Now: Compare this to the dudes from the 2nd Infantry Division in a picture shot in Iraq last year. It's not totally clear, but I know, from Experience, that these guys are saddled up in a Kevlar Vest with Plates that tips in ALONE at 50 to 72 pounds depending on the size. Thats just the body armor. Add in at least 3 ammo pouches/bandoliers of ammo holding 2-3 magazines at a pound apiece, throw in the rest of the gear, usually to include a CamelBack water carrier (3 liters of water) and the other ephemera that a grunt humps and ugh! Lets see "The Greatest Generation" take all that and hump it. Granted, the helmet and body armor help save lives, and they didn't have the high speed technology back in the day, but to have to wear ALL of that and in Iraq where the average mean temperature in the summer is like 120 degrees? Cut the "Generation X'ers" a bit of slack here gang! As a contractor I have to hump my own armor and helmet every time I go out on mission, and man, it shows me to be a fat and out of shape former grunt that I used to be. Hell... back in MY "Old Army Daze" WE didn't even have a set of armor like these kids are running around in, never mind suffering the heat while being basted in yer own juices while wearing this stuff. Add in that back in WW2, you KNEW who the 'bad guys' were, and usually where they were, and you were allowed to shoot them. Whereas our guys now are fighting a 4th Generation style conflict, where the 'bad guys' are invisible, and then, even then, shooting them might get you hemmed up and faced with a murder rap... even if it means saving your own peoples lives! To quote Martin Sheen in "Apocalyse Now": "Shit... charging a man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets in the Indy 500."
Yeah, pluses and minuses to both eras... I'm not bashing the WW2 vets per se, but just in the portrayal that the media (AGAIN!) seems to like to do to our guys on a regular basis... Enough ranting on the media for the moment here.
Things here in Iraq have gotten off to a fucked up sort of start these days, but then again, worldwide, I have a feeling that we're building towards 'something.' That something isn't tangable, but considering the number of mass shootings in the States (10 in Alabama or some such place as of this morning) and the mass murder/suicides and shit thats happening all over because of the economy, stress and all the nasty business that the current Administration seems hell bent on creating in an attempt to create a socialist paradise, well then, it's enough to make a person like me a bit MORE paranoid than usual. I mean Hell, Iraq: Suicide Bombings two times in as many days, with Mass Casualties. Ireland: IRA assholes killing Tommies (Brit Troops) in an ambush and then killing a cop the next day. United States: Multiple Mass shootings in random areas at random times.
Mass Hysteria? Not yet, but definately the pressure is building. The Current Abomination...er Administration is also NOT helping matters worldwide. Between the "Hug Me Fuck Me" message that they keep sending out, and the outright fearmongering going on on the news to further his agenda, shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. I'm in Iraq and I only see what the mass media feed me on AFN on the tube and what I can garner off of the web, and even I can see things are getting funky. The summer hasn't hit, and the economy keeps getting trashed out, taxes are about to hit the roof, and I got a hunch it's time to restockpile some shit as it's not looking too fucking rosy in the future. Think "Pre-9-11" stupidity. In June/July of 2001, I saw a similar trend of 'pressure building' that subsequently saw a 'pressure release' of 9-11 and the series of unending wars going on.
Now, in 2009, the economy is tanking, the wars are winding down, the gummint is broke and looking to tax the ever loving shit out of anything that moves, all the while taking over whats LEFT of the free market, and man, It don't look good. Me, I say stock up on food and essentials cause they ain't gonna be around much longer... Just look at gun sales... even the 'common herd' is spooked, and the people in power know it. As the Chinese Curse goes "May you live in interesting times..."