Balikatan 2014

I’ve recently returned from easily one of the most useless, hottest, aggravating, slowest moving, miserable two weeks of my Marine Corps career. I missed you so unbelievably much Dez. I’m not trying to turn this into a sob story, but what made it so much worse was the fact that I’ve literally never gone a day without you in my life since meeting you… and it sucked worse than I could have ever thought possible. I would write you on my phone whenever I could, with the intent to post it here when I got back… here it is.


Balikatan Day 2 20140511 100013

May 5, 2014
I miss you, I hate that this is the first time we’ve gone without at least each other’s voices. I also love that we made it as far as we did, and I love that it means so much to both of us. 

I read another letter last night…

I wish so badly that I had done what you did, and left you with pre-staged letters for occasions, (seriously baby, that was brilliant). I was torn between reading “when you’re feeling lonely” and “when you need encouragement”.

I hate that I always feel like I’m complaining to you about how much this place sucks; but this place… makes Afghanistan look inviting. It’s not just the weather… Although that’s usually either the base of the problem or the icing on the cake for a shitty situation. I’m no longer performing road guard duties… In fact I never was. There was a miscommunication, I was informed when I landed in the Philippines that I was no longer in charge, and that I’d be working for someone and my Marines and I would be a guard force for the camp…. OK. No big deal so far.

We got to where we are around 0300 yesterday morning. I really have no idea where we are… I’ve been trying to get my GPS on my phone to work, but it doesn’t do so well without signal. I’ve taken some really cool photos… There’s stuff here that looks straight out of Avatar or NatGeo… It smells horrible though, no surprise. The living conditions could be worse, we live in 70 man tents that “have A/C”, but the during the day the A/C does effectively nothing and it gets so hot you can’t even walk into the tent. So were basically stuck outside in the 120 degree heat with a little bit of a breeze. Also, presently the A/C is out…

I know, I know… I’m bitching… But I’ve not yet begun to bitch…. The real problem here, is the guard force chief. He’s a SSgt, a welder by trade, and fresh off the drill field.. although he hasn’t figured that last part out yet. So we are run like recruits, especially my guys. They’re doing 16 hours on post, 8 hours off, except they are usually relieved an hour and a half late and have to show up an hour early for post ( both of those are a result of a certain welding SNCO). 

The way he runs this guard force is so inefficient, and it’s impacting the Marines really hard. It’s our second day and it’s all I can do to keep them from starting a coup.

It’s situations like this that make me feel like I can’t do this for another 10 years… I don’t want to do this to us for 10 more years… I just don’t know what to do… It at the very least makes me realize that I need to commission, lat move, or get the fuck out… soon. When I walked into the COC for the first time to submit a mission card to take my Marines out to their post, I was literally so cold I couldn’t stay in there. It’s full of comm. Lcpls and Captains, data guys and Master Gunnery Sergeants… It’s fucking POG central, but the quality of life is unreal. They were all walking around calling each other by their first names, drinking coffee, asking if they called their wives recently… I was furious, they feel like they’ve done their duty by providing us a “wi-fi tent”…which is where I am now. However, the tents that live close enough to the tent have wi-fi and never have to get off, which overpopulates the router, and doesn’t allow anyone on. Since I’ve been writing this they’ve unplugged the router 5 times, in attempt to try and let other people on, but as luck would have it if you set your phone to remember the router name and password, as soon as we plug it in they’re already connected to it. So I’m sitting here, looking at a router that I could use to talk to you, and knowing that I can’t… And just seeing that typed out literally brings tears to my eyes… I miss you so much… And I want to see you and talk to you… I want you to know that I haven’t forgotten about you, and I want to know you’ve not forgotten about me. 

I decided to go with “when you need encouragement”, because I do… I’m just so discouraged, and my morale is all but destroyed… To KNOW that on a consistent basis, I will work harder and longer and be treated worse than anyone else… It’s really getting to me. I just want to be treated fairly. I want the things that I’m people are entitled to, I want to talk to my wife… I want to be able to sleep when I need to sleep, I want a real life… If my MECEP application doesn’t get approved… I don’t know what I’m going to do… Like, really, really, really don’t know what I’m going to do.

I love you Desiree… And I miss you fiercely… I’m probably going to read “when you’re lonely” later, because I am… I hope it’s not pathetic that the thought of going 15 more days without seeing you or hearing your voice makes me want to cry… I hope you’re well, and I hope you’re happy, and I hope you haven’t forgotten me, or how happy we are when were together. Talk to you soon baby.

Forever yours,
Brett


Balikanan Day 4

May 7, 2014
Wow. I didn’t realize that I wrote that only two days ago… It feels like a week. I wish I was exaggerating or being dramatic. 😔

Things got better… Then worse. I’ve vented to every channel that I have at my disposal. Nothing’s changing. Everyone acknowledges the glaring flaws here, but nobody cares. But my guys are feeling the pain. The hours are ridiculous, and I smell like… Well, something really, really bad. (I can deal with the latter).

I got thrown a bone the other day however. 1/8 planned a range, and didn’t account for tasking my section out 24/7… And if my guys aren’t there to facilitate the range it’s going to be cancelled. BOOM! Just bought me and my guys a 4 day vacation from this shift work.

Starting tomorrow we’ve got rocket ranges and demo ranges till the end of the week. 😁

But I’m missing you more and more everyday… Something is always reminding me of how bad I want to be with you, literally with you, and next to you. I miss adventures and I miss doing things… I wanna do stuff so badly with you. That’s both a literal statement and a sexual in-your-endo… 😜

(I also miss food a great deal… But I think that’s partly just being here in this gorgeous sweltering wasteland)

I hope you’re doing well angel… I really really do… I thought of a gift that I wanted to send you today, but alas… I have no internet… Ironic, because I am in front of a router again… I gotta get going baby. I love you super hard! 😘

Forever and ever,
Brett

Evernote Camera Roll 20140511 095852
(Infamous router)

Balikatan Day 7 (Part 1)

May 10, 2014
Evernote Camera Roll 20140510 065547

It rained like hell yesterday… Which was great. Actually, overall… It was my best day out here yet. Our demo range got cut short, (due to T-storms), we got soaked, and it was probably the hottest day yet (prior to the rain)… Again… Just to reiterate… This was literally my best day out here. Also, Grant pulled a stunt on guard duty in my absence that attracted the attention of our Lt., MasterGuns, 2 CWO-3’s and 2 Captains… Who all ripped into (at the same time mind you) the SSgt running this guard force circus. So… Things are supposed to be changing, and there’s rumor of me taking over. 👍

I am missing you so much baby… This little vacation away from guard force has been exactly what I needed to keep me from wanting to kill everyone… But it doesn’t make me miss you any less… I get worried from time to time that you’ve forgotten me, and I’ve got no way of reassuring myself that you haven’t because I can’t talk to you. I freak out that you’re alone, I freak about you being in Jacksonville, I freak out about Pierce… And I just want my baby back… I love you so much angel. And I can’t wait to see you and hear your voice tell me you love me again. 😘
Forever and ever,
Brett
P.S.- I went to the gym the other day and played with kettle bells… Kinda love them. I was reading about them in 4-Hour Body… It says good things about them… I’m looking forward to potentially getting in the gym when we get back 😬

Balikatan Day 7 (Part 2)

May 10, 2014

I’m done with all my ranges, it rained again, so it’s cool again… I’m just laying on my rack (something I usually can’t do because it’s so hot in here). I’m just thinking about you… In fact, you’re all I can think about… I’m so ready to get back to you. I’m so excited that you’re my wife, I can’t help but think about all the things were going to do together. I can’t help think about being with you and making you happy (I hope). I can’t help but smile when I think of you… As my wife… I love thinking of you and knowing that I got the best one, the best friend, best wife, best life I could ever have. Seriously baby, I don’t know what I did, but thank you for choosing me… I love you so much… I miss you

Forever,
Brett
P.S.-this is how hot it usually is in my tent
Evernote Camera Roll 20140511 084547

Balikatan Day 9

May 12, 2014
I miss you terribly, we’re almost done. I take over as guard chief the day after tomorrow. We got word that the ATM out here may be at fault for several Marines having money fraudulently taken from their accounts… Quite a bit of money in some cases. I’ve still yet to connect to the internet, so I don’t know if I’m at risk (nor can I contact you to let you know that an exorbitant ammount of money has been taken from me/us). We may get libo in Angeles City in a few days; if I take it it will only be for the purposes of getting a real shower, eating real food and using wi-fi… Hopefully they have a Starbucks.
Being that the ATM is shady, they have offered us dispersing, which is a fancy military way of saying they will give you money now, and dock it from your check later… Just wanted to let you know.
I know this letter is super boring, but the day is young. I’ll add onto it as it goes.😘
I love you and miss you…
Evernote Snapshot 20140512 131305

Forever & Ever,
Brett
P.S.- I never did get time to write more…

Balikatan Day 10

May 13, 2014
Evernote Camera Roll 20140513 113027
Almost done…ish. I take over the guard force tomorrow, which is cool, because I can run shit my way now. However, it also means that I don’t get libo. I won’t be going to Angeles City (really don’t care about that, I just wish I could talk to you). But were supposed to begin our retrograde process as early as this afternoon. Things are being disassembled and inventoried and packed as I write this… I’m so fucking ready to get back to my room in Oki, and I’m so fucking ready to get home to you. I really hope you didn’t forget about me…😔

I love you so hard…
Brett


May 17, 2014

I love you so much… Everything reminds me of you. Time has moved noticeably slower since I’ve been out here… It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve heard your voice. I was thinking today, about what to say when we talk… I was thinking something along the lines of “I love you, and that sucked”. I’m so ready to be home and canoodle all up next to you (btw, have not stopped obsessing over your sexy little nighties 😬). Guard force has run smoother since I took over… It’s also borderline lord of the fucking flies out here at this point… My guys are pretty pissed because the guard force was not afforded any libo or drinking privelages… Although the rest of the battalion was. I don’t really care that I didn’t get to, but they were really looking forward to it. So I’ve been trying to keep morale up, which is proving difficult.

Evernote Camera Roll 20140517 015614

Charlie and H&S are staged outside right now getting ready to leave, we leave tomorrow (and it couldn’t come any sooner). It’s like 0200 right now… And I’m very le tired and I’ve gotta get sleep when I can, after about 8 in the morning it’s too hot to sleep during the day. I love you baby.
Always,
Brett
P.S.- I am so madly in love with you…

So, that’s that… I meant to write you on my last day, or during our egress back to the rear, but I never really had time. I love you, and I’m so glad to be able to see you again.

Yours Always,
Brett
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