Wednesday, May 09, 2007

End of the blog

Mark left Baghdad early Thursday morning the 10th of May, 2007. He is due to arrive in the States sometime on Saturday the 12th of May.

After 363 days and 448 posts, the blog is now finished. I know everyone is greatly relieved that Mark has made it through his tour of duty in Iraq - it feels like a great weight has been lifted from all of our shoulders. I know I will relish not having to anxiously check the news each morning for details of the latest bombing or attack. And I hope never again to know the temperature in Baghdad on a daily basis.

Kraig B.


This production was shot in Technicolor-Surround Sound on location in Iraq. No animals were harmed in the making of this blog, only humans.

Special thanks go to my family, Lisanne, Anais, and Jack, who kept me going. And to Kraig for making this all possible, to Keith for inspiring me, to Mom and Dad, for the Canadian Geographic Magazines. And to Steve for the sausages.

Supporting Cast (in no order)

Nancy Scranton
Uncle Don and Jan
Paula and Andrew
The Hurley Family (including Michele)
Tom & Martha
The St Louis Cookie Lady
Jennifer G.
Sally Moldwin
Aunt Carol and Chrissy
The Costa Mesa (CA) Police Department
Shell and Sharon in Arizona
Kay Zybura
Mark Lutz
Steve Krim
Tanya and Kelly
Tasha and Will
John Lavoie
T. Lenz
Aunt Marilyn and Uncle A.J.
Karl Pohrt
Gary and Mary Paddock
Aunt Betty and Uncle Bob
Eric and Maryanne Knapp
Todd Singleton
St. Cecelia Elementary School
Janine Sabino and Mitch Album
Kevin Collins

Dedicated to the 3,386. And to Ella and Fat Cat.

The final tally:

May 12, 2006 (the day I arrived in Theater): 2,601 US dead, 1 MIA

May 10, 2007 (the day I depart): 3,386 US dead; 3 MIA

They announced ten more brigades will be deploying to Iraq today.


After dinner the Colonel called everyone together and announced that I would be receiving a Defense Meritorious Service Medal for my service here. He said some nice things about how invaluable I’d been blah blah. But the best part was afterwards when a couple of my guys came up and pinned the Army Combat Action Badge on me. It may not be official, but it means the world to me. I will miss these guys.

Last run

My guys took me out on a 4.5 mile perimeter run today, to celebrate my going home. Then we went up the hill – it was brutal. 105 degrees out.

The Barber’s Tale

I always knew that I would write about the barber shop. It’s a small, one story cement building, unremarkable in every way. I noticed as soon as I went inside that it was different, although how didn’t become apparent until later. Until after I spoke to the fat barber with the tattoo.

There were chairs for three customers. Two were apparently mis-matched barber’s chairs, but I think one was actually an old dental chair, reincarnated. They were all old, and would be considered junk or antiques anywhere else. But they worked, and for $2.00 US you could get a decent hair cut. The massage afterwards was extra.

I liked the big guy. He was okay at cutting hair and didn’t skimp on the massage. I swear he almost tipped the whole dentist’s chair over a couple of times when he was kneading on my back. And I liked the way he’d go clip clip clip with the scissors all over, even if you didn’t really have any hair to cut. It made you feel like you were getting your money’s worth. It was odd how he always put his electric clippers in a drawer – they were still plugged in so the cord hung out, and there was nothing else in the drawer, but he’d never lie them down on the counter like the others. Always in the drawer.

One day I noticed that he had a tattoo in Arabic on his arm. That is fairly unusual, so I asked him about it. He said that he used to work in the Ministry of Finance under Saddam Hussein. Just a low-level job, but one that paid the bills. But when all of the troubles started many people would single out former ministry employees and denounce then to one or another of the religious militias. He was afraid every day that he might be kidnapped and beheaded. Or blown up. And the tattoo was his name, in case there wasn’t enough left for his family to identify him.

One day he went home and his wife and two children weren’t there. He searched for three days, not sleeping. But he could not find them. Very soon, he ran out of money. So he decided that he would take a dangerous job (any job with the Americans is dangerous) and make enough money so that he could search all over Iraq, until he found his family, or found out what happened to them. “So you see, I didn’t need the tattoo. I didn’t need it at all. It was just a waste, such a great waste, all of it, wasn’t it? A waste.”

The other war

I was thinking about how hard it is on the family when a loved one goes to war. The parents worry, the brothers worry but don’t say so, the friends all sort of hold their breath until you are back. But it’s the husband or wife – and the children – who pay the most. Not only do they experience the same fear – the same gut wrenching feeling when “five more dead in Baghdad” is announced on the news, but it’s their life that’s changed too. Jack went a whole year without me being there to play ball, or to take him to scouts, or just to watch a movie with him. Anais doesn’t eat and thinks she’s fat and seems to get by on only 3 hours of sleep a night. She has nightmares. And Lisanne has to cook all those dinners for three, and take care of all the chores and run the kids all around – while going to school full time herself. Then she comes back home to go to bed alone.

I am sorry that this has been so hard on everyone. I love you all.

The Run (or, a medley of unconnected thoughts that occurred to me while jogging)

Tying my shoes. It’s 102 degrees out. Maybe I’ll go five today.

It always feels better starting slow. I’ll stop at the first tower and do push ups. Remember running around the ball field in Swansea with Jack and doing push ups? Yes, that’s what I’ll do. Breath. You know what I regret though? Not being in that picture of the track team at Cass. People ask me sometimes if I was on the team why wasn’t I in the picture? I don’t remember why but for some reason I was taking the picture. I think I borrowed Dad’s camera and I remember getting a bunch of enlargements and passing them out. There’s the half mile mark, the bridge should be just around the corner now.

Then Coach Glen was telling me that he expected me to make All City next season. But I had to bring my grades up if I wanted to stay on the team. He’d talked to my English and History teachers and here he was telling me that he knew I could do better. He had confidence in me. Maybe that’s what Anais needs. I don’t know what Anais needs. Damn sweat is getting in my eyes. Stinging.

I wonder what happened to the railings on this bridge, were they blown off in the war or maybe they just were never fixed like everything else in this damn country. I run close to the edge, sort of like the fireman who smokes cigarettes. Or at least that’s how I think of it. I would have made a good fireman. I remember lying in my rack in Iwakuni when I decided that I wanted to be a fireman. I was reading Smith’s book Report from Engine Company 52, about the busiest engine company in the Bronx. ‘Had to be a city department, or what the hell was the point?

I’m sweating. Like running in Detroit with John. Running in the street because the sidewalks were all snowy and sweating even though it was about twenty nine friggin” degrees outside. I think I can sprint to the next tower… shit… shit…keep going, I wonder if Jack would like to be a fire fighter? I’ll have to ask Mom what I wanted to be when I grew up? How many times do I say I’ll have to ask Mom something and then I forget? I wonder if she would remember? A soldier, maybe? Or a sailor?

Remember those damn humps at Pendleton? “Company! Route Step, March!! Close it up, asshole to elbows, asshole to elbows. Pick up the pace Binkowski, you ain’t helpin’ some old lady across the street!” Jesus, I hated that. And remember that time they checked our packs and found out that we’d been stuffing them with crumpled up newspapers for the humps and the Gunny made us all put sand bags in our ALICE packs I thought I would die Christ our legs and backs were to stiff that night I remember being at the bar and just not wanting to move it hurt just to drink we never did that again even though the gunny never checked again I guess he didn’t have to Jesus I guess it only took the first twenty minutes of Infantry Training School before I realized I’d made a mistake… carrying that 60 mike-mike base-plate was definitely not what I wanted to be doing hell what I wanted was to be back in 12th grade drinking with my buddies what a great year that was but they were all gone now gone to college or the Air Force or me the dumb ass in the Marines

But I’ll make this work you gotta love the pain, work harder when you don’t have anything left to give running, that time at 29 Palms when we missed the helicopter pick up and those assholes from the 2nd battalion came barreling around the bend in their jeep firing blanks in their M60 and we ran and ran and ran and every time we came out there they were like shit wouldn’t they ever get tired or run out of gas or something there was nothing we could do but run. Run. The helo finally came back that night and I remember we could hardly climb aboard I actually called Lisanne after we got in hadn’t slept in over 30 hours and ran all day all fucking day and I called Lisanne but I don’t think I really had anything to say almost fell asleep on the phone I wonder when Chris is coming back he should be back next week eh? Christ I think I’ll stop now just walk a bit. There’s the motor pool maybe i can slow down a bit after the motor pool Christ I have to slow down my lungs are bursting like when you’re rounding the last curve on the quarter track just finishing up the mile and you pour it on come on Binkowski you ain’t walking some old lady acrost the street and you feel like you’re gonna vomit and you can’t breath can’t get enough oxygen… Sprint, fuck….

What does it matter, I gotta stop. Stop the anger. Stop it with Lisanne, in front of the kids. No. Just keep moving, slow, just keep moving until I catch my breath, watch out now how many are there this time? Five, six, seven gun trucks. Heading out, you can tell by the full cases of water. They’re never full when they come back…like livin’ in a war movie, sorta…Are those shots? Or range fire? They’re still shooting – I wonder if that’s where they’re going naw, probably not they wouldn’t get there in time but there’s the smoke. How weird it is to be running and watching a firefight. How weird it is just to be living here. Jesus won’t they ever let it rest four miles down just keep going don’t stop now. There’s the last tower I’ll just walk the last quarter mile it’ll be my warm down that’ll be okay, won’t it? Won’t it? Five miles. Fuck. Just breath….

unmanned aerial vehicles

We have a number of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) feeds coming in which we monitor for the analysts upstairs. You’d be surprised how much is caught on video. I have seen guys emplacing IEDs, rockets being fired, soldiers busting down doors, even a guy and a girl making love.

And now the Air Force has announced that UAV pilots – who fly their “aircraft” from a chair at a consol in an office – will be eligible for the Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Jesus – I couldn’t make up better material for the Army to tease the Air Force about if I tried!

Incident at ECP 13

It was my first ride in the Rhino. To me, it looked like nothing more than a short touring bus completely covered with boiler plate, but, despite its ungainly appearance, they say no one has ever been killed in one. The windows are one inch-thick bullet-proof glass, and there’s a rifle port with a little sliding cover for every passenger seat, just in case. It’s used mostly to shuttle people and equipment back and fourth between the Victory Base Complex and The IZ.

Everything was going well until we entered the slot. That’s what they call the 200 meter long double row of cement barriers that forms the entrance way to ECP 13. It was dark, but we could see the long line of trucks just sitting there in front of the gate. Some even had their engines off. As the gun truck ahead slowly rolled to a stop we could see that there was something going on up ahead - lots of smoke or dust flying about and flashing lights. A second later the radio squawked - it was the gun truck saying that they’d been in touch with the BDOC and it looked like at least an hour wait, maybe longer.

This wasn’t too good, as the Rhino makes a huge target just sitting there, and it was very late and we were tired anyway. After the bitching died away the Convoy commander (not me, there was a Col and a Lt Col with us) decided that we could back up and go around to the next entry point. Well, neither humvees nor the Rhino have rear windows, so backing up is difficult, especially for long distances. It took some time to convince the driver that he could do this (he was a young PFC who was afraid he’d be blamed for crashing the thing), but in the end we decided that if we were going at all we’d better get moving before anyone else got behind us.

We opened up the armored escape hatch in the back and had one guy hang out while shouting directions to the driver. This wasn’t quite as dangerous as it may sound since there were no lights in inside the vehicle, but we still prayed that there were no snipers watching. Slowly, slowly, transmission whining, we backed up. Inch by inch it seemed. “Right! A little the right!” “More right.” More right! Stop!” Alright already, this ain’t easy, you know.” “A little to the left, slow…. Stop now, dammit!” Okay, okay, let’s go…”

After what seemed like forever, we were finally out of the slot. Now all we had to do was cross Route Irish, follow a side street for a while, and then cut west back towards the entrance to the log base. From there it was just a short jaunt over to Victory, and then on to Slayer.

What we didn’t count on was that the side street would be closed. I mean permanently closed; there was a 3 foot tall dirt berm going across it with concertina on top. Shit. So here we were, two gun trucks and a Rhino, out in the middle of no where in the pitch black night, with two choices: back to the slot, or cross country. Now the Rhino isn’t made to go cross country, it sits so low to the ground that it can barely move over flat surfaces. Just then the gun truck comes up on the net and says that the ECP has been closed – and I guess that pretty much made up our minds. Cross country it was.

Well, it wasn’t really cross country, there was a dirt road, but it was bumpy and it was muddy. Some of those turns were pretty tight, and I thought the damn bus was gonna go into the ditch about four times, but we always made it. Just then a flare goes up in the distance and the front gun truck opens up: WUMPA WUMPA thunk!! Even inside the Rhino it was loud. “What’s going on??! Talk to me!” “Disregard.” “What do you mean disregard? What’s going on?” “Nothing, I thought I saw something, but I didn’t. Sorry.” “What the fuck? What happened to positive ID? Are you sure?” Yeah, sorry.” “You better be sorry, an’ you better be sure that wasn’t someone out there. Number two, take a look. Shit.” We continued on.

It was spooky out there, like ships at sea can be spooky. In your own little world, plowing through the waves, with darkness and evil all around. I kept expecting an explosion, followed by the witches laugh cackle of small arms fire – at least then we’d know what we were up against. But all I could hear was the whine of the diesels, surrounded by silence. No one said a word as we drove on.

The driver was sweating. I remember once Lisanne and I were visiting her brother in Sacramento and I went for a walk at dusk – it got dark fast and the trees no longer looked so welcoming; they looked sinister. I was afraid walking back, unsure that I knew the way. Funny how your imagination can do that to you, make you unsure even though you are retracing the exact steps you’d taken a half an hour before. Just because everything looked so very different – so evil. I believe in evil. It’s out there, waiting for you to drive over a pressure plate, or to snag a trip wire. Or just to drive too close….

The minutes pass as hours. Twice the bus bottoms out and I think we’re going to be stuck, but the momentum and willpower keep us going. Finally, we see the lights of the log base ECP. The guards wave us in – they are surprised to see the Rhino coming this way. Bolt back, drop magazines, clear your weapon now. On the gun trucks all crew served weapons are at 45 degrees (pointed up). It’s the same routine as always, coming through the gate. We were back on known territory, literally and figuratively. And somehow, it didn’t seem quite so dark any more.

The "Palms"

The main cantonment area in the IZ where is behind the Embassy, surrounded by a maze of six-foot sand bag walls. Curiously, all of the sandbags are covered with custom-fitted canvas shrouds. The rain tends to soak the sand and rot the coarse weave of the bags, eventually resulting in a large but shapeless pile of spilled sand – my only guess is that someone thought it would be cheaper to cover everything with canvas in an attempt to keep the rain out than to rebuild the sandbags every spring.

This area, which is known as “The Palms,” includes the transient tents, the old CPA mail room, a pool, one of several KBR laundries, the locksmith (“We do Industrial, Home, Palace, and War Zone”), and acres and acres of portable trailers where all but the luckiest spend their sleeping hours. On a clear night you can hear the shots from across the river, and even feel the vibration of the explosions in Sadr City, about three miles to the northeast (one officer told me about the time that she returned to her hooch after closing up shop in the embassy only to find that the entire area was roped off. A rocket had landed next to her trailer, failed to explode, and lodged itself under the metal steps in front of her door. Needless to say, EOD wouldn’t let anyone get in until they had disarmed the warhead, so she ended up spending the night in a lounge chair at the embassy pool).

A Description of the Embassy (2 days ago)

People sometimes speak of The Embassy as if it were sacred ground… as if it were in some magical way an actual tiny bit of America here in the center of Baghdad, bursting at the seams with democracy, money, cowboy hats, and free cheeseburgers… in short, a microcosm of life in America if America were one big summer rerun. And if only the silly Iraqi’s could get their act together, all of this could be theirs too, courtesy of the US tax payer. It isn’t, of course, really a part of America – in America it is still not common to issue flak vests to the occupants of government buildings, or to share your seat in the canteen with a teenaged solder toting a machine gun. In fact, it’s more like some mud-walled colonial fort in old India, a seemingly impenetrable citadel surrounding an illusion of superiority - only a lot of the folks we’re here to help just aren’t buying it any more.

Originally built by the British in the 1930s, the building was later taken over by the Baath Party, and has since been reincarnated as Saddam Hussein’s Presidential Palace, Headquarters for the original Coalition Provisional Authority, and the US Embassy to the independent nation of Iraq. Encompassing three stories and stretching over a city block in length, the brown stone front is majestically curved to accommodate a lengthy U-shaped drive way, perfect for motorcades or convoys of gun trucks, as the case may be. With a large lawn, well-trimmed topiary and several small [disused] fountains, it really is quite elegant looking. To me, it looks like a government building should – strong, well proportioned… a palace of the people. Except for the armed Gurrkas and sandbagged machine gun posts.

As you enter there is a large domed courtyard with a Green Beans coffee shop, a small internet café, real leather couches, and several shelves of donated books. The room is filled with convention center-style tables and chairs, mostly wooden, which can be moved to the sides when someone important needs a place to address the troops. That was what they did when the President held his video teleconference the last time he visited, back in, what? August? And it was here my friend Brent H. almost had a heart attack when the Presidential VTC circuit dropped out in the middle of the President talking (luckily, a back up circuit was available). As I look around there are numerous officers and diplomaticos relaxing at the tables, and it is not for the first time that I get the impression a lot of important decisions are made here, in the very center of the illusion, over a double chocolate latte grande.

Each of the other two wings have smaller courtyards, but we’ve built plywood partitions and turned them into offices. Very elegant. The original ceilings are high, and on the wall space above the partition there are still several Baathist Party propaganda murals. On one, muscular Arabian Stallions lead the charge toward what was supposed to be a Pan-Arabic Socialist future. On another, flocks of ominous-looking missiles with Iraqi flags painted on their sides are launching toward the United States.

God on our side

I feel like I am doing my duty, but I am no patriot. I feel guilty when we get cards from Third graders who thank us for protecting their freedom - I want to scream back at the teachers and ask them how in the hell my being here protects their freedom. Or even impacts them one bit? There were no WMD, there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq... Has it been worth 3000 dead soldiers? And who knows how many dead Iraqis?

This war has taught me to fear Fanaticism. Oh yeah, before I feared it as a concept. Academically. But now I feel it personally. I fear beat-up blue cars, and garbage dumpsters with lids on them, trash on the side of the road, unshaven twenty-something men with darker skin, and anyone who ever says that God is on his side.


I always wondered how I'd do in combat. I mean real combat. Having someone shoot in your direction a couple of times isn't really combat. It's not like advancing across no man's land into the face of German machine guns. But close enough, maybe -.I think I’d do okay.

Still... you'll always wonder. Do you think Kraig wonders? Or Keith? I think part of it is that same insecurity of having to prove yourself though, and I am done with that now. There's no less glory in being a good husband and a father. Perhaps "glory" is a bad way to say it, because there's no glory out here, but what I mean is, well, the point should be to be useful at what you do, not some hero. Here it’s mostly just boring and wishing to go home. I've only been scared a couple (ok, 3 or 4) times. You just don't want to do anything stupid in front of any one else and then when it's over you never want it to happen again. Maybe some people are different, but that's it. I suppose this is the dénouement to my entire career; not to be here would even be hypocritical. But now I have done my time and I want to be with my family.

Combat goes beyond male authentication. War may be a natural condition of humankind, but actually being in one is not. Unless you are a fearless sociopath.

The Office

My office is one of the few real offices in the building. Most of the rooms are just temporary structures consisting of seven-foot tall frames of two-by-fours covered with rough plywood. These rooms are hardly ever square, due to the fact that they serve as partitions to larger existing rooms that are more often wedge-shaped than rectangular. The walls may be whitewashed and are usually covered with maps, blow-ups of aerial photographs, and the ever present white boards, without which network guys seem unable to communicate. Most often there are four or eight mismatched desks crammed in, each with three separate computers connected to the three principle networks, one each for unclassified, secret, and top secret work. A fourth system is shared with our coalition partners, which is what we call the Brits and the Aussies. Ironically, in what may be a telling commentary on the true level of trust that exists between Americans and Iraqis, there is no shared Iraqi-American network.

You have to cut through one of these plywood offices to get to my office. It has plaster walls and a chair rail, and the doorways are outlined in green marble. I believe there was probably a small chandelier hanging from the 12 foot ceiling, but it’s been replaced with a bank of florescent lights. I suppose that’s a good thing, as the chandeliers I have seen are more pretty than functional, and the sandbags in the windows pretty much preclude any sunlight getting in. I am not sure what it used to be used for before the war, but it has a tile shower and - get this - a wood sauna (made in Finland). Neither of them are working, so we store supplies and equipment in them.

As I share the office with the Support Chief, there are two mismatched desks plus a wooden table we use for meetings. My desk has three computers, two monitors, three phones, a calculator, and six stackable in-and-out boxes I have a row of books (Schaphort’s Videoconferencing and Videotelephony Technology and Standards, Newton’s Telecom Dictionary, Smith and Lopez’ Implementation Standards for Cisco Network Switches, well, you get the idea) on a shelf to my left, and two large whiteboards for notes and diagrams.

I am usually at work about from 0700 or 0800 until 2000 or 2100 daily. Longer if we have an outage (all too common) or some type of project going on (also all to common). I’d say about half to a third of the time I am in my office, the rest of the time I am in meetings, or traveling.

This again from Dick Cavet: (sent by Keith)

...above the smoke and the blood and the flying body parts looms the figure of our elected leader, mouthing once again his favorite three-word phrase, “making good progress.”

Sir, what in the name of the sweet baby Jesus would bad progress look like?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Last details

I just found out today that I will be awarded a Defense Meritorious Service Medal for my time over here. And everyone gets an Iraq Campaign medal.

Plus, my guys pinned an Army Combat Action Badge on my chest - it may not be official, but it means a lot. More perhaps, because it came from the guys who actually go outside of the wire, rather than some General.

All future emails should go to or

More bad news

Monday, May 07, 2007


George on an M1 Abhrams tank


My kitty died last night. Actually, it was Anais's cat - we got it for her in New Jersey when she fell in love with the kitty across the street, who was also named Pepper. I guess she thought all kitties should be named Pepper.

I remember we called her Fat Cat because she was so big. She had been sick for a little while. But at least she died surrounded by those she loved, Anais, Jack, and Lisanne. It's suprising how much a part of the family a pet can become. They will bury her out back next to the squirrels.

Sleep tight, Fat Cat. I'll miss you.

Baghdad pictures

Last mission. It was very hot that day. Over 100 degrees!

My M4 Carbine.

Outside FOB Union III.

Last time at the Embassy.

Me and my friend.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

les jours de gloire?

My own joy at finally packing out is tempered by the fact that this dammed war goes on. Today was a particularily bad day in Bagdhad. I wasn't sure whether to post these pictures, but I think that it's still important that we all realize that this shit is still going on - even if it's ending for me. For us.

Almost over. I'll see you all soon. Mark

Progess in Iraq

There was some firing outside the East wall today, over past Camp Deutch. It startled me to realize that it had actually been some time since I heard gunfire outside the walls, and even longer since any mortars or rockets had hit the base. Everyone says the crack down in the city is going better than expected, but it’ll probably take twenty or fifty years to really tell.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were actually able to do some good over here, after all the pain?

Last trip outside the wire

My new best friend (Capt M., my replacement) on our way to the convoy marshalling area. This is my very last time in Baghdad.

Liberty Main

LZ Liberty Main is one of about four landing zones within the Victory Base Complex (VBC). It's the main one, and the only one that actually has a tower. Our George had a visit with the Army controllers before our flight yesterday.

George on the control console.

George inside the tower.

The tower at Liberty Main. It's a tactical air control tower, so it's actually mounted on a 5-ton.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

George at Baghdad Firestation

Wake up

My wake up call. 0521. Whump! Whump! KA-WHUMP!!

Why do they have to blow up things so early?? And on a Saturday?

Umm, Christ - has it become so routine that all I am concerned about is being woken up?

12 months in

I miss my family so much. I can’t tell you how many times I have awoken in the middle of the night, expectantly reaching out to Lisanne, only to be disappointed. I am still in Iraq. Twelve months I have been here - longer even than most servicemen served in combat during World War Two.

But I’ll be home soon. I promise.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Our George's new uniform!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My replacement is here. He's sleeping.

I remember how clueless I was. Overwhelmed really, but I didn't even realize by how much. Running outside and the shooting started and ran into that guy and we knocked each other down? That seems like such a "new-guy" thin to do, now.

There was so much to learn, and so many expectations. I was scared when my predessessor left; scared I'd let people down. Now I am the vet heading out, watching the fresh faces of the replacements as they arrive. Another Oliver Stone movie.

One of my guys gave me a compliment, I think. He said that I am a very unusual officer - all of the bearing of an officer, yet the heart of an enlisted man.