Lawrence V

One memory of Iraq: December 2004

Posted in My Iraq history, Uncategorized, Writings by Larry on February 6, 2009

The Day Seven Died

On one day in mid December we got called out of the base to back up a Bradley fighting vehicle that was attacked. One of ours. The story over the radio didn’t say much, but did imply that the seven man crew were killed in a large roadside explosion. Bradley’s were always the iron work horse of the company, needless to say we were pretty intimidated. Upon arrival the soldiers buzzed about. We parked on the far road and watched the horizon while non-combatmen cleaned up the leftovers. I remember seeing a five hundred pound tread in front of us making a donut in the sand. It had blown over a hundred yards in the blast.

Sitting in a gun turret can get boring. It sounds hard to believe, but it happened quite often. Sitting and dsc01882staring, waiting on that contradiction; of the inevitable that never happens. My eye lids slid down until I was peering through my prison-bar lashes. My mind started to drift when the radio crackled and broke drifting daze. The radioman spoke of hounds, wild and vicious starting to devour the body parts of our fallen friends. 

“Shoot on sight,” the radioman order. The boredom was zapped. A game started up of sniping dogs. I remember Auturi hit one dead from a hundred and fifty yards moving- an impressive feat. We later disembarked and were sent with black bags to pick up the pieces of the fallen soldiers. The game continued into this new task as well since the smell of flesh continued to attract wild dogs. Joe fired twice and clipped a dusty tan mutt in the neck. It panicked and frantically licked it’s wound until the surety of death washed over it. The week before a man in a gray t-shirt was shot and he pressed his two hands hard to his entry wound and wandered around in a panicked. Neither said much; both acted the same man and dog. I felt a rising in my stomach at the sight of the dog’s “old man like” like behavior. But it wasn’t the dog that burned into my memory that day, it was the filling of the black bag. I filled mine a quarter of the way, much less then the others. I remember only reaching out for one large fleshy piece. A  butterscotch porterhouse steak. It oozed like ice melting in the sun. My stomach was fine while I placed it in my bag. 

I never knew the name of the soldier it belonged to. To have it leave such an impression and to never know who it belonged to is shameful. 😦


Please Help Me Learn English Grammar

Posted in Uncategorized by Larry on February 3, 2009

How does an adult learn grammar? This question might seem silly, it may even seem pointless, but regardless it is something that has been avoided and left to die. The grammar elites point us back to grammar school. As if the days of elementary school and the basics are the place to start. The image of a grown 28 year old sitting like a pretzel on a shag carpet surrounded by 30 eight year olds is not working of me. I can’t go back to grammar school; after all I have a Masters Degree.

The truth is that I am too advanced to start at the beginning. I know where a period goes. What I need is the scientific break down of sentence structure. I want a complete comprehension of verbs and prepositions. I want to learn the make-up of the English language. To think that I am so eager to learn, so hungry to educate myself makes me proud. Almost proud enough to forget about the shame and embarrassment I suffer through when thinking about being 28 and not knowing the blue-prints of my own language. It can be humiliating when you place a comma in the wrong place or add an apostrophe where one doesn’t belong.

Where does an adult learn grammar? I have read Shrunk and Whites Elements of Style. It has helped, but seems to assume I know the things I should have learned between the fourth grade and now. I have read various guides to grammar and again they are informative but fall short of giving me complete comprehension.

The two main problems I find when trying to educate myself is 

  1. They (grammar snobs, grammar guides, and style manuals) assume I know the elements of grammar so they focus of the common mistakes or tricks that the pros make.
  2. They (educators, grammar guides) assume I am in the third grade and focus on periods and capital letters. 

Is there nowhere in the middle for people like me? Am I destined to watch the grammar boat sail away into the horizon because I refused to buy a ticket while I attended school? Can’t a person be a late bloomer, not in that I couldn’t learn but rather that I never thought it was important enough for me to learn? At the age of 24 I left a boy for a far off war and returned a man ready to fix some past mistakes. Can someone please help me?

Is there anywhere an adult can learn English grammar?

Tagged with: ,

Posted in My Iraq history, Uncategorized by Larry on June 14, 2008

Tagged with: , ,

Memorabilia from Iraq: Deployment 2004-2005

Posted in My Iraq history, Uncategorized by Larry on June 14, 2008

These are newspaper clippings and Memorial cards from my unit, the fighting 69, in Iraq. Some of this stuff is sad and close to my heart. (more…)

Obama video

Posted in News, Uncategorized by Larry on June 13, 2008

Obama video

Tagged with: ,

Small IED

Posted in My Iraq history, Uncategorized by Larry on June 10, 2008
Tagged with: , , ,

Some videos of us in Iraq

Posted in My Iraq history, Uncategorized by Larry on June 10, 2008
Tagged with: , , ,

Some more photos of Iraq

Posted in My Iraq history, Uncategorized by Larry on June 10, 2008
Tagged with: , , , ,

Iraq Film “There and Back”

Posted in My Iraq history, Uncategorized by Larry on June 5, 2008

This is a brief movie my wife created to help show my students my experience in Iraq when I did a Veterans Day presentation.

Iraq “An average day”

Posted in My Iraq history, Uncategorized by Larry on June 4, 2008

Me driving

This is me in the driver’s seat of a Hum-v in combat. You can see that I am wearing a neck protector, scissors, medical pocket, and protective eyewear.

In the truck we were suppose to wear our helmets but usually we took them off if the truck was stopped. (more…)