War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

Ex over

forgive the crap writing, but I’m beyond tired… better to come

released from two days in the Leper’s tent after being pulled from the live fire range with suspected GI (but I don’t think it was, though I can now claim to have had the Suffield soldier experience of barfing in the middle of the field), a day to regroup then out with C Coy for more live fire ranges, this time spent in the relative luxury of the LAV Captain’s car with the Sigs and the Medic… relative luxury because there were only three of us in the belly of the LAV

the short straw being that we had the ghetto LAV, no mod cons, no ration heater, no kettle (boo hoo baby… I know, I know)… I had a serious envy of the LAV with the sandwich maker and coffee pot until the call came into the medic in my car, “man down with GI” and a 9 liner was called to medivac the puking soldier from the field (been there done that)… afterwards, the LAV was referred to as Gastro Car… at last sight, the crew was washing down every surface with disinfectant… the young Afghan vet (and amazing artist) I met who is in that section said he wasn’t worried about coming down with the dreaded bug, “I’ve got the guts of a buzzard after Afghanistan,” he told me (or something along those lines…) “I can eat anything and I never get sick.”

…a day listening to big boom and lots of wait wait wait (sitting inside a LAV, the canon firing sounds like a giant knocking on a 30ft high solid oak door with a 3 foot brass knocker, and the giant has several stainless steel bangles on his wrist)… the best part of it was the dust storm… several times I stood up and looked out the hatch and could hardly see further than a few feet… I took several pics and some video and will post them a.s.a.p…. contrary to most I met, I loved Suffield, the prairie, the dust, the elk, the owls, the pronghorns, the sunrises/sets… by most accounts, it was a brutally ugly day, but when I wandered over to D Coy’s leaguer, I found a LAV of supremely smiling guys who were all happy bitching about the day and how bad it was as they set up their tents in the wind and the newly-arrived rain… to soldier is to suffer someone said to me this past week, and I think that the more brutal it gets, the happier infantrymen become… certainly the grins and laughter of those D Coy men seemed to affirm this… I kind of understand this… sometimes when walking the 850 kms across Spain two years ago, I really enjoyed moments of extreme fatigue, discomfort, hunger… kind of a bizarre I can do this sort of euphoria…

anyway, sadly, around 4 pm that day I broke my glasses while standing looking at the sandstorm… I had taken them off for a few minutes and put them in the pocket of my frag vest and inadvertently leaned against them… snap! o fuck what a fucking twit… long story short, no crazy glue to be found anywhere just a bit of skin-bond which didn’t work very well, no second pair of glasses, only contacts (useless in the field because of sand), the gun tape wasn’t cutting it as every time I put my ballistics on over my gun-taped glasses, the glasses broke again….fuck… no point in being out for another 2 days with no real sight, so Capt. came and got me and brought me back to biv… arghhh… that was Suffield done for me…

this morning, after breakfast with the padre and a passel of MPs (fascinating), I was driven into Suffield, got into my car, tanked it up and drove to Calgary, heading home…

so much to write about… the road to war the CO calls it… I’m thinking that for me, it’s kind of like watching a big pot of stew, filled with all sorts of ingredients (soldiers, Ex’s, training, seasons…) and slowly, slowly, the heat is being turned up and the pot is beginning to get ready to bubble…

too tired to write coherently… must be the soft bed, the glass of Jura (Whisky), four walls…

but I miss the flapping tents, the smell of dust and diesel already…


3 Comments (Closed)


Good to hear you’re starting to feel better. Take care

May 07 2009 · 04:23

Alex VanderWoude

Welcome back! Sheesh, first stomach troubles and then broken glasses, what a fustercluck… I wonder, what does a soldier do out in the field if their glasses break? Duct tape I guess, otherwise you die.

May 12 2009 · 14:13


gun tape Alex… what else!!

and with my filthy face, hands, clothes, hair, my shit helmet, my shit flak, my crap ballistics, I looked totally hot… oh ya…

lesson learned… it’s good to learn this stuff now… before Afghanistan

May 12 2009 · 14:31

About This Page

The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled Ex over. It was posted here on May 06, 2009.


Complete diary archive