A day in the life of an American Soldier. The personal passages of everything from family life to war.

The angle of it all


American Soldier says,

Early March changed the way I look at things. How I felt about the war I had been fighting. Never deterred, but the angle in which I fought it.

On the rooftop scanning quickly.

Let me break my experience down a bit. I served as a sniper when I first got to country. The type of mission my unit was involved in made that possible. They were a bit apprehensive to give a long rifle to the new guy. Our mission evolved into another area so I hung up the Sniper rifle and became a squad leader of two M1114’s, armor Humvee’s.

During my time I was outside of the wire just about everyday. I performed just under a 100 combat missions that I can count off the top of my head. Just about every mission included an engagement of some type. Whether a random SAF (Small Arms Fire) or a full blown fire fight lasting upwards to 40 minutes.

Sunsets are beautiful in Iraq.

I was twice wounded in action and received two Purple Hearts. The last injury was the one that did me in. For now I am out of the fight. I feel very lucky to be alive. The last injury really woke me up. I should have been killed but I wasn’t…period! That doesn’t make me a tough guy or any type of super hero. I just didn’t get killed.

The urban combat nightmare that was my AO.

Now I have returned from the literal battle field in which I was fully immersed in. The war for me wasn’t measured in lines but more asymmetrical. The enemy lurked at every angle. A squad leader’s war and a war that was fought in a land very unforgiving.

The exact spot where I was hit. This was the last thing I saw in my war.

I am on the mend right now. My injuries will hopefully heal with time. I have some things going on that might last a while. Even writing this is a trying task for me. I don’t really want to go into my sustained injuries. They are mine to deal with for the moment.

During my stay in Germany and here in the states a few Soldiers’ Angel’s have contacted me and helped me. I wanted to say thank you in this forum because it was/has been appreciated.

I am taking about 2 weeks and spending time with my wife. I have to make up for some lost time and appreciate the woman who has been with me all along. She promised me that if I were ever to be injured that she would come to me. She has done that so one step at a time and each hour I hold the hand of my wife. The war has come full circle for me thus giving me the chance to focus on what it is I have been fighting for.

Once again, holding the hand of my wife.

92 Responses to “The angle of it all”

  1. yankeemom Says:

    God bless you both! It’s so good to hear from you, AS!!! I’m so glad you two are together at this time.
    My prayers for both of you continue, as always ~

  2. J Richmond Says:

    Dude, you are my hero! Thanks for all you’ve done. :beer:

    I’m praying that you’ll make a quick recovery.

  3. Patrick Says:

    Thank you for your service to our country and God bless the two of you. It’s nice that your home but obviously we all wish it was under better circumstances.

    We’ll continue to pray for you and all of the men and women over in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  4. Ralph Says:

    Hi AS. My sincere best wishes for you and your family. Let me know if there’s anything I can do.

  5. Yvette Says:

    Although I am not an American, I am a human. I want to thank you for all the sacrifices you have made to make our world a better place for our children. May God Bless you and your family, and may you recover from your injuries. I will pray for all those still there fighting this war and the others yet to go.

    Take care

  6. Toni Says:

    I’m relieved to say the least that you are ok, well not ok but you know what I mean. You must have a Guardian Angel watching over you and I the Angel hangs around til you are fully recovered.

  7. MaryAnn Says:

    I like the last photo the best. God bless you and your wife.

  8. Gun Toting Liberal Says:

    Welcome back home, Soldier! Enjoy the experience of falling head over heels in love with America and your wife all over again… still enjoying the honeymoon m’self.

    Heal quickly, and thoroughly, Sir, and thank you for your service.

  9. Agnieszka O. Says:

    I’m glad that you were able to write this post…All the best for you and your wife. Having a strong and loving person next to you is an amazing gift.

  10. David Earney Says:

    I’m glad to see that you’re on the mend and back to blogging. Take good care of yourself and get back to as close to fully recovered as you can.

  11. Mike Driehorst Says:

    (Was pointed here from the Mudville Gazette)
    Like others, just want to wish you a healthyl and speedy recovery, and a very sincere THANK YOU for your service. Blogs like yours are really the only way those of us with little military connection get any insight into what you and others go through.

    It’s not the same, but still moving and helpful, nonetheless.

    May God bless you, your wife and your family & friends.
    Mike
    www.mikespoints.com

  12. Robert Says:

    Welcome back home soldier You are definetly my hero, Wee done and thank god you made it home. And send our thanks to your brothers in arms. WE SUPPORT THE EFFORT AND THE TROOPS>

  13. Laura Says:

    Glad to hear that you are on the mend. Prayers for both of you as you continue to heal.

  14. Barb Says:

    I am so sorry you were wounded, but glad to hear you are back in the States, and able to hold your wife’s hand and take comfort in her presence.

    Take care, recuperate, get strong again. It’s good to have you back online. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you have done.

  15. AFSister Says:

    Hey AS!
    Good to hear it directly from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Sounds like you had a rough go (which we all knew anyway), but that you’re on the mend and accepting life’s bumps (like we knew you would).
    Nice bruise on your hand, there. Lordy… that must have been some blast. No need to get into the injuries, the incident, or your recovery until/when you are ready.
    Listen to your docs, and get better. You’ve got some babies at home waiting to play with Daddy!

  16. Rick Says:

    I am thankful that you are back and able to write. Your service is greatly appreciated and I hope your recovery is speedy and succesful.
    Remember all of us that are praying for you and your wife.

  17. Edward Says:

    Hi AS,
    I hope your recovery if full and rapid. Thank you for putting your life on the line to stand between us and the dark. Yes, home with your wife you are experiencing exactly what you are fighting for. And you are doing it for the rest of us as well, despite the fact that there are those who do not appreciate it nor understand the necessity.

    May you recover fully and enjoy the fruits of your courage for all the days of your life.

  18. Sam Says:

    Thank you for your service to our country. May God bless you and your family and may you have a speedy recovery. America is fortunate to have such brave men as you, willing to take up arms, to protect and defend us. We all owe you a debt of gratitude. I don’t want to publically post my email address, but it is on file, I guess, at the web site, and if there is anything you need or want for you or your family, please email me and I’ll try to help. Get well soon.

  19. Tab Says:

    So glad you are alive and God Bless you and your wife and loved ones! You concentrate on taking care of yourself and holding the hand of your wife!!!

  20. ~*Michie*~ Says:

    Wow I can’t imagine what you are going through! It is great to know that you are doing ok and will get better. I have been praying for you and will continue to do so. I want you to know that some of the things you have written are going to go into my research paper for my english class in college and they have been extremely helpful to me!

    Feel better and have fun with your wife!

  21. seawitch Says:

    Welcome home. The last picture shows that are in the best hands. G-d bless you and your family. Thank you for serving our country. Keeping y’all in my thoughts and prayers.

  22. ~K Says:

    AS, My Prayers have been with you and will continue to be. I am glad that beautiful soul you call your wife is with you. You both deserve that.

  23. HomefrontSix Says:

    So glad you’re ok. I’m praying that your recovery is swift and uneventful.

    - hfs

  24. UrbanGrounds » Blog Archive » American Soldier: Home from the War Says:

    […] Luckily for him, he has a wonderful wife to help him through: I am taking about 2 weeks and spending time with my wife. I have to make up for some lost time and appreciate the woman who has been with me all along. She promised me that if I were ever to be injured that she would come to me. She has done that so one step at a time and each hour I hold the hand of my wife. […]

  25. fstarssblink182 Says:

    I am so sorry you got hurt, but i am glad you are getting to spend time with you wife! Heal fast and God bless you

    margaret

  26. Soldiers Angel CJ Says:

    AS–I’m thankful to God that you are safely home! I hope that your recovery goes well. Thank you from my heart for all you’ve done. Please take the time you need to get really better. You don’t need to talk about anything here that you don’t want to! Like others have said–take care of you, hold your wife’s hand, and play with your little ones. Your wife is one amazing lady! God Bless you both! We love you! (((Hugs)))

  27. Soldiers Angel CJ Says:

    ps. Prayers for you from this side too!

  28. Mike D. Says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. God speed!

  29. Pat in NC Says:

    Welcome home and get well quickly. Thank you for your willingness to fight for your our country. May God bless you and all of your family. Holding hands helps a lot.

  30. Richard Disney Says:

    God’s speed in your recovery. Bless you for taking the fight so our civilians don’t have to.

  31. Soldiers' Angel - Holly Aho Says:

    Links while the wrist heals…

    Well, the swelling from my sprained wrist is going down, thank goodness. It still hurts, but not as much as when it was imitating a balloon. Hopefully it will heal quickly so I can type more without making my arm all sore. In the meantime, here’s some…

  32. Amy Says:

    You and your wife our in the prayers of all who are a part of Soldiers’ Angels. Keep on blogging. As an angel with Soldiers’ Angels it helps to really know what you have sacrificed so we can better help all soldiers, wounded soldiers and veterans.
    Thank you.

    AngelinMI

  33. Caneholder Says:

    Please AS don’t let the pain, impatience, anger and frustration hinder your healing. You have willingly preformed your duty to our country. You have taken care of us, now we so gratefully will do through prayer and thoughts the helping of healing you. You are a shining example of all the good men in our countries service. Be proud of your contribution to mankind.

  34. Donna Says:

    Welcome home AS! I’m so glad that you are healing and able to write.

    We continue to pray for your complete recovery! Thank you for being over there for all of us Americans and for the Iraqi people. You are one brave soldier!

    I’m so glad that your life was spared. That means that you have a whole new life ahead of you to enjoy with your wife and family.

    May God Bless you and Mrs. AS and your little ones!

  35. Andrew Says:

    Glad to see you’re still upright and breathing. God bless and stay safe.

  36. kbug Says:

    Beautiful pictures….especially the last one. Hold on to that hand tightly. And may God bless you both and bring you much peace and happiness as you mend.

  37. Melinda Says:

    Good to see you posting. Certainly have been thinking about you! Take care of yourself, the Mrs. and the wee ones.

    Thank you so much for all you have done and continue to do to make things better for us, our children and those yet to start their journeys here.

    We’re thankful for you & your family’s sacrifice and so proud of all of you.

  38. ERIK Says:

    Glad to hear your relaxin and spending time with the wife. Prayinf for a speedy recovery!

  39. Kat in GA Says:

    awwwwwwww………… SO GLAD to see you posting again — thank you. I know it must have been difficult for you… and I’m so very thankful tht you are alive!!!!!!! All the prayers for your protection worked (well, you are alive, if not necessarily completely in one piece), thanks be to God…*whew* Thank you for your service, again- we appreciate it more than you’ll ever know. Please know that we are all here for you as you go through this journey of healing, however long it may take. You need anything, just holler.

  40. Kat in GA Says:

    Just found this - had to share. Thanx again, A.S. & Mrs. A.S.

    Thank you Soldier

    Have you stopped to thank a veteran today?
    For the price of freedom they had to pay?
    Did you gaze into those distant eyes?
    Did you see the ghosts he can’t deny?
    Did you think a soldier’s heart was made of steel?
    Because he was trained to kill, he couldn’t feel?
    Did you see the guilt written on his face,
    For the loss of life he can’t replace?
    Did you know he mourns the lives he couldn’t save,
    And walks with comrades in their grave?
    Did you remember the boy with innocence lost?
    Do you really know war’s ultimate cost?
    Have you felt the blast of artillery fire?
    Do you have the courage it would require?
    Have you stood in trenches consumed with fear?
    Felt the enemies breath so very near?
    Have you walked with God on a battleground?
    Seen your brothers dead or dying all around?
    Have you stopped to thank a vet today,
    Or did you just turn and walk away?
    From the pain he’ll carry for the rest of his life,
    Did you consider his family, his children, his wife?
    That watch him suffer in silence each and every day,
    As he’s haunted by memories that don’t go away?
    Did you care that the soldier is still pulling guard?
    That his heart, mind, and soul will forever be scarred?
    Do you know how he suffers from ptsd?
    Or that our precious freedom is never free?
    Do you care that he still hears the blood curdling screams?
    Or that he returns to the war each night in his dreams?
    Have you felt the sorrow of a combat vet?
    Or would you rather just forget?
    That war has pierced his hardened heart,
    And torn this soldier all apart?
    Would you rather our heroes just fade away?
    Or will you stop to thank a vet today?

    By Chris Woolnough

    To all our brave soldiers
    WELCOME HOME

  41. Chad Says:

    Oh man, am I glad to see you posting again. You’ve done good, soldier. Welcome home!

  42. Frontier Web Design | Chad Coleman Says:

    American Soldier Returns

    American Soldier has just returned from the sandbox, after narrowly surviving a roadside bomb. Welcome home soldier!

  43. Pass The Ammo » A War Hero Says:

    […] American Soldier has returned to his blog, after he chewed up and spat out a dirty roadside bomb. Go over and drop him a line. This guy is a regular badass. No doubt about it. […]

  44. Beth* A. Says:

    God speed you thru a quick, successful and relatively painless recovery, AS. I think you have the strongest medicine there is, with a loving marriage. All my best wishes for you BOTH.

  45. Yinan Says:

    God bless you!

  46. Albatroz Says:

    And, now that you have been wounded, what are your new thoughts about what you have been fighting for?

  47. Derek Says:

    Hello AS,
    1st time I’ve commented on your blog, altho I’ve been reading it for quite a while. I’m so sorry to hear about your wounds, but I’m glad that you’re back home with your lovely wife. Like everyone else here, we thank you for serving our country and doing a job that almost no one else wants to do. You’re truly our nation’s treasure. Hope you have a safe and speedy recovery!

  48. HeadShot Says:

    The fact that you were able to write this is a good sign that you are on your way to healling emotionally, I’m no head doctor but common sense say that getting it out and not holding it in is a good thing. Welcome back and thank-you and your fellow soldiers for your service to our county!

  49. SK Says:

    Thank you for the post, so happy to see one from you! Best wishes to you and your family for all you’ve endured and sending good thoughts for your quick healing.

  50. histwin Says:

    welcome home. thank you for keeping all of us updated and thank you for your dedicated service to us all. heal well and quickly.

  51. Green Bay Pat Says:

    God bless both of you. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for serving. And thank ASwife for her contributions as a military wife.

  52. Nick Says:

    Thank You for all you have done. You are a true Patriot. GOD Bless you and your family. I hope you have a speedy recovery.

  53. The Thunder Run Says:

    Web Reconnaissance for 03/29/2006

    A short recon of whats out there that might draw your attention. Today focusing on Illegal Immigration and what isnt being done about it. (With an American Soldier update at the end)

  54. Julie Says:

    It is always a hugh relief to know another soldier has made it home. You have done so much for so many. Now it is your time to enjoy the blessings we have.

    I know you guys don’t always feel comfortable hearing this, but you are not just an American Soldier but one of our American Herores.

    Thank-You for everything.

  55. Tom Miller Says:

    Heard about your situation (how’s that for a euphemism?) from over at Holly Aho’s blog. I’m *really* glad you’re OK (not dead, at least!).

    Your wife sounds absolutely wonderful, and you can quote me on that. I’m sure, given your SA experience that you both know there is help out there if this all gets overwhelming from time to time; please ask for it.

  56. flythemig29 Says:

    Go home, enjoy your family and breathe deep the sweet air of liberty and safety. You have done your part and deserve to be away. Godspeed.

  57. Jim Says:

    Speedy recovery Sgt. Hopefully nothing a good woman and McDonalds can’t cure.
    You’ve seen the elephant and very few that haven’t been there will understand so get on with your life and don’t look back.
    All the best and if you’re every in AZ we have plenty of ammo and targets.
    Jim in Tucson

  58. Lou Says:

    Rest and recoup. Our prayers are with you even now.

  59. MySoldiersMyHero Says:

    Welcome home AS. it’s good to hear from you, i hope your recovering well. stay strong. I’ll be praying for you.

  60. Mary*Ann Says:

    Take good care of each other Mr. & Mrs. AS…we are all proud of you.

  61. FVK Says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for you service and sacrifice.

    Godspeed, American Soldier!

  62. christine Says:

    God bless you both.

    AS I wish you a steady recovery! and thank you for all that you have given to this country and my family!

    Mrs. AS….your the best kind of woman! Standing right there with your arms wide open for when he came home from whereever and whatever he needed to accomplish. That is as it should be!

    May peace and love be with both of you tonight.

  63. chtrbx Says:

    Thank you for your service and sacrafices…..God blessed you with a wonderful wife….take care of each other….

  64. Warthog Says:

    THANK YOU AS! We are the lucky ones, to have men and women like you in our military. I hope you heal totally both body and mind. Remember the vast majority of grateful Americans support you and what you have done for us. Thank YOU MRS. AS! For letting your husband do what he had to do, and giving him a home to return to. I wish you all the happiness you so deserve, may God bless you all. P.S.: Ever thought of writing a book? Sure would like to hear your thoughts about what is going on and how things are being run. THANK YOU again! :twisted:

  65. American Soldier Says:

    Warthog,

    I did write a book. However it is in a unpublishd fully ready state. Just waiting for that able publisher to make it happen. :wink:

  66. -[Medic]- Says:

    Glad to see your alive and on the upswing. Thnks for all you do and God Bless.

  67. Pass The Ammo Says:

    Go Tell It In The Desert

    American Soldier sent me this picture of an NRA sticker he put on his HMMWV windshield. It’s good to know that the NRA Gospel is being spread in the middle east, behind a bunch of hot lead.

  68. Murf Says:

    Injured but still plugging that infamous book, I see. Ahhh..you ARE back. :wink:

  69. David Says:

    Glad to hear from you. Glad you are home, and I am sure you are getting the best attention anywhere.

    You and your lovely wife are in my prayers, and both of you have my heartfelt thanks.

  70. chrys Says:

    Perfectly stated as always! Love the last photo in this post - could not be a better picture.

  71. Mark Bozek Says:

    Thanks for your service and thank you for keeping the faith in yourself, your country and your God. You are the type of person who is a Hero in my book!

  72. Kat in GA Says:

    Hey there y’all…just wanted to pop by and say hi, and let you know we’re still a-prayin’ for ya! Hang in there — just keep pressing forward, one day at a time. We’re with ya all the way!

  73. Jorge Says:

    Hey. Heard your gonna be fine… congrats. But sorry ’bout your injuries… shoulda gone with airforce.lol. :smile: Thanks for the great detail about Iraw. This should be great for my report that I have to do in school.

    Wish ya’ll the best of luck

    -Jorge

    P.S I know its none of my business or notin, but where were you injured? And can I get a picture? J/K

    One more purple heart and you’ll be like that one guy who lost the election against G.W.B!! eww!

  74. Nicole Says:

    Im am so terribly thankful that you are safe, healing, and home again.

  75. devildog6771 Says:

    AS and MS AS, that last picture says all I could say to you both except how very greatful I am for the courage, sacrifices, and service you “both” showed and gave our country. God Bless you.

  76. Wild Thing Says:

    I am so sorry that you were injured. You know AS you truly are an great writer. When your book is published I just know it will be be sure to let all of us know.
    Thank you with all my heart for serving our country. What you did for us, for the world actually can never be repaid. Thank you for being the reason why I live in the land of the free. God bless you and your wife.

  77. Lynsay Says:

    God Bless You! :razz:

  78. Jesse Dove Says:

    Hello I am a Doctor. I live in Canada .. And I Love Lynsay. I Am So Glad you Are Okay! God Bless You And All Of The Other Soldiers

  79. Clare Says:

    Hey, God bless all of the soldiers! :razz:

  80. Olivia Makarenko Says:

    You Guys Rock! I LOVE YOU! :lol:

  81. Batman Says:

    ya there is no doctor dove the person who wrote that is a bully and good luck in there when you get home im buying you all shots bye

  82. Olivia Makarenko Says:

    No I am Not A Bully! JESSE IS

  83. Nicole Says:

    This scares me but touches me. The man I love wants to go to Iraq so badly. He is in the Gaurd. I don’t know what to do while he is away and all I hear is that he will die. You know how hard it is to leave the one you love. He is going throughsome training for 4 moths in July and that too scares me. I have not been away from him for that long and I will miss him tons. YOu journal is touching and very moving. It brought tears to my eyes and softened my heart. Thank you.

  84. Adriana Lopez-Salazar Says:

    I am so thankful that you are with your family again and healing physically and mentally. Please, have my deepest respect for your sacrife. Take care.

  85. Holly Karle Says:

    Hey Soldier!!I am so proud of you guys and all that yall ahve done for our country…I am 17 years old, on my 18th birthday, I am enlisting for the Air Force…..I’ll join you some day in the fight for our country….God Bless you!!

    Holly Karle
    Natchitoches, Louisiana

  86. soldierswife Says:

    Nicole,

    You will make it through his deployment. Remeber taht he is going to miss you as much as you are him. Send him an email everyday. “Talk” to him each day when you wake up and before you go to bed. Do not go into this thinking the worst case scenerio. There will, or should be, a great suppport system for your deploying unit. Lean on those woman as much as possible. They are going through exactly the same thing you are and will understand. They will become your new best frineds, I know.

    It will be OK. Best of luck to both of you

    Mrs.AS

  87. Jeff Says:

    Thanks.

  88. Blazeia Says:

    I just dont know what to say…but knowing me I will think of something. First of all, I would like to say thank you for doing what you believe in. I have started reading your blog starting where its not protected….I have to read it to know what its like there. My b/f is there right now…and has been since the 1st of the year.

    This post has touched me the most. I am so happy that you are going to be “ok”. I cried when I saw the last pic…of the two of you holding hands….still have tears in my eyes….you are both very special…

    blazeia

  89. mike Says:

    God bless you….. thanks for all you have done for the country and us…….Hope you get better soon.

  90. Dana Morrison Says:

    Wow, your story brought tears to my eyes but as I tell my husband not sad tears the tears of pride that only a military wife can understand. The kind of tears that make you appreciate everything you have. I can’t thank you enough for your service to our country. You said in your story that you are not a ’super hero’, of course you are! :) The strength and courage you have shown in Iraq has given the Iraqi citizens the power to believe in something better, the power to believe in themselves that they can change their world and make it better. You have filled the hearts of those of us left behind with such pride!

    To your wife, you have been such a strong woman! I am honored to read stories like this about other military wives it makes me proud to be a part of something so amazing.

    At the end of your story you commented about having to ‘make up for lost time’…you will and they will be the most amazing moments of your life.

    Thank you both!!

    Dana
    Ft. Richarson, AK

  91. Sheena Says:

    You are missed very much. Thank You for what you are doing. We love you.

  92. Warren Says:

    Hello Solider, In 11 months i am going to do my Marine’s training at sandhurst, And soon i will be a british marine out on the frontline with you guys, and it will be my honour to help and support you brave soldiers who risk your life for the sake of your country and other peoples freedom. Unfortunatley i have to be in the commnados 3 years before i can get clearence to become a sniper, But still i can wait to join you amazing people in iraq. God bless you. :wink:

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