Thursday, July 03, 2003

Turns out we aren't the only people in America who don't have plans for the 4th. Joe's sister called earlier tonight wanting to know what we were doing tomorrow night. I have a feeling that she just doesn't want to be trapped with her mother and Gordon, Sheri's wierdo husband who cheats at board games. What kind of a person cheats on board games with their family? I don't blame Joe's sister; we've been looking for ways to escape that hell, too.

It rained on my most memorable 4th of July. I was in Korea, on a rooftop just off the base (bet all you sleazy web marketers out there didn't realize that I'm former Army Intelligence when you started scanning this site in a diabolical scheme to send me all that crap about poetry contests and online casinos-ha!). Man, there's nothing like living in another country, far away from your most beloved, to make you realize how much you love America.

There was a group of us gathered there, all good friends, filled with OB and greasy yaki-mandu. The base had opened its gates for the one day all year when local residents were invited inside as a sign of goodwill from the US Military. So of course we left for a house rented by one of my fellow soldiers.

The fireworks were launched from the airfield there, and though they had been delayed because of light rain, eventually someone made the command decision to set them off anyway. We were glad as we gazed out over the barbed wire just beyond the rental house; it would have been another major disappointment had we had to go without fireworks on the fucking Fourth of July (I'm trying the cursing thing; we'll see how it works out). As the explosions shot out across the black Korean sky, everyone single one of us there that night thought about a different kind of explosion. The deadly kind, the scary kind that we could quite possibly see in our "tour" of a country that was still technically at war. It was 1997, a long ways away from the terrifying situation going on right now, but still, we were all scared, but more dedicated soldiers than we had ever been stationed back in the United States.

If you feel moved, take a quick moment send quiet, blessful thoughts to those guys in Iraq. They are more lonely than you could ever imagine.

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