Def. vict

Defining Victory:

I think it's helpful to be able to articulate a vision for victory. That said, it is possible to be wrong about this sort of thing:

Troops still in Japan? We lost World War II.

Troops still in Germany? We lost World War I.

Troops still in the Philippines? We lost the Spanish-American War.

Troops still in the South? We lost the Civil War.

And I just learned that we have 10,500 troops in Britain. That means we lost the Revolutionary War. No wonder we speak English.
It's likely we'll have troops in Iraq for many, many years. If Iraq someday looks like South Korea or Germany, though... well, or even the Philippines.

Iraq List

Another "Been in Iraq Too Long" List:

You've probably seen the famous one, but this list is even better.

"You kick aside the M-16 on the floor, without a second thought, when you sit down to eat in the Dining Facility."

"Your carry-on luggage includes body armour and a helmet."

"You can recognize 12 different camouflage patterns."


Yule shopping

Yule Gifts:

As always, I'll repost a link to Sgt. Rob's 'Gifts for Deployed Soldiers.' The Gerber Applegate-Fairbairn remains the best folding combat dagger I've ever encountered. That said, I picked up The Cold Steel 'AK-47' and have been pleased with it. Enough so, in fact, that I might suggest Cold Steel knives... though you'll want to get them from a dealer you know, who will charge you below their MSRP; or else from Ebay or something. They're overpriced, though high quality.

I think this one looks good for combat soldiers, for example. Although I'd want this one, which looks like it meets the tests for a proper Bowie: long enough to use as a sword, heavy enough to use as a hatchet, wide enough to use as a paddle.

That kind of knife requires special training to use effectively, though, and is not for everyone. Mclemore's introduction is a good one, if you have the time and interest. I wouldn't mind getting his new book, to see what it might have. Maybe I'll order one to review.

I usually mention STEK knives, which are my favorite custom knives. Here is their current selection.

For the non-deployed, this bedroll looks very comfortable to me. It's in about the same price range as a good knife. For the man in your life who loves to camp by an open fire, it could be just the thing.

Make sure he's got beans, coffee, and a good coffeepot. It wouldn't hurt if he had a rifle, in case he might want some venison to roast.

That and a good hat, and he should be all set. And he'll love you forever. :)