Time, Circumstance, and Coincidence…

Well…Game On!  Just got the order to deploy pushed up by a week and it looks like I’ll start heading out to Eastern Afghanistan this weekend.  It’s awesome how the Army likes to change plans on the fly, but whatever, I can’t complain.  I have an awesome job, a decent paycheck, and a pretty kick ass life right now so things are all pretty damn good.  And of course, this is what I signed up to do anyway so no reason to be a little bitch about it.  Right now I’m just busy packing all my gear and getting my life straightened out after having a week and a half timeline changed into a few days while I try to enjoy my last days in Germany as much as possible…but whatever, I’ll survive and if things don’t work out perfectly, you can always improvise and find a way…Definitely no worries here…Kinda ironic though that it was only a little over a year ago that I received another short notice order to leave for Romania and take over my first platoon in this unit after somebody got fired during a multinational training excercise.  Luckily this time nobody got fired though and I kinda knew about this deployment a bit ahead of time, but it’s nice how things tend to repeat themselves a bit.  Of course, in true Papa Donn style, I left for Italy against just about everybody’s advice a soon as my gear was together and made my first wingsuit BASE jumps the short weekend before Romania.  Don’t know if any similar adventures are in store for this one, but I’m sure I’ll think of something…

It’s crazy to think though that I’m finally getting my hands into the conflict that began almost ten years ago when I was only a young, stupidly idealistic freshman in high school.  I guess we are all totally victims of time, circumstance, and coincidence in our lives and there is truly no telling what craziness the world has in store for us.  To think that we have true control over our lives is a complete and utter fallacy that is not even worth contemplating.  Just gotta play the game, go as hard as we can as long as we can, and stay flexible and adaptable.  The world will work itself out somehow inshallah…

Regardless though, I’m probably going to Afghanistan at the absolute best time in my life.  I’ve lived alone for a long period of time.  I am single and have no serious relationship right now so I don’t have to deal with all the emotional heartache and awkwardness although I’m sure I can deal with just about anything nevertheless.  I have a large amount of credit card debt from playing a bit too hard in Europe which will be almost instantly relieved as soon as I start getting my tax free paychecks with nothing to spend them on.  I’m mature enough to be beyond my stupidly wild years yet young enough to have all my options completely open when I get back.  I’ve almost killed myself enough times jumping off of stupid shit that I’m well beyond making my peace with death, serious injury, and anything else that can happen in a warzone.  And I really have nothing significant holding me back from anything right now…so basically the time seems absolutely perfect.  Time to ruck up and see what this game has in store…

However, circumstance and coincidence have not been going so well for the world these days and a large part of this blog will be dedicated to my random half-thoughts and ideas surrounding how what we are doing plays into the bigger picture of global events.  In the midst of a powerful global recession, conflicts and protests springing up pretty much everywhere, a huge drought and famine in East Africa, and pretty much the entire world starting to question the sustainability of the policies of our fathers its reasonably safe to say that the whole world is going almost completely to shit.  Throw in the recently announced draw-down of forces in Afghanistan, possibly the bloodiest fighting season in the country’s recent history, yesterday’s assassination of a government official in Kandahar, today’s attempted assassination of another official en-route to his memorial and the bombings in Mumbai and its pretty safe to assume that things are not going incredibly well.  Still, always the faithful optimist until the moment I breath my last, I can’t see these events as anything more than setbacks in some type of crazy concept of “progress”.  There’s enough intelligent, adaptable people out there anyway to figure something out…Life’s journey is just a matter of finding them…

Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that this fighting season has definitely taken its toll.  With three West Point and Ranger School classmates killed already in combat we have definitely been feeling the pain already.  Add that the recent epidemic of BASE jumping fatalities, particularly in my beloved Swiss Valley, and I have had the unwelcome task or raising a glass or bottle to a few too many awesome people in recent months.  As I keep score I’m starting to wonder which is really more dangerous, combat or BASE jumping…surely it just depends on how you do the math.

But anyway, fuck all that morbid emotional bullshit.  Incase you haven’t figured it out yet, life is a terminal illness for all of us.  Our time is short on this planet whether we live to be twenty or ninety so it is definitely worth living to the absolute fullest regardless of what tricks time, circumstance, and coincidence like to pull on us.  In the end, it’s what you do with the time you have that truly matters and I personally don’t really like sitting on my ass doing nothing and tend not to like or associate myself people who prefer those types of activities anyway.  In 24+ short years I’ve crammed more living in than most people can in 80 and I don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.  There’s too much work to do and too much fun and stupidity to be had.  Live hard, play harder, work like your grandchildren depend on you, push all boundaries, fuck all rules and false obstacles, and fly free forever brothers and sisters.

If for some retarded reason you are still reading right now, welcome to my blog and I will definitely buy you a beer in some random part of the world whenever we meet again.  I promise some postings will be much briefer and to the point, but then some of them probably won’t be.  Since there are too many soldiers out there who like to tell their war stories and I am totally against the age-old army practice of “dick measuring” don’t expect any high adrenaline tales of adventure here.  This is just a place for me to publicly share my thoughts and ideas about the things I see and read or hear about.  If you have a problem with my “grunt’s language” in some of them, I will promptly tell you in true 2-28 Infantry, Black Lions, fashion to eat the biggest of dicks.  While some posts will be more academic and intellectual in nature, some will not and I don’t plan on holding anything back for anybody even my close friends and family.  Judge me if you want but sometimes life is just blatantly crude and my language will reflect that as honestly as possible.  Anything else would do injustice to the truth on the ground.  If you have a problem, just stop reading and never talk to me again.  This should be an interesting ride though.  Follow at your own risk.



13 July 2011, 2055 CEST, Grafenwohr, Germany



About briangdonnelly

I'm pretty much a random traveler and free thinker. Right now I live and work with the Army in North Carolina. I grew up in Missouri but am from the northeast US and have traveled a lot with the Army and life in general so I can't say I really have a "home" except where I chose to catch a few hours or rack each day. Overall, life is pretty awesome and I'm looking forward to changing the world. Hit me up if you care... Peace, Brian
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