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Life In Iraq

Well. here I sit in Kuwait after a 2-week mental break back home. A “Safe-zone” they call this place, as safe as you can get for being in the Middle-East. No attacks here minus the sporadic drive-by shootings of a military bus from some disgruntled Middle-Easterner. I think of the bigger-picture. Civil war is looming on Iraq’s horizon, attacks have slowed down, or have they. They still find weapons caches, there are still daily IED attacks on our convoys if your on the road.

Fortunately for me, I never leave my base; however, In Desert Moon I do have Soldiers living in isolated areas, some go on daily patrols, some guard terrorist captives on a daily basis, each has a job with a piece to the bigger picture.

Life here is slow, yet highly unpredictable. It can be quiet for hours, days, even weeks on end and that can breed complacency. I have seen quiet and then mass chaos in a mere moment on past deployments so I’am always ready for that change and I try to instill that in my normal Soldiers as well as Desert Moon. We are ready to react in a split-second.

Desert Moon nightly gatherings are for many of us, our unwinding time, coffee or tea, and a time to reflect on the day and discuss the next Sabbat, an item he or she wants for their altar or energy work they need done for a family member back home or comrades going on the road the next day. Desert Moon is here for the morale of our Pagan Soldiers as well as the growth of Spiritual development and mentoring I can give them.

I get stone-walled here and there by higher-ups as per there need or ignorance of Pagan needs but these are fights I have to pick and choose as to importance and the effect of the group. Sometimes you just suck it up and go with plan B. I try my best not to let ignorance lead to anger and for the most part I bode well and calmly approach my installation Chaplain with the bigger problems when rank will just get things done easier. I actually met an ex-Pagan Chaplain when I was on my journey back to the States for my leave. It was a refreshing 5 hour discussion we had, and ended up with my getting his e-mail address in the event I needed another Chaplain for support with our endeavors.

Well it is now almost 6am and I will be on a plane in just a few short hours from now taking me back to Talafar to see what chaos has bred on Desert Moon in my absence; thus far, I know we have lost our tent which we used as our meeting place which our illustrious higher-ups felt they needed more then us, but like I said you choose your battles. My trailer is sufficient enough for us to meet in and the E-5 i left in my stead has already spread the word to Desert Moon where we meet so that is temporarily solved.

There are two wars we fight as Pagan Soldiers, one here in Iraq as Soldiers on the battlefield, and the other fighting ignorant ones to practice our faiths as the other religions practice. No fight is greater then the other. However, political fights are always harder to fight then physical ones, its just a matter of knocking down the red tape and crawling through and deal with the feelings I hurt in the process. Personally, poltical wars are easier for me to fight and more fulfilling as in the Pagan wars are more fulfilling to fight as at least I know what i’m fighting for.

Until next month, Blessed Ostara. Take care of yourselves and stay tuned. Bright Blessings.