Those of you who have been dropping by here for some time may recall that one of my Dearest Wife's cousins is a Humvee gunner in the US Army. Last November he returned from a tour in Iraq, during which he saw one of his best friends killed when a roadside bomb hit their convoy. His deployment also drained him of his idealism; he had signed up to do what he thought was his patriotic duty , but ended up sorely disillusioned both with the Iraqi adventure and the armed forces.
Max Romeo - War Ina Babylon (buy here )
We all breathed a sigh of relief when he returned free of (bodily) harm, though he managed to badly bugger his shoulder in a snowboarding accident shortly after returning. However, we saw a bright, silver lining to this mishap, as we were certain that recovery from the subsequent reconstructive surgery would spare him further trips to The Sandbox/The Sandpit/Tatooine (circle preferred military euphemism). We were wrong.
Today Cousin Soldier ships out for another tour in Iraq, despite the fact that his shoulder is still so incapacitated that he can't even put on his ballistic armour, much less man a .50-cal machine gun atop a vehicle. However, his unit commander apparently needs "bodies on the ground," regardless of their effectiveness, so he will be continuing his rehab in-theatre. Hopefully this means he will be kept out of harm's way, but the mind still boggles.
Tiger Lillies - Glory in Battle (buy here or e-here)
Technically Cousin Soldier has less than two month of his enlistment left to serve. However, given Uncle Sam's current "stop-loss" policy, we're all wondering whether he'll get a service extension in his Christmas stocking to go with his holiday with a gun. Bah fucking humbug, indeed.
The Vandals - A Gun for Christmas (buy here or e-here)
5 hours ago