Updates

Well, I thought I’d get a quick post written before my Solid Mechanics class(Oh, the fun that is Mechanical Engineering). I’m thinking of moving over to WordPress. It seems more professional and I have commenting and statistics all in one place, which is nice. And since they’ll convert all of my Blogger posts, it should be easy. I’m looking into it, so nothing definite at this point.

Midwinter Formal is coming up tomorrow, so I’ll probably put some pictures up when I get the chance. I want to start posting more photos on this blog. I’ve taken up photography as a bit of a hobby and have all kinds of subject matter to cover here at The Institute.

I have run across a couple of my Brother Rats’ blogs. They’ve been added to the blog roll. I’m surprised it took me that long to find one of them, considering he’s an electrical engineer and we’ve been working on our Class’ website together. Speaking of which, it should be up and online shortly. I can’t wait, because then we can start fussing with it and adding content. I’ll keep y’all updated.

Name Change

I’ve finally figured out what I want to name this blog: “Marching Post.” This one may take some explaining, though. Here at The Institute, we have a tradition of a standing guard team 24/7 during the school year. It dates back to the days when the Institute was an active armory and was guarded by the Virginia Militia. Anyway, one of the positions on the guard team is that of the sentinels, a group of individuals who stand in the two courtyards in Barracks and watch over the Corps making sure nothing amiss transpires. This tends to be nothing more than long periods of boredom, with a few interesting occurrences interspersed throughout. That’s how it seems with this website at times. It seems that I just sit here watching the goings on of the internet and really only post about the interesting things that only happen occasionally. So there you have it, the new moniker.

Bonne Jour Des Peres

That’s French, if you didn’t know. For those not taken to speaking the language of the former Roman province of Gaul, the above means “Happy Father’s Day,” loosely translated. And that is my wish to all those fathers out there who may be reading this, and especially to my own. Here is a little history about said holiday, and contrary to popular belief it wasn’t started by the greeting card companies as a gimmick to sell more cards. Who woulda thunk it?

Also, if I may, I’ll point you towards Blackfive’s and let you read a very inspiring story about a father’s love for his son. The saga of the Hoyt family is one to really embolden the spirit, and kinda puts things into perspective. And if’n you felt the need, you could always donate to Team Hoyt over at their website. That’s it for now. A happy Father’s Day to all and especially to those fathers deployed away from their families.

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone. Christ is risen. And for my Jewish readers, happy Passover. Not much new up, I know. I’ve been finding it tough to write lately. Don’t know why. If you’re in the mood for a very interesting movie, try watching Stranger Than Fiction, starring Will Ferrell. Good movie, like watching a Kurt Vonnegut novel.

Advice

A friend of mine from high school who I have not really kept in touch with, sad I know, just recently e-mailed me and asked me to write about my experiences in college. A strange request, but apparently it’s for a class project. I said “yes,” naturally. Who am I to refuse a friend, and it also gave me some motivation to write, something I’ve been lacking lately.

Now the topic is a bit of a doozie. Apparently this friend of mine wanted me to write about “Reasons Not to Go to College and Why I Went,” and she wanted me to describe some events or information that I felt I should’ve been told before starting my time here at The Institute. It left me scratching my head for a while. I cannot begin to think of any reason other than personal preference why not to go to college. Honestly, a college education opens up so many doors and provides so many opportunities. So, I guess that’s the end of that question.

Now on to the really hard part, describing one event or piece of information that I felt I should have been informed of before Matriculation. Well, there are tons of things I wish I knew before I came here, but then something is lost in translation when you are simply told of all of the hardships a Rat must endure, and believe me I was well informed, but no amount of words could really describe the torment of a sweat party, or the absolute jubilation and happiness of being Broken Out. The Ratline is just one of those things that you need to experience and either you make it or you don’t, but there is no shortage of help to succeed.

And to choose one event out of the multitude of experiences I have had here is almost impossible. From Meeting Cadre to The Crucible to swearing in as a Cadet and charging across the Field of Lost Shoes as the Corps had back in 1864 during the Battle of New Market; those first couple of weeks alone were almost a whirlwind of excitement and new experiences. Toss in my first college football game, the many sweat parties, forced marches, the twenty mile march to New Market, Resurrection Week, and finally Break Out, not to mention the many small things in between like just hanging out with my Brother Rats; and the list to choose from starts to get long. So, after scratching my head for a few days, and being unable to come to a definite conclusion on which single memory to include, I decided instead to just dish out some advice. But know that your experiences might vary and advice is worth what you pay for it.

If you do choose to join the ranks of the Virginia Military Institute, know these things: It will be hard, mentally and physically. You will be pushed past any limit you thought you had. There will be times where you wish that you chose an easier path, but know in these times that pain and suffering do not last forever and this will only make you stronger. Keep your head up and stick it out, the rewards are worth the blood, sweat and tears. Yes, there will be tears. Know that nothing can compare to the happiness of Break Out, except maybe Ring Figure. Give it everything you have and never look back, you will not be disappointed. Trust your BRs and help them. Lean on them when times get rough; they will help you through it. Be proud, you are among the few who chose the path less traveled. During Hell Week, keep you ears and eyes open, your mouth shut, and your butt in neutral.

Just my two cents.

Calling All Personnel. . . .

Hey everybody, yes all three of you actually read my blog on a regular basis, I have a favor to ask. “What might that be?” You say. Well, Op-For Blog is getting obliterated by the competition for the 2006 Weblog Awards and need more votes. So, since they’re such nice guys, and talented writers, go over and follow the link and vote for Op-For as the best MilBlog out there. Oh, and a number of those guys are in my Dykeline, so they can strain me whenever they want. . . wait, on second thought, I strain all the time anyway. Well, nevermind that, go and vote for Op-For.

And for those of you who are regular readers and have been angry for the lack of updates, I apologize. More will be coming shortly, I promise. That is all, carry on.

Finally!

Ding dong, Zarqawi’s dead. And apparently, he was betrayed by his own men. Good riddance to bad garbage. Here’s Blackfive’s take on all of this. And he is even kind enough to provide us with the strike video. And here’s what LTCDR SMASH has to say. Oh, and Mudville sould be included, too. But it appears that the Loony Left is at it again. And there is more over at Soldier’s Perspective.

Well, that’s it from people more eloquent and knowledgeable about these things. I just want to extend my thanks and congratulations to the men and women responsible for pulling off such a successful mission. You all did America proud! And on a sidenote, it appears that I need to make some changes and updates to my blogroll.

Memorial Day Links

Some blog entries that I have come across deserve recognition, and I think that I can help by directing my measly amount of traffic their way. So here’s some stuff you need to read:

Thank a veteran today, and remember what Memorial Day is all about. May all fo those who gave their lives Rest In Peace.

Memorial Day

Today is a day for remembering the fallen. Those who gave their lives in the service of their country. Those who committed the final act of devotion to their country and to their brothers in arms. Never forget them for they died for us. They sacrificed so that we may be free. Thank you. Also, don’t forget those currently serving, who make sacrifices on a daily basis to keep us safe. God Bless America.

History of Memorial Day Below is the Presidential Radio Address for 2006.

Good morning. This Memorial Day weekend, Americans pay tribute to those who have given their lives in service to our Nation. America is free because generations of young Americans have been willing to sacrifice to defend the country they love, so their fellow citizens could live in liberty.

This weekend, I am visiting some of the brave men and women who will soon take their own place in the defense of our freedom — the 2006 graduating class at West Point. This was the first class to arrive at West Point after the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. Each of them came to West Point in a time of war, knowing all the risks and dangers that come with wearing our Nation’s uniform. And the reality of that war has surrounded them since their first moments at the Academy. Thirty-four times since they arrived at West Point, they have observed a moment of silence to honor a former cadet fallen in the war on terror.

One of those former cadets was First Lieutenant Rob Seidel, a 2004 West Point graduate who gave his life in Iraq earlier this month. Rob grew up in Maryland, and as a child he and his family made frequent visits to the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg, and from his earliest days he dreamed of serving in the U.S. Army. He deployed to Iraq with the 10th Mountain division and was killed by a bomb in Baghdad. His father says this about Rob: “He loved his family, and believed in God, and he loved his country, and he was willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of his country.”

We live in freedom because of young Americans like Lieutenant Rob Seidel. And in recent days in Iraq, we’ve seen what their sacrifices have made possible. A week ago, the new Prime Minister of Iraq announced the formation of a national unity government. British Prime Minister Tony Blair recently visited Baghdad to meet with Prime Minister Maliki and Iraq’s new leaders, and this week he came to the United States to give me his impressions. Prime Minister Blair told me that Iraq’s new leaders are determined to rid their country of terrorism, unite Iraqis as one people, and deliver peace and prosperity for all their citizens.

The formation of a democratic government in Iraq marks a victory for the cause of freedom in the Middle East. It is a victory for millions of Iraqis who defied the terrorists and cast their ballots in three elections last year. It is a victory for the Iraqi Security Forces, who fought and bled for this moment, and now have a democracy worthy of their sacrifice. And it is a victory for the American, British, and other coalition forces who removed a murderous dictator who threatened the world. Because of their courage and sacrifices, Iraq has a free government that will be a strong and capable ally in the global war on terror.

The new government in Iraq is also a defeat for the terrorists, who fought the arrival of a free and democratic Iraq with all the hateful power they could muster. Now, a day that they feared has arrived. The terrorists can kill the innocent, but they cannot stop the advance of freedom. We can expect the terrorists to continue bombing and killing, but something fundamental has changed: The terrorists are now fighting a free and constitutional government. They are at war with the people of Iraq. The Iraqi people and their new leaders are determined to defeat this enemy, and so is the United States of America.

This Memorial Day weekend, we remember First Lieutenant Seidel and the brave Americans of every generation who have given their lives for freedom, liberated the oppressed, and left the world a safer and better place. And the best way to honor America’s fallen heroes is to carry on their fight, defend our freedom, and complete the mission for which they gave their lives.

Thank you for listening.

Blogwatch

Been doing some reading in the blogsphere lately. Trying desperately to rejoin the blogging masses, even though it’s been hard to find the time and motivation to do so lately. So the first order of the day is an article over at JihadWatch about our Founding Fathers and the Muslim world, and from reading it, it seems that not much has changed in the past 250 years.(HT: Chapomatic) Also, for those who don’t yet know, the gentlemen at The Officers’ Club(VMI grads, by the way) have moved on to greener pastures and are now blogging over at Op-For.com. It’s the same outstanding examples of hard-hitting bloggerism(can’t quite call it journalism) that you have come to expect, but in a shinier, new package.

GWA.45 is currently pondering why Socialism refuses to die. An interesting read, long, but interesting nonetheless. If you like history and politics, like I do, then you’ll like this article. I also tip my hat to The Geek, when I point you all towards this little gem about liberals. Well, not just any type of liberals, as some can be quite, what’s the word, sane; but the John Kerry-types, the ones who are so out of touch with mainstream America that it boggles the mind. And I must admit, I have visited certain bastions of liberal thought coughthe huffington postcough, but more for my own personal enjoyment as I find ti fun to mess with them. Too bad they usually censor my comments. It’s hard when you have to spread truth and reason to people who don’t want to hear it.

And as is the case many times when I run out of things to blog about, I will link you to Neptunus Lex, as he usually has something up everyone’s alley, if the musings of a former fighter pilot are your particular cup of tea. And so that he can benefit from my minimalall of my traffic, I will point out that he has commentaries on the recent immigration boycotts and the moussai verdict. That is all, carry on.

Woohoo!!

Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me! Yadda, yadda, yadda. Well today is my birthday. I turn the big One-Eight. So, now I can drive, buy tobacco products, enlist in the military, vote, and apply for credit cards. Now I have 1095 days until I can receive a CCW permit. Something to look forward to, I guess.

Oh, and to everyone else who was born on 20 April, except for one, happy birthday.

Idle Daydreaming


I don’t know when I first fell in love with the Aston Martin Vanquish, all I know, is it’s been a while. So, for somewhere in excess of $70,000, you can own a beautiful piece of engineering. At least it gives me something to save up for. Just the daydreams of a soon-to-be man.

Modern Day Crusades

While I was cruising the internet today I stumbled upon a rather interesting piece written by Uncle Jimbo over at Blackfive’s place. It is entitled “The Reverse Crusades”. It’s a good read that makes a whole lot of sense. But I disagree with Ol’ Jimbo. I don’t think the coming rift between the West and Islam is being propagated by any one person or group. Sure, while the actions of Osama bin Laden, the MSM’s negative portrayal of the culture, and all of the hoopla over the Danish cartoons aren’t helping things, this clash between two vastly different cultures has been coming for much longer than most of the people on this earth have been alive. This great war between the Muslim world and Western society has been coming since before 9/11, since before the taking of hostages in Tehran, since before the Middle East was divvied up way back in 1916. No this has it’s roots back in the very early days of Islam.

Islam was spread upon the blade of the sword. It was spread by Mohammad in a series of holy wars, until a Muslim empire spread from southern Spain all the way to Indonesia. Many who were converted were the pagan bedouins. In fact, the shrine at Mecca was originally a pagan shrine that housed the holy artifacts of these bedouin tribesmen(in case you didn’t know). In these holy wars, or jihads, Mohammad proclaimed that all the Muslim warriors who died while spreading Islam would be promised a spot in Paradise. Sound familiar? It should, because that is exactly what Osama bin Laden and his cronies have been telling young brainwashed foolsjihadists for years. It seems as if, OBL and his ilk see themselves as modern day Mohammads, called upon by Allah to spread Islam. Maybe I’m just stating the obvious.

They want nothing more than to convert us all to Shari’a Law and basically enslave us all under the banner of one giant caliphate. Or they will just kill all those resist. The one thing they will not do is allow our way of life and culture to continue. They are fueled by hate and have blinded their followers with religion. And I have yet to be impressed with this whole “silent majority” of moderate Muslims. There don’t seem to be many of them in these violent protests against the Danish cartoons. One would think that some rational Muslim would eventually come to his senses and tell the protesters to pack it up and go home, but I guess they can’t even do that. And because of this, everyday I grow less and less certain about these rumors of moderate Muslims. And that is a bad thing, because the fundamentalists are slowly turning this fight from a clash of civilizations to of religions. If the fundamentalists have their way this war will become a war not on terror, but on Islam, and I fear that if that happens, there will be no stopping World War III.

But that can be prevented if we act now. This is not an enemy that, in the event of their victory, would confine their act of oppression and violence to a small portion of the globe like the North Vietnamese, no they will move out globally. Al Qaeda is not a small organization. They act globally. We cannot lose this fight. And that’s something I don’t think many of those criticizing the United States and our allies seem to comprehend. This is a war unlike any other. It transcends borders and our enemy is not(at least publicly anyway) sponsored by other nation-states. We are fighting a different kind of enemy, which calls for different tactics, and sometimes they can be rather shady. And while I don’t believe that any of our critics and those citizens of our country that dangle far left really want the terrorists to win, I think they simply are in denial. If you think about it, the harsh reality that there are evil people in the world that want to kill them simply for the freedoms they enjoy everyday and because they do not to conform to a certain religion, doesn’t exactly fit in their world view where the only evil people are the CEO’s of corporations and all forms of authority. I merely credit this to their ignorance and fear. We must make them aware that this is in their best interests, while we try to encourage the moderate Muslims to let their voices be heard. There is no other way. If we simply bomb them back to the Stone Age, this problem will simply resurface later on, unless we wipe out the Muslim religion and all of its followers forever, which make us no different than them. There must be change from within the Islamic community.

So, the way I see it is, the fundamentalists are no different than Saladin of old. So who are the Crusaders? Well, for all intents and purposes we are; the “civilized world.” Instead of crusading in the name of God, we are crusading in the name of freedom, democracy, and the basic Rights of Man. We are a progressive force while Osama wants nothing more than to plunge us back into the Dark Ages. We have our work cut out for us. We must not fail.

Oh, and here is one voice of reason within the Muslim world. If only there were more and people were willing to listen.

Check This Out

Courtesy of Google Videos, I provide you with this gem from one of my favorite shows that comes on the Discovery Channel every now and then: Top Gear. It is originally a show on the BBC but Discovery broadcasts it in the U.S. I really like the show, I think you can figure out why.