August 12, 2005

On Being compared to Ernie Pyle

The New Ernie Pyles I was quite pleased with this comparison, as I have read every Ernie Pyle book out there and loved them. I do have to make one correction here (Sorry Mr. Finer:) I was born in Haverhill, Massachussetts, but was raised as an AF brat, so my roots run where I plant them:-D But it is a wicked cool article, and has caused some amusement around my company this morning from those I have shown it to:-D
In other news, I am preparing to head out to the field next week for a company exercise. A chance to lay out the cot, roll out the sleeping bag, and play like I was camping LOL.
Actually, I am supposed to really go camping this weekend, though that may be postponed due to weather. My company is going to have a get together this weekend, and the original plan was to meet out at the park, cook out, throw a ball around so on and so forth, and then those who wished to were going to stay out there overnight. I was going to throw up my army issue pup tent and everything. I love camping, don't do it nearly often enough, but I do NOT go by myself. I am a little chicken when it comes to being out in the woods alone at night. Something about big bad scary animals. I am just hoping there aren't a lot of daddy long legs out there. We had that problem during PLDC a few years ago, and I woke up to find at least 10 of them crawling around my tent. NO I did not run outside screaming (as the boys apparently expected any female to do when encountering these creatures). I learned a long time ago that they can't hurt me. Now a black widow...........that's another story. Anyways, I am starting to ramble on and I really should be working.
PS was thinking about what I am going to retitle this blog when I leave the Army. The web address will remain the same, but I was thinking something along the lines of "this girls life after the army" Who knows and we shall see.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

My wife and her family are all from Haverhill. I'm a 57 year old Viet Nam Vet and been reading your blog. You rock Sgt Lizzie. Keep you head down.

Doug said...

How I published a bestseller after being linked in the 'Post!
---
Be sure to check comments in your "swimming" post.
Corn cannot be wasted.

Anonymous said...

Good luck after the Army! Remember you can use ACAP for up to 6 months after you bail. (It came in really helpful when I got out.)


Good stuff on the blog. (Perhaps you should slip that WaPost reporter a $20 next time you see them!)

brian said...

so why are we in Iraq ?

Anonymous said...

its funny, i came online to check the news of the world instead i find this..some news huh!!!!
No disrespect, but you got too much time on your hand, use it for something better.

DEVIL DOG aka MARINE

larkohio said...

Thanks for your service, Lizzie. You have my admiration.

Charlie said...

Myself, My wife and all five of my children thank you and all our soldiers for your service. Keep up the good work, and stay safe.

Tom Hansen said...

I retired from the Army in July 1989. I currently work at the University of Idaho.

After having read a multitude of articles and letters posted at a wide range of media sources, I found it to be refreshing, soothing, and (above all else) real when I first read your blog.

WETSU,

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

AirborneVet said...

Ha! In the paper again! :-) I found the article before checking your blog today. Go, Lizzie! It's you birthday!
I miss you! Take care of yourself and email soon!

Matt said...

Stumbled upon your blog from the WaPo article. About to start taking it in from the top, hope that's OK with you. Good luck as you re-enter civilian life. I cannot fathom all that you have been through.

P said...

Hey. You have gone through a lot lately. All the best for a great future!

Korea/Viet Nam said...

Hold your head high and be proud. Lots of snivvling and whining from the home front and from comrads can bring you down. But you should be cleaning your weapon, salvaging what's left of your vehicle and writing about your lost comrads. War is not like summer camp

DesertVet91 said...

I thank you so much for your service to your country. I pray that your transition will be an easy one.
My son is in Afghanistan now and we haven't heard a word from him since Sunday.
Being a vet myself and a sister to a Vietnam Vet, I don't see how my Mom lived through the hell!
Take care and God Bless

Sean from DocintheBox said...

Good luck Liz with your future life, don't worry, for me you're not really going anywhere from me! Where are all of these hit's coming from today? 38 in the last hour? If you're ever on the west coast, beers on me.

Grace in TX said...

Thanks for this great blog! I'd much rather hear what you have to say about what's happening than to listen to whiners who get on their high horse and tell me what they THINK...I hope you have great success in life. Thank you for your service! You are awesome!

Cristina said...

http://www.livejournal.com/users/pinkluck411/ post comments plz

Jerome O. said...

Just thought I'd tell you about the home front. Most Americans realize that the war in Iraq is a huge, costly, foolish mistake. Most realize it is not at all making them "safer" but in fact much LESS SAFE. America is doing things now that it will NEVER live down and people around the world will NEVER forget about. Most Americans want immediate full or partial withdrawl of U.S. forces regardless of the consequences as they can rightly see that this war is a catastrophe and thoroughly UNWINNABLE. They largely know that all the American troops who are dying every day in gruesome ways are dying for LESS THAN NOTHING, they are dying for LIES. In the run-up to this war the ONLY thing about Iraq that Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz et al. said about Iraq that was not a lie was that, yes, Iraq is sitting on a lake of crude oil as the world's 2nd-largest oil producer, the ONLY REAL REASON for your being there. Congratulations! You are sweating from every pore and enduring sand fleas for NOTHING! You're suffering attacks by Rebels, people who understandably hate you and want the U.S. military out of their country as they can see what your are doing. They know Iraq is being raped every day of its natural resources. They know that over 112,000 (that's over one hundred twelve THOUSAND) Iraqi civilians, mostly women and children are laying dead on concrete slabs because of the occupier. They will NEVER consider you a liberator because you are not. You are dupes of the fascist oil barons who sit in their air-conditioned comfort getting richer by the day as Americans mostly from the poorest and least educated strata of society bleed and die for their profits. This is the cold, hard truth. People like you are very disposable and they know it. But at least the all volunteer military is rapidly reaching the end of its manpower constraints: cannon fodder is becoming increasingly scarce. Your best bet is to shoot yourself in the foot and go home, or to fake being insane and get a Section-8. Do you really want to be the last soldier to die in a lost cause that was wrong to begin with?

Paul said...

www.veteransforcommonsense.org
led me to Lizzie's page. As Shakespeare in Hamlet said, thus by way of the worm, the fish, and the gut, may a beggar make a progress to a King , or vice - versa. Metaphorically speaking.

Kenneth said...

Sgt. Lizzie,

I tip my hat to you. I know this may sound like the strangest thing you've heard but I wish I could take your place in the service. I was born with Spina Bifida, a spinal chord defect that has paralyzed my legs. But I grew up a service brat too, except it was Air Force. My dad served in Korea and Vietnam and wanted to go to Desert Storm, but his age and health kept him from going. I grew up believing that if you aren't willing to put your life on the line for your country, you have no business critisiing it. Many hundreds and possibily thousands of soldiers died so that we could live the life we do. I had the honor of talking to Col. Olver North when he was on a local radio talk show and told him that if there was a tank or jet I could operate, I would be over there.

Thank you for your patriotism

Kenneth

Debbie S. said...

Hi Liz,

First I want to thank you and your comrades for your service and courage. My family and I are grateful for what you have done to protect us and the USA.

I am so glad that I found your blog. I am finally getting to hear the real truth about what is happening. If I just listened to the mainstream media, you would think we were in Vietnam (not Irag). And after reading Jerome O's comments, I felt I had to write to let you know that not ALL or even MOST people feel that way. Although that is what the press say polls say. I take polls with a grain of salt. There are so many ways of influencing the outcome that I just don't believe them. What I do I believe in is you and what you have done. I wish you all the best and much success as you return to civilian life.

Take care and stay safe.

Anonymous said...

Former general and long-time devoted right winger Barry McCaffery said yesterday and I quote: "It's a race against time because by the end of this coming summer we can no longer sustain the presence we have now" said McCaffery who visited Iraq most recently in June and briefed Cheney, Rice and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He sums up the U.S. occupation's situation as "This thing, the wheels are coming off it". This is not a "left wing media" spin or whatever the sniveling warmongers are trying to blame it on now, but a long time right wing Republican who has just been to Iraq to brief the "vice" president and Secr. of State. As is anyway apparant from the White House rhetoric they see it is unwinnable militarily. Recruitment is sagging so badly that they are now offering-- get this-- they are now offering 15 months active service and the rest in the Peace Corps!! How's that for desperate? Notice how the emphasis has been for a while now on training the puppet "Iraqi" forces to "fight off the Rebels themselves"? Notice how it smacks of Vietnamization or is everyone here not old enough to remember that farce? They keep saying they want "to put an Iraqi face" on the occupation, because they are every day seeing American faces getting shot at, so this is a face-saving action, no pun intended, because they know it is 100% unwinnable and they need a less humiliating way to haul ass. I've seen it before several times... Remember the helicopter on the roof of the embassy in Saigon? Remember how humiliating that was when the ambassador with indecent haste crammed the flag into a little plastic bag and quickly left on the last helicopter out? I do. Remember the marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon when one guy blew the whole face off of the barracks and caused Reagan to pull the U.S. out of Lebanon post haste? I do. Remember the guy getting dragged around in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia when eighteen dead caused Clinton to withdraw from the Somalia adventure? I do. You act as if this is without precedent. The fact remains: The vast majority of the American public was foaming at the mouth to invade Iraq (who was doing nothing to provoke it) when it was being sold to them as easy and bloodless (for the U.S.) but as soon as it becomes TWO-sided America gets weak in the knees and wants a way out of it. This is an undeniable fact. It is only being made worse by the fact that, as they say, the first casualty of war is truth. Remember the Jessica Lynch made-for-TV fable? Remember the Pat Tillman "charging up a hill, cut down by Taliban gunfire" work of utter fiction? Why should anyone believe ANYTHING the military has to say about ANYTHING? No sensible person will barring independent confirmation. But yes, the government realizes that the war is unwinnable by military means and furthermore the recruitment situation shows that the all volunteer military is not at all cut out for a prolonged, REAL war. Bear in mind the task at hand is occupying a country of 26 million people, a country not even ONE-TENTH the size of the U.S. population but nevertheless would require, for a country of that size population, as restive as it is, at least 260,000 troops in country, or 1,000 for every million population. At least twice the size of the U.S. force there now. But you know what? That would mean twice the casualties every day at least and the planners knew that the American public cannot handle seeing even 3 or so killed every day let alone 6 every day. So they're trying to do it with far too little combat power and, let's face it, a car backfires and they're calling for air support, okay? If a platoon sees five Rebels with rifles they duck and call in the air force to do the killing instead of doing what real infantry would do, that is fire & maneuver using organic weapons. There is no reason in this world for a rifle platoon encountering an opposing fire team-sized unit to call in even artillery, let alone air support. Yet it happens again and again like it's a reflex, proving the "infantry" are simply glorified forward air controllers. If an army's infantry cannot or WILL NOT do the basic bread and butter infantry offensive tactic of using one element to fix and suppress the enemy while the other element sweeps around the flank to close with them and destroy using weapons organic to the platoon, then they're not infantry. Simple as that. And if an army's infantry isn't worth a damn then the army as a whole isn't either, because infantry is the backbone of it. If the infantry cannot be depended upon to destroy smaller enemy units with infantry weapons and to hold a piece of terrain in defense using their infantry weapons then no amount of heavy armor or fancy fighting vehicles, no amount of night-vision devices or on-call air support is going to make up for it. Never. The top military brass is seeing that you cannot occupy a country with air power. So in sum, you need about double the amount of troops in country to even have a chance at pacifying a country that restive, and your own high command certainly realizes that they cannot sustain even this size force in Iraq for another year even, as they are constantly talking about withdrawl. Look at all the pressure Rumsfeld has been putting on the puppet "Iraqi" government to write a constitution as it is "key to the exit strategy". Liberal spin or whatever the right wing is currently trying to blame for its unwinnable catastrophe is not the reason why American troops are getting killed every day and poisoning recruitment. Who wants to be cannon fodder for some fat old rich warmonger oil barons? Apparantly not many. Look at it from a military point of view it is totally unwinnable and that is the reason for the fake face-saving gestures like "Iraqification" of the occupation so Americans can quickly leave behind the bloody mess they caused. But it is so transparent, just like their motives. The cause of the inevitable U.S. withdrawl is because of the Rebels making it exactly the opposite of what the planners wanted. They know they cannot get their nice complacent little puppet state with a "government" and oil ministry that "sells" them oil at sweetheart prices as if it was theirs. Instead they have not only a fight but a boiling mess that is far beyond their power to control and boiling more so with each day.
You need far more troops than what are there and guess what? They just aren't there and they can't keep even the current force leves there at this level for a year. What is the point in continuing to fight in this lost cause? It's time for everyone to be realistic about it: It is as good as over and totally unwinnable.

mike said...

Sgt Lizzie - I saw your site from an article on MSNBC and noticed in one of your blogs you had a link to the Sentinel and Gazzette. Are you from Fitchburg, Mass? If so HELLO! I am from Orange, Mass and went to college at Fitchburg State, where I served in ROTC and the Army National Guard! I served 6 and a half years as an officer in the infantry and even did a 6 month stint in Kuwait back in 96. Anyways, just wanted to say hi and hope you're doing well. I loved every minute of my time and would still be in if I could. Soldiers like yourself make the service worth every minute of it. God bless you and take care of yourself. If you ever want to contact me - my e-mail is mikeisit86@yahoo.com.

Mike

Anonymous said...

By the way - 'Anonymous' at 5:01 PM is an ARSEHOLE! Winnable isn't the issue - the occupation of Berlin didn't go flawlessly either (aahhh - HISTORY - remember that?). Get a life!

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Anonymous said...

By the way, the so-called "liberal media" was about as rah-rah propagandistic as the right wing could hope for in promoting this war and treated Bush with kid gloves to say the least in Presidential Campaign 2000 and 2004. The peabrained right wing just tends to think that everything that's not Fox "news" is "left wing media". But you should know for what it's worth that the worse things are in Iraq the less the "news" covers it. On the program (on Fox) that covers weekly news stories pertaining to Americans, in the weekend after the triple-stack anti-tank mines blew that AAVP7A1 over like a tin can killing 16 plus the "Iraqi" sellout interpreter, it was not mentioned, instead having a segment about sharks and some moron shark "expert" that referred to "sharks AND fish", after that a piece about some woman's handmade dolls and two other equally pointless fluff stories. So the worse the U.S. forces in Iraq do, apparantly the less the media wants to talk about them. How's that for recognition?

Hugh Campbell said...

Lizzi, thanks so much for sharing. We all appreciate everything you are doing on behalf of freedom and the USA.

Best to you and yours,
Hugh

Same Korea/Viet Nam Vet said...

And let me gently remind you, you are an NCO. Are you taking care of your troops?

Hugh Campbell said...

Jerome O. at 3:00 PM.......she is fighting so you will have the right to say what you do but it is awful that you would suggest she shoot herself in the foot inorder to go home. You are a coward.

Hugh Campbell

Rosemary said...

Hi Lizzie,
Sorry it's been so long, but I have been quite busy. I know that isn't an excuse, it's just my explanation.

I have an Afghani, an Iranian, and Scottie writing with me! It is wonderful. We have about 16 or 17 people in our team.

I sure am glad you do not go camping alone! That is not chicken, it is SMART! Too many creeps out there.

Let me know what you change you official title to so I can correct my sidebar. lol. It's good to hear you are doing well. Take care. :)

Rosemary said...

Hey Jerome O.,
Speak for your damn self!

Bill W. said...

Hey Lizzie,
First off, I thank you for protecting us from the terrorists that care only to kill innocents and destroy our way of life. You are truly a hero and I wish you a safe return. Please don't let jerks like Jerome and anonymous ruin your wonderful blog. I appreciate your insight on what's going on. Please be safe and Gob Bless you and your family.

The Book said...

Someone posted part of that News Report in my blog so I looked it up and now im here :) Wow.

Strive And Stay Alive.

Same Korea/Viet Nam Vet said...

Jerome at 3 PM will rob you of your courage. Don't listen

DirtEater13 said...

Washington Post!? And I thought the Army times was way cool! Ernie Pyle was one of the greatest men in history.

It's not the same, of course, but I made it into the Desert Voice a while back.

Jerome O. and Anon can take their mud and sling it elsewhere. Our Infantry is the finest in the world, and Iraqi oil is second rate at best. Most of our oil comes from Central and South America, anyway.

sandwich77 said...

Jerome O. and Anon (5:01pm) may both be ignorant fools and preaching to the choir at the same time. Sgt Lizzie and her new friends that are the strangers she hasn't met yet are singing her praises because she has been willing to share her personal experiences as a soldier with all of cyberspace, and has done so with laughter and grace in the face of injury and death. She has not been duped. If we learned one lesson from Vietnam, it is that it is not the soldier's fault that a war is unpopular. DON'T BLAME SGT L. OR ANY SOLDIER FOR BEING IN COMBAT. THEY WENT BECAUSE THEIR GOVERNMENT (THAT INCLUDES YOU)TOLD THEM TO GO. If we had a commander in chief who knew the value of the life of an American soldier FIRST HAND as does John Kerry or Colin Powell, we wouldn't be there in the first place. Now that we are there, to leave today would be to be responsible for the genocidic civil war that would follow. Yes, one of you said it would take over a million-man Army to close things up over there, and I agree. I'm too old to sign up but why don't you? Start up the draft and send the rich kids along with the rest of us, be ready to roll on into Syria, Iran, and, yes, Saudi Arabia (with friends like them who needs enemies?) Too many words wasted on your posting already.

Sgt L, and your pals NQD and Lost Soul, Welcome Home. A grateful American Army Dad (my 19 year old son is at Bucca) salutes you and thanks you. Cherish your loved ones as long as you breathe.

Terry said...

just got threw reading about you in the Arizona republic. Phoenix's and Arizonas largest news paper. your a brave lady, and even though I dont't know you I am proud of you.

Carol said...

To Anonymous and Jerome,
Blog somewhere lese.You are not telling us anything that we don't know. Furthermore, you are not telling any soldier any news. We all want the US Forces to return home, safely.Our families sleep peacefully at night because of the blood spilt by many soldiers, in every war fought for by the US Armed Forces. If there is anything I can do from far away to support the troops, I would. But I feel powerless and helpless at the same time. We'll pray for everyones safety and sanity.Including Jerome & ANY.
Sit Vis Nobiscum