My last several meals in the DFAC, the topic of conversation has been
the article on Pennlive.com about our brigade and all the negative
comments on it. I got an email from a friend who has never been in
the military that sums up the feelings of many people here:
"Those people are bitter and have absolutely no shame about
airing dirty laundry. Those are some seriously detailed comments and a
lot of insubordination. I think the whiners are the "kids" in their
20s who have grown up with Facebook and Twitter, where you just post
before you think. I couldn't get past reading five posts, because all
of it basically said the same thing. It's like the snowball effect for
complaining. Once someone starts, it becomes an avalanche of 'I have
it worse than you do'."
A friend from Europe said, "Apparently they are Americans first and soldiers second. Individual freedom is some kind of demi-god in America and an excuse for a lot of bad behavior."
On the good side, the comments are starting to swing back toward, "Shut up."
And life goes on here. I was in a maintenance hangar a few nights ago after a very proud platoon sergeant left a note saying her soldiers would be removing and servicing the drive train of a Blackhawk helicopter and also removing and inspecting the engines from a Chinook helicopter. She was right. Soldiers were over, under and around those helicopter power trains. I got some good pictures despite the weird lighting in the maintenance hangar.
Despite the impression those comments give, there are a lot of soldiers working their butts off here in Tallil and at the other sites where our brigade is stationed. And even the people who have it relatively good are still here wearing long sleeves and carrying a weapon when the temp climbs near or over 130 F at Noon.