Thanksgiving_iraq

Rain. Much like today, last year in Iraq was a typical day. We had received mortar fire the night before and were on our toes because we knew the scumbags knew it was “our” holiday season as Ramadan had just ended and we figured they would try a nice assault on the base. It was quiet, too quiet with the type of silence you hear at night when you can hear the blood rushing through your ears.

Back home everyone was getting into the holiday spirit in Iraq there was a brotherhood spirit already in place. The kind you get from looking at one another while mortar rounds and RPGs are shot at you while you wait for a lull in the fire so you can get you armor on or move to a solid position to return fire.

I truly didn’t even think about the holiday. There were no indications of a holiday in the damp area. No decorations, no parades with giant cartoon characters. The holiday was planted way in the back of your head as you focused on a much more in your face issue, the enemy.

A makeshift tensile decoration and a turkey silhouette cutout was on the wall of our refortified bunker chow hall but then again so was a cut out of Uncle sam left from the 4th of July.  A thin plastic table cloth covered the table where me and a few close friends sat at. I  had to coax them to go to the chow hall and experience the “Thanksgiving chow” late that afternoon. In fact Burrito Thursday would have been a better deal as at least you knew what you were getting to eat. We all sat there going through our exact routine of waiting in line, getting our trays, paper plates, chow then moving to a salad call. Yes, there isn’t much brown leafs; I think I will have a salad today. Grabbing two Hajji Pepsi’s we all arrived at “our” table. A table positioned way in the back in one of the bunker corridors. Quiet and by ourselves, we tried to fool one another we enjoyed the holiday there but at least we were there together. We discussed what our families were doing that year back home with us being gone. Some volunteered to help charity groups some met with other members of the family. We sat and enjoyed the chow we had, although it was no where close to family cooking but more like an MRE covered with Mrs. Dash. I Scrambled what was a weak attempt at a pumpkin pie that one of the Iraqi locals made up and wondered if the had spit in it.

It was a quiet chow. A few comments about the day were made and then it was over. Thanksgiving was gone and we were that much closer to going home. That’s how we looked at it. Get it over with then you could tell yourself”we only have Christmas and New Years left and it will be close to going home time”. 

This year, I’m home, I’ve cherished the past few months being here and home with friends and family. I stop sometimes and look around at all the great things we have and are offered to us in America and Im proud to be a defender of them all. Today, I will enjoy a nice meal, cold beer and a big cigar for those who are out on the pointy end of the spear, protecting our country, sitting quietly in a bunker during Thanksgiving and saying we are almost home.

Enjoy your holiday and never ever forget those who have paid the price to ensure we can relax and enjoy such events in our free country, that’s something to be thankful for!!

Semper Fidelis and Happy Thanksgiving,
Time for a C-Gar!
Maj Pain

Comments

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Major Pain, and to all who read here.
    I’m so very thankful for all of our Military, and everyone is in my thoughts and prayers to stay safe, complete their missions and return to the best Country in the world. Godspeed.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving Major to you and your family. Thanks too for your blog which in checking back I tuned into just after Thanksgiving last year. Lots of great reading in the ensueing months!! Many blessings…

  3. So here we all back at home sit on the official beginning day of “The Holidays 2006.” On this day most of the citizens of our great country will exploit the opportunity to over-indulge in what ever feast is laid before us, while we contemplate the inconvenient execution of multiple missions to assorted retail establishments over the next several weeks in order engage in unnecessarily extravagant spending in an attempt to prove to our various loved ones just how much we appreciate them. Most of us, having engaged holiday auto-pilot, will do this by simply following the well beaten and familiar paths of our personal customs which we take for granted. We will do this in relative comfort and safety. Comfort and safety which we also take for granted.
    As I sit writing this, I feel ashamed. My daughter is miles away from her home serving her country and I miss her. There is an emptiness in my heart because at our table there will be an empty chair. There will be thousands of empty chairs at thousands of tables today. Most of the citizens of our great country however, while following those familiar paths, will not give this fact a second thought. They are not engaged in this war.
    The only thought they may give it if any, is in subconscious review of the daily perverted litany of the Jihadist supporting MSM’s body count, which has as much impact on them as reports of local traffic fatalities which if acknowledged in their minds is only out of morbid curiosity. And so I am ashamed. I am ashamed of my fellow countrymen who cannot be bothered with this war, who refuse to look beyond the negativity presented to them by the “Dhimie MSM,” and who cannot maintain a simple resolve to support the mission of our troops who on this day comprise those thousands of empty chairs while attempting to secure our relative comfort and safety.
    In honesty however, the lack of engagement of my fellow countrymen cannot answer completely for the shame I feel. I question myself, “Have I done enough? Is the complacency of my countrymen partially my fault? Have I allowed the flawed cadence of the “Dhimies” to subdue my voice? Am I not shouting loud enough? Have I let my daughter down?” I suspect that the answer to these questions is the shame that I feel.
    For those of us who want to make a difference, the well beaten and familiar paths of our personal customs need not be discarded. That would only serve to cheapen the sacrifices our troops are making. Indeed, we need to celebrate these well beaten and familiar paths more fully and incorporate in that celebration a stronger voice. A combined voice of support for the mission of our troops who stand between us and those who seek to destroy our capacity for celebration. We need to do more. Our voice needs to be the petard that breaches complacency.
    We cannot let this season pass without raising our voices in celebration of what our troops sacrifice stands to provide to us. If we do less, we can be left with nothing more then shame.
    I thank you Major for your voice which never falters. Happy Thanksgiving all. And for all of you whose tables have empty chairs, God Bless and Keep Safe You and Yours.

  4. Happy Thanksgiving!
    I’m Thankful You’re All there..
    Take a bomb maker out for me today. So I can live to eat another turkey next year. 🙂
    Sincerely, Happy Turkey Day!

  5. We had dinner today at my grandmother’s house. There were 40 of us there, and no, that was not everyone. Before we eat we remember what we are thankful for and remember those who we have lost. Then we say a prayer. This year we also started a tradition of lighting a candle for each family member we lost. We also lite a candle for those soldiers who could not be with their families today and one for those who will never be able to be there with their families again.

  6. Just finished winding down after the eating/cleanup frenzy. Was a peaceful and joyful Thanksgiving in our house, thanks to God and our men on the wall (and bunkers). God bless our troops. We would not long be America without you.Thank you!

  7. Happy Thanksgiving Major!
    That was an oustanding post!
    Followed by an outstanding comment by Esoteric!
    God bless our Heroes, keep them safe, and give them peace of mind.

  8. We are so Blessed and Thankful to have so many who stand for this great country, Our men and women serving along with their families who sacarifice so much! It is them who give daily to the rest of us and I will never take that for granted!
    Thanks for Serving may God Bless and protect all of you!

  9. Thank you for the requiem (the last few posts) and the reminder of thanks-for-the-giving. You know where my heart lives, B-Marine, with happy Thanksgiving to you, yours, theirs.

  10. Cooked a couple of turkeys and trimmings and took them down to our local homeless shelter for those that need it more than I.I made sure the woman and kids had first dibs, the guys were in agreement with me, no other choice pal,I still have a little bit of combat knowledge behind me.

  11. Cooked a couple of turkeys and trimmings and took them down to our local homeless shelter for those that need it more than I.I made sure the woman and kids had first dibs, the guys were in agreement with me, no other choice pal,I still have a little bit of combat knowledge behind me.

  12. Hi Capt. B,
    I am an Indian (the one in the Asia) and still I am damn proud of things you guys are doing for freedom and for all the privileges that go with it.
    This Thanksgiving I thank you and thousands of other Marines for the great sacrifices that you are making.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. I might as well wish you a merry Christmas now, as i will be busy packing and sending out pacs to our troops for a while ,i wanted to get them out yesterday but people keep stopping by and dropping stuff off.Dont let anyone fool you, the majority supports our troops,
    Big bro Jim I,said that.

  14. I might as well wish you a merry Christmas now, as i will be busy packing and sending out pacs to our troops for a while ,i wanted to get them out yesterday but people keep stopping by and dropping stuff off.Dont let anyone fool you, the majority supports our troops,
    Big bro Jim I,said that.

  15. Next year, the Marine!Goth will be out on the speartip, so this year all the traditions are tinged a bit bittersweet. I can feel him pulling away from us daily, bracing himself for what he’ll need to do. I’m counting in days now and just hope that I can stay strong and make his leave over Christmas peaceful and strengthening.

  16. wouldn’t it be nice if we could all meet at Tun tavern in Philly Pa. and hoist a few.sure would make my day,month, year.

  17. wouldn’t it be nice if we could all meet at Tun tavern in Philly Pa. and hoist a few.sure would make my day,month, year.

  18. Karla: you will find the strength in prayer. That is how I got through a deployment & that is how I will get through the next one coming up. Stay busy, stay strong & don’t watch the news–it’s a load of crapola anyway!

  19. We are a graduate education class from St. Johns in Queens, New York. We are talking about war, and you are living the war. How was your thanksgiving? This thanksgiving we are all thinking about you. We all give thanks for you.

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  22. Really liked the photo of your Thanksgiving meal. Has kind of a Norman Rockwell look and feel to it. I would like to attempt to do it as an oil painting. Would it be possible to get your permission to do so? (Don’t want to just lift it off the internet).

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