Notes for those taking notes
Whew, back from another mission. This one was pretty short, just three days down on FOB Falcon, another one of the myriad posts sprinkled throughout Baghdad.
Lots going on down in the city. In response to the bombing of the Golden Mosque, a major Shiite holy site, over 100 Sunnis were killed in revenge attacks today. Moreover, the Sunnis are backing out of talks concerning the new forming government. Check out more here. Lord help us if the civil war breaks out on our watch.
Here are a few notes:
1) For the record: Outgoing artillery is loud as f*ck.
2) If you hear a rocket or mortar attack detonate, don’t panic — if you’re still alive, then you made it! Congrats.
3) A big “hullo” to the new readers from “forest“! Thanks for stopping by!
4) Work begins on a new “Wrangler” in a few days. Just hold on for a little while longer.
5) The lovely and talented Brie (one of our uber peeps) has a new artist myspace profile. Check it here and give your support. Rock!
6) Some have expressed concern that I’ve gone “Godcore.” Don’t worry, kids, I’m still me 😉 I’m just in search of truth. Truth is. It doesn’t matter if it has a “religious” garnish on it or not.
Oh and check this out, I made it into the Feb. 20 issue of “Stars and Stripes,” the major newspaper we get in the service while deployed.
There was an article that appeared a few days before detailing a new Pentagon report suggesting the military end the pay difference between married and single service members.
See, if you’re married, in addition to getting your own house (and away from the nasty barracks), you get paid more money while in the states and receive an additional bonus when deployed due to the “stress of being away from family.” Single soldiers get nada.
So I wrote an editorial. Here it is since there’s no online version that I know of (Stars and Stripes isn’t free, so you’d have to buy a copy):
End the Pay disparity
Whether anything comes from the study that suggested, among many things, to end the disparity between married and single pay, it’s still great news that someone noticed (“Pentagon urged to end married-single pay disparity,” Military Update, Feb. 17).
I’m a single soldier and have often wondered why my married co-workers get more money. If someone was ordered to get married, I’d understand; I see no need for the government to subsidize a personal choice. If I went out and got a body piercing that required so much money per month to keep infection-free, the government would laugh if I asked for a bonus.
The article listed the “cost” of paying single soldiers equally as a major hurdle. Doesn’t the government realize I, as a single soldier, cost them a lot less? I don’t require on-post houses, playgrounds, parks, Department of Defense schools — none of the normal married infrastructure. Can’t some of those wear-and-tear savings be credited against the cost of this supposed obstacle to equality?
Just because the majority of soldiers choose to eventually marry, I don’t see why I should be financially penalized for the risks I take in Iraq just because God made me single.
***Someone asked about the photo. I took it a few days ago here on Taji. It’s just one of the billowing clouds from fires that rage around Iraq. This one was an oil pipeline that went boom, but there are trash fires, wood fires, building fires — all manner of reasons to fill the air with choking blackness.