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A real war story and glad to be back!


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#1 Big Red

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:40 AM

Howdy all. Thought about posting in “Introductions” since I’ve been away for so long, but decided to post under “War Stories” tongue-in-cheek as this is a real war story and not a game anecdote.

For those who remember me and those I haven’t met, I got tagged for a one-year to Iraq the end of 2010. Between spin-up and the actual deployment I was out of the picture until a couple of months ago upon my return stateside. Very interesting times as I was in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq and we had our hands full wrapping up Op New Dawn and trying to get the Iraqi military self-sustaining. We ended up the last base to close in the northern half of Iraq and I’ll never forget being the final chalk to redeploy, taking off on the last C-130 mission out of there blacked out after the sun went down under the eyes and security of the Iraqi Army.
Attached a couple of pics…both with my copy of Bruce Weber’s “As They See ‘Em” and a copy of Referee Magazine! One by an abandoned MiG-23 and the other by one of the captured Iraqi anti-aircraft cannons.
Attached File  100_1347, Doc.JPG   139.18KB   35 downloadsAttached File  100_1359, Doc.JPG   261.29KB   35 downloads
Mixed emotions leaving…on one hand, obviously I was ready to come home, as being away from home takes it’s own toll, but especially after all the “attention” we’d been getting. Having rockets/mortars/small arms shot at us became quite a regular event, especially in the weeks before our departure. We lost two soldiers during that time, and in light of the recent Memorial Day as well as a token of the many lives lost there, I make special mention of SPC Adrian Mills and 1LT Dustin Vincent for their sacrifice while performing their duties at the base with us.
On the other hand, my time there as an advisor to the Iraqis was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and our efforts transcended any political, cultural or geographical bounds. They gained our respect with the incredible sacrifices they made in trying to take care of their people and rebuild their country. The security forces there and particularly their families faced more of a threat than we did. I personally knew of two Iraqi officers who were assassinated. At least I could go to sleep at night knowing our families were safe from this madness.
And please…none of that is meant for any opinionated political/moral-type inputs or exchanges. I respect people differ on their views over this…got it, duly noted. Would like to leave it at eternal thanks that we are in a country/countries where we can have & voice those differences, and that we have people who will defend that right. Just sharing my personal experience.

On the lighter side…
Though I couldn’t find a hint of baseball in the whole dam country, did get to play a little Cricket. Thought, “Meh, I’ve faced 90 mph fastballs before, I can handle this!” That quickly became a self-critiquing mistake! Facing a really good Cricket pitcher, imagine trying to hit said 90 mph fastball with a wood paddle and the ball bouncing a few feet in front of you! Was more successful getting to play some soccer with our Iraqi counterparts. No doubt several of them could come over here and play at least Div I…they regularly spanked us and the games were only fair if we split up between joint Iraqi-American teams.

Thankfully, returned in time to get several games under my belt and shook the rust off pretty quickly. God, it was great to be back on the field!! Did well enough to get selected for upcoming PONY sectional and regional tournaments and have been invited to do high school ball next year...bring it!
Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough. Mainly wanted to say it's great to be back and howdy to everyone, both the “old” crowd and those who have joined U-E meanwhile…great site, great people, great info!

"The art of life is the art of avoiding pain; and he is the best pilot, who steers clearest of the rocks and shoals." -- Thomas Jefferson     

"Life is tough, but its tougher when you're stupid." -- John Wayne

"When you are done learning, you are done." -- Unknown

     

2013 Game Count

High School:  32

Travel/Select/Other:  16

PONY:  2

MABL/MSBL:  3



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#2 Jocko

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:13 AM

From one veteran (USMC, no combat) to another.... Welcome back. Glad you made it home safely. I mourn the loss of friends and family, while applauding the willingness to serve. Now get your a$$ on a diamond and get back to work. We got a helluva lot of baseball left!
2014 Game Count: 120
2014 Rainouts: 22
2014 DL misses : 13

#3 Matt

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 02:14 AM

Aah...the memories.

Funny thing about cricket. We were in (then) MND-SE and located with the UK/AUS OBG(W). We (tried) to teach them baseball and they (tried) to teach us cricket. I joked that I was going to be the first American-born professional 20-20 player...maybe should have followed that dream.

#4 Welpe

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:07 AM

Welcome home and thank you for your service to this country. Enjoy being back on the diamond. :)
"That's the true harbinger of spring, not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of a bat on a ball."
- Bill Veeck

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Luke 10:27

#5 Stan W.

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 08:27 AM

Welcome home!........and welcome back!!.........

Thank you for your service and devotion to our Country............With my son in law deploying back to afghanistan (3rd time) and my daughter (also SPC-US Army), In my daily devotions I will give thanks for your safe return, and hold up to the Chief Umpire, the lives of SPC Adrian Mills and 1LT Dustin Vincent and their families for his mercies......

#6 24sdad

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 11:09 AM

Big Red, Welcome home and THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
"You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and give the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all." Earl Weaver

#7 umpire78

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 10:12 PM

Howdy all. Thought about posting in “Introductions” since I’ve been away for so long, but decided to post under “War Stories” tongue-in-cheek as this is a real war story and not a game anecdote.

For those who remember me and those I haven’t met, I got tagged for a one-year to Iraq the end of 2010. Between spin-up and the actual deployment I was out of the picture until a couple of months ago upon my return stateside. Very interesting times as I was in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq and we had our hands full wrapping up Op New Dawn and trying to get the Iraqi military self-sustaining. We ended up the last base to close in the northern half of Iraq and I’ll never forget being the final chalk to redeploy, taking off on the last C-130 mission out of there blacked out after the sun went down under the eyes and security of the Iraqi Army.
Attached a couple of pics…both with my copy of Bruce Weber’s “As They See ‘Em” and a copy of Referee Magazine! One by an abandoned MiG-23 and the other by one of the captured Iraqi anti-aircraft cannons.
Attached File  100_1347, Doc.JPG   139.18KB   35 downloadsAttached File  100_1359, Doc.JPG   261.29KB   35 downloads
Mixed emotions leaving…on one hand, obviously I was ready to come home, as being away from home takes it’s own toll, but especially after all the “attention” we’d been getting. Having rockets/mortars/small arms shot at us became quite a regular event, especially in the weeks before our departure. We lost two soldiers during that time, and in light of the recent Memorial Day as well as a token of the many lives lost there, I make special mention of SPC Adrian Mills and 1LT Dustin Vincent for their sacrifice while performing their duties at the base with us.
On the other hand, my time there as an advisor to the Iraqis was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and our efforts transcended any political, cultural or geographical bounds. They gained our respect with the incredible sacrifices they made in trying to take care of their people and rebuild their country. The security forces there and particularly their families faced more of a threat than we did. I personally knew of two Iraqi officers who were assassinated. At least I could go to sleep at night knowing our families were safe from this madness.
And please…none of that is meant for any opinionated political/moral-type inputs or exchanges. I respect people differ on their views over this…got it, duly noted. Would like to leave it at eternal thanks that we are in a country/countries where we can have & voice those differences, and that we have people who will defend that right. Just sharing my personal experience.

On the lighter side…
Though I couldn’t find a hint of baseball in the whole dam country, did get to play a little Cricket. Thought, “Meh, I’ve faced 90 mph fastballs before, I can handle this!” That quickly became a self-critiquing mistake! Facing a really good Cricket pitcher, imagine trying to hit said 90 mph fastball with a wood paddle and the ball bouncing a few feet in front of you! Was more successful getting to play some soccer with our Iraqi counterparts. No doubt several of them could come over here and play at least Div I…they regularly spanked us and the games were only fair if we split up between joint Iraqi-American teams.

Thankfully, returned in time to get several games under my belt and shook the rust off pretty quickly. God, it was great to be back on the field!! Did well enough to get selected for upcoming PONY sectional and regional tournaments and have been invited to do high school ball next year...bring it!
Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough. Mainly wanted to say it's great to be back and howdy to everyone, both the “old” crowd and those who have joined U-E meanwhile…great site, great people, great info!


Big Red - This veteran (AF, no combat) WELCOMES YOU BACK HOME & THANKS YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE. The pix are great. Glad you made it home safe and sound. It's getting to be SO COMPETITIVE on the baseball/softball diamonds, you may NEED a flak vest and a weapon in the near future, just to call a game.
So, trade in your camo for the blue. It's time to get busy.

#8 Thunderheads

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 11:01 AM

WELCOME HOME, WELCOME BACK, AND THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO SIR!!

Jeff
"To stare down a big league pitcher. To stare him down, and just as he goes into his windup, wink. Make him think you know something he doesn't. That's what I wish for. Chance to squint at a sky so blue that it hurts your eyes just to look at it. To feel the tingling in your arm as you connect with the ball. To run the bases - stretch a double into a triple, and flop face-first into third, wrap your arms around the bag." Dr. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham


#9 Big Red

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:06 PM

Howdy fellas, and fellow vets.  Sorry again for being away for a while.  My dad is a Vietnam vet who was exposed to Agent Orange and has developed several ailments relating to it, the worst of it being renal cell carcinoma, a particularly nasty cancer.  I've been spending alot of time taking care of him and my mom.

 

But, and I'll post this elsewhere, indeed got my a$$ back on the field and started the season last night with my first Varsity HS game.  It was awesome and I had a great partner.

Anyway, I really appreciate the thoughts and for Stan and the multitudes of others who have loved/close ones still serving, they remain in my thoughts/prayers as well.

And its great to be back in the mix!

 

Wishing all my fellow blues a great '13 season!


"The art of life is the art of avoiding pain; and he is the best pilot, who steers clearest of the rocks and shoals." -- Thomas Jefferson     

"Life is tough, but its tougher when you're stupid." -- John Wayne

"When you are done learning, you are done." -- Unknown

     

2013 Game Count

High School:  32

Travel/Select/Other:  16

PONY:  2

MABL/MSBL:  3


#10 Jocko

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 11:10 PM

Ooh-Rah
2014 Game Count: 120
2014 Rainouts: 22
2014 DL misses : 13

#11 BigUmpire

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Posted 12 April 2013 - 12:22 PM

5 tours in the sandbox, 2 in the mountains.

Welcome home.


"The Only Easy Day was Yesterday"  -  “Despite what your momma told you, sometimes violence does solve problems" - Chris Kyle





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