i guess it would only be fair to update you on goings-on since i left jacksonville.
first, i’m back in NO living in what amounts to the fight club house which is one of the places my parents rent out. the previous tenants were evicted and they basically trashed the place. i cleaned it as best as i could be to be honest, i don’t give a fuck. i’ve had FAR worse accommodations. my boy gets out the navy in 2-3 months and he’ll be crashing here until we get shit squared away (i’ll extrapolate later).
i’m unemployed as fuck. that kinda sucked wet donkey balls at first b/c the navy fucked me on my disability pay. to compensate, i was going to school for welding and precision machining. i was copping $1500 a month for each semester. i got my level one welding cert and my NCCER core certificate. NCCER is just a cert to be able to be on a job site. basically a CPR card for construction work. buuuuuuuuuut, i dropped out. the program sucked and i was wasting my time.
that led to me being able to afford rent and bills while leaving about $250 for the rest of the month. needless to say that year+ was a tad stressful for me. i had to jump through hoop after hoop after hoop to get my PTSD covered. well, last month it FINALLY went through and i got a retroactive check for $23,000. i paid 3 months of rent and bills. but i was a fucking wreck before that went through. now between my pension and disability i don’t have to work any more. i’m going in tomorrow for a CT scan for my head since i tested positive for TBI. MO’ MONEY.
as for the going minimal thing; i gave 80% of my shit to a newly wed junior sailor. i’m STILL getting rid of shit though. as far as the property thing- my friend getting out of navy in a few months is also going to do the same thing. known him for 12 years. he’s in desert dwelling (29 palms) Marine Corpsman for just outside lake charles la. we’re going in on 3-5 acres in cajun country or possibly mississippi. all he wants to do is sleep late, fish, and hunt.
works for me.
he’s also read the same book i have on he’s all in. but can’t really plan anything until he gets his ass down here.
so there you go. i’m sitting pretty in NO sleeping late and i’m toying with the idea of a part time gig just to get out the house for a little while. eat, sleep, shit, walk Brody, take the mom to lunch once in a while, and go ride the bike to get some exercise. a far cry from the care free skirt chasing days of yore.
hopefully i didn’t put you to sleep.
i was home on terminal leave. i was texting with a former coworker (female) back in jax. i made a comment about not wanting to shave and she replied, “then don’t shave; you’re retired.” i drew a blank. i WAS technically done with the navy, but i was so accustomed to shaving every day that i was on autopilot.
while i couldn’t wait to be done with the navy, i really wasn’t prepared for what i was going to do without my “navy routine”. a few friends that retired told me it can take up to 2 years to fully acclimate to being “out of the matrix”. thusly, i quit writing to work on adjusting to being a civilian. well, i’m FINALLY just getting comfortable with writing and finding subject matter- which explains why there is no longer a “daily” post.
step one- fuck shaving. what i wasn’t prepared for was the response from women. all of them said they loved it. huh, never saw that coming. then i learned a harsh lesson on first growing a beard….the new beard itch. i almost shaved this sonuvabitch more than once. then i learned about “beard oil”. again….never knew such a thing exists. go to amazon and search it- i’m lazy and don’t feel like linking it.
about 2 weeks before my last day, i got my first tattoo. i gave the guy a print out of what i wanted. well, dummy screwed it up. i told him to not charge me or i’ll do a review of him and tell people to avoid it and i’d show his manager. so i didn’t pay. i never had a tat before because i knew where i wanted them and visible tats after joining is against UCMJ. my bosses saw it and never said a word.
once i got to NO i found a shop (electric expression in kenner), the girl at the register recommended my girl Jessie. i showed her what i wanted and we scheduled a day. a reputable artist usually has a waiting list. she is now the only person i’ll let do my work. black. only black. my grandfather (dads side) was Houma tribe and told me only black tats that have a personal specific meaning should be inked.
again, i’ve been opened by women asking what my greek lettered “molan labe” tat said/meant. i NEVER tell them specifics. i simply say they’re military related. if they ask what my bars are, i tell them, “if you have to ask, you have no reason to understand it.” believe it or not, that makes them more eager to know. classic hamster. i escalate and tell them i never tell fully clothed women what my tats mean.
they smile and say, “pleeeeeeeeease.” sorry babe, rules are rules. i should point out 90% of the women i do this with are women that work at places i frequent. when i posted about the barista (more on that later), i mentioned if she asked about the tats, i’ll have an IOI. i NEVER esstimated girls would respond to tats the way they do. i however still find excessive tat’s on women gaudy. but on guys (especially Blaine) hot. like sup….never mind.
also: don’t forget to follow my dreck/tweet gibberish. @GuerroTaco
i’ve never posted “work out” shit before. i really don’t think most people would like my workout’s, it’s pretty unorthodox. i don’t use weights. it’s all body weight and goes from excersize to excersize. i do 3 rep’s of 6 moves, rest 2 minutes. repeat single series of 6 moves, rest one minute, and repeat single series until 45 minutes has passed.
i’m not a big guy, but i’m “effecient”. K doesn’t seem to have a prblem with my ability to “do work”.
in the summer of 2008 i volunteered to go to kuwait. the way i saw it, even though i was a tech and not an 8404 i felt ashamed that i had NEVER touched the desert. once i found out the hospital needed two people to go, i went straight to the CMC and she fast tracked my approval.
that’s where i met Billy. Billy was a little bad ass from Utah. total outdoors guy. he was sent to jacksonville after he got medically dropped from BUDS. during dive phase a tank got dropped on his foot. his run time went down, they medically dropped him. when we got to camp pendelton to train for the deployment, we hit it off immediately.
once i realized i was going to be his LPO at the clinic in ali al salem, i was ended up bunking with him and my boy Boles. still talk to Boles. there’s NOTHING to do in ali except work and work out. well, Billy stumbled upon gym jones and decided we were going to do that.
i was only able to do 1/3 of the workout before i tapped out. Billy managed just over half. it’s BRUTAL, and it’s meant to be. back then, they posted the daily workout for free. now you have to join to get the workouts. BUT if you’re google savvy you can still find the old workouts, they HAVE to be out there.
you wanna join GJ, it’ll cost $500.
i got to pendleton weighing 138lbs with a 34″ waist. i left Kuwait 156lbs with a 31″ waist. we were supplementing with cryotest, leukic, animal pak, and isopure protein. i wouldn’t advise anything i just listed except leukic and animal pak. i STILL use animal pak as my primary multivitamin.
by the time i left kuwait, i was able to do about 2/3 of the gym jones workouts. Billy was doing the whole damn thing. when i got back to spain, EVERYONE stopped and commented how “jacked” i looked. i was “fluffy” when i left spain.
the program work’s if you’re willing to suffer. i’m too old for all that moto shit now. lol. i don’t work out to stare lovingly at my biceps and pecs. i work out to be able to hold a 8 pound crossbow upright for up to 7 minutes. to swing harder than my opponent and cause pain. i work out so i can drag a 120 pound buck back to camp.
i don’t do cardio to up my 5k time. i do cardio because if my enemy has more endurance than i do, he wins.
why do you work out?
never did an 8404 tour. i’ll tell you that right now. all my tours were OCONUS (out continental US) and CONUS (continental US). i served 3 years on the USS Blue Ridge. at my first command i volunteered to go to GTMO (Cuba). i was one of 2 HM’s that were the primary HM’s to go before a HUGE deployment was sent after i returned.
while in GTMO, i was an E1. a nothing. i just did what iwas told and did it as best as i could. i fucked up, got my ass chewed and went back out got my ass beat. on my weekends off i was “voluntold” to head off with an HM2 to field train with Marines.
i got yoked up, armed and set out with HM2 at 0500 sat/sun morning for every other weekend. i learned how to do sick-call, learned to never quit running, learned to assimilate. that’s the key; if you can’t keep up with 0300’s, they shut you out. i’d shit myself running before tapping out and got on the truck.
there’s always a truck when Marine’s run. it’s for the injured. you NEVER get on the truck.
i sat one weekend doing ops and my Marine’s were getting in the 3 point stance to tackle a 6 foot cactus. i went to the head one sat night and my Marines were sharing a blow-job doll. one saw me and asked, “DOC!!!! if one of us has an STD and we share this, can we all get it?” i looked at them blankly and just nodded yes. then i took my shower.
then there’s the time they fucking soaked rolls of toilet paper in JP5, lit on fire, and used the surgical tubing i gave then as slingshots to fire at each other one night. i got my ass HANDED to me that night by SSGT Jimenez, then by my LT at the hospital. luckily, i was a piece of shit know nothing E2. they just yelled at me and it was done.
bottom line was, one of my Marines asked if i could get surgical tubing. i got it. had no clue what it was for. but i never blue falconer. that was key. i took my reaming and didn’t say shit. but i earned my stripes one night when i went to the ER to talk to a buddy. they got a SERIOUS call to the line. Marines crossed over and hit a land mine. my buddy ORDERED me to go (he was an E4, i was an E2), said this call needed extra hands.
we got on scene and the 2 Marines crawled back onto the base. one lost half his leg and the other was riddled with shrapnel. my boy applied the tourniquet and i started the IV. the other Marine said he was fine and the we needed to look after the amputee. we got them both back, they lived, and were patients on the ward i worked at.
when i told/tell this tale (it’s been declassified) i always saw/see it as “i just did my job”.
in Kuwait, the squad lost their HM when he broke his foot. i was at camp close to the iraqi border and a squad leader showed up asking for a HM that “knew his shit”. i was covering X-ray, but was the pharmacy tech of ANOTHER camp, but filling in a “general duty” billet (if you’re military; you get it). i was sent over to HQ and met SSGT ********** (he’d never want his name here). i asked him to show me the MRAP and asked where he wanted me assigned.
he showed me my spot and i asked to see the guys. i gave them all quick clot, ACE wraps, tourniquets, and ABD pads. i introduced myself, told them who i was and assured them i could NEVER replace their HM, but i knew my job was to ensure they got back to camp alive.
and that i would die doing that.
by then i’d been in long enough to understand the nature of warriors. these guys were moto, but our missions were basically to drop off supplies to various FOB’s (forward operating bases). one Marine asked me if i wanted to man the .50 cal. this an newb joke. you man it, you clean it. told said Marine to eat my dick. the crew laughed.
sat in radiology when i was needed and crossed the border when my Marines went out, then went back to my camp at Ali al Salem. it was a fun few weeks, and they kept busy.
always had fun with Marines, either you fit in or you don’t. i did, and it’s an honor i hold sacred. i have MANY other sea stories involving my Marines (most HM’s do), but i think i’ll save those for later. man, i wish i knew where Dogsquat was at. i KNOW that old warpig has some tales to tell. this is just for him and my Brother Marines. GET SOME!!!!!!
i wrote some time ago about “joining the military”. i came in at a good time. there has been a serious overhaul in military retirement. what the linked article DOESN’T tell you (and i was looking for it, it was in a recent “navy times”) is basically, at 16 years of service they will do a board on you. if you don’t “measure up”, they will kick you out with “severance pay”.
yeah i know, it’s fucked up.
part of my job is counseling young Sailors, i usually only counsel junior males. i tell them all the same thing-“get the most training you can while you’re in that will allow you the most pay as a civilian and get the fuck out the navy. besides, the atmosphere is getting pretty toxic towards men.” never had a kid not nod in aggreement. i promise you, if you join the navy now you WILL attend a biannual “sexual assault prevention” training stand down. and it’s totally misandrist.
BUT, there ARE some jobs that will train and provide you with 5 years of experience. when you get out you go to the top of the list of persons applying for a job. some rates i would go into if i were joinging the navy
IT- they work on computers
ET- don’t go coms, go equipment- those guys fix everything that runs on electricity
most off the engineering rates pay well on the civilian side, but you work your ass off. i’d do anything aside from DC (they’re fireman btw- if that’s your thing). MR’s make SERIOUS money on the outside
CT- they run intel, it’s a stepping stone to working for the CIA, FBI, etc. i’d go interpretive (they do translating. chinese, arabic and pashto are MONEY right now)
SeaBee’s. these guys are great. they work hard and play harder. PLUS they do 6 mpnth deployments all over the world so you WILL do some travelling. any one of the “construction rate’s” pay well on the outside. you gotta love a group who’s motto is “we build, we fight”. lol. personally i’d go construction mechanic (CM), construction electrician (CE), builder (BU) or steelworker (SW).
AC- air traffic controller. they make MAJOR bank on the outside.
HM- my rate. downside….takes FOREVER to make rank. upside- there is specialized training you can do that pay well: xray, nuke med, cardio vascular tech, bio-med repair (that’s what i wanted to do…..counldn’t finish the NEETS modules, said fuck it….i’ll go to xray school)
AE- they repair electronics on airplanes. get out and take a job at boeing or any major airline.
any of the “deck” or “engineering” rates will land you a job with the merchant marines. they’re civilian sailors that actually make money.
you get free training, a sweet college program when you get out (the navy will be paying me to go to welding school) AND while going to school after getting out you get paid BAH (basic allowence for housing). throw your zip code here to see what you’d make. back in new orleans i’ll be malking $1089 a month while in school. you can’t beat that.
join up, choose a job that pays well, get your ass out. and i’m not going to lie to you, you’re slave labor as an E1-E3. BUT that just means you learn your job well. and don’t sweat boot camp, it’s a fucking joke now. shave your head before you take off and save yourself some time. and realize you won’t shit for the first week you’re in boot camp.
when i first got here i was a fresh faced E5. there were about 5 of us. for the most part all of us got along. all alpha types, i was a sea-going type, the others all did time in iraq and afghanistan. one week i had nights with my boy, i’ll call him Cuz. i hadn’t been around anything “street” in years, but i noticed he had some fat blue shoelaces on. i asked him where he was from and he said LA. i made a gang reference and he just kinda laughed. we talked all night. women, fighting, family, and all mannerisms of manhood. we hit it off from the start.
i had some of the most interesting conversations with Cuz than anyone i’d met in years. we’d just sit and pontificate life. future, politics, society, EVERYTHING. he reminded me of Patrice O’neal; he’d listen to you then direct every aspect of what you’d told him. i’ve watched him let someone make a point then get them to disagree with their original point without the patient even realizing it. i’ve RARELY seen someone with game that tight.
my other good friend grew up in a ROUGH section of east LA. when he was around 8 or so, the older guys would have kids from other sets come in and fight. seriously. they would bet on who’d win. he never lost a fight. one of the most down to east and mellow guys i’d ever met. i was sad to see him move on, but he’s in a great place now and he’s VERY successful.
Cuz was the only person out here i ever spent any free time with. one night we went to the local strip club and he decided to have some fun. he took off his wedding ring and the girl i was seeing was working so i was hanging out with her, and Cuz ended up pulling this one slamming black girl (he’s black ladies and gentlemen) and every once in a while i’d look over and she was sitting on his lap eating out of his hand.
Cuz has some siiiiick game.
on the way home i threw this on on the MP3, he laughed and told me he had grown up with him.
then i played this for him and told him it was boy Alex’s cousin up in Stockton. “oh those mother fuckers are crazy up there. i told him they produced EVERY thing on the album, they went the punk DIY route on their first album.
but this became our “pregame” song when we were going out.
for the record, i quit rap LOOOOOOOOONG ago. lol.
around midnight we bounced and he handed me her number. i laughed and he balled it up and threw it away. i told him girl was coming by after she got off work.
but that isn’t the point of the story. that first night we spoke, i found out A LOT about him. he came from a VERY ROUGH neighborhood in LA. damn near everyday of his life was a fight. his entire childhood he was told he’d never amount to anything, and he ended up dropping out of school to bang full time at 16.
8 years of work. that’s some serious shit.
he ended up decided he’d had enough. he got his GED and joined the navy. he became an HM, went to FMF. soon after he was in iraq doing dirt on foreign soil. now he’s married and raising his son.
this man’s life was OVER. he was HEAVILY emerged in gang life, any day could have been his last. he was doing absolutely nothing with his life. but he knew he was on a dead end street. he got his shit together, and got into the only gig he really could get into. his recruiter helped him through the whole GED process and recommended him for HM training.
we hung out as often as we could while he was here and after about a year my Brother left. we’d go to the strip club and fuck with the girls, go to the local and have a beer and some wings, kick back at my place and watch football on sundays with his family (i had cook of course. lol).
everyday guy shit.
i was rough to see him go, but that’s navy life. you make friends and you or they leave. sometime you run into them YEARS later and it’s like they never left you. as they like to say, “it’s a small navy”. i’ve run into SEVERAL guys i knew back on my dship in FUCKING JAPAN. seriously. we lock eyes and i get a get a hearty, “DOOOOOOOC!!!! what’s up Brother, how the hell you end up here in jax?”
it’s happened at least 8-9 times.
i got a call from Cuz about a month ago, he was in san antonio. he was on his way back to jacksonville. the same man that went from being told he was going to never amount to anything to graduating one of the most difficult and sought after school the navy offers Corpsmen.
he’s now a nuke med tech. whenever i hear a man complaining about his state in life i always think of Cuz. excuses are for the weak, there’s ALWAYS someone worse off than you.
women complain and bitch, men get their shit together and fix the problem. those that refuse to, persish….deservedly so.
quit bitching and get your shit together. if Cuz can do it, anyone can.
an interesting side note, i let a good friend i work with read this and she smiled the entire time then said, “now that i think about it, all y’all that ain’t married a bunch of damn ho’s.” i laughed and told her, “we’re not ho’s, we’re just “gifted.” lol.
last night i posted about the relationship i had with a local sicilian girl. and like i said, she was amazing. all she knew about me work wise was i worked in a hospital on a surgical ward; which was true. but i didn’t tell her my other primary job.
i was one of the primary ER tech’s that specialized in trauma management.
my first command had me working a year and half in EMS. i had logged close to 200 calls by the time i left charleston and at least 50 of those that involved SEVERE trauma: car accidents, gun shot wounds, suicide attempts- hell i had one call where a 200 pound Marine beat his 92 pound wife with a coffee table.
per security, she wouldn’t stop screaming, he snapped, picked up the table and hit her twice. then he called security on himself.
i did this for over a year. we worked 24 on 48 off. yes, you read that right.
so when i got to sicily i had no choice but to be one of the trauma techs. i was the ONLY non ER corpsman who was a primary EMT. i was a national certified instructor in PHTLS, BLS, and EMT-B. basically, i knew my shit.
WARNING- GRAPHIC MATERIAL BELOW
i was due to get off monday morning at 0630. the ward was dead and at around 5am i got a call from the ER that the ambulance needed to head out: motorcycle vs. motor vehicle. that’s NEVER good and i KNEW we were in for some shit. i told the ER to dispatch security to the scene.
we got there and i saw a man lying under a HUGE indentation in a guard rail. apparently he attempted to pass the car, the driver was looking down at something and clipped his rear tire. he was ejected from the bike at an estimated 40 mph head first into the guard rail.
me and amanda IMMEDIATELY went to work. c-spine precautions went out the window. i knew his neck was crushed and i had about 30 minutes to get him to the ER, IF THAT. I got the helmet off as best as i could and me and amanda started the the IV’s. once in place we loaded him into the rig. i had a security guy drive us back since we BOTH needed to work on him.
first impression: visible indentation to the upper frontal aspect skull, both pupils blown irregularly, i could barely feel a carotid pulse, breathing was almost non existent. i gave hime 15 minutes. we placed the oral and nasal airway and i had amanda bag him. each compression had one aspect of the chest rise higher than the other (flail chest- VERY serious sign).
i straddled the patients chest and began CPR, each compression had blood pouring from his mouth, nose and ears. all we could do was breathe for him, and keep his heart beating, but i knew he wouldn’t make it. it took us 10 minutes too get him to the ER. we pulled into ambulance bay, the doors flew open and they pulled me and the patient out. i continued compressions until they got him to his room and i was picked up and placed off to the side.
i stood in a complete daze.
i walked back to the rig and there was amanda, sitting inside the rig at the back doors. i sat next to her. i don’t know how long we were there but i finally said blankly, “i guess we should clean it up.” we grabbed the GPC (general purpose cleaner) and some towels and began wiping up the blood.
the rig looked like a scene from texas chainsaw. amanda had SOME blood on her, but i was covered in it. arms, face, my coveralls were drenched. i probably looked like a miniature michael myers. we never said a word; we just wiped up the blood. finally the ER director screamed at us, “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TWO STILL DOING IN THERE, GET IN MY OFFICE….NOOOOOW!!!!!!”
we slowly climbed out the rig and he put his hands on our shoulders and walked us into the ER; it was fucking chaos. it was so bad they had security blocking access to the ER entrance- too many people were getting in the way.
he walked us into his office and there the the director for mental health; he escorted us upstairs.
what you have to understand, is when you’re in that moment; when you see the blood, you understand the gravity- training kicks in. i’d become a machine. i was meticulous with putting systemic puzzles together to determine what was affected and how it could affect other systems. you are SOOOO FUCKING JACKED on adrenalin that i could never describe it to you.
i weigh 135 pounds and i’ve torn open car doors to get to a patient when i knew fire/rescue were too far away. i’ve drug patients that outweighed me by almost 100 pounds in midst of trauma. the human body truly is an amazing machine.
but when it’s over, you are so completely drained that you can’t even move, much less hold a coherent thought. you’re a fucking zombie. every damn trauma baptized in blood HM i know knows the feeling. these guys are fucking angels at your side that will pull you from the very jaws of Death to keep and you alive.
but when it’s over- leave us the fuck alone. we need to decompress. don’t talk to us, don’t console us, don’t empathize. unless you’re one of us, you’ll never understand. the mental health director was there to do a CISD (critical incident stress debrief), and he knew all our sorry asses WELL.
but he could see we were bot a bit more “off” after this call. he asked me how i felt and i shrugged my shoulders. told him i just wanted to go home, take a shower and go to sleep. he recommended i shower and change at work and i told him i just wanted to get the fuck off the base and back home. amanda said she wanted to do the same thing.
amanda’s husband dropped me off then took his wife home, he was given the day off to look after wifey. that command was REALLY good about looking after their trauma junkies.
i got home, peeled off my blood stained jumper, took a shower, walked into my bedroom, and literally fell onto the bed. i didn’t wake up until the next morning. i slept just under 24 hours.
sonia had class that monday, and she had errands to run tuesday but told me she was coming over later that afternoon. sonia had no clue about this aspect of my job, and when i saw her that afternoon i couldn’t hide the fact that something was wrong. by his time i had been dating her 4-5 months.
and we were about to have our first VERY serious talk. the talk where i first “let a woman in” and make myself vulnerable.
to be continued….