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Qarmat Ali Vets Ribbon

Hey Mainstream Media

Hey Mainstream Media
That Picture You just had to take could be Al Qaeda's next recruiting poster!!

26 February, 2010

How did I end up here? Part 2

I now realized that anywhere I had gotten that stuff on me that had a sore or was naturally sensitive, like my eyes mouth and such were burning. Where the stuff was stuck to my skin and uniform, I looked like a damn giant Cheetoh. So I started brushing the stuff off me, because I knew I had to get into the KBR contractor's SUV, and I am sure they wouldn't want that stuff inside.

After I had most of the stuff off of me, I thought I had better go see just what I had gotten myself into. I went over to where the bags I was sitting on were, and noticed that they said "Sodium Dichromate" I was puzzled...why the hell would there be big bags of salt stacked all over, and some strewn about..I know damn good and well it doesn't freeze here. Anyway, some of the Iraqi workers came over to my location and started telling me that they were happy that the Americans had come and that they were a little upset that we let them suffer so long under Saddam after the first war. When I took off my Kevlar to make them feel more at ease, they were shocked to see that my hair was greying.

One Iraqi told me "You're too old to be in the army" I told him the reason my hair was grey, was because my wife made me crazy. They all burst into laughter. I was surprised to learn that most of them spoke English pretty good. One gentleman totally freaked me out when he started talking, he had a perfect British accent. I asked them why their hair was not grey, I asked "Don't you all have 4 wives each?" Again, they started laughing, they told me that 4 wives would eat too much. They were interested in how the U.S. was going to make their country better, I told them when we catch Saddam, he won't be coming back, and that seemed to make them real happy.

Then they wanted to trade money...I am pretty sure I was fleeced real good, but I figured what the heck, I had a good interaction with the Iraqi workers and they were just folks like me.

well, I am getting a migraine, so I will have to continue later..can't look at the screen anymore...ouch

25 February, 2010

How did I end up here? Part 1

Well, I am wondering how and why I ended up in the situation I am in. All I wanted to do is find a shady spot to try to eat my chicken patty MRE real quick and literally ended up biting off more than I could chew. The wind was blowing a little and it all the sudden blew this dirt and orange crud up into my face, mouth and my left eye. and my chicken patty was all nasty with the same stuff all over it.

Now, anyone who has ever eaten a MRE Chicken Patty, knows what I am talking about....the clear gel that covers the damn thing is like a glue. I am not sure what that stuff is, but it is really slimy, probably because the chicken is pretty dry, maybe it is a lubricant so it doesn't tear your bowels out when you go to crap. Well after I get covered in that stuff...I try to wipe my face and eye out...all the while swearing up a storm. My eye was burning and my mouth was on fire and the damn wind kept blowing that stuff up everywhere.

Now, as an infantryman of quite a few years, I have chewed my share of dirt, but this was no dirt like I had ever tasted. It had this horrendous metallic taste and I wanted to barf real bad. Some of the crap I ended up swallowing and I could still taste it in my mouth. I swished some water around and washed my mouth out, but could still feel the stuff at the back of my throat. I drank some of my water to wash it down, figuring the stomach acid would do it in, NOT...up it came, it burned going down and coming back up. I was stunned...what the hell was this about? I looked up into the sky and asked G-D "Was that really necessary?" anyway, I left the area and stood by this big tank and tried to clean myself up. The Iraqi workers were laughing at me, they were wearing shemaghs and other things to protect themselves from breathing in the sand and debris..I guess they would know better. while I was washing my eye out and rewashing my mouth out, I realized that I had tasted that before while being at the plant on a previous occasion.

While trading MRE components with the British Contingent, there was a hint of the same metallic taste in the air..and I thought that was weird. The British soldiers I was trading with were sleeping outside on cots with mosquito nets covering them and they had dirt with orange colored stuff all over. Now for the folks who were not there, when you think of Iraq and places like that, you think of sand...I would say it is more like talcum powder and sticks like glue to anything moist. Anyway, after my encounter with the orange dirt crap, I was hungry from barfing and looked at my chicken patty, it was dirty and had orange stuff on it, so I washed if off as best as I could with my canteen water and figured that I should not waste it if it could be salvaged. I had a really strange sensation in my stomach, I couldn't tell if it hurt or I was hungry. So I ate it, well some of it managed to stay down, but I threw up again, but not as bad as the first time.

I also realized that were my fingers were cracked from the dry heat, they started to bleed and it stung bad. I cleaned them up with water and took some super glue out of my combat lifesaver kit and glued the cracks shut. My eye still burned and was red, but I just continued on with the mission.

Stay tuned for part 2


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Note to the V.A. and to the U.S. Congress



On my website, qarmat-ali-vets.com, I left this post for members of congress and the folks from the V.A. to read if they visit my site.

Honorable Mr. Shinseki, if you read this, I am the soldier from Oregon who worked for Xerox Corporation, I am the one who gave you a MFO coin from our deployment in December 2002 at dinner in Sinai Egypt. During that dinner you told us we would find ourselves in places that we would not want to be...and that you hoped it would be for the better of the country. Well, you were right, we did end up in bad places, and we did what was asked of us like any other generation of soldiers in war. We held up our end of the bargain...why does it seem that our country will not hold up it's end of the bargain? It seems we fought one war, only to come home to fight yet another one with our own government to get basic help. To me you seem like a man among men, and I know you cannot do it all yourself, but please do as much as you can.


To The U.S.Congress

A bird that flies primarily using only it's left wing or right wing, flies only in circles. It is only when both wings are used in unison does the bird fly straight and reach it's intended destination. So too is the fate of a country.
(Author Larry D. Roberta)

Please do what is right by these and all veterans who need help.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lawrence D. Roberta

I even included the photo just in case Mr. Shinseki did read it, my photo might jog his memory...probably not, all G.I.'s look the same, but...one never knows.

I did not leave the note to them because I think I am better than them, or to scold them. I wanted them to know how I feel and I am sure many more veterans feel the same way. Well, now on my stats page, where I can see the traffic that comes to my site, the U.S. Senate and the V.A. have been really checking out my site. Even been visited by the U.S. court system... Hmmmm Interesting. I guess what I am trying to ask myself is, will they listen...or just write me off as insignificant. Or, will someone want to use me and veterans like me to further their own ambitions.

Well, I do not dance with the devil and not expect some 3 degree burns, but if it helps other veterans, I guess a few burn scars are nothing. If you are a veteran...and I do not care from which war...ask yourself if you have done all that you can to help your brother and sister veterans. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars now have been the 2nd longest wars this country has fought...and is poised to quickly become the longest. The V.A. needs to revamp itself and better meet the needs of these new veterans and will need your input.

24 February, 2010

Just Little Ol' Me

Hello world!! this is my first blog!!, I never thought I would have a reason, let alone need a reason to have one. I would have to say, I have found out that I have been very naive thinking that if you treat people the way you would want to be treated, they would treat you the same way.

Boy was I wrong on that one!! Big business and , government and lots of other folks love people like me...easy to take advantage of. And the reason for that is they all come disguised as your friend wanting to help you. And when they have gotten all they can out of you, they kick you one last time to make sure there is not one last shred of dignity left to your name...and then they go out and find another sucker like you.

Some of you may know my name from seeing me in the news because of the Sodium Dichromate exposures in Iraq in 2003. I started www.qarmat-ali-vets.com to try to help the other soldiers like me who were also exposed in Iraq, get help from the Veterans Administration, I have to say, it does not seem like people want to take responsibility for their own actions...or inaction's. It is always somebody's fault other than their own. I always try to take responsibility for my actions, but lately I have been wondering why the people of the United States seem to be turning on veterans again. Saying, "They knew it was dangerous" and saying we are responsible for merciless killing of unarmed civilians, like we are some rabid dog who broke his chain and is now loose doing as it wants. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

People say President Obama once mentioned the idea that veterans pay for their own health care from service connected disabilities? Really? That would be a super dumb thing to do. This country seems to be forgetting about it's citizens and worrying more about their bottom line. In the military, the mission comes before people, but what happens when there are not enough people to carry out the mission. Anyway, I have so many things swirling around in my brain that I need to get out, I hope this blog will help me decompress and find some peace of mind.

Self...I will chat with you later!