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Third Time's a Charm?



First and foremost, I have to say that I missed this Forum and its members dearly! As I told the Admins when I joined up, I will disappear for long stretches of time. This time it was to my 3rd and final (hopefully) stint to Iraq. I really don't like that place, but at the same time, I have to deploy. It's an undeniable drive, much like meditation or having to go to the bathroom in the morning. You just have to do it.


As usual, the tour came with its own challenges, revelations, and adventures. Adventures, I use loosely, as the climate I went out to was completely different than I'd ever experienced before. It blew my mind on more than a few levels.


Anyway, I realized I was one of the 'old-school' guys; one of those that had been around the block when it was hot and vicious. It's a softer beast out there now. People complain about 14 hour workdays. It made me laugh, cause 14 hours is a short day! There was a small group of old-school people, lamenting the 'good old days,' which were only a few years ago.


So, given the extremely small group I could actually relate to without scaring the piss out of them, I had a lot of time to myself. It was so hard! Six months of quiet practicing and trying to keep my mind sheltered pretty much sucked. Coming back to my altar and grimoire and herbs, books, tools was a glorious delight! I loved how I got to practice in small ways, and had to really get creative in others.


One of the guys had a back spasm in which all his muscles siezed up on him. He was in an incredible amount of pain and taking an almost lethal amount of painkillers to take the edge off it. I ended up making a salve of menthol foot gel, witch hazel, body oil and lemons that I'd taken from the DFAC. Then one of his buddies and I took it to his back and I showed them both how to work out cramped/seized muscles. Also I threw in that you have to listen by touch to what the body is telling you, and remember your intent is to relax and sooth...to heal. Always remember your intent. My father broke his back when he was 19, and his spine freaks out in the same manner as this guy's did. So it all came in handy. At any rate, after we worked his back, the guy was so mellowed out that he fell asleep. The next day, he said he felt so much better that he could actually move and didn't need to take all the pain pills. I made him promise to refrain from the gym for the next 3-4 days though, just to be safe. I didn't want all that work going down the drain.


There was also an old-schooler there that I would sit down and talk to for hours about the Craft, even though I caveated every talk with it's my path and my way, no one else's. He spent his summers growing up with a Clan in China, that taught him martial arts, calligraphy, herbalism (though he readily admits he sucks at it), life lessons, and the Chi. What is Chi besides universal energy and personal will/intent? This fascinated him and I both and I got to learn so much about another's path, and what it means to him...how he uses it and how it has kept him alive, even in situations he really shouldn't have lived through.


Haha, I had to set him straight pretty quick on that Wicca is NOT all witchcraft...it's just a delusional, fluffy branch of the Craft! :kat:Also, generally anyone who is not Wiccan tends to be pissed off at the bad name and monopolizing concepts that Wiccans give the rest of us. He liked that alot, especially after a bizarre encounter he'd had with a Wiccan a week or so prior to the Wicca VS. Witchcraft conversation that left a sour taste in his mouth regarding Witches in general. I guess the Wiccan told my friend his physical prowess was inferior to his Wiccan powers. Now, my friend is 5'10, 200+ lbs and less than 10% body fat. He's a black belt, or equivalent of, in about 7 different disciplines of martial arts, one of which took him over 2 decades to attain, as well as being active in combat for the past 8 years in the millitary. He doesn't take kindly to being called inferior, especially by a 'fluffy-nut, D&D nerd,' (his words, not mine). Being men, they couldn't just let this go, and they put the all-mighty Wiccan dribble against my friend. In less than 5 seconds, the Wiccan was on the ground crying and all my friend did was push down on a pressure point...granted, with more force than necessary but he was out to prove a point.


I also got to further the discipline in my body, which was very exciting as well. There's not a lot to do out there, and the gym has the most allure of entertainment. I tried out new workouts and can now deadlift my own bodyweight (120 lbs!) in addition to running for over 10 miles without dying....even as a smoker. My friend spent every other night training me in Krav Maga for four months also. I was so bruised up and had so many scrapes and cuts, it looked like I was trying out for Fight Club. I loved it though, as I got to improve my stand-up skills so much. I've always been a ground fighter, so the switch was awesome and I learned I have wicked kicks and grabs.


All in all, it was inwardly enlightening and educational summer, even spending all of it in a heavy uniform that doesn't breathe! I don't know who decided that the new, spiffy uniforms were good for a deployed environment but they were out of their damn minds! They're great for an air-conditioned, office setting but not so much for harsher climates. I regress...


I'm happy to be back and have access to this forum again...even if I am just a notorious lurker. :pumpkin_rolleyes:


Oh, final thing...On 1 July, I put on SSgt/E-5!!! Now I'm NCO...with 3 subordinates, oh my.


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