Deployment

Even though my adjustment to civilian life has been a struggle, due to being consumed in today’s society by so many political opinions, and truths being revealed… it certainly has been a hard pill to swallow…

Working DFac (fDining Facility) Guard

While most people gather, illegally and legally, I’ve kept my distance and silence, as well as decompress my mind, to gather my thoughts over this weekend as it reminds me of two things…. 1) my best friend at the time being KIA on June 3, 2007 (three days before my 21st), and the fact that tomorrow is legitimately my fifth year anniversary from being medically retired from the military.

Yet, there is still a pride in me for serving this country for the purpose of the bigger picture and not for myself, but for ALL the people in this country who chooses not to or simply can’t for medical purposes…

I continue to look at the positive things of serving like having the opportunity to embrace and experience so many various cultures and individuals through the battle buddies I’ve met over the years and the various global contractors and local people that I had the opportunity to befriend and worked with while in Iraq.

Local Interpreters, Taji 🇮🇶

Also, without serving, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today nor accomplish the things I’ve accomplished over my adult life…

While the mass crowd defines us a basic stereotype of typical sheep and murderers, I will not let those voices define me nor the good-hearted people I have come to serve and meet, who take the call to risk their lives for their own beliefs of serving…

What comes down to my reality vs. their reality, is that we all have a story, we all have educational value to share through our livelihoods and experiences, and we all can learn from one another… we just need to be able to have an open mind to learn from those who haven’t experienced a similar life than our own and that’s where empathy comes in…

Unfortunately, the majority of us, as humans, struggle with having empathy for the rest of the world, if not, our own country and that’s why we are in the “Divided States of America” we are currently in.

Super Bowl Party. |Chicago Vs Indianapolis|
Go Manning Go!
🏈

The relief of today was fulfilled with distractions and productivity while distancing myself from the crowds and social media, while I regain my attentiveness and confidence with my purpose and knowledge in the world during my five-day weekend and I’m only half way through.

Goofing off before meeting
the Iraqi Army General. 😳

Also, what helped me through today is having one of my battle buddies that I relate to reaching out to me today with his music playlist and amazing descriptive reflection of his day, because he knows how much music and storytelling gets me through difficult things.

Thank you, Deneen, and stay well. 👍🏻

043e2-5

My battle, D, & I in Taji, Iraq

Music is my life and it’s one of my biggest escape routes to just forget how things are now and let me replay the memories, good and bad. Music is also a great way to express what you are feeling here and now.

For me it’s essential to reflect back to the then and compare it to the mentality and growth that I’ve been working on today for myself and my future, and remind myself of who I used to be compared to the individual I am now.

When you see my playlist, you will see a lot of mixed feelings in this journey, but you need to realize a lot of soldiers go through a lot of emotional pain, physical pain, and spiritual pain, whether it’s on the surface or not.

Keep notes that this playlist is of my world and mentality back in 2006-2007. Even though I still enjoy all the music below today, does not mean I feel exactly the same now then I did back then.

First, I will give you my Top Ten of songs that symbolized myself, my hardships, and my mentality when I was in Iraq, also, these songs kept me straight throughout the year in the sandbox.

10. Blue Oyster Cult – Veteran of the Psychic Wars

9. Drowning Pool – Soldiers

8. Toby Keith – American Soldier

7. Tim McGraw – If You’re Reading This

6. AC/DC – Highway to Hell

5. Three Doors Down – Here Without You

4. Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name Of

3. Crossfade – Washing The World Away

2. Mark Schultz – Letters From War 

1. Fort Minor – Where’d You Go

Here is the rest of my playlist that I have created for my Operation Iraqi Freedom soundtrack called “Boots on Ground” that’s created with some Country, a touch of Hip-Hop, and various Rock music.