Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An Explanation of Sorts

Here at Army 2.0 we’ve had some new visitors of late, so I thought I might take a moment to summarize the basic premise of the blog.

Without further ado, I present to you the following tale of sadness and woe, hope and redemption, absurdity and plagiarized Stephen Baldwin anecdotes:

Boy goes to college, joins Army, meets girl, leaves Army, and goes to business school. Boy meets IRR. IRR falls in love with boy. Boy gets dragged kicking and screaming away from boy's girl off to the IRR's secret lair of sado-masochistic love and waffle fries...and in the process, boy meets other boys who were similarly ensnared. Boy all of a sudden doesn't feel quite as bad about everything, eventually gets back together with girl, and all of the various boys and girls go on to fame and fortune as Investment Banking Internet Consultant millionaires.

That last part hasn’t actually happened yet (if you want to be all technical about it). And each of the aforementioned boys is currently continents away from their respective girls (which sucks pretty hard). But still…I think you guys get the idea.

Off the top of my head, here are a few other questions you might be asking yourself about my current situation:

Q1) Why did you go back into the Army after you finished your MBA?

A1) I was involuntarily mobilized from the IRR to return to active duty. I was originally ordered to report in October 2006, but the Army granted me a delayed report date so that I could finish school (and get married, as it turns out).

Q2) What is this IRR you keep talking about? Is that like what happened to Ryan Phillipe in that one movie?

A2) Check here for my most detailed explanation of the IRR (and here for a recent update). The IRR is different from being “stop-lossed”, which is what happened to Ryan Phillipe in the creatively named movie “Stop Loss”. Whereas a stop-lossed soldier is retained on active duty beyond their active duty commitment, an involuntarily mobilized IRR soldier is one who came off of active duty and was drafted back into service.

Q3) Where’s all the juicy stuff—details about what you do, opinions on various Afghanistan related subjects, etc?

A3) Isn’t learning about Duke basketball recruits and times I was awarded giant novelty checks just as interesting? And aren’t first person narratives written by my cat more interesting still??? Beyond that I don’t know what to tell you…literally. I’ve disclaimed any and all opinions in the blog’s header, but I’m not sure where the line is in terms of sharing, and I’m not interested in testing that out. I do my best to capture the experience of a life spent building the infrastructure of Afghanistan without listing any details or passing judgment on how well or poorly we’re doing it. I offered up possible explanations for my reticence two posts back.

Q4) Who would win in a fight—Oski, or the Blue Devil?

A4) While I will always root for a Duke team ahead of a Cal one (even in football, if it ever came to that) I think that Oski could take the BD in a fight. Oski is pear shaped (low center of gravity) and I’m pretty sure his cardigan has magical powers. That’s a tough combination to beat, and I don't think the Blue Devil has it in him.

I think that’s it from here—thanks for stopping by, everyone. I hope you enjoy your stay. Please feel free to email me or write comments with any other questions that you have.

12 comments:

Joe Gelb said...

great blog!...i love the incorporation of themes in such a witty fashion!...best of luck in the future!

Leah said...

Hisband is in the IRR and are waiting for hime to be done so we can go on to bigger and better things. I enjoy the way you use your words to explain things to the civilian world in which some live in. Thanks for serving our country!!

Mark said...

From one soldier to another, thanks for your duty to your country. Sorry we couldn't encourage you enough to stay. We need good soldiers now more then ever.

It's obvious you weren't to happy about being picked up from the IRR but it is a chance we all take when we sign the contract and they don't hide it from you. They, recruiters, can't. It's illegal for them to do that.

We all know what can happen when we sign up. The military isn't a country club where all we do is make our beds, shine our boots, have short hair and sometimes show up for small town parades. The job of the military is war and there is no hiding that fact. Your country needed you and called.

Having said that, thanks for not heading to Canada like over two hundred have done so far. Thanks for showing up like over 7000 IRR soldiers haven't. Thanks for standing up and fulfilling your commitment. It shows how honorable of a person you are.

Take care

dlyn said...

I'm new to your blog, having found it through the "blogs of note" feature on blogger - a well deserved title in your case. Very informative and entertaining Q&A.

Belle said...

From one Vet to another...
Different wars, too many similarities.
There is pride in doing the right thing, brother.
Thank you for sharing!
Belle
Nam, ANC--1968-1971

Anonymous said...

wonderful blog!

cunborn said...

Not being from the US, I am always surprised when I see family members of US service men and women saying that they are so upset with G W Bush for sending their son/daughter etc into danger. Surely if one joins the military, you always face the possiblity of war? It is a real dumb excuse to say "I joined to get an education and not go to war". Perhaps its just how the international media portrays the whole thing, but it sure does make some service members look a bit foolish.

Exnicios said...

Thanks for all the nice comments and thoughtful feedback! I'm probably going to pull Mark and cunborn's comments up to the main page so I can address a few of the points made.

Thanks again, everyone.

13 Stoploss said...

very nice. I'm in the stoplossed crowd, myself. keep up the great work. and, go Lakers! :)

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