seen anything in your posts that would jepordize you or anyone around you, especially since it is kept anonymous. Keep on writing!!! The perspective you provide all of us is unmatched by anything. When i discovered your site about a month ago I was floored by it, and I still am. If for some reason you do decide to stop posting to your blog, make sure to continue your writing in a journal or something to be published later. I will buy that book anyday. Keep it up and good luck.

scubabbl said...

"With great power comes great responsibility!" Honestly, the path you have begun to travel down is a one way street my friend. It would be irresponsible to do otherwise. You words help document a war that not many people understand. You put it down without theme music, fancy graphics, or talking heads, in a no-spin kind of way. If for no other reason, at least continue to write for history's sake.

Homefront Six said...

NO! Don't stop blogging! I just found your site THIS WEEK and I'm loving it. My husband is loving it. Keep blogging!

jenden said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mary said...

I just wanted to say thank you. My husband is a Marine and a lot of our friends are over there right now fighting alongside you. Your grammar isn't perfect, but the pictures you set up for us certainly couldn't be more inspired. Thank you for telling us what's happening in a candid and honest way, with no regard for politics or perfection. That's all most of us really want- to hear the truth from those who live it.

Thanks so much for writing and PLEASE continue. You should put all your posts together and call a publisher. You posts are definitely book-worthy. I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

Stay safe. Everyday we pray for ya'll.

Bug Me Not said...

Man don't give up. Keep on blogging your firsthand accounts are genuine and that is what should be reported. My personal experiences have shown that when you are involved in an action that by the time you read about it, you'd swear it was some other unit somewhere else. The media and Stars & Stripes censure the facts so much that they lose credibility. I hope that your BC and other officers in your command allow you to continue posting the truth as you see it. You are the true journalist calling it as you see it. Please work as safely as possible and hurry home, I and my family have the deepest respect and admiration for you and your fellow soldiers. Thank you, we appreciate what you are doing, so hang in there and keep on blogging. We'll be praying for you.

XXXXX said...

CB,

I'm headed over in a few weeks to work as a security contractor and i've been reading your blog since I saw a post about it on lightfighter.com

All I can say is keep it real bro. You obviously have the OPSEC and PERSEC down. People read your blog because you tell it like it is. Don't ever change that. I know it may be harder now that you're not anonymous anymore, but just keep on doing what you've been doing and everything's gonna be alright. You're cool in the breeze man.

Your blog is a refreshingly honest and personal perspective of what you are experiencing over there. As you can see many many people look forward to reading what your posts and hearing about your experiences and knowing that you are ok. But the decision of whether to continue posting or not is at this point in time up to you. Do what you feel is right brother.

But keep it real.

Stay safe and keep your powder dry

Brian H said...

Hey, wassa matter? Can't stand success? The variety of people who like your work may feel intimidating, but if you can trust yourself to have that much influence on that many people, carry on. If you think you will screw up and get stomped by enraged hordes, give up.

It's OK to do well. As long as you don't believe all the hyperbolic praise and criticism, you'll do well.

Zosocrowe said...

It would sadden me to see you stop blogging. The words you write are real, honest, and truthful...the exact opposite of what we are fed over here in the US by the various medias. People here want to hear the truth. They want to know what's going on. You have given us all a window to see. For that, we are indebted to you. Keep writing. Keep posting your thoughts, your feelings, your experiences. Not necessarily for all of us, but for yourself as well. Stay safe.

Jerry said...

Man, I hope you'll consider some input from a retired AF guy who got a LOR seven years back for having completely unclassified information on a free web page for my unit. You've got a chain of command that appreciates your efforts - and this experience won't hurt when it comes time for your next stripe or performance eval.

Keep writing. It's good for us all.

J. Lawson
10 years active AF
13 years AF Reserve

this we'll defend said...

As somebody who worked with your BDE CO a decade ago I can tell you he is one of those guys who always does the right thing. You can trust him. If he wants your PSG to read before posting that is for OPSEC and for the families back home. You should continue writing - he wants you to do so. He wouldn't be an officer worth crap if he lied to you - an officer shouldn't lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do. If he said you can keep writing then you can.

OPSEC is obvious. The other concern might be the impact your posts can have on morale.

As I mentioned in an email to you, your company assignment is known to those who know what to look for in order to figure it out. Imagine your PSG does something you disagree with, or makes a mistake, or whatever. If you write how much you think he sucks or that he is an idiot, etc, then it could have a devestating impact on your unit. Others will trumpet your right to be a journalist, your right of free speech, etc, but you aren't a journalist and your job is to be a machine gunner, not a writer. Your commander's job is to do what is in the best interests of the unit, not to ensure accurate reporting. Thus your blogging is not the same as a letter home to a loved one. As you noted you have an enormous readership and that means you could do enormous damage - albeit unintentionally.

So your chain of command wants your PSG to read what you write before posting. That doesn't mean pre-censoring, it means that they want your stuff checked for anything that might damage the unit. My guess is that you don't want to damage your unit, so it will never be an issue.

If the PSG wants to edit for style, or wants to press his political opinions on you, etc - that is a different thing entirely. But I don't think you should worry about that unless it happens. Your Bn CO and Bde CO are not attempting to do that at all.

One thing about your BDE CO, Col. Mike Rounds (that is public info so no OPSEC violation) - he takes the side of a soldier first out of habit. I had a soldier I wanted to punish when I was in Korea. The guy was a drunk, a total problem child, drunk on duty AWOL dirtbag kind of guy. I wrote him up, and blah blah blah a special courtmartial was held with Col (then Maj) Rounds as judge. I asked for the max penalty, and Col. Rounds gave him the minimum. Why? Because I didn't have all of my paperwork done correctly and it came down to my word against the dirtbags - and that was my fault. It wasn't that Col. Rounds didn't believe me, it was because if there was any doubt at all that doubt should be resolved in favor of the soldier. And he was right. The system is there to protect the soldier from abuse, and if an officer doesn't dot every i and cross every t then that is the officer's fault, not the system's. Making it "easier" to max out a soldier's punishment would not be in the best interests of the Army, even though everybody agreed that this guy was a dirtbag that was guilty.

You can trust Mike Rounds to always do what is right for the Army.

Drake Steel said...

Greetings,

I don't know who I am more proud of you or your Commander. Most of us who read this are most likely intense readers and to most non-reader types that is very intimidating. I am very impressed that you are being lead by a man who understands the value of getting the message out and isn't afraid of his troops having a thought that didn't start with him. Oddly enough I found that most leaders are that way.

Conversely I'm appalled at the coverage of the news media. Every once in a while there is a local paper who sends a guy to Iraq and gets some good stuff but the major news services seem to get their info straight from Al Jezera! When they talk about a battle they use whatever figures denegrate the effect the most. "Local hospitals report 18 pregnant women killed in the fiercest fighting US troops have done." or some such. Somebody's got to tell it like it is and I'm glad you've stepped up to the plate!

What? said...

"I felt more scared now then I did on the 5th of Nov."
I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything at the time, That was a good one.

But it is BS that I had to start a blog to make this comment. You Suck if you now choose to stop writing because it was you who finially made me compromise my principles and start a blog just so I could leave some stupid little comment on your blog. Not that your blog needs more comment makers. You have enough fawning admirers and deserve them all.

What?ever!

tarzan said...

What you are doing is History man,keep writing.
your blog and hopefully book afterwards is an important document of this war and these times and for it to be inculded in the units history and achives if great.
America deserves more poeple like you man, keep up the good fight and stay say and by all means keep writing.
God keep you safe man.

David said...

Sounds to me like he's cool with it. Hang in there, man. You're doing a GOOD thing!

What do i matter? said...

Hey, I found your blog threw a link from madorge.com a few days ago, and got so in to it I’ve read most likely 2/3 of it just a few days, I’m very impressed with the realism in it. You never here this kind of story one the news, and a view from the soldiers eyes really puts all of it in to perspective, I know if you ever wrote a book, I’d by it! But I’m really just posting a comment to encourage you to keep writing. Of course I don’t think any one would want you to write any thing that would endanger any of the armed forces in any way, and I can understand why your Battalion Commander would want to talk to you, so I wouldn’t let that spoke you. Just keep writing as you have been. Like you said this is going to most likely be the most documented war in history because of the on set of digital cameras and e-mail and web blogs. This is just one facet of it. Well I hope you’ll decide to keep writing, but above all keep safe and take care.

BurtB said...

I just got here from
http://www.mudvillegazette.com/archives/001147.html
so in case you are going off the air;

Thank you for your service to your country.
May God bless you and keep you safe.

A little too raw for me, but I am glad your voice is being added to the chorus.

Jennifer said...

My opinion is - DON'T QUIT. If you're into blogging, if you feel like blogging, if ideas and thoughts still come to you and you say to yourself, "Hey, I ought to blog that," then don't stop now. If your CO is ok with it and you're not violating OPSEC, then there should be no problem(s).Keep up your efforts, keep your chin up, watch your six and thank you for your service to our Country, you are appreciated by this American.

Jennifer Martinez sends

ChrisTina said...

Hi,

I just found your blog via Livejournal and find it very interesting to read. I've never been one to keep up on the news, unless I find it though a link someone has posted on their own blog. I do hope you continue to blog, even though it might be a pain in the butt to have all your posts previewed.

Take care,

ChrisTina

madtom said...

I know what it was.
When I first read the lines, They hit me back like a ton of bricks.
In that post where you said that "we police'em up"
or something to that effect, you directly contradicted the Secretary of Defense's public policy statement.
And till today when I read this, I was afraid to say anything on the comments, so as to not make any trouble, you know I love this site and I believe that what you are doing is revolutionary and will change wars and how we interact, solders-citizens for ever. Blog on CB
I will go read the comments now and see what the other say.

Madtom

cb said...

The cat's definitely out of the bag on this blog! I saw it momentarily on the StrykerNews.com site (it was pulled, however.) It has GOT TO BE the best account I've seen, read or heard on what is happening in Mosul. We don't ever read anything of consequence on what is really going on with our Stryker soldiers! My son is a Stryker in Mosul, and we pray everyday & night for his and everyone else's safe return.

Don't stop writing - we need to hear the true facts on this war - your candid writing is important to us all. We certainly won't get anything close to real facts or truth from the media, much less our government. Thanx for helping to let Freedom Ring!

TmjUtah said...

I do not have time to read all of the previous comments but in response to your consideration that you may stop your blog I can only ask - respectfully - that you please continue.

Not to provide strangers vicarious gratification through your incredible experiences.

Not for any reader's desire to be informed.

Not to make anybody feel good or, on the flip, to avoid offending anyone.

Write because it makes you whole. Write because it gives you depth and space and perspective and even release.

Think back to the last day before you ever kept a journal. Think of now. Then decide if you can go back.

I am very happy to learn your C.O. is a leader and not just a pay grade. It sounds like he's already earned your respect; you must surely know that is the highest honor any commander can ever hope to obtain.

If I had to guess why your blog received official notice it would be your use of other soldier's names and billets in connection with wounds. That's just my opinion. Having the platoon sergeant check it out sounds like a reasonable defense against inadvertant pain stateside.

Whatever your decision on the blog, know that this is one former Marine (80-88) who has appreciated your sacrifice, bravery, and duty, as well as that of your brothers in the brigade. Your decision to share your experiences and observations is a gift beyond what you have already done.

Thank you. We're praying for you here in Happy Valley.

Marie said...

Oh my gosh my heart was pounding. I thought for sure they'd tell you you couldn't blog anymore. Thanks so much for your efforts. I've read your stories but this is my first response. I just wanted to thank you for all the time and effort you've put forth.

best wishes marie

PS: I'm an artist love Picasso's Guernica at the top of the page.

Jason said...

Man, I have been checking this blog out for a few weeks now and I have to say its refreshing to be able to see what things are REALY like over there. Here its just this happened today, heres the body count, thats why we should/shouldnt be there. The leftist media over here is totaly politicising the whole thing trying to get Kerry elected. Its nice to see a point of view rather that someone's slant on things for a change. I know what we have to go by over here is kicked to the left and spun before it gets to us, but i totaly suport the idea of freedom, and thats what its pretty much about. Write it like it is man, and dont let anyone tell you different. You may not be able to POST it today like it is, but there is always tomorow. Man i hope you keep it going, and keep it real (and keep your ARSE safe)

Rigel said...

I'd never read a blog until I came across your site, the closest was personal websites with the authors opinions on it. I really feel you need to keep on with what you're doing. Don't do it because your readers tell you to do it, don't do it because your BC says it's OK, do it because you like doing it and want to continue.

You might be in the infantry now, but you are also a writer. You have the soul of a poet and the poet's personal demon has always been sharing their thoughts and dreams with ordinary people. You ARE a writer and people need to hear your story for your story is, in a sense, our story too. Writing is more than spelling, punctuation and grammar. Writing is sharing your thoughts in such a way that those who read your words feel that they were there with you. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are merely editing.

Keep the faith. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all of our soldiers these days.

Rick in Omaha

Beck said...

You're a true American, and you have my support, for whatever tiny amount that's worth.

Tammi said...

CB

I can well imagine the fear you were feeling before and during the talk with you BC. But it really does sound like he's impressed and if he wanted you to stop he would have done what has happened to other MilBloggers and just told you to shut 'er down.

Having the material checked is good all around. It keeps any mistakes from happening and it still allows you to write.

You do what's best for you, but what your writing has come to mean to so many, both in the Sand Box and over here, speaks volumes.

Since I'm such an optimist, I'll be watching for your next post.

Cindy said...

Having someone proof read a hobby? Kinda like having someones nose up your ASS 24/7. I would have to think about that too. I would understand if you quit, but I would miss you.

nygal said...

Gosh Darn It, CB!! I figured sooner or later the higer-ups would track you down. Now, we have to watch what we say too - don't want to get you in any trouble!
As far as continuing your blog - just start another one/different title/name/ and say it's from Baghdad or something! At the very least keep writing in your journal and when you get out continue your blog or publish it - or send home your blog reports and have one of us post them under an assumed name/title (deep throat?? ha ha)
As you can see, none of us want to see you go! I have more admiration, understanding, and awe for our fighting men since reading your blog! Also, more compassion and empathy...Please dont just disappear on us - we really do care about you!

ALSO found this online about CB's battle:
Thought this was an interesting testament to CB's earlier post about the MOSUL fight...

Stryker brigade slammed by insurgents
By MICHAEL GILBERT
Tacoma News Tribune
August 10, 2004

- It didn't get much media coverage, but troops from the Stryker brigade say fighting last Wednesday in Mosul was the heaviest and most sustained combat they've seen in their nine months in Iraq.

Insurgents with mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, AK-47s and improvised bombs fought a series of coordinated, running attacks against Stryker and Iraqi troops. One estimate put the number of attackers at 30 to 40, another at more than 100.

Either way, U.S. and Iraqi forces killed an undetermined number of them - the official estimate is at least a dozen - while suffering no losses themselves.

About a dozen Stryker troops were wounded; all but two returned to duty, said Lt. Col. Kevin Hyneman, the brigade's deputy commander.

The two more seriously wounded include Lt. Damon Armeni, 25, of Tacoma, Wash., who is reported in critical condition and is awaiting surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for shrapnel wounds, his family said Monday. There was no information available Monday about the other wounded soldier.

A soldier in Armeni's company - Blackhawk Company of the 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment - said the lieutenant was injured by a rocket-propelled grenade blast after maneuvering his Stryker in to protect five infantrymen under fire.

In an interview Monday, Hyneman said the fighting took place on the east and west sides of the Tigris River, which bisects the city, and at a hotel near the northernmost of the city's five major bridges. The insurgents also attacked a hospital and a power plant, and ambushed Stryker convoys as they rolled past multistory buildings on the way to the fight, according to other sources.

Insurgents in Mosul typically attack Iraqi authorities and American troops with car bombs, sporadic mortar fire into U.S. camps and small-scale ambushes with small arms and RPGs.

"Anti-Iraqi forces tried a pretty widespread offensive action, uncharacteristically," Hyneman said. "I think they were surprised by how the Iraqi National Guard and the coalition fought together as a team."

The official version as reported that evening in a news release by Task Force Olympia, the Fort Lewis, Wash.-based command for northern Iraq, said "multinational forces served in a supporting role, providing additional support where and when the Iraqi leaders involved in the attacks requested it."

Hyneman and the task force spokesman, Lt. Col. Paul Hastings, said the fighting drew in virtually all the troops in the brigade's two infantry battalions in Mosul, as well as elements from other brigade units in the city.

One soldier described what it was like on his Web log on the Internet. The soldier, who identifies himself as CBFTW, is attracting readers with his absorbing, personal account of Army life in Mosul.

"We were driving there on that main street, when all of the sudden all hell came down all around on us, all these guys wearing all black ... a couple dozen on each side of the street, on rooftops, alleys, edge of buildings, out of windows, everywhere just came out of ... nowhere and started firing RPGs and AK-47s at us," he wrote.

CBFTW described how a bullet passed in one side of his buddy's helmet and out the other without hitting his buddy - he just suffered a concussion.

"Bullets were pinging off our armor all over our vehicle, and you could hear multiple RPGs being fired and flying through the air and impacting all around us. All sorts of crazy insane Hollywood explosions ... going on all around us," he wrote. "I've never felt fear like this. I was like, this is it, I'm going to die. ...We shot our way out of it and drove right through the ambush."

Hyneman said about a dozen Strykers were damaged, mostly the tires and slat armor that protects the vehicles from RPGs. All were repaired and returned to service within two days, he said.





--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

madtom said...

Well I have read about half way down, and I disagree.
CB has proven in his writing that he understands very well the complexity of what he's doing. And it is his life that is on the line. He's a solder. He knows what's up on the ground.
Give me a break, I think CB has a proven record, and I don't think he need anyone to hold his hand.
Let me read on.

Madtom

Bill Faith said...

Keep writing, please. You and Ginmar are the only way a lot of us back home have of knowing what it's really like over there, and her
brass puts limits on what she can say. It sounds like you have backing in high places, so go with it, please.

Be safe, and tell your buds one more guy back home says "Thanks."

Kevin said...

Losing blog anonymity sucks. Once you know people who can affect your life (for better or worse) are reading your stuff, you start to self-censor. It's impossible not to - I've been there, done that. My blog isn't nearly as interesting now that my family reads it. Well, that and the fact that I'm back in CONUS and no longer in Kuwait.

Once people know who you are and what you're writing, they act differently around you, trying to figure out if you're going to say good or bad things about them, or give you something to write about.

Best bet? Keep writing this blog and start a new blog. Don't tell *anyone* you work with about the new one. This blog can be the "official", slightly cleaned up version, and the new one can be totally raw like this one currently is. That way you'll have all your writing next year. Cause if you don't write it down as it happens, you'll lose it.

You're not fucked.... He likes your shit. As control-freaky as Army officers are (I'm a Navy O so I have issues with them/how the army runs itself), the fact that he is letting you continue means he digs your shit and expects you to continue.
Apparently you've never been to the Army equivalent of XOI or Captains Mast. (which is good) If they are mad at you then don't let you sit down or offer you coffee.

Finally, in this case it's a good thing that he knows who you are. First impressions matter and you hit this one out of the park. I bet he doesn't offer to lend books to his 2nd LT's.

BIGPAW said...

CB-
don't stop blogging!!!! your blog is the only one that i look at. i can't wait every morning i wake and ask i myself i wonder if cb wrote today? then i tell my wife that you wrote and i read it to her cause she is almost blind and can't read the screen. she is a big fan like i am. so, if you stop blogging then my whole routine gets all whacked out. you have alot of fans that want a
differnet perspective on the war and that is what you offer. so, don't let anyone tell you how to write and what to write. thank you for all the work you and your buddies do. be safe.

rsjm said...

Keep it up man. It's good for us to read. We need it. And your BC agrees. In a way, you've just been given approval and what could be better than that.

take care of yourself

DirtCrashr said...

He was right, the Hunter Thompson movie sucked and the book was better in ways that NO movie could ever begin to approach. He offered to loan you a book? Be sure you follow-up and borrow it, and then remember to return it! :-) Sorry about your lost anonymity, that's a cherry that won't come back, but you gain a depth of experience and it requires a heightened sense of clarity. But keep your head down. Keep writing, it's already better than Swofford's "Jarhead" from the last Gulf war. That was a good book, but his post-war college writing classes/validation exercises began to show through towards the end, and the pandering to writing-class liberals' need to build up and equate WAR with "pornography and violence" got louder too, just to echo what they finally, desperately, wanted to hear but could not let themselves be a part of.

-keith in mtn. view

Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Retrans from R. Scott:This might be my last entry, I haven't decided yet to end this, or continue this. I don't know what to make of all this yet.Keep up the work, it’ll come in handy some day.
When I was in Viet Nam I kept a diary for awhile with the intention of writing a book someday - but then I figured no one would ever believe what they read. I sure wish I still had it. Letters home get lost as well as diaries.
What you have is a concise soldiers eye account of what is happening on nearly a day to day basis. We have a lot of books about the “Big Picture” written by Generals and reporters. Very few by the grunts, and they make the best reading. The idea your Battalion Commander had of using your stuff for the unit histories is a good one. The unit history for the 329th TC (my old unit) was a paragraph stating that we participated in numerous missions - and that covered several years!
By the way - did you get stuck writing up the awards?

Jesse said...

Keep posting, what you are saying is important, if only to the folks who have never been there. Play safe and keep your eye's peeled. js

Steve-O said...

I just found out about this blog and have read it up and down tonight..all I have to say is keep the faith and keep writing. It's easy for people to sit here in the States and rail on the war or praise the war efforts, knowing either way we will not be subject to all the elements that go along with it. I'm not much of a sentimental type, but I hope for everyone's sake you keep writing, and I can only hope you and the rest of out troops make it home okay.

Vadergrrrl said...

Sweetie I was wrong, your not the Gilman Rock Star.... Your a world Supah Star!

Listen, when i found your blog it sparked a debate with some other bloggers. One blogger, jack, said that we should not link your site, that you should be passed by word of mouth. I obviously didnt agree, i feel that blogs are meant to be read, and that hearing your voice gives us an unbiased opinion on soldier life in Iraq.

Writing should be from the heart, uncensored, and raw. That is what we love about you. Plus your talented as hell. Do not stop writing. If you need to, start another blog under another alias. Or, alternatively, let your Plt Sgt read before you post. He obviously is gonna read it anyway. I know that is kinda censorship and not the punk rock way of doing things, but still im sure he will support 99% of what you write. You should be in the histroy archives. You should be a book, i think you have moved beyond writing for who we talked about. Your definately out of that league now.

Keep you head up, your helmet on, and yes, please keep writing. You are the voice of this generation, and for that We LOVE YOU!

Big, big hugs for you.

xxxooooooooooo

praktike said...

Keep it going, man. It's great stuff. You deserve to get the $$$ for all the shit you've been through.

Mike O said...

Please keep writing; I have not seen one thing that could be construed to be a concern to your chain of command. If there had been a *single* thing, you would have heard about it in the meeting. I would think the meeting was to acknowledge you and serve as a gentle (but nerve-wracking) reminder of the responsability of fame :)

If nothing else, there is great value to the effort in Iraq to have such a straight-from-the-hip blog. Too much ra-ra and nobody believes it; yours can be believed and very few of us here don't support the effort.

If you find out anything more about your wounded Lt. (and think it would be postable), let us know. We're all praying for him and the rest of you. Stay sharp, tough and safe.

old fat ex-grunt said...

Take it from an old company commander...if your battalion commander were pissed at you, he would fry your Company Commander and Platoon Leader FIRST, and then he would come for you....so you would have known ahead of time what was coming.

I showed your blog to one of my old battalion commanders, and he enjoyed it. You are doing yourself and the Army great credit, both for writing this blog and especially the heroism that you showed a couple of days ago in Mosul, during the firefight.

I am proud to have worn the same uniform as you.

Navy Doc said...

man...thats some heavy shit. Well, first off, if your BC was gonna fry you, he probably would have said straight out that he wanted you to stop. He obviously enjoys your writing and doesn't want you to stop. I know just from reading that you have a HUGE following out here in the states. Your writing is intriguing to me. I know the whole big thing nowadays about OPSEC and stuff, so I know how it goes.

Think about it and analyze the situation. I know a lot of people would be disappinted if you stopped, especially maybe even your BC.

Keep your head up and helmet on.
Thanks for the Link!
Marc

Barb said...

Please keep writing, your raw honesty is terrific. I have you on my list of daily reads - the viewpoint you give us is so important.

God bless you for serving - and for sharing everything.

the Humble Devildog said...

Keep writing.

You BC sounds a lot like the type of BC I had when I was in Saudi Arabia, for the first go-around with Iraq. The type of BC who, when he says, "Men, we are going to Hell, and it's a one-way trip", the men say "When do we start, sir?".

Your site is now one of my links on my site, and it is going to be a daily read for me. So, don't stop. Please. Those of us who aren't there need a way to find out what is REALLY going on there, without the media distorting it.

Godspeed and good hunting, Soldier.

MEPHISTO said...

Don’t stop. Hell the army should give you a promotion just for the props on the Stryker. There is so much disinformation out here that its nice to get an eyewitness to the madness. You would be fucked if you were in trouble with the brass, but your not. Keep it up.

haroldwankbrake said...

Hey just a quick note to the BC = Big Cheese if you are reading this - don't keep those boys waiting in the parade ring for 40 minutes in the searing heat - get your arse down there on time!

Keep it up CB, love your work.

Mahalo.

Lisa said...

Please don't stop the blogs! I enjoy knowing whats really happening from you, not some fucking reporter who just writes what HE/SHE thinks I should be reading. Many thanks to you and every American soldier.

"do not go gentle into that good night"

Axinar said...

Keep the posts coming -- but we need pics!

usMCHammer said...

You make the call, soldier. I enjoy your writing and I am grateful to have been granted a window into your experience. But other people's addiction to your blog is not a reason to continue if you are worried about what will happen to you. It's easy for armchair quarterbacks to talk about what they want you to do, what the Army should do, and how your chain of command should be thankful. I know it's not necessarily that easy. These people might not understand that, wrong as it might be, the junior enlisted soldier is not always well protected. I hope your chain of command has the wisdom to protect your right to speak your mind. But I wouldn't want to see you get drummed out of the Army over words that you could write into a journal and publish later. Satisfying other people's voyeuristic desires might not be worth the risk. Realistically, and no matter what they claim, none of them are going to be standing there with you if you get NJPd. And battalion commanders don't have to pay any attention to the letter-writing campaign of a bunch of blog fans. I hope you can make it work, but the decision is yours. Do it if you want to, not because you feel pressure to.

firstbrokenangel said...

CB,
I haven't stopped thinking about you all day or night and I realize you're in a connundrum (sp?). You may feel that starting this was a mistake but it certainly was not but as much as we have come to care for you and look forward to your daily posts, your humor, your truthfulness, your journal and you letting us into your life, I understand if you are too nervous to keep this up. Just leave it up for now, so I can print it all out for you, fix spelling errors and send it to your wife to hold onto because it will be invaluable some day and that some day will be soon.

If you really feel this is going to cause you a problem or you don't feel you can keep up your journal publicly, we will lose out but most importantly, we don't want you in any trouble and I know for a fact that if President Bush knew about this, he would vouch for you. But this is a decision YOU have to make. But there is a way around it, so listen carefully. Make sure your wife prints out everything and I mean everything. If you feel you have to stop, just stop publishing but keep on writing and have your wife or someone who can help you put it together someday. Keep writing and send your posts to that one person who will take good care of it. This way here you still get to keep writing, just don't publish it on the internet. That's all. It's a compromise, I know but this way here you are still getting it out, still getting it out of your system, using your own form of therapy to deal with the day in and day out stuff, your experiences and someone who can give you the emotional, psychological and morale support you need and get from writing your posts. You can use me, even, that's fine. Write, send it, it's that simple. If your wife can handle it, then send her your daily journals. You're not fucked, trust me but it would be a damn shame for all of this to go to waste, so don't let it. Pick someone and send the journal to them. Let them print it out, fix any errors and have it ready for you when you do get home safe and sound. Trust in me when I say it will be published. You have an excellent gift, like I had once, and I lost it due to illness and disabilities. Doesn't mean I don't know what I'm doing or how to do it,I just can no longer get the words out. I haven't been so passionate about anything since your words found me. Leave the site up, so at least I can get a chance to print it out, I'd hate to see good work go to waste. If your wife can handle it, have her print it all out too - including all the comments because they are invaluable. And everytime you sit down at the computer, write, get it out of your system, send it to her (or at least somebody) to hold your words for you. The only thing that will be missing is all the love,all the support, all the caring and advice and everything I have read from the comments from now on. They are precious and that makes it even better than it is. Your work is excellent. You actually write in such a way you pull us in with you so that we experience what you did, just not with bullets flying by our heads. :-) But I do understand if you are so nervous about it, that you do not want to keep the blog running. Keep it running for awhile, things are getting dicey over there and you have an invaluable piece to play but mostly I don't want this on your mind so that it endangers your concentration. So even though you stop publishing here and won't have that support that's been giving you and all our troops over there protecting us from the vileness of evil, that is okay. But don't stop writing. Write all you want, send it to your wife or somebody else to hold so at least you have it available to you. You took the ride and even if you have to take a left turn right now, at least your written material will be available to you, as well as all the comments. Like I said, they are invaluable.

And if that is what you decide to do, just do all of us one favor - say hi once in awhile so we know you are okay? Really, you've been adopted by everyone in the states and from some of the comments, those in Iraq as well. You have a gift, dont waste it even if we can't share it with you right now - but we will later when you are safely home. In the meantime, and I know I'm repeating (again) keep the information, send your daily journal to someone or your wife, whomever you trust with it, but don't stop writing. If you're scared and have decided you don't want to do this anymore, save what you have but continue writing your journal anyway so you can put it all together again one day.

As much as we appreciate you, you have to think about what's best for you and if you feel that publishing your journal is too much of an interference, right now, I think we all would understand. I know I do, but keep writing anyway, just don't publish on the site if that makes you feel better.

Okay? Okay.

Be safe always, you'll always be in my prayers and in my thoughts, as I'm sure you will be with everyone who's been a part of this, and what you have to say is so important, so save it so you can do something about it after you return home safe and sound and get readjusted to life.

Don't lose that sense of humor either, that's what has kept you going all this time, so hang on tight with that as well. God Bless you, CB, but do stay in touch no matter what the circumstances. OKey Dokey?? :-)

Hugs,

~Cindy Callahan

Sean from DocintheBox said...

CB,

My guys are enjoying you accounts, my CO has known about mine for a while but I haven't gone into as much detail into what we're doing as you have. Your writing kicks ass and I'll keep following you, you're the best of us out here right now and that's speaking as a fellow milblogger, well there was Jason from Just Another Soldier but his commander shut him down. Take care and hope you keep writing, don't let the comments get to your head and make your blog into a job, do it because you enjoy it.

sarah said...

i know this is almost selfish on my part but:
DON'T STOP. for a ton of people (especially me)this blog
is a huge window into international affairs and it no doubt influences many people in their viewpoints.

This is fucking history man. this blog is a one-of-a-kind source. Hell, people could be quoting this blog for decades to come. after all you have gone through it seems like u have an obligation to see this thing through. Don't let that guy affect you. this has had such a positive impact on so many people.

Sean from DocintheBox said...

PS I hope I wasn't one of the nauseating blogs, you should do a google search on you blog, a lot of people are talking about you.

Renee (DR) said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cpl Ness said...

Again, this blog means so much to so many people, it gives us a view of what you think. People here are protesting, saying "Send those kids home" but you aren't saying that. You know you are doing some good there, this is a view the media hasn't shown.
If you need support, feel free to ask, there are more than enough people here who would gladly fill your coffers for you. Thank you again.

Blackbird said...

If this be the end, I wish to thank you for the privilege of reading your story. I, too, have been reading regularly, without comment and you, CB, are an artist - natural born. It ain't something you can get in college - it's a gift — and it's yours to keep or to share. It has been a thrill for me to watch you grow and sharpen your skills. I'll bet you've always had a lot say. Funny how it took a war to finally get you do something about it. Ah, life - you can't make this stuff up!

Be safe. Come home. Live a long and happy life. And thanks again.

Renee (DR) said...

to clarify... I meant the lawyer to advise you as to any offers you may get for movies, books, etc.

Follow your heart, good sense, and advice of your commanders about the rest.

gandhi said...

George Orwell said:

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."Personally I think you should request a transfer to Hawaii where you can write in peace without killing innocent Iraqis.

Kay said...

I just found your site, and I'm glad I did. This gives alot of insight. You tell us htings the media wouldnt, and I hope you continue this.

Helen said...

Man, don't stop. Your blog is the best. Your prose style is really immediate, and you bring your reader into the war and onto the battlefield with you. That is priceless. Keep going.

Eng in Texas said...

Hey, dont quit now. Your posting is the Right Stuff. About a century ago in the middle 60's I was active duty USAF in TAC which was then the part of the force where kicking ass was mandatory and taking names was optional. You convey the feel and smell of your place. I wish that any of us could have done that. I now work as a contractor for GDLS and am proud to know you as a proud user of the product.

chiliprincess said...

Okay, seriously, if you quit writing, how will we know what is really happening over there? In case you haven’t heard, the news coming over is CENSORED! Dude, you’ve seen your counter go from 0 to 60 faster than a ’94 Boss Mustang on a straight of way. You have to know that people are reading you and depending on you to give ‘em the real shit. Sure not everyone can stomach it, but it’s the truth, so tell it. Just consider your tour as “Fear and Loathing with an ‘E’ ticket to hell.”

JimK said...

I'm BEGGING you, don't stop writing the blog. Your point of view is desperately needed. Real news from real soldiers is sorely needed to combat the ration of shit that gets served up to America every single day by Old Media.

Your voice is needed. Your service is already asking too much of you, and we have no right to ask even more, but your blog is *actually* making a difference. Please continue it.

Stay safe and keep your head down.

Michele said...

I'm a 9/11 survivor and I need to read your blog. I need to read for my friends who didn't make it. I need to read it for those who are surviving with the first attack still in their head [inclucing me]. I need to read it to be reassured that you and I, who now stand as witnesses to this war, are working hard to leave it a better, safer place for all in this new world. I read it because just as I began blogging to keep my sanity, I know you're blogging to keep your sanity too, and while on this journey we explore a life and make a journey of emotional and psychological places yet undiscovered.

So please, do what you must, but continue to write even if it's in a marble notebook. You will remain in my thoughts and prayers until you and your battalion return home! God bless you all!

Gordo282 said...

CB--

Good luck on your choice to continue writing or not--after all, it IS your choice.

Your writing is great to read. I am a UH60 pilot who was in OIF1 and as weird as it sounds I always feel some weird desire to go back (you will feel it once you leave too). So, your writing helps settle part of that desire.

To me, it seems that it will be hard to maintain the level of candor that you previously had because now people, your buddies, know who you are and will read it then confront you about what you wrote. Of course, you will think that you are going to continue to write the same way but I think it will be hard (for anyone) to maintain what you had when it was more of an anonymous thing.

Writer n Journalist said...

Don't end your blog too soon! I have referenced your blog in an entry of my blog under the topic 'Blogging' and is currently awaiting a yet-to-be published article that also mentions your blog. The magazine is due to release only in Sep/Oct 2004, so don't quit your blog now!

ewtotel said...

FIRST ... I began reading, scared that your blog was being shut down. THEN I was relieved, reading that they weren't shutting you down. FINALLY I was again worried that you might shut the blog down on your own.

Whatever you decide... thanks for all you've done so far.

dbrletich said...

ZAP! Deacitvate Lurk Mode>

Oh fer chrissakes CB!

I just found your blog two days ago, Read every freakin post because I can't stop reading your brilliant writing style, and I hate fucking reading, I tell all my buds about it and they check it out cuz they know I hate fucking reading, and now you might quit? Plus, I won't find out how the kid, er,uh MAN from Minnesota is doing? (I'm from MN)

You might as well saw my sack off with a dull bayonett. Shit, I hate it when those mini series cut you off and you have to wait the next day or week to find out what happens. Whatever.

Take care, thanks for your service. Heaps of Papel Catholic blessings on you, the soldier from MN, your buds in arms, your platoon Sgt. and especially your BC (we are behind him 110%. Fuck, the way you described him made me grease my shorts!) and the full bird Colonel (also behind him 110% even though we don't know what he is going to say, but I'm 110% certain it will be relevent and you will shit your pants anyway...)

Whatever you think is best soldier. Maybe take a day or two and chill till you hear from the Col. and think about it. You are doing a ton of good from what I can see, like improving my reading skills, and I hate fucking reading.

You should post an address for where you are in your sidebar so we stateside can send you some shit.

Hey Vadergrrl, send 'em another shooting star, will ya?

Dennis

ZAP! Lurk Mode Reactivated>

EricInHermitage said...

I came across your blog friday. It really put me in your boots while reading about your world. I greatly respect you and thank you for your service.
Don't sweat what's going on man. I know how intimidating it is to have a powwow with the big brass when you're just an enlisted guy. It's obvious that they like what you're doing, but it sounds like they just wanted to make sure you aren't gonna do anything stupid with it since it's their ass as well as your own if you screw up. From what I've read so far, you aren't gonna do ANYTHING stupid. You're smart and have a good and healthy attitude towards your circumstances.
I know this is about your life, not just some trippy online soap-opera. Your writing has put more people than you know in touch with what's really happening. I hope you keep it up. I really appreciate hearing stuff straight rather than filtered through some lazy-assed reporter sitting safely in some green zone hotel in Baghdad acting as though he knows what's actually happening. Whatever you decide, stay safe and come home to your family in one piece.

cpumaster said...

hey CB, if this is your last blog, then I wish you the best of luck wherever you maybe, stay safe and come back home alive and in one piece.
Let us know whenever you are back home ok.
Will always keep you and all soldiers in my prayer.

Anga2010 said...

Please keep writing.
At least to let us know that you are doing OK, or to vent when you need to.
Please also let us know how your LT is doing in Germany. We all are praying here.
Thank you for your blog.
-Mike

barkeep said...

If you can continue writing your blog without any compromise in the content, it will be proof that Americans enjoy to the utmost all the freedoms your fighting represents. However, if Big Brother over your shoulder changes in any way how and what you write, then your instinct to stop may be right.
EVERYONE wants to see and end to your blog, but not like this. We want you to run out of subject matter. We want the war over, with Iraqi government and resources in the hands of the Iraqi people. With foreign warmongers six feet under. With no more need to visit violence on those who would do our friends harm. With you safe and sound at peace at home, where every man belongs. With maybe a little damage to your liver because i guarantee you that as long as there is memory of this war, you will not pay for a drink.

barkeep said...

If you can continue writing your blog without any compromise in the content, it will be proof that Americans enjoy to the utmost all the freedoms your fighting represents. However, if Big Brother over your shoulder changes in any way how and what you write, then your instinct to stop may be right.
EVERYONE wants to see and end to your blog, but not like this. We want you to run out of subject matter. We want the war over, with Iraqi government and resources in the hands of the Iraqi people. With foreign warmongers six feet under. With no more need to visit violence on those who would do our friends harm. With you safe and sound at peace at home, where every man belongs. With maybe a little damage to your liver because i guarantee you that as long as there is memory of this war, you will not pay for a drink. And then it will be the best blog that ever ended.

The Motor City said...

If you quit, I will personally fly to Iraq and shoot you myself. Keep up the good work!

thewanderingmind said...

Dude! I spent 20 years as a professional military journalist. Your stuff is fantastic! If your BC gives you shit, there are enough people in positions of power -- and I mean at DOD and DA -- who love your writing who will vacate your BC's slot for someone who will understand. There are people reading this blog at the Defense Information School at Fort Ben Harrison who will happily drag you there as a Public Affairs student, if you so desire. You can teach someone to spell and use proper grammar. You can't teach someone to write from the heart like you do. Ernie Pyle, the famous WWII newswriter, must be eating his heart out up there in heaven, because he never had Internet access. Okay! Watch the operational security stuff, like the BC says, but don't let the fact that he knows about your blog throw you. If he reads it, he knows how popular you are and that we, the people, won't sit idly by and let you be censored. Any attorneys out there who'd like a First Amendment case? Keep writing and keep your ass down. We want you back in one piece! God bless you, young man, and your buddies, as well. Thanks for keeping these guys in black out of our backyards!

cathylj73 said...

Dont stop writting. I just found this blog a few days ago and cant put it down. My son is there he drives a stryker. I have felt closer to him now being able to understand what he is going through. I enjoy your posts.
A stryker's mom

Aunt Linda said...

Many of us grew up watching the Vietnam war on television. Those images will stay with me forever. They said that war was hell, but did anyone who had never been a participant ever really realize what that meant before that?
One of my friends was stationed in Germany in the early 80's. She told stories, when she returned, about being under sniper attack at their base. Something you never heard about here in the States.
Our press reporting goes from one extreme to the other.
We, who have loved ones stationed in Iraq and probably millions of people who don't, as we sit in our homes, at work, in traffic constantly wonder what they are going through. The news reports we receive sound as though there are skirmishes scattered here and there, occasionaly attacks on convoys (all of which is still enough information to make us nauseous with worry), etc.
I am torn between not wanting to know that my Stryker family member has to live each day with the stress of war that you've described yet at the same time wanting to know what is going on every single minute of every single day.
I, as do many others, look forward to your postings as reassurance that you are all still okay.
If you do choose, or have it chosen for you, not to post any longer I would like to thank you for your insight and for sharing your experiences with us. Remember that we think of you all, always, and God be with you.

91ghost said...

What's up CB. I'm still on the road, but my wife told me I had to check out your post. I guess I saw this coming. I don't have any pearls of wisdom to share. All I have to really say is one big FUCK. Anwyways, do what you got to do---you know this. Thank you for your writing---it has hit home for me in a way that nothing else has.

Blog Guy said...

Sitting here reading all these comments, you've aquired quite a following, CB. Congrats...I think.

Knowing there may be a delay in your posts going forward brings to mind the movie 'Good Morning Vietnam'. Remember those two censorship twins that were always crossing out the news before Robin Williams could read it? Got that image of your posts being reviewed before we could see them and it made me laugh. Hope all is well with you, bud.

firstbrokenangel said...

172 comments - all great, every one of them.

I think I'm going to cry. As a matter of fact, I am.

~ C

Pedro Vera said...

I can relate to getting terrorized every time the CO or the BC called me up. For the BC to notice one lowly PFC or SPEC-4 it had to be because of a fuck up, otherwise we were pretty much invisible.

Keep on writing, you obviously have a natural knack for it. That little dog and pony show they made you go thru was done on purpose to intimidate you. As long as you keep writing exactly as you have done so far, they won't bust you.

One last word: milk it for what it is worth. Get offered college money? Take it. Somebody offers you a book deal? Take the deal to a lawyer that is experienced in the publishing industry and let him sort it out (too many weasels out there). Or at least take it to the legal assistance guys to go over it and see if there is any blatant attempt at ripping you off.

BTW, my boss (he was in Army MI during the first Gulf war) started reading your blog today.

l1a1 said...

Keep posting. I think if eblogger didn't require an account to post a comment you'd have 1000x as many comments. I had to create an account (and a blog) to post this.

Don't sweat the attention. If your officers didn't tell you to stop, then don't. At the very least you have the attention of a lot of people, which is more than almost everyone in the world can say. How you decide to use it is up to you. From what you've posted, you should keep doing this just for yourself.

It sounds like your CO is honestly interested in having you continue to post. Take his words at face value and don't try to get into his head. I'm sure he'll let you know in short words if he has a problem with you.

Keep it up.

~Jen~ said...

If you decide not continue, I'll be sad but I understand. Maybe once a month you could pop on and just say you're ok....we will all still be worrying about you...

I'm so grateful to you for sharing your life with us. I've met some amazing people because we shared you in common. Thank you so much. You've touched the hearts of countless people. I'm forever in your debt.

haroldwankbrake said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SMASH said...

I had a similar thing happen to me last year in Kuwait when my superiors discovered my blog.

They were initially concerned about OPSEC, but when I explained to them that I was following a self-imposed stricter standard than the military uses for email communications, they eased up. My CO actually became one of my biggest fans, and I ended up writing the command history for the war.

It looks like your BC is a smart guy, and he likes your writing. I'm sure his main concern is that you might inadvertently tip off the bad guys to your unit's movements or tactics.

Submitting your stuff to the platoon sergeant may seem like a major inconvenience, but it will also help keep your ass out of a sling. Don't sweat being censored, the important thing is that you keep writing from the heart and being true to yourself.

You're doing an excellent job, please don't stop writing.

SMASH

PS - I saw the original Guernica when I visited Madrid a few years back. If you haven't been, its worth the trip. You can get a Space-A AMC flight from Dover to Rota pretty easily, and then explore Spain by bus and train for not much money. Something to think about after your tour is up.

cal_style said...

Dude,

Do not stop writing. We really need guys like you to tell the truth. regardless of the cause know that we support our troops.

Bill

Tom said...

I hope you keep writing, my friend sent me your blog and I really have enjoyed. My brother in law in Navy and I forwarded your page to him.

KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN AND STAY SAFE.

OhioYankee said...

Ok CB, i have just begun reading your posts and am deeply touched. I just signed up so I could comment on your post. In my opinion, I hope you keep posting, you are brutally honest and detailed. This is the kind of stuff we need to know about here in the states. But, I will not beg for this to continue, if you feel the need to stop posting, then do so. Just stay safe over there man.

Dan L said...

I just started reading your stuff, after boingboing.com
or metafilter.com pointed toward your Men In Black
entry. I suspect that your CO or someone up the command
chain reads one of those two also, which I think is
good.
I read some other soldier blogs, and I learn stuff that
you just can't get out of the mass media. You're a
media of one!
You'll know if you can keep writing, after the first
few entries run through your CO. He sounds like a right
guy.

Charlie said...

CB,
I was a bit nervous when I first started reading your post, I thought I could see where it was headed. Glad to see I was completely wrong. Your battalion commander sounds like a hell of a leader. If you decide to knock it off, I'll respect your decision because I know how unnerving it can be for someone in your position to have brigade-level attention. If this blog starts to become too much of a drain because of that, then dump it and focus on getting your soldiers and yourself home safely. Keep your head up and your ass down.

Enexxus said...

Man, your a Rock-Star...relish in it. Blog till they pry the keyboard from your cold dead hands. The truth will always scare those unwilling to accept it. You speak the truth and I implore that you continue to do so. While I personally object to how and why you boys were sent to that sand pit, I respect you for going. I couldn't do it. Stay safe, watch your trigger finger, and come home in one piece.

BLACKFIVE said...

Keep it up. I doubt the Plt Sgt will censor you all that much and you never know where this might take you.

Plus, you are nowhere near the fuckup you think you are...the BC obviously knows this. Hell, he's probably happy that someone is telling like it is because CNN sure the hell ain't.

CHkwpilot said...

I live on the other side of the runway from you. I just want to thank you for your time and dedication to this blog. I hope and pray that you continue this project. You are getting our story out in the forgotten city of Mosul. Our troop was just introduced to your blog today and all are hungry for more. It's nice to hear true stories from the guys we fly over every day. You guys down there are our heroes, and we try and do all we can for you our brothers.

Thanks again for all that you do!!

... said...

Hey man--

Fortunate that it worked out the way it did with the Colonel. As far as I know, no one in my battalion knows about my blog, and I'm happy enough for it to stay that way. It's great that you've got literary agents hunting you down, though! I really like what you're doing; keep it up.

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

I hate to dogpile on top of the 185+ other comments on here (this must wipe out your entire day off?), but I just wanted to say that it does nothing but good for our country and for the troops for you to give your perspective on events going on "on the ground" in Mosul. It lets the world know that our troops aren't murdering babies and slitting women open with their bayonets; it sets the news media straight on things they got wrong (as they often do), and it lets the higher-ups know what's going on from a troop's eye view to give them a better idea of how they can support your effort.

I hope you'll see this as more than just a way to pass your time, the way it's gotten now. Don't forget HST's own words: buy the ticket, take the ride! Don't let the "Bad Craziness" get to you!

JimR said...

Fuck'em.
What are they going to do?
Bend your dogtags and send you to Iraq?

Keep up the good work.

DaniRoberson said...

My best friend in the whole wide world is over there with you and I know in my heart of hearts that he could never, in a million years,be able to tell us how things really are over there. Please don't stop posting! It means so much to me to know exactly how things are over there. I just recently found this site and I am in awe of the way you put stuff out there. I commend you on the exceptional job you are doing... Thank you for all the good work you guys are doing over there and keep on keeping on!! LOL God Bless you and Take Care!!

Subsunk said...

CB,

Recommend you keep writing, son. Your Batt CO is a wise man. He probably made many good points about your OPSEC. Remember what I posted previously about your vulnerabilities, especially of your shipmates and your equipment. I am pleased that you, your Plt Sgt and your CO agree that you are doing a good thing with this blog. And they very obviously do (I was once in his position and would have done the same thing).

Keep telling us how you and your mates are getting along, and let us know what we can do to keep your spirits up. While we can't get you home any earlier (only accomplishing your mission can do that), we can do what we can to let you know you are loved and cherished by a people who recognize your nobility and bravery every day. Please keep your chin up, your shoulders back, and your head clearly in the game, because without you, your shipmates, and your mission, we would lose many, many more good men and women to a philosophy of death that says "you are evil and deserve Death just because you are an American".

Only by being where you are and doing what you are doing can this philosophy be defeated. Prove that we are fierce and determined in combat and respectful and loving to the defeated. You are our example, and everyone in the world has their eyes on you and your mates. We already know how truly wonderful you are. Now you and your mates must show the rest of the world.

(Now you really know you're screwed, when everyone's watching. Don't sweat it. You can do this. You've already proven you can). Good luck and good hunting.

Subsunk

Dan said...

I immediately though when I read this "I hope they don't take you out of harms way, because you are a PR mouthpeice now" but that would have been the most fucked up think I could possibly say or think. I'm embarrased for thinking it. But I can see that happening, so good luck to you, I hope you end up close to home. I however will miss your writing.

CBFTW's Wife said...

Sweetpea- Just want to say that I am so proud of you for everything you have accomplished stateside and overseas in the many years I have known you. You know I am your biggest fan and will always support you...from your admiration of Bukowski to your delight in discovering baklava, you are a unique creature. I've watched you move from one off-the-wall project to the next, always tackling them with everything you have and achieving something unimagineable. I hope you continue your postings because I have always enjoyed your creative endeavors. Bring home lots of blogs, no purple hearts!! Love you!

Tom said...

Let me add my vote:

KEEP WRITING!

You're providing a service money literally cannot buy. So long as you're not getting yourself into hot water...KEEP WRITING.

Thanks for all your work thus far in the in the future.

Tom

bopperholly said...

All I know is that I read your blog everyday and feel so lucky that I stumpled across your blog, I would very sad if you choosed to stop this blog. It has given me such in insight on what is going on over there, and I cant express how much myself and the thousands of others who read your blog appreciate what you have done here, you risk your life everyday for us, people you have never even meet before and I cant thank you enough. If this is you last blog I would like to say THANK YOU for all that you have done, I wish you the best of luck and happiness in your life and will pray everyday for your safe return home. And Please do us all a favor and take this expreience and by all your massive fan base, write a book, get it published and I guarentee you I will be one of the first to buy it, what you have here is something you very rarely come across and that is honesty and sincerity. I wish you the best and we are all very proud and feel honored to had you over there representing our country.

Keep your head up and dont let the man get you down!

Holly

Mark said...

Dude, I've been reading your blog for little more than a month but I feel that I know you better than people I have know for years. All this in just 63 posts, 43K words, not even a small book! What ever you decide I support you always, If you do write a book I hope I'm the first one to pre-order on Amazon. CB's wife, you have a good man. But you know that already, I just like saying it. Stay coool, BE SAFE

Blind_Guy said...

I woke up this morning to go to my grandmothers funeral. But even though today was an extraordinary day, I tried to keep to my normal routine, I get up, turn on the computer, check the weather, fire up Instant Messanger, read my email, read my first of two daily blogs, and then your blog (save the best for last cause it makes me think all day). But this morning my internet wasn't working... thrown off I went to start my extra ordinary day... coffee, shower, suit... and I waited... then I stole off to my sisters to use her computer. No email's worth reading, one mundane blog, and then here... to the silence of the ending. Like finishing a good book, I stared at the last page, wondering why it has to end here, why the story cannot continue... but like life and death, these aren't things I control... I'll continue to stop by in the morning CB, see if you are still here... Just as I'll continue to think about swinging by the nursing home where my grandmother lived... I know she won't be there any more, but maybe... one day, sooner or later, we can meet up again here, to share words, experiences, and political babble... I hope that day comes soon.

Be in peace and stay safe

Your pinko-commie-peaceloving-treehugging-antiwar-hippie-antipatriot and fervent reader... the Blind_Guy...

exfbonnie said...

Cbftw's wife -
so sweet! Bless you for being on the otherside of all this. I cant imagine what strength you have to be in that position. best wishes, love and prayers to you both.

firstbrokenangel said...

"These words I write to keep me from total madness."
-Charles Bukowski

That's why it is so important for you to keep writing - and they will let you keep writing. The comments are so invaluable, CB and wife. You took the keys and went for a ride; keep riding and keep writing. Your wife can print everything out at home - everything - and when you get safely back home, you can work on your beginning and your ending and you've got it. If you look through all your posts, there are no names, no anything - nothing about anyone that would cause any problem. So keep writing but you know, the comments make it an even better piece of work and you have so many people behind you. It'll be allright, not like you giving out secrets or people's names that you've picked up. You, your wife, your family, all have the country - and people that aren't from our country, behind you and every soldier out there. So take a deep breath, relax, and just keep sharing. It's Wednesday and I miss it already, as I'm sure everyone does. It's going to be okay and even though you had no idea what kind of impact you were going to have on the world, grab onto it and just do the best you can with it - who knows where it will take you? Well worth the risk, soldier!! I used to read a book a day, now nothing gets my attention except your words and those who respond back. I thank you for everything you are doing for your country and your whole battalian for keeping us safe and helping the Iraqi's out, if only the rest of the world and religious zealots would stay out of it. But we are here, for you, your wife, your family, your friends and all your buddies there. Never forget that - and once you started writing your journal, you just should not stop. I hope your friend is okay, too. Stay safe and I hope to see you on here again soon, when you're no longer afraid. You have a gift you didn't realize you had and that can be overwhelming in itself but I hope that you, your crew, your bosses realize that what you have to say is not only invaluable in every way but is also the best therapy in the world, so don't give it up. If for now, you need to send it only to your wife, then do so until you feel comfortable again in publishing here on the internet. I will surely miss it and you are the one who has brought it home to all of us and we are behind you all the way. Never forget that. Maybe someday you and your wife can travel cross country and visit a lot of us. Lots of hugs!! If it's necessary for someone else to take your work and publish it on their blog, consider it, okay? And let us know you are okay, that's really important to all who have been following you from the beginning. I know I'd appreciate it. Again, take a deep breath, relax and let your fingers do the talking. You got it made!!

~ C

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