Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Oh yeah, I met Matt Gallager in NY! (also blog shout-outs)

I went to New York City for a few days to celebrate New Year's Eve. It turned out to be a rather humbling night. I checked off the requisites of friends, alcohol, and girls ... but very not in the way I expected. Suffice to say that the night took me through two more boroughs than I wanted it to.

A highlight of the week (I can't call it
the highlight, because that would make my New Year's seem too depressing) was getting to meet up with Matt Gallagher. If you're reading this blog and you don't know who he is ... that's like not have heard of brisket until you found it in an MRE (apologies to my non-Army friends reading, you guys are exempted, and probably didn't understand that last simile, either).

Matt was a Cavalry PL in Iraq and kept a simply fantastic blog (later book), which I followed raptly until he was ordered to close it down after a post that was less than discrete about his feelings for his Battalion Commander. He bears a good share of the responsibility for me making the dumb decision to join the Army, and even more responsibility for the even dumber decision to keep a blog during the shitshow (whoops, meant to write "experience").

I met him at a packed bar (of literary significance, he told me), and I will respectfully say that we had a better, less awkward time than when I met my other Army internet hero (Exum, if you're still checking this blog, I definitely plan to have breakfast with you again, just after my career has progressed some and we have a little more to talk about).

P.S. Let me take this opportunity to plug some other military bloggers I recently discovered. They're special, because they're Infantry 2LTs, just like me (and I'm definitely special because of my blog, so they have to be, too).

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead - This guy is just hilarious. The blog's a pretty detailed description of the IN Officer training cycle that actually makes me laugh out loud.

Fear and Loathing in the Infantry - As the title suggests, this gentleman offers a slightly more literary (which is to say his writing exceeds my late-night Facebook-wall-post level) and thoughtful take on Infantry bizness and other matters of the day. Unlike my other awardees to the coveted War is Schlep postscript space, he has not acknowledged my existence, but according to his blog he has giant eyebrows, so it shouldn't be too hard to ID him if we ever cross paths. He's pretty funny, too.

Also, there's Carrying the Gun, who is older and smarter than all of us. I write "smarter," even though he already has all the combat experience and advanced study I could ever want and is still becoming an IN officer.

P.P.S. While putting together this post, I discovered that all of these guys as well as surprisingly a sizable number of other LTs all have active Twitter accounts. I'm not quite ready to go all the way like that (my Facebook friends are enough of an audience for the vagaries I urgently have to share with others throughout the day) . At any rate, half of their Tweets just seem to be in reference to something Gallagher or Exum put up.

Winter Leave

Little did I know (because I don't read the schedule) that in the coming weeks, I'd be logging more than enough wooded nighttime machine gunning (which in no way kept me too busy to draw - chalk that up to IBOLC-induced ennui). Just one big exercise left, and I'll finally be done with the Army's slowest pre-ranger program.