Several of you, especially Daria and Meredith, have insisted I keep a "Shadow Blog" the one in which I talk about all the bad stuff I can't really publish while I am living and working so close to the soldiers I am writing about. They are right of course. Someday soon I will need to look at my sphere of life from above, from every side, and from below. At Meredith's advice, I took down a post about a guy who failed at everything but maintained a thoroughly condescending attitude to everyone around him. I serve with people who rise to the worst occasions and really perform and some who have been relieved of duty for incompetence, and more who should have been.
When I went back in the Army I remembered the friendships I made during the time I spent in Germany. In particular Abel Lopez and Cliff Almes, true brothers and friends for life--in fact since all three of us are believers, friends for eternity. But the messy recriminations and power struggles at every level here are starting to remind me of what I had forgotten: there are people who I served with back then who I found revolting, and because we spent time together in cold tents and colder tank turrets, I know very well their failings and they know mine.
We are now getting to that point in the current deployment when the infighting becomes more visible. The adrenaline of training and the good feeling of going on an adventure is wearing off. I will keep the shadow blog, but I will write when I can about the people and things that are falling apart.