I've Been Keeping A Secret...

Ore : 1:36 PM

So I got my test results back a few weeks ago. And this being a sort of raw blog, I chose earlier not to divulge. Well now I choose to.

Guess what, guys? Despite my being a month from 30, and despite my being able to do only four pull-ups and only 25 sit-ups in a sitting, I'm still free of all diseases, and not flat-footed, so I can join either the Navy or Marines (part of it is a legacy thing, and please don't make me explain.) Now, all you guys are privy to my super-gay sexuality, but also, as you all know, I've also been sooper-seekrit about it, so the Navy, the Marines, and the Army don't need know who I really am. And I'm a consummate actor, so no one's gonna figure me out...

(DISCLAIMER HERE: Give me a fucking break. I've seen enough large, beautiful dicks' flopping and lovingly bouncing about in the locker room and the shower throughout my life to get excited about them, except only in super-lonely moments in my own bed. Please, current and future grunts, don't think I'll be jacking off to your hot ass, 'cos chances are I won't.)

Now, here's where I need help: Not only do I not know which branch to choose, should I even enlist knowing that I go to Iraq? I figure yes, because, even though I've reiterated the "chickenhawk" argument from time immemorial, the truth is, I'm a warm body and as such could possibly be necessary. Also, the money sounds really good. Better than a librarian's, I'll grant you.

(DISCLAIMER II: I speak reasonable Spanish and Japanese, and can voice more than a few, choice phrases in Mandarin Chinese, so this will preclude my serving in any combat, for what it's worth.)

Oh, and the reason for this decision? I, unlike the chickenhawks, am violently nauseated and pissed off at the idea of even one more 19 year-old dying for anything -- my life least of all. It ought to be me instead. That's why I'm thinking of going.

So, the real reason: The thought that another sapper, another sniper, another E-5 could possibly go home in one piece. I don't have babies, and my family only incidentally cares about me, so why should'nt I? My life isn't worth theirs. Please help me out here.

And to remember me by? The bamboo so effortlessly whistles at dawn. The sweet orange blossoms smell like life. This is what guides me, and this is what I love. Such is my true home. Goodbye.

Please wish me luck. Oh, and grunts reading this? Whatever advice you have would be appreciated...


posted by teh l4m3 at 1:36 PM | Permalink | 56 be jibber-jabberin'

You Never Promised Me A Rose Garden...

Ore : 2:22 PM

CAVEAT: I was washing dishes and making my lunch for work when the Prez did his little down-home, folksy bouncy-bounce as a snarling Cheney lurked like a vampire in the wings, so I am relying here on (Cthulhu help me -- or at least, eat me last) the official White House transcript, which near as I can tell omits his crack-up about caring about the troops' and the troops' families' standards of living, to which the best replies might be "Walter Reed" and mention of food service contractors in Iraq...

Members of Congress say they support the troops. Now they need to show that support in deed, as well as in word. Members of Congress are entitled to their views and should express them. Yet debating these differences should not come at the expense of funding our troops.

Congress's most basic responsibility is to give our troops the equipment and training they need to fight our enemies and protect our nation. They're now failing in that responsibility, and if they do not change course in the coming weeks, the price of that failure will be paid by our troops and their loved ones.
It's good for him to clarify this for the umpteenth time: In George Bush's pickled, wizened little brain, the military's most important job, their most vital overarching mission, above and beyond Afghanistan or Iraq or, you know, securing our actual homeland is Operation Shield George W. Bush; silly me, not only did I think the legislature was a coequal branch of government (as opposed to a bunch of disgruntled subjects needing their job told them by The Decider), but I also thought he had Rove and other minions for that politically, and the Secret Service to cover the physical aspects of protection. But I guess the old two-pronged approach is failing to cover his peevish ass. No, any time he gets called to accountability -- any time the American people, via their duly elected representatives, demand a reckoning -- his first response is to dive behind a bunch of men and women in uniform.

I mean, it's bad enough that he plays dress-up on flight decks just outside San Diego harbor, or that any time he's low in the polls his peeps arrange a photo-op in front of bleachers full of soldiers and a ginormous American flag. Using them as a blanket to try and hide your glaringly obvious incompetence and unfitness for duty is not just low -- it's pretty fucking retarded.

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posted by teh l4m3 at 2:22 PM | Permalink | 7 be jibber-jabberin'

His Ratings I Suppose Bear Him Out

Ore : 5:42 PM

Ice, ice baby...
And remember, white people: Niall Ferguson warns us that too few of you are having babies -- and who wouldn't want an adorable little bundle of joy like the one pictured above?
And he's right, you know. I mean, about the being white. Because Glenn Beck is white -- I mean super-duper, mayo-on-Wonder Bread, blindingly white. Of all the Rightist idiot box jabberers, perhaps only John "Albino Ratboy" Gibson is whiter, and he perhaps only by virtue of FOX's poor production standards, which make every male in the studio look like he crawled out from under a rock. Prematurely gray, receding chin, and a puffy pallor that's only barely camouflaged by the studio's liberal slatherings of bronzer: Glenn Beck could make a fucking marshmallow look like Miss Teen Hawaii hosting a tanning bed convention.

More important, his soul is white. And not in the way mine is -- that is to say I am acutely aware of the privilege afforded me by society (especially when I keep my mouth shut about sexuality and politics) because of the color of my skin. No, he says, "Because if you are a white human that loves America and happens to be a Christian, forget about it, Jack. You are the only one that doesn't have a political action committee for you." He's got the "poor, put-upon me with my white man's burden" mindset down pat. In short, his soul is what many of us on the leftier side of things, whether rightly or wrongly, term "white," perhaps our own reverse racist shorthand, simply because he's a discreditable whiner -- and nobody whines more bitterly and more sputteringly than a four-eyed reactionary John Bircher with the complexion of a subterranean grub.

I do admire though how nobly he bears his isolation, minority status, and disenfranchisement: No political action committee for him, no -- he'll settle for the embrace of the Isolde-pale arms of the vast majority of the political and media establishment, and their overwhelmingly melanin-deprived corporate overlords. So thank you, but no 527's for white, heterosexual, conservative Beck. He's such a rugged individualist.

Then again, he does admit to being a Mormon. That's not a very popular religion at all, and is, let's face it, one of the whitest ever invent- excuse me, "revealed." Poor Glenn. I feel so bad for him, I just might vote for Mitt Romney. Just, you know, to balance out all the extremely poor, black, differently abled lesbians currently lording it over us and running the Western world.

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posted by teh l4m3 at 5:42 PM | Permalink | 6 be jibber-jabberin'

You Don't Have To Feel Bad Anymore!

Ore : 6:51 AM

...One coping strategy? Keep surfing the Internet!

Do perfect strangers studiously avoid eye contact when you attempt faltering, ill-advised overtures? Does the grocery deliveryman fail to broach small talk through the steel-reinforced receiving chute? Do hookers skip out with your wallet before the happy ending? Never fear, fleshbags: MSNBC is here with a few helpful tips!

- One often-effective cry for help?
Vicious, nearly violent passive-aggressive venting. That'll show those elitist jerks who made fun of your mass-internment proposals!

- Don't be afraid to exhibit neediness.
Bleg, bleg, and bleg! It's easy if you can get away with pretending you don't have a Lexis/Nexis account, or have ever even heard of Google!

- A more drastic approach? The future is
transhumanism! Simply eliminate those pesky mammalian desires for social acceptance once and for all by becoming a gleaming, clacking, unholy marriage of flesh and machine!

BRRRK! GAAAAK! HEHINDEED! 1011001000101011101...
(Glennbot graphic discourtesy of the highly unreliable hamsters who run Sadly, No!'s servers.)

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posted by teh l4m3 at 6:51 AM | Permalink | 2 be jibber-jabberin'

"How does it feel to be a killer?"

Ore : 7:29 AM

“The meeting between ignorance and knowledge, between brutality and culture -- it begins in the dignity with which we treat our dead.” – Lady Jessica, Dune, by Frank Herbert.

Of all 50 states, California has lost the most. Brothers, fathers and sons; mothers and daughters. This is our legacy.

(Keep in mind that the following represents a
fungible resource. Subtract from column A, add to column B. Wipe your hands. All neat and tidy.)

(Marines) Lance Corporal Jose Gutierrez, 22
(Navy) Lieutenant Thomas Mullen Adams, 27
(Marines) Sergeant Michael Edward Bitz, 31
(Marines) Corporal Jose Angel Garibay, 21
(Marines) Corporal Jorge Alonso Gonzalez, 20
(Marines) Corporal Randal Kent Rosacker, 21
(Marines) Lance Corporal Francisco Abraham Martinezflores, 21
(Marines) Lance Corporal Patrick Terence O'Day, 20
(Marines) Gunnery Sergeant Joseph Menusa, 33
(Marines) Lance Corporal Jesus Alberto Suarez Del Solar, 20
(Army) Private E-2 Devon Dimilo Jones, 19
(Marines) Corporal Erik Hernandez Silva, 22
(Army) Sergeant 1st Class John Winston Marshall, 50
(Marines) Corporal Jesus Angel Gonzalez, 22
(Army) Sergeant Troy David Jenkins, 25
(Army) First Lieutenant Osbaldo Orozco, 26
(Marines) Private First Class Rodriguez Jose Franci Gonzalez, 19
(Marines) Corporal Douglas Jose Marencoreyes, 28
(Marines) Captain Andrew David Lamont, 31
(Marines) Lance Corporal Jason William Moore, 21
(Army) Sergeant Atanacio Haromarin, 27
(Army) Specialist Paul Tokuzo Nakamura, 21
(Army) Corporal Andrew Forest Chris, 25
(Marines) Lance Corporal Jason Andrew Tetrault, 20
(Marines) Lance Corporal Cory Ryan Geurin, 18
(Army) Sergeant Evan Asa Ashcraft, 24
(National Guard) Staff Sergeant David Scott Perry, 36
(Army) Private First Class Daniel Ray Parker, 18
(Navy) Lieutenant Kylan Alexander Jones-Huffman, 31
(Army) Private First Class Pablo Manzano, 19
(Army) Private First Class Sean Anthony Silva, 23
(Army) Private First Class Jose Casanova Jr., 23
(Army) Sergeant Sean Richard Grilley, 24
(Army) Sergeant Michael Scott Hancock, 29
(Army) Specialist Jose Luis Mora Jr., 26
(Army) Private First Class Steven Acosta, 19
(Army) First Lieutenant Todd Jason Bryant, 23
(Army) Private First Class Karina Sotelo Lau, 20
(Army) Staff Sergeant Paul Anthony Velazquez, 29
(Army) Specialist Genaro Acosta, 26
(Army) Sergeant 1st Class Kelly Martin Liberato Bolor, 37
(Army) Captain James Allen Shull, 32
(Army) Staff Sergeant Eddie Eugene Menyweather, 35
(Army) Chief Warrant Officer 2 Christopher Gregg Nason, 39
(Army) Specialist Rel Allen Ravago IV, 21
(Army) Staff Sergeant Stephen Anthony Bertolino, 40
(Army) Sergeant Ryan Clint Young, 21
(Army) Specialist Arron Ray Clark, 20
(Army) Staff Sergeant Steven Henry Bridges, 33
(Army) Staff Sergeant Richard Alan Burdick, 24
(National Guard) Specialist Michael George Mihalakis, 18
(Army) Specialist Justin William Pollard, 21
(Army) Private First Class Jesse Douglas Mizener, 23
(Army) Sergeant Michael Anthony Diraimondo, 22
(Army) Sergeant Keicia Melia Hines, 27
(Army) Specialist Jason Kristoffer Chappell, 22
(Army) Sergeant Eliu A. Miersandoval, 27
(Air Force) Master Sergeant Jude Cruz Mariano, 39
(Army) Sergeant Patrick Shannon Tainsh, 33
(National Guard) Specialist Eric Ulysses Ramirez, 31
(Army) Private First Class Joel Kenneth Brattain, 21
(Army) Lieutenant Colonel Mark Douglas Taylor, 41
(National Guard) First Lieutenant Michael Willard Vega, 41
(Marines) Lance Corporal Andrew Steven Dang, 20
(Marines) Lance Corporal William Joseph Wiscowiche, 20
(Army) Staff Sergeant Michael William Mitchell, 25
(Army) Specialist Casey Sheehan, 24
(Marines) Lance Corporal Marcus Miguel Cherry, 18
(Marines) Lance Corporal Kyle Duanne Crowley, 18
(Marines) Lance Corporal Travis James Layfield, 19
(Marines) Staff Sergeant Allan Kendall Walker, 28
(Marines) Staff Sergeant William Merrill Harrell, 30
(Marines) First Lieutenant Joshua Michael Palmer, 25
(Marines) Private First Class Eric Alonso Ayon, 26
(Marines) First Lieutenant Oscar Jimenez, 34
(Marines) Lance Corporal George Daniel Torres, 23
(Marines) Lance Corporal Brad Sangjin Shuder, 21
(Army) Staff Sergeant Victor Angel Rosaleslomeli, 29
(Marines) Staff Sergeant Jimmy Javier Arroyave, 30
(Army) Sergeant Brian Michael Wood, 21
(Marines) Corporal Christopher Alan Gibson, 23
(Marines) Major Richard John Gannon II, 31
(Army) Private First Class Leroy Harris-Kelly, 20
(Army) Staff Sergeant Abraham Javier Penamedina, 32
(Army) Specialist James Lee Beckstrand, 27
(Army) Sergeant Adam Wayne Estep, 23
(Army) Specialist Ramon Candelario Ojeda, 22
(Army) Specialist Trevor Anthony Win'E, 22
(Army) Private First Class Lyndon Anson Marcus Jr., 21
(Army) Staff Sergeant Marvin Ross Sprayberry III, 24
(Marines) Private First Class Brian Kenneth Cutter, 19
(Army) Sergeant Brud Joseph Cronkrite, 22
(Army) Private First Class Michael Angelo Mora, 19
(Army) Specialist Marcos Omar Nolasco, 34
(Marines) Corporal Rudy Salas, 20
(Marines) Staff Sergeant Jorge Alberto Molinabautista, 37
(National Guard) Specialist Daniel Paul Unger, 19
(Marines) Lance Corporal Benjamin Rigoberto Gonzalez, 23
(Marines) Lance Corporal Rafael Reynosasuarez, 28
(Army) First Lieutenant Kenneth Michael Ballard, 26
(Marines) Corporal Bum Rok Lee, 21
(Army) Specialist Thai Vue, 22
(Marines) Private First Class Sean Lee Horn, 19
(National Guard) Sergeant Patrick Ryan Sr McCaffrey, 34
(National Guard) First Lieutenant Andre Demetrius Tyson, 33
(Marines) Corporal Manuel Adrian Ceniceros, 23
(Marines) Lance Corporal Justin Thomas Hunt, 22
(Army) Specialist William River Emanuel IV, 19
(Army) Private First Class Jesse Jack Martinez, 20
(Army) Sergeant Armando Hernandez, 22
(Marines) Corporal Roberto Abad, 22
(Marines) Lance Corporal Fernando Baxter Hannon, 19
(Marines) Lance Corporal Geoffrey Perez, 24
(Marines) Sergeant Harvey Emmett Parkerson III, 27
(Marines) Corporal Nicanor Angel Alvarez, 22
(Army) Specialist Omead Hossein Razani, 19
(Marines) Sergeant Edgar Edelberto Lopez, 27
(Marines) Lance Corporal Derek Lloyd Gardner, 20
(Marines) Corporal Mick Ray Nygardbekowsky, 21
(Army) Specialist Edgar Potayre Daclan Jr., 24
(Army) Staff Sergeant Guy Stanley Hagy Jr., 31
(Marines) Lance Corporal Aaron Robert Boyles, 24
(Marines) Private First Class Kenneth Lee Sickels, 20
(Army) Sergeant 1st Class Joselito Onas Villanueva, 36
(Army) Specialist Morgen Nathaniel Jacobs, 20
(Marines) Lance Corporal Victor Avila Gonzalez, 19
(Army) Major Charles Robert Soltes Jr., 36
(Army) Private E-2 David Lawrence Waters, 19
(Marines) Corporal William Isac Salazar, 26
(Marines) Lance Corporal Richard Patrick Slocum, 19
(Marines) Lance Corporal Jeremy Daniel Bow, 20
(Marines) Corporal Jeremiah Allen Baro, 21
(Marines) Lance Corporal Jared Patrick Hubbard, 22
(National Guard) Sergeant Quoc Binh Tran, 26
(Marines) Sergeant William Clepper James, 24
(Marines) Lance Corporal Abraham Simpson, 19
(Marines) Lance Corporal Erick James Hodges, 21
(National Guard) Sergeant First Class Michael Christopher Ottolini, 45
(Marines) Second Lieutenant James Patrick Blecksmith, 24
(Army) Private First Class Cole William Larsen, 19
(Marines) Lance Corporal Victor Ronald Lu, 22
(Marines) Lance Corporal George Jitendra Payton, 20
(Marines) Corporal Andres Hilario Perez, 21
(Marines) Lance Corporal Jeramy Alan Ailes, 22
(Marines) Sergeant Rafael Peraltaguzman, 25
(Army) Specialist Jose Ricardo Flores-Mejia, 21
(Marines) Lance Corporal Luis Alberto Figueroa, 21
(Marines) Lance Corporal Phillip Gordon West, 19
(Marines) Corporal Joseph Javier Heredia, 22
(Army) Specialist Sergio Rafael Diaz-Varela, 21
(Marines) Corporal Kirk Jay Bosselmann, 21
(Army) Sergeant Trinidad Rodrigo Martinez-Luis, 22
(Army) Specialist Edwin William Roodhouse, 36
(Marines) Corporal Ian Wesley Stewart, 21
(Marines) Corporal Michael Dwayne Anderson Jr., 21
(Army) Corporal Jonathan Castro, 21
(Army) Staff Sergeant Robert Scott Johnson, 23
(Army) Sergeant Major Robert Daniel Odell, 38
(Navy) Hospital Corpsman Pablito Pena Briones Jr., 22
(Army) Private First Class Oscar Sanchez, 19
(Marines) Sergeant Zachariah Scott Davis, 25
(Army) Captain Joe Fenton Lusk II, 25
(National Guard) Staff Sergeant Jose Carlos Rangel, 43
(Army) Staff Sergeant Joseph William Stevens, 26
(Navy) Petty Officer Third Class John Daniel House, 28
(Marines) Corporal Stephen Patrick Johnson, 24
(Marines) Lance Corporal Mourad Ragimov, 20
(Marines) First Lieutenant Dustin Michael Shumney, 30
(Marines) Lance Corporal Joseph Boyd Spence, 24
(Army) Private First Class Kevin Michael Luna, 26
(Army) Private First Class Stephen Anthony Castellano, 20
(Navy) Lieutenant Commander Keith Edward Taylor, 47
(Marines) Captain Sean Lee Brock, 29
(Army) Specialist Wade Michael Twyman, 27
(Army) Specialist Samuel Sungjune Lee, 19
(Marines) Corporal Garrywesley Tan Rimes, 30
(Army) Corporal William Dean Richardson, 23
(National Guard) Corporal Glenn James Watkins, 42
(Marines) Lance Corporal Juan Carlos Venegas, 21
(Army) Specialist Casey Michael Laware, 19
(Army) Sergeant Anthony Jerome Davis Jr., 22
(National Guard) Sergeant Timothy Craig Kiser, 37
(Army) Staff Sergeant Arana Juan De Dios Garcia, 27
(Army) Sergeant Stephen Patrick Saxton, 24
(Army) Sergeant 1st Class Randy Duane Collins, 36
(Marines) Major Ricardo Antonio Crocker, 39
(Marines) First Sergeant Michael Scott Barnhill, 39
(Air Force) Captain Derek Mears Argel, 28
(Marines) Corporal Antonio Mendoza, 21
(Navy) Petty Officer Second Class Cesar Omar Baez, 37
(Marines) Lance Corporal Dion Mario Whitley, 21
(National Guard) Sergeant Arnold Duplantier II, 26
(Marines) Lance Corporal Veashna Muy, 20
(Marines) Corporal Carlos Pineda, 23
(Army) Staff Sergeant Jorge Luis Penaromero, 29
(Army) Sergeant Milton Manuel Monzon Jr., 21
(Army) Private First Class Ramon Aristides Villatoro Jr., 19
(Army) Private E-2 Ernesto Rodolfo Guerra, 20
(Marines) Lance Corporal Adam James Strain, 20
(Army) Sergeant Nathan Kalani Bouchard, 24
(Army) Specialist Ray Michael Fuhrmann II, 28
(Army) Sergeant Joseph Charles Nurre, 22
(Marines) Private First Class Ramon Romero, 19
(Army) Corporal Timothy Magnus Shea, 22
(National Guard) Staff Sergeant Alfredo Barajas Silva, 35
(National Guard) Sergeant Mike Takeshi Sonoda Jr., 34
(National Guard) Staff Sergeant Paul Christian Neubauer, 40
(Marines) Sergeant Brian Enrique Dunlap, 34
(National Guard) Sergeant First Class Daniel Ronald Scheile, 37
(Marines) Private Elijah Matthew Ortega, 19
(Army) Corporal Joshua Jacob Kynoch, 23
(Marines) Lance Corporal Sergio Hernandez Escobar, 18
(National Guard) Staff Sergeant Jerry Lee Bonifacio Jr., 28
(Army) Specialist Timothy Dee Watkins, 24
(Marines) Lance Corporal Christopher M. Poston, 20
(Army) Sergeant Arthur Anthony Mora Jr., 23
(National Guard) Sergeant Shakere Taffari Guy, 23
(National Guard) Captain Raymond Dwayne Hill II, 39
(Army) Sergeant 1st Class Jonathan Tessar, 36
(Navy) Petty Officer Second Class Allanmark Cundangan Espiritu, 28
(Army) Master Sergeant James Frederick Hayes, 48
(Army) Specialist Matthew John Holley, 21
(Marines) Lance Corporal John Anthony Lucente, 19
(Army) Corporal Vernon Ralph Widner, 34
(Army) Sergeant Michael June Idanan, 21
(Army) Sergeant Adrian Noe Orosco, 26
(Army) Sergeant Regina Christina Reali, 25
(Army) Sergeant Cheyenne Christopher Willey, 36
(Army) Specialist Sergio Gudino, 22
(National Guard) Sergeant Marcelino Ronald Corniel, 23
(Army) Private E-1 Robbie Matthew Mariano, 21
(Army) Major Douglas Amuel La Bouff, 36
(Marines) Lance Corporal Raul Mercado, 21
(Army) Chief Warrant Officer 2 Rex Christopher Kenyon, 34
(Marines) Corporal Carlos H. Arellanopandura, 22
(Marines) Lance Corporal Brandon C. Dewey, 20
(Marines) Lance Corporal Hugo Razziel Lopezlopez, 20
(Army) Sergeant David Lee Herrera, 26
(Army) Private First Class Caesar Samuel Viglienzone, 21
(Army) Specialist Salazar Roberto Luis Martinez, 21
(Marines) Private First Class Javier Chavez Jr., 19
(Marines) Lance Corporal Michael Stuart Probst, 26
(Army) Specialist Clay Patrick Farr, 21
(Marines) Corporal Adam Oliver Zanutto, 26
(Marines) Lance Corporal Bunny Long, 22
(Army) Private First Class Angelo Akram Zawaydeh, 19
(Army) Staff Sergeant Ricardo Barraza, 24
(Army) Sergeant Dale Gregory Michael Brehm, 23
(Navy) Petty Officer Third Class Geovani Rafael Padillaaleman, 20
(Marines) Lance Corporal Felipe Dejesus Sandovalflores, 20
(Army) Corporal Ty John Johnson, 28
(Marines) Lance Corporal Juana Navarroarellano, 24
(Army) Sergeant Joseph Anthony Blanco, 25
(Marines) Lance Corporal Marcus Stephen Glimpse, 22
(Marines) Corporal Salem Bachar, 20
(Army) Sergeant Kyle Arnold Colnot, 23
(Marines) Lance Corporal Aaron W. Simons, 20
(Army) Specialist Raymond Lamar Henry, 21
(Army) Private First Class Benjamin Thomas Zieske, 20
(National Guard) Sergeant First Class Isaac Shawn Lawson, 35
(Army) Corporal Luis Daniel Santos, 20
(Marines) Lance Corporal Salvador Guerrero, 21
(Marines) Corporal Michael Anthony Estrella, 20
(Marines) Corporal Christopher David Leon, 20
(Army) Sergeant Jason James Buzzard, 31
(Marines) Corporal Jason William Daniel Morrow, 27
(Army) Corporal Ryan James Clark, 19
(Army) Corporal Christopher David Rose, 21
(Army) Sergeant Thomas Boyd Turner Jr., 31
(Army) Specialist Joseph Anthony Graves, 21
(Marines) Lance Corporal Anthony E. Butterfield, 19
(Army) Sergeant Jeffrey Scott Brown, 25
(Army) Sergeant David Jimenez Almazan, 27
(Army) Private First Class Hannah Leah Gunterman, 20
(Army) Sergeant Luis A. Montes, 22
(Army) Specialist Harley Dean Andrews, 22
(Army) Corporal Cesar Adrian Granados, 21
(Navy) Petty Officer Second Class Michael Anthony Monsoor, 25
(Army) Corporal Luis Enrique Tejeda, 20
(Army) Sergeant Joseph Walter Perry, 23
(Army) Staff Sergeant Daniel Isshak, 25
(Army) Corporal Kenny Frances Stanton Jr., 20
(Army) Private First Class Keith Jesse Moore, 28
(Army) Sergeant Lester Domenico Baroncini Jr., 33
(Army) Captain Mark Christopher Paine, 32
(Army) Sergeant Norman Robert Taylor III, 21
(Army) Corporal Jose Roberto Perez, 21
(Army) Corporal Matthew Wallace Creed, 23
(Navy) Hospital Corpsman Charles Otto Sare, 23
(Marines) Private First Class Jason Franco, 18
(Army) Private E-2 Michael Paul Bridges, 23
(Army) Staff Sergeant Joseph Alan Gage, 28
(Army) Staff Sergeant Richwell Arzadon Doria, 25
(National Guard) Sergeant First Class Rudy Augustine Salcido, 31
(Army) Sergeant Ramirez Angel De Jesus Lucio, 22
(Army) Private First Class Jang Ho Kim, 20
(Marines) Lance Corporal Timothy W. Brown, 21
(Marines) Lance Corporal Mario Daniel Gonzalez, 21
(Army) Sergeant 1st Class Tung Manh Nguyen, 38
(Marines) Lance Corporal Jeromy David West, 20
(Army) Corporal Micah Stephen Gifford, 27
(Army) Specialist Nicholas Paul Steinbacher, 22
(Marines) Corporal Joshua Daniel Pickard, 20
(Marines) Lance Corporal Ryan Lee Mayhan, 25
(Marines) Lance Corporal Fernando Sanchez Tamayo, 19
(Army) Specialist Michael Jacob Crutchfield, 21
(Army) Specialist Elias George Elias, 27
(Army) Specialist Luis Gerardo Ayala, 21
(Army) Sergeant Lawrance James Carter, 25
(Army) Private First Class Ming Sun, 20
(Army) Second Lieutenant Mark Jennings Daily, 23
(Army) Specialist Jeffrey Dean Bisson, 22
(Army) Captain Brian Scott Freeman, 31
(Army) Staff Sergeant Jamie Duggan Wilson, 34
(Army) Specialist Michael Christopher Balsley, 23
(Marines) Lance Corporal Anthony Charles Melia, 20
(Army) Private First Class David Tipo Toomalatai, 19
(Army) Chief Warrant Officer 2 Cornell Clinton Chao, 36
(Army) Specialist Carla Jane Stewart, 37
(Marines) Sergeant Alejandro Carrillo, 22
(Army) Sergeant William Mason Sigua, 21
(Army) Chief Warrant Officer 4 Keith Yoakum, 41
(Army) Private E-2 Clarence Tavares Spencer, 24
(Marines) First Lieutenant Jared Michael-Vincent Landaker, 25
(National Guard) Specialist Dennis Lee Sellen Jr., 20
(Army) Sergeant Robert Brooks Thrasher, 23
(Army) Specialist Ronnie Gene Madore Jr., 34
(Army) Sergeant Carl Leonard Seigart, 32

Minor commentary: A list this large is overwhelming, and as such begs questions: What do we do? What is our answer in the face of such loss? The only answer I can come up with: We wash their feet and tell them we’re sorry. It’s not enough, but it’s all we can do.

At 30 I have an unusual amount of experience with death. I really shouldn’t, but here I am: I’ve lost way too many friends to suicide and murder, to ODs, to drink. Now, I’m not too fucking smart. In fact, I’m really pretty stupid. But I understand lessons when they’re taught to me, and all this loss has taught me something – specifically, that life is not to be taken lightly. Life means something.

Then again, I can’t imagine why anyone would care anyway. These are California lives. They can’t possibly mean much, right? We’re all flakes and boobs out here. What could these deaths deprive anyone of?

(Please remember, one of the greatest honors we can afford our dead is to constantly remind ourselves how much we have to live for, and how fine a thing life can be. Although I’m loathe to speak for the dead, I can be reasonably sure they’d want that.)

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posted by teh l4m3 at 7:29 AM | Permalink | 3 be jibber-jabberin'

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