I started this out as a comment, but it was too good to pass up. For those who don't know already, one of the best writers I have ever read is a kid in Iraq with an infantry unit. He amazed everyone with his ability to relate what he is going through with passion and skill but his blog has been taken down, possibly for operational security reasons. Some of my online friends have been looking to see if there is anyone else out there like that, a talented writer relating life from the sharp end. We found the exact opposite. Here is the comment that got it started:
On the other hand here is a lame milblogger with nothing to worry about.
He posted today that his highers told him they love his stuff and he should continue.
HERE is my reply:
Thanks Vrangel. I checked it out.
He's a knob-polisher for sure.
I looked at his bio - he actually wrote about himself in the third person.
What an ass.
"TWD, slightly upset at himself for not taking Vrangel's word for it that the guy was 10 up and 2 down, chuckles as he imagines how much of a ass one would have to be to write an autobiography in the third person."
Seriously folks, the guy even ends his bio with:
"In the midst of his term, his unit, the 319th Signal Battalion was called to service by the President to support the war effort in Operation Iraqi Freedom. It is here where the greatest changes to his life are yet to come..."
Good God. Did you hear the theme music?
Check out his pic on the site too - he is staring bravely off in the distance, rifle in hand... hoping some rifleman doesn't come by and make fun of him for looking like a dork. He's signal corps for crap's sake. Jeez.
I didn't add the ellipses (the ...) - that was him. Can you believe it?
God how I miss being an infantryman sometimes. Guys like this twerp were SOOOOO fun to find and fuck with. They always read Soldier of Fortune, always had more than one class A uniform (usually had dress blues when they were SPCs) and rarely, if ever, got dirty. I read SOF to laugh at the ads in the back and how wrong the articles often are, had a class A uniform I wore when they made me, and made it through over a decade of infantry life, including being enlisted, a sergeant, and an officer, without ever wearing a dress blue cap. I HATE guys like this guy.
Look at this blog and try to picture chucklehead on a patrol. No f'ing way. Now imagine him telling a war story to a civilian. Oh, yeah, I can see that.
He writes about the combat soldier whose blog was just taken down:
"Of course, we have taken a much different approach in our writing and the subject matter we cover, primarily because of our different roles in Operation Iraqi Freedom. His personal recitations of battles and encounters with terrorists are gripping and fascinating to read. As you all know, my approach tends to focus much more on the feelings soldiers go through as well as the peripheral political issues that surround America’s War on Terrorism, and in this, I rarely reveal anything that has to do with my security situation or the intricacies of my MOS in communications. I am no front line soldier, but rather, in my support MOS I open a window into the thoughts of soldiers and the issues we deal with."
NO you aren't a front-line soldier. But did you hear any respect for the infantry in that paragraph, or did you detect an attitude of condescension?
He's a tool that can't write very well. A power tool. And his sucking up to his chain of command is just icky. The combat guy wrote about meeting his Battalion Commander and how impressive a warrior he was, and there was no element of suck-up in it. None. Every time this guy writes about his leaders you just know he's hoping they read it and give him a pat on the head.
Here is another great quote:
"I believe America's fighting men and women are the fists of American power, while the families and folks back home who provide so much support truly are the backbone of American strength."
Isn't there some kind of contest for writing like this?
Others should check out the blog. Make sure you read his bio. Vets will find it fucking hilarious. I mean it - he's a riot. He has no idea how sucky he is. He actually believes he's pretty cool. Man.
He makes me feel better about my writing. I suck but I would have to work really hard to be that bad.