Care packages and Christmas Wish lists

My only wartime service was in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. My unit actually left Germany on Christmas Day, 1990, and arrived on the 26th.

My one bit of foresight in planning for my comfort was ensuring a steady supply of cigarettes. Now, I smoke like a chimney, but even if I didn’t, I would have set up a supply chain. The instant I had an address that I could use, I wrote the dear parental units and told them to send two cartons a week of Marlboro Red flip top box. Where I was going, money had no value. Commodities, on the other hand, make a fine bargaining chip.

Weeks go by with nary a peep from Mom and Dad. Nor from Sibling Unit #1. Nor SU#2. Mail call was mighty thin. In fact, it wasn’t until the 24th of February they were heard from. Literally, as we loaded up the tracks to cross over the berm and begin the ground war, I got mail.

Mom and Dad had decided to winter over in California instead of the old homestead. The post office decided not to forward their mail for a few weeks. When they got the “Christmas wish list” I’d written, they put out the word to the Aunts and Uncles and got to work. I received a bounty of 5 shoe box sized packages.

Instead of manly, gung-ho stuff like loading ammo, I was ripping open packages and having my trackmates help. Good stuff like leather gloves, spare watches, Crystal Light packs, beef jerky (5 pounds, homemade!). But no smokes…. Finally, the last box. I was getting nervous. And indeed, in the last box, there were cigarettes. One pack. One measly pack. One, lonely, solitary, tiny little pack. Of CAMBRIDGE. ULTRA. LIGHTS…. SOFT PACK!!!!

My folks just couldn’t conceive that the Army wouldn’t make sure we could gets smokes. Dad had assured everyone that smokes would be supplied before food and ammo and other useless stuff. I wasn’t happy.

The really weird part was the pantyhose. Some of the boxes that guys opened up had pantyhose. That stumped me for a bit, but finally I found a letter saying that the Marines were using them like robbers to make face masks to keep out sand. (Sure……) My buddies were a little dubious of this explanation when they found a pair of midnight blue full fashion seamed pantyhose with a floral pattern….

Hi-Ho, the Bio

So who is this new force in the moronosphere? If you have stumbled upon my site, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve seen me comment on blogs such as Ace’s, Protein Wisdom, The Hostages and other greats. I’m a guy in his early 40’s. I was raised a Navy brat, and as such, I was smart enough to join the Army. Tours of duty included Hawaii, Germany, Colorado Springs, and (as penance for those wonderful places) Northwest Indiana.

After twelve years in the Army, it was time to move on and to my surprise and bemusement, I found myself in the financial industry. Even more so, I liked it. After three more years of living in Indiana, and working in Chicago, however, warmer climes and the call of family lured me to Southern California. If I never see another snowflake, I can probably live with that.

I’m well to the right of center, politically. I’m very much a fiscal conservative, somewhat socially conservative, and very much a supporter of the military and the War on Terror.

Why the moniker XBradTC? Well, the best job (of many) that I had in the Army was as a TC (Track Commander) of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. That’s that thingy in the header. It was like the Boy Scouts with really cool toys and no adult supervision. And I got to shoot at stuff.

Hello world!

The first person to ever enlighten me to the word “Blog” was Hugh Hewitt. I knew him from Church. What I didn’t know was that he was a prominent radio personality and early political center-right blogger. Finally, after reading and commenting all over the blogosphere for five years, I giving this a try. Ideally, I’d like to bring my perspectives on politics and the military to bear on the issues of the day.