Never Too Old For War

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
From Iraq, to Afghanistan, and to Iraq again, a veteran of the Vietnam-era recounts his personal wartime experiences after signing back up in the Army to join in America's war on terror.

Table of Contents

PROLOGUE

Submitted: August 23, 2017

PROLOGUE As far back as I can remember people have been calling me crazy.  I can appreciate their reasons for calling me that.... Read Chapter

PART I - LIFE BEFORE WAR/Flashback

Submitted: August 24, 2017

1 - FLASHBACK I was born on a Tuesday in the early afternoon of June 26, 1951 at the Cabrini Medical Center in lower Manhattan.&nbs... Read Chapter

PART I - LIFE BEFORE WAR/The Die Is Cast

Submitted: August 24, 2017

2 - THE DIE IS CAST The Army has used a number of different recruiting slogans since I first enlisted.  I remember “Join the... Read Chapter

PART I - LIFE BEFORE WAR/A Call To Arms

Submitted: August 24, 2017

3 - A CALL TO ARMS I was at the saw mill where I worked when I first heard what had happened.  I was living in Oregon at the t... Read Chapter

PART II - BACK IN BOOTS/Break's Over

Submitted: August 24, 2017

4 - BREAK'S OVER My break in service had lasted sixteen long years, but that was all over now.  Having taken the oath of enlis... Read Chapter

PART II - BACK IN BOOTS/Revelations

Submitted: August 24, 2017

5 - REVELATIONS In a previous chapter I had stated that I began my Army career in 1968.  That was thirty-four years prior... Read Chapter

PART II - BACK IN BOOTS/Toxic

Submitted: August 24, 2017

6 - TOXIC There’s a lot to be said about the old sayings that keep cropping up from time to time in modern literature and everyda... Read Chapter

PART II - BACK IN BOOTS/Trapped

Submitted: August 24, 2017

7 - TRAPPED I wasn’t content with the idea of being nothing more than a drilling Army Reservist.  Until I figured out a way ... Read Chapter

PART II - BACK IN BOOTS/Opportunity Knocks

Submitted: August 24, 2017

8 - OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS Since returning to the ranks, I had been keeping in touch with an old friend of mine who had also joined bac... Read Chapter

PART II - BACK IN BOOTS/Gone To Texas

Submitted: August 24, 2017

9 - GONE TO TEXAS Late in the evening, on March 4, 2004, Sergeant Blow-Bag and I arrived at the 360th C.R.C. (Conus Replacement Cen... Read Chapter

PART II - BACK IN BOOTS/Wheels Up

Submitted: August 24, 2017

10 - WHEELS UP On the morning of March 13, 2004, all of the soldiers who had completed their Soldier Readiness Processing – which... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Arrival

Submitted: August 24, 2017

11 - ARRIVAL Our plane landed at the Baghdad International Airport early Friday afternoon, March 19, 2004.  After disembarking... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Orientation

Submitted: August 24, 2017

12 - ORIENTATION On the morning of our orientation, Colonel Waldroup informed us that we were all going to be assigned to a “Mobi... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/The Good Guys

Submitted: August 24, 2017

13 - THE GOOD GUYS We had our team.  Now that we did, it was time to get acquainted. Out of our entire fifteen man crew, we ... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/The Bad Guys

Submitted: August 24, 2017

14 - THE BAD GUYS In the ensuing days, we would learn much about our enemy and the dangers that awaited us outside the wire.  ... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Pass The Ammunition

Submitted: August 24, 2017

15 - PASS THE AMMUNITION Up until now, the Army had supplied me with just about everything I needed.  Everything, that was, ex... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/The Grand Tour

Submitted: August 24, 2017

16 - THE GRAND TOUR Within days of our arrival, we were out and about driving through Baghdad in our soft skin Humvees, learning ou... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Learning The Ropes

Submitted: August 24, 2017

17 - LEARNING THE ROPES After acquiring our Humvees and the rest of the gear needed to perform our escort missions, we began our ta... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Old School

Submitted: August 24, 2017

18 - OLD SCHOOL In the new Army, hydration is all the rage.  Soldiers are encouraged to drink water all the time.  To hel... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Wake-Up Call

Submitted: August 24, 2017

19 - WAKE-UP CALL We had only been in Iraq about a month when we heard the tragic news about Pat Tillman, the NFL player who turned... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Our First Casualties

Submitted: August 24, 2017

20 - OUR FIRST CASUALTIES Sometimes, after someone dies, you’ll hear people saying things like, “It was their time” or “It wa... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Aftermath

Submitted: August 24, 2017

21 - AFTERMATH A few days after the chemical plant explosion, a memorial service was held in honor of the two soldiers killed in th... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/The Great Prison Scandal

Submitted: August 24, 2017

22 - THE GREAT PRISON SCANDAL On April 28, 2004, C.B.S. had aired a segment on 60 Minutes which exposed the prisoner abuses perpetrat... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/On The Edge

Submitted: August 24, 2017

23 – ON THE EDGE In early May of 2004, for reasons I can only speculate about, Colonel Waldroup relinquished command of the SCP-B... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Sacked

Submitted: August 24, 2017

24 - SACKED They say a person should never judge a book by its cover.  I also think it’s a mistake to judge an army by its a... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Road Trip To Taji

Submitted: August 24, 2017

25 – ROAD TRIP TO TAJI After Sergeant Blow-Bag left our team, Sergeant 1st Class Marshall Lowery took over as the lead N.C.O.&nbs... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/The U-Turn

Submitted: August 24, 2017

26 – THE U-TURN You may recall from a previous chapter that I was adamant about completing the Advanced N.C.O. Course before depl... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Changeover

Submitted: August 24, 2017

27 - CHANGEOVER By late July in 2004, the M.C.T.s had all but traded in their Humvees for sports utility vehicles.  That was b... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/The Turnover

Submitted: August 24, 2017

28 - THE TURNOVER It was early September and we had been in Iraq nearly six months.  Although the rest of us had orders to ser... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/The Package

Submitted: October 18, 2017

29 - THE PACKAGE By October, the weather had cooled down considerably.  The average daytime temperatures in Baghdad were linge... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/More Casualties

Submitted: August 24, 2017

30 - MORE CASUALTIES On November 8, 2004, our worst fears came to pass.  That morning, two soldiers from one of the other M.C.... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Merger

Submitted: August 24, 2017

31 - MERGER Once upon a time, in a place half a world away, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of Washington’s eli... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Sidelined

Submitted: August 24, 2017

32 - SIDELINED Following the unfortunate deaths of Staff Sergeant Wisdom and Specialist Clary, Low-Sig Ops quickly became a thing o... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Moving On Up

Submitted: August 26, 2017

33 - MOVING ON UP By mid-January 2005, the cat was out of the bag.  It was no longer any secret that the search for weapons of... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Need For Speed

Submitted: August 26, 2017

34 – NEED FOR SPEED As a member of the I.S.G. staff, I didn’t get outside the wire as often as I would have liked to.  I w... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Road Trip To Balad

Submitted: August 26, 2017

35 - ROAD TRIP TO BALAD During the eleven months I was with M.C.T. 6, I spent a lot of time behind the wheel of a Humvee and, after ... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Closing Shop

Submitted: August 26, 2017

36 - CLOSING SHOP The I.S.G. had been on borrowed time for nearly the past three months.  We had all known for quite a while n... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Escape to Camp Cuervo

Submitted: August 26, 2017

37 - ESCAPE TO CAMP CUERVO Now that Marshall had returned to the States, I was the only member left from Mobile Collection Team Six ... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Incoming

Submitted: August 26, 2017

38 - INCOMING Early on during my deployment, the insurgents felt it was safest to set up and employ their mortars against us only a... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/Coalition Friction

Submitted: August 27, 2017

39 - COALTION FRICTION On the morning of June 15, 2005, an IMAR convoy was hit with an I.E.D.  The convoy commander that day w... Read Chapter

PART III - THE IRAQ EXPERIENCE/The Voyage Home

Submitted: August 27, 2017

40 – THE VOYAGE HOME I remained a member of the IMAR staff for about three months and would have stayed longer but, in the early ... Read Chapter

PART IV - HOME FROM THE WAR/Catching Up

Submitted: August 27, 2017

41 - CATCHING UP On the record, I was credited with the successful completion of over one-hundred and fifty convoys and more than s... Read Chapter

PART IV - HOME FROM THE WAR/Escape To El Paso

Submitted: August 27, 2017

42 – ESCAPE TO EL PASO In 2004, the Army introduced “The Soldier’s Creed”.  This creed contains what is known as “The ... Read Chapter

PART IV - HOME FROM THE WAR/Righting A Wrong

Submitted: August 27, 2017

43- RIGHTING A WRONG I spent my second day at Fort Bliss processing into the detachment.  The day started off with a review of... Read Chapter

PART IV - HOME FROM THE WAR/Drama

Submitted: August 27, 2017

44 – DRAMA Soon after reporting for duty with the 2nd Detachment, things took a turn for the worse.  It seemed like just abo... Read Chapter

PART IV - HOME FROM THE WAR/Turmoil

Submitted: October 28, 2017

45 – TURMOIL In the beginning, turmoil was the order of the day.  That's because very little guidance had been provided to t... Read Chapter

PART IV - HOME FROM THE WAR/Girl Trouble

Submitted: August 27, 2017

46 – GIRL TROUBLE Although I had gotten off to a rocky start when I first arrived at Fort Bliss, my situation had vastly improved... Read Chapter

PART IV - HOME FROM THE WAR/Back On Drill Status

Submitted: August 27, 2017

47 – BACK ON DRILL STATUS After my one year assignment in Fort Bliss ended, I returned home to Oregon and resumed drilling with my ... Read Chapter

PART IV - HOME FROM THE WAR/The Interview

Submitted: August 27, 2017

48 – THE INTERVIEW I knew lots of influential people in the town where I had been living.  I had been living in Scappoose, O... Read Chapter

PART IV - HOME FROM THE WAR/Opportunity Knocks Again

Submitted: August 27, 2017

49 – OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS AGAIN Now that my “dwell time” was up, I had no intention of making a lifetime career out of my current... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/The Adventure Begins

Submitted: August 27, 2017

50 – THE ADVENTURE BEGINS We left Fort Benning on Tuesday, October 23, 2007 at ten o’clock in the morning to go to Atlanta. ... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/The DART Chronicles

Submitted: August 27, 2017

51 – THE DART CHRONICLES Soon after being assigned to the J-1 Section, I began studying up on the background and the mission of the... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/Changing Hats

Submitted: August 27, 2017

52 – CHANGING HATS After being released from the J-1 section, I soon found myself getting passed around from one assignment to th... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/Destination: Jalalabad

Submitted: August 27, 2017

53 - DESTINATION: JALALABAD Right around the middle of February, I was informed that our team was being sent on a mission in Jalalaba... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/Destination: Kandahar

Submitted: August 27, 2017

I was given a mission in Kandahar.  It was going to be a solo act.  I would be completely off the grid and on my own, which was... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/Kandahar Ride-Along

Submitted: August 27, 2017

55 – KANDAHAR RIDE-ALONG Early Sunday morning, on the 2nd of March, I joined Mr. Patrick Martel and the rest of his crew from DynCo... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/A Day At The Zoo

Submitted: August 27, 2017

56 - A DAY AT THE ZOO As it happened, the Kabul Zoo was located just across the street from the Afghan Border Police comp... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/Destination: Herat

Submitted: August 27, 2017

57 - DESTINATION: HERAT On the 31st of March, I left with Colonel Hooper on a three day mission to Herat.  It wasn't a pa... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/The P.E.F. Mission

Submitted: August 27, 2017

58 - THE P.E.F. MISSION On the morning of the 5th of May, I departed Camp Eggers on what would be remembered as one of my most exce... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/Return to Kandahar

Submitted: August 27, 2017

59 – RETURN TO KANDAHAR I had finally escaped Camp Eggers and was being reassigned to the Kandahar district, but first I had t... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/On To Qalat

Submitted: August 27, 2017

60 – ON TO QALAT Having worn out my welcome at FOB Scorpion, a decision was made to push me even further downrange to some hole-i... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/Qalat Ride-Along

Submitted: August 27, 2017

61 - QALAT RIDE-ALONG On May the 30th, three days after my arrival, I went out on a convoy with a group of soldiers from the Qalat ... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/False Alarm

Submitted: August 27, 2017

63 – FALSE ALARM On June 25, 2008, the day before my fifty-seventh birthday, I accompanied Major Payne and his team on a mou... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/The A.N.P. Sessions

Submitted: August 27, 2017

66 - THE A.N.P. SESSIONS In late July, Colonel Ortiz decided he wanted me to be the personal trainer for the A.N.P. sergeant major th... Read Chapter

PART V - THE AFGHANISTAN EXPERIENCE/Time To Go Home

Submitted: August 27, 2017

67 - TIME TO GO HOME I began my journey from Afghanistan back to the States at eleven o’clock on the morning of August the 18th, ... Read Chapter

PART VI - BACK HOME AGAIN/Full Circle

Submitted: August 27, 2017

68 - FULL CIRCLE I began my military career in the Regular Army component of the United States armed forces.  My service ... Read Chapter

PART VI - BACK HOME AGAIN/Special Troops Battalion

Submitted: August 27, 2017

69 - SPECIAL TROOPS BATTALION I was assigned to the 472nd Combat Support Detachment of the 593rd Special Troops Battalion.  I ... Read Chapter

PART VI - BACK HOME AGAIN/Meet The New Boss

Submitted: August 27, 2017

70 - MEET THE NEW BOSS The unit I had been reassigned to was the 4th Stryker Brigade.  I had a reporting date of April 1, 2009... Read Chapter

PART VI - BACK HOME AGAIN/Desk Job

Submitted: August 27, 2017

Under construction. ... Read Chapter

PART VI - BACK HOME AGAIN/The New Curriculum

Submitted: August 27, 2017

72 - THE NEW CURRICULUM Nearly five years had passed since my first deployment to Iraq.  In preparing for my second deployment ... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/Taking Over

Submitted: August 27, 2017

73 - TAKING OVER Our plane landed at the Baghdad International Airport on December 2009.  Waiting inside the BIAP passenger te... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/A Matter Of Trust

Submitted: August 27, 2017

74 - A MATTER OF TRUST Not long after my appointment as the Non-Commissioned Officer-In-Charge of the Joint Operations Center (JOC)... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/Mortar Troubles

Submitted: August 27, 2017

75 - MORTAR TROUBLES When I first arrived at FOB Constitution we had a little problem with mortar attacks.  The object of thes... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/Keeping The Peace

Submitted: August 27, 2017

76 - KEEPING THE PEACE Months before I arrived at FOB Constitution, soldiers from the 16th Engineer Brigade had begun construction ... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/Conflict With The Mitt

Submitted: August 27, 2017

77 - CONFLICT WITH THE MITT After Major Simpson left the JOC for his new assignment, an officer from the Military Transition Team had... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/Heated Exchange

Submitted: August 27, 2017

78 - HEATED EXCANGE As luck would have it, the MiTT Team based at FOB Constitution included several field grade officers.  Not... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/Proposal

Submitted: August 27, 2017

79 - PROPOSAL In the months ahead, there would be many personality clashes and arguments between the personnel working in the JOC.&... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/Temper Tantrum

Submitted: August 27, 2017

80 - TEMPER TANTRUM I really needed help out at the JOC, so I persisted in being the squeaky wheel hoping that eventually somebody ... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/K9 Killing Spree

Submitted: August 27, 2017

81 - K9 KILLING SPREE There were rules in Iraq against the harboring of pets or mascots of any kind.  Even so, some Joes just ... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/The Great Fuel Pod Debate

Submitted: August 27, 2017

82 - THE GREAT FUEL POD DEBATE Although some of the soldiers pulling duty out at the JOC were having problems coping with their assig... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/The Show Must Go On

Submitted: August 27, 2017

11 - THE SHOW MUST GO ON! For months, a small crew of carpenters and electricians from the 16th Engineer Brigade had stayed busy out ... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/Major Meltdown

Submitted: August 27, 2017

84 - MAJOR MELTDOWN As the months passed slowly by, we continued to experience our fair share of drama out at FOB Constitution, but... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/Recall

Submitted: August 27, 2017

85 - RECALL In June, there was an equipment recall.  Nearly eight months after our Brigade had deployed to Iraq, we were just ... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/Gremlins

Submitted: August 27, 2017

86 – GREMLINS Along with all the many difficulties I encountered trying to keep the battle tracking systems in the JOC fully oper... Read Chapter

PART VII - IRAQ REVISITED/Curtain Call

Submitted: August 28, 2017

87 - CURTAIN CALL One disturbing fact I had learned shortly after reentering the service was that it had become common practice amo... Read Chapter

PART VIII - LIFE AFTER WAR/Redeployment

Submitted: August 28, 2017

88 - REDEPLOYMENT We arrived back at Fort Lewis on World Airways Flight 8541 on the evening of August 29, 2010.  We landed at ... Read Chapter

PART VIII - LIFE AFTER WAR/Yakima

Submitted: August 28, 2017

Under construction. ... Read Chapter

PART VIII - LIFE AFTER WAR/Intermission

Submitted: August 28, 2017

Under construction. ... Read Chapter

PART VIII - LIFE AFTER WAR/The Replacement

Submitted: August 28, 2017

92 - THE REPLACEMENT Now that the Brigade TOC had been established and all the real work had been done, they decided to put someone... Read Chapter

PART VIII - LIFE AFTER WAR/Another Replacement

Submitted: August 28, 2017

94 - ANOTHER REPLACEMENT One day in April, another Master Sergeant showed up at the S-3 Shop.  I’ll just call him Sergeant H... Read Chapter

PART VIII - LIFE AFTER WAR/Fort Irwin

Submitted: August 28, 2017

Under construction. ... Read Chapter

PART VIII - LIFE AFTER WAR/End Of Watch

Submitted: August 28, 2017

96 - END OF WATCH While the rest of the Brigade deployed to Afghanistan, I was forced to remain behind as the Rear Detachment N.C.O... Read Chapter

PART VIII - LIFE AFTER WAR/Retirement

Submitted: August 28, 2017

97 - RETIREMENT I grew up in an Army in which nobody wanted to be known as a slacker.  In those days, soldiers were very reluc... Read Chapter

PART VIII - LIFE AFTER WAR/Transition

Submitted: August 28, 2017

98 - TRANSITION Now that I was retired, the time had finally come for me to complete my transition and settle back into ordinary so... Read Chapter

EPILOGUE

Submitted: August 28, 2017

EPILOGUE It seems my entire life I’ve always been the one they’ve called crazy. Maybe I am crazy.  I must be.  That w... Read Chapter

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Submitted: October 28, 2017

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I had never planned on writing this book, so it took a lot longer to write it than I thought it would.  I nev... Read Chapter

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