Friday, April 6, 2007

Adam's worst day ever!

Quite some time has passed without being able to update you. I have been extremely busy. I have often been working 10-16 hrs a day, seven days a week. I haven't had a single day off since we arrived in Iraq. The lives of many fobbits are much the same. Most of the complications, heart-ache and anger felt by me toward others have nothing to do with bad guys at all. It comes from leaders that seem like they just don't care. They push and push to the breaking point, seemingly without regard to the soldiers they command.

It isn't just the fobbits that frustrated. The guys on the guns run many, many missions. I can't tell you their schedules, but it is a bunch. They are always on the road; in harm’s way. Most Escort Teams have enough guys to leave a couple behind each mission. They were told they would be left behind to decompress, to relax, to refresh. We put them to work, here in the FOB. We have them doing various duties such as cleaning vehicles, arranging store rooms, etc. Though many of them are on a different schedule than us, they are required to change to our hours while they are here. Most of them, though tired and beaten, would rather face the dangers of the road than to stay here with us. Even I would rather be on the road. Our guys brag about how nice it is at other bases. The garages are friendly and expedient; ours are not. Some of them mention a sense of relief as they head out on the road. "Sure you dodge bullets and bombs now and then, but it is better than putting up you guys!"

Yesterday, my best friend came to me and mentioned that he had the "Worst Day of His Life!" He is constantly told how useless he and his co-worker are and no matter what they do, it is never good enough. The two of them are required to work all hours of the day and night and be on call when they are not at work. If they leave by 6pm, they are criticized. If they stay until 1am they are still criticized. They are in a no-win situation.

Last night, after my friend's worst day ever, we were sitting in my room "venting" when explosions started shaking the walls. As we took cover, my buddy laughs about how the worst day of his life actually got worse and how that was the topping on the cake. This was well past our bedtime and he mentioned how it was a great ending to a horrible day. Then these two soldiers were ordered to go back to work instead of going to bed. When asked if the "all clear" had been given, (meaning was it safe to walk around and go back to work). They were told "It doesn't matter!” It didn't matter that it hadn't been deemed safe to leave shelter. It didn't matter that the job they were going to do wasn't engaging the enemy or defending a position from attack. It didn't matter that it wasn't anything they couldn't have done the next day, yet they worked all through the night as ordered.