Where do they come from?

In reading news releases from CentCom.mil (yea, I read it straight from
the source - how right wing is THAT?) over and over there are stories about
all these weapons caches found and destroyed (hooray for our guys!)

Where do all the weapons come from?

Are they left over from Sadaam's reign of terror?
Smuggled over the border from a neighboring "friend?"


Dalene Barnes

GiGotti78- The weapons come from anywhere you can imagine, well except Weapon-Mart. Just
like in America, smuggling of illegal items happens everyday. Before Iraq's borders were
tightened down by US and coalition forces, insurgents were able to smuggle any and everything
they wanted to. Some of the weapons caches that are found are old and were probably weapons
from the Saddam era. Some caches have weapons that you can tell are from outside places
due to types and markings. But everytime they create a cache, you can bet we are going to
find it and destroy it.


Age of Soldiers

How many enlisted soldiers in the Guard are in their 40's? Soon to be 45 I'm wondering if I could hack a tour in Iraq. How are these middle age soldiers doing? I'm prior service (5 years in the chair-force)


GiGotti78- Their are quite a few soldiers both Active and in the Guard in their 40's. Most on Active are close to retirement and some Guard soldiers stay in for the love of the military. For the most part, soldiers in their 40's are in just as good of shape as soldiers younger than them. Of course, it is always case by case but this is an overall assumption. As long as you are in good health their is no reason not to be able to hack a tour in Iraq. I am not sure what they raised the maximum age limit to, but if you are still eligible I would see what they can do for you.

Mr. Matt is on leave for awhile and will be back at a later date.


Soldiers' Angels

I'm a volunteer for Soldiers' Angels (soldiersangels.org) and I'm wondering what would you most like to get in a care package? (A few suggestions for things that fit in flat rate boxes would be helpful.) Also, are there any subjects that are best avoided when I write? I get lots of feedback on the Angels website, but I'd like to get some ideas from actual deployed military as well. Thanks for you input.


GiGotti78- First off let me take this moment to thank you for all you have done. To volunteer your time to help soldiers overseas is truly a testament of your character. I would also like to thank each and every person who has donated to organizations like yours for it lets the soldiers like me know we are not forgotten. Okay, now that I have rambled alittle bit I can answer your question. People are always asking what they should send in a care package. What I always tell them it is not the contents of the package but the thought behind that package that makes it special. Now, if that is not enough, here are some things you can put in a package:

Hand/Feet warmers (believe it or not it gets cold in the desert at nights)
Various Snacks ( cookies, chips, hard candies)
A thank you card (I find it always nice and it touches my heart when I get a thank you card from someone I have never met who shows their appreciation.)

The possibilities are endless when it comes to a care package. Most times, soldiers will share their packages with fellow soldiers in the section/squad/platoon. So no matter what you send, it will be used and be appreciated. I know my unit has set up a tent in our living area where soldiers put anything they haven't used out for fellow soldiers to get. Also, if you write a letter just saying thank you for the job you are doing and letting the soldier know he is in your prayers (if you are the religious type) is just fine. Keeping the letters broad is always the safest bet.

Mr. Matt will not be able to answer due to being on leave enjoying time with family and friends. He will return soon.


Between the posts (make sure you check out todays) check out our tennant of the week.

<--- Outstanding Photography by Otilius.


Army and its recruits

What do you guys think of this article:


GiGotti78- Well, first of all, it is obviously spun with the popular vote in America that we should not be in Iraq and should pull out. I say that because although it points out different sources and has fancy calculations to back up the point they are trying to make, it is still askewed. A Soldier is a Soldier and not all people do well at tests. Also, depending on your score on these tests are your choices for jobs in the Army. Someone who is a Category IV won't be able to get a job in the Military Intelligence field but will probably have choices of maybe a cook, truck driver, and of course Infantry. I credit the writer of that story because he makes for a good argument but unfortunately, he is an MSM wannabe so trying to argue this point would be a waste of breath. I personally dont give this story too much weight or merit.

Mr. Matt- First off I'm not a smart soldier. Seriously. When I came in and I took the test that is spoken of in this article I was only given a few jobs to choose from. Truck driver, Infantry, Fueler, Cook, basically simple jobs for the military not requireing alot of knowledge. IMO if you have enough of an attention span to fire a rifle and keep your head down Welcome Aboard! I initally came in as an Infantry Men. While I was on active duty I decided that infantry wasn't for me and I wanted to change my MOS which required me to raise my test scores. I was in a course for 2 weeks at 10 hours a day. I took the test and raised my scores just enough to be able to get the job that I was after. If the government wants to let drop outs join or the 'not smart' people let them. There will be less crime, a stronger military, and more jobs on the civilian side for the people that are unable to join due to medical issues. Welcme to the military the organized prison system. Here you will get paid, fed, and given a place to live. By the way here is your liscence to kill but, your only allowed to do it when we say you can.


Military Poll

I came across this article and found it very disturbing. I am curious if you feel there is any truth to it, or if it perhaps it was one of those polls worded in such a way to solicit a desired response. Or perhaps just the media going at it again. Have you notice a change in attitude toward President Bush by the troops? And if so, does it have more to do with the way the war is being executed? If this is something you do not feel you can discuss—I understand.


The article about the military poll can be found here: http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/01/02/060102234337.if0cb0yj.html

GI Gotti78- I personally dont believe in polls. Their are too many factors involved when doing a poll that the end result is never good no matter who the poll is in favor of. When you do a poll on the military, their is also emotional factors you got to take in effect. If you ask a soldier how he feels about President Bush or the war after coming off a patrol where they were atacked with and IED or they watched a buddy get wounded, how do you think they are going to respond? So anytime I see a poll that has the word military in it, I just discard it has trash.

Mr. Matt - I have to agree with GIGotti on this one. Cause even depending on my mood of that moment I may choose differently.


Election Day

Today was a great day in history...
How do you men feel the elections today, (Thursday December 15, 2005) went down?


GIGotti78- Well my friend, to tell you the truth, I was not one bit surprised at the turn out with approximately 70% turning out to vote. What surprised me was the amount of Sunni Arabs that decided to exercise their right to vote. Not only that, but their reaction to reporters asking how they felt about voting. The vast majority felt very strongly about voting and for a lack of a better term felt bad for not exercising their right as a citizen back in January and October. That is a very good sign that all three major ethnic groups are participating. Also surprising was the lack of insurgent activity. In one of Iraq's finest hours, the insurgents did not try to darken the day but instead remained quiet. I can only hope that this trend of lessening violence will continue as the new Iraqi government takes effect and their security forces become stronger and more skillful.

Mr. Matt- I'm glad everything was quiet for the most part. Also, this country has taken a turn for the better as you can tell by the amounts that the voters have turned out to be from election to election. Quite honestly I'm looking foward to finally seeing this country on it's own 2 feet. (that means that I won't have to be here) :-) - - - I have a future at home not in Iraq.

A 6 yr old's concern

My six year old boy (Jason) has been very concerned about the safety of
the soldiers and wants to know how the soldiers stay safe. More
specifically he wants to know how you keep from getting shot.

Jen, Chuck, Jason and Jocelyn

GIGotti78- First, let me say you have a very smart son to be concerned in that manner. Their is no such thing in combat to be completely safe. That is why us soldiers train so much. Our training helps us immensely. We also wear protective gear like bulletproof vests that keep bullets from hitting us in the chest and also from hitting our back. Also, our vehicles have armor to help shield us from any bombs that may go off or bullets if someone tries shooting at us. Please let your son know that it is very touching to have someone so young be so concerned about our safety and welfare. We (soldiers) appreciate his concern.

Mr. Matt- Well, very good question Jason! We have to wear bulletproof vests when we go off base. Also our vehicles have been "up armored" which means that they put a lot more steel or other hard metal material on the outsides of the vehicle to keep the bullets from coming through the vehicle. If we were to get shot at. But most of all it's the training that we get on how to react when something like that may happen. We do stay safe. As safe as we can.