I always hate it when people try to ask me about my political opinions on things regarding the middle east. Honestly, I don’t really know much about it. I know as much as what I was told when I was there, and it isn’t something I really keep up on. This is a common mindset for most infantry Marines. We don’t really care what’s going on in the grand scheme of things, we just know that we’re there and we know that it sucks.

I have no profound insight on issues related to the middle east and its many problems. These vast and complex things were above mine and every other dumb grunt’s pay grade. That’s not to say, of course, that there’s anything implicitly wrong with caring about these things–I just know that I don’t, and I know that people always think I should.

My own experiences were profound in their own ways on a distinctly personal level. The political climate to me was irrelevant, I didn’t care about Bush or oil or conspiracies or Iraqi affairs, I just cared about being there and the moments in front of me. Of course, naturally we all kept track of things on a local level, what was happening within our AO, what the climate of the people was, but that’s because we developed relationships on the ground. In many ways, the connection the average grunt has with the local populace is far more profound and intimate than someone watching from afar, worrying about the bureaucracy of it all.

The average grunt deals with people, not with government.

In other news, I have some things cooking for you guys if I can ever find time to get it done. After taking time off I’m scraping by to catch up in all of my classes, but I should be good if I can just hunker down and get everything done, which is near impossible given how life usually works.

Anyway, it’s Friday. Gather ’round gents. Listen up…

I’m granting you all an Aloha Friday today. Tell your Team Leader, Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant or otherwise that Corporal Uriarte said you can go home at 1200 today. No exceptions.