Eyeballs! Snap Sir!

Today is Memorial Day. While most enjoy the long weekend, sales, family, BBQ I too enjoy those things, but I also think back to my time as a US Marine in service to the country. I often wonder about where some of my old military buddies are now in life and those that never came home.

You see when I was deployed in the early nineties during the first Gulf War and some other small tactical operations around the world protecting American assets in Liberia or Israel most of the men around me physically came home. Its just in some cases that their minds never did.

I had a buddy named Benjamin Antaran. Big Filipino and Samoan from San Francisco. Good guy good sense of humor. We both got out about the same time in 1993. We’d catch up on the phone every few months. His dad was a cop. Ben became a cop and worked in the courthouse. From time to time when talking to Ben on the phone he would ask me about things we saw “over there” and as Marines we’d talk about those things we saw or did which in general we never really could explain or open up to civilians. At the time I wouldn’t classify Ben as being troubled about what happened but the more I talked to him I knew he was going through his own battles reconciling things in his mind. At the time pretty normal I thought.

We all settle and come to terms with extreme things whether its scenes of combat, hurt buddies, highway car accident trauma in our own ways. My father was a Marine in Vietnam. I grew up periodically being woken up in the middle of the night by my father moaning or yelling in his sleep and my mother waking him from nightmares. The only time I ever knew what my father did in Vietnam was when I was a late teen when his buddy and best man at his wedding who he was in the Marines with him came to visit and they rehashed some old times. No one talked about combat stress, PTSD, etc. Shell-shock was just a grainy old picture of WWI soldiers with thousand mile stare eyes.

I lost touch with Ben. He stopped calling. A year turned to three. I finally decided to try and track him down. I knew he worked for the San Francisco Sheriffs department. I knew he was married. I started searching the internet. Shit.

He blew his brains out with his pistol in front of his wife and father in-law. Accusations of infidelity, shoved his wife to get away from her during an argument, she calls cops, boom. It’s not the worst.

RochefordMeet my priest. Father Dennis Rocheford. LCMDR USN

I first met Father Rocheford sometime around 1990 when I was with 3rd Battalion 8th Marine Regiment attached to the 26th MEU. He was the battalion chaplain. In order to become a chaplain in the USMC you have to be a naval officer. You see Father Rocheford back in the day was a Marine. He was with the 1st Marines during TET in 1968. Fought in Hue City, Hill 881 at Khe sanh, was a radio operator for the famous MajGen Ray “e-tool” Smith. Of one hundred men in Father Rocheford’s company in Vietnam he was one of six that survived. Father Rocheford during Vietnam promised God if he survived he would not waste his life. He made it home, joined the seminary and became a priest. Went back into the service around 1987 and for the most part preached the Catholic faith to Marines who need it the most.

Father Rocheford was a hell of a Marine. Even though he was actually a Navy LtCMDR as far as any Marine I ever knew that knew him he was a Marine. Whenever we needed to get dressed up and put on Alpha’s with ribbons and awards there wasn’t anyone the Battalion Commander included who had more awards or prouder then Father Rocheford. Numerous purple hearts, bronze stars, combat action, unit citations. I think he had a ziplock bag of the ones he couldn’t fit on the uniform in his pocket, so that at least he had them on his person as to not be considered out of uniform. Chesty Puller himself would have given Father Rocheford a pass.

I can barely tell you what I had for dinner Friday night. I can tell you however before going ashore around a rather hostile embassy in civil war torn Liberia, in a mass with Father Rockeford a quote in the homily was “Greater love hath no man than this, than a man that lays down his life for his friends”. That stays with me and will for the rest of my life.

Father Rocheford went with the Marines as a chaplain to Iraq in 2007 during some pretty fierce fighting around Ramadi. I can’t tell you how many Marines this guy may have brought comfort to during those times.

Unfortunately in 2009, it was too much for Father Rocheford. For the Marine priest who prayed for and gave comfort to thousands of Marines heading into combat for over 20 years, whom only he himself knew what real combat looked like, took his own life by jumping off a bridge in Rhode Island. Who would pray and give comfort for he who gave the rest of us peace?

I have stopped looking up old buddies I served with. I can’t take playing the what if and why games in my head for months at a time when I find out they couldn’t deal with life afterward.

I don’t recount these men, or tell you these stories to somehow illustrate that we should be doing something special for them on Memorial Day, or Veterans day. Pretty much everyone I went in to the service with would agree, we do and or did it so others we love could stay home in freedom and do the good things in life without seeing the “shit” of war. Partly that and boys of a certain age and immortal sense of romantic adventure choose it. I say enjoy your long weekends on these holidays with loved ones but know someone gave the ultimate price. Some mother or father paid the highest price with a son or daughter.

Those that make it home but suffer in private about what they saw or did, are just paying rent on the ultimate price. You’re not going to fix them and in most cases you’re not going to help them. More times then not they don’t ask for your pity or help, but you can respect them. A simple wave, handshake, a nod. Mostly enjoy your weekend with your family and loved ones. Eat, drink, be merry. Shop and get a good deal on a TV. Do it all. As long as you know in the back of your head what was given and someone went forward and didn’t come back, and now more then ever someone went forward, came back, but they may not really be back.

People may thank me or people like me for my service. I generally keep my mouth shut and attempt to be gracious. It aint me. I aint no fortunate son. Much bigger and much better men need to be thanked, but they’re not here now.


2CEB 2 MARDIV Somewhere in Turkey about 1992 Antaran 2nd from right kneeling

I’m in this picture can you guess where? Ben Antaran is too. This was how we rolled as Combat Engineers back in the day.

So enjoy the rest of your long holiday weekend. I know I will.

Let ‘er rip tater chips.
Semper Fidelis.

It’s Cliche Monday

One door closes another one opens.IMG_0947
Know you like the back of my hand.
This will only end badly.

All pretty cliche in one sense or the other. Let me tell you about my weekend. It was pretty laid back and normal for the most part. In an earlier post I mentioned how one of my friends recently lost her mother and Sunday there was a small memorial service for her which I attended.

After the service a handful of us went to a local restaurant for brunch. In any event we make our way from the funeral home to the restaurant and a couple of friends and myself get there first and ask for a suitable table to accommodate the party. Others were taking flowers back home, changing clothes. etc. Its a Key West, outdoorsy, Tiki, old Florida type restaurant. Waitresses in sneakers, shorts, tank tops.

Chapter 2. The Waitress.

I have been in love exactly two times in my life. Once was before I knew what love really was and got involved with a woman whom I didnt really love at all. It was more like, this must be love because this is what I am supposed to do. Buy a ring, get engaged, get married make babies live happily ever after. Got past the engaged part and learned a valuable lesson. It wasn’t love at all but expectation. We’ll call her girl number one.

The next time, I met this woman. Beautiful girl, incredibly sexy, great sense of humor, compatible in every way. Everything came naturally, I could make her laugh, she made me laugh. Same interests, similar backgrounds. Finally I had what I wanted in every single way. This was LOVE. There was no wondering or second guessing. Family and friends loved her. Family and friends who have known me all my life coming up to me commenting, how happy I seemed and have changed, this is it marry this girl. Except there was one small little problem. This girl was and still is to this day the text book example of pathological liar. I dated the girl for many months. She’s fucking married the entire time. When I find out, it was one lie after another which essentially lasted for years afterward. For years I tried to make sense of it and come to terms with how this all happened and basically all I can figure out is if there is a God, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, or any other Hocky Cocky supreme being that surely that SOB has one sick sense of humor. In the end though I just go with Karma and imagine I was a real bastard in a past life and have a hell of debt to pay. Anyway we’ll call her girl number two.

So back to yesterdays brunch and the “Waitress”. I start counting on my fingers how many people are coming, she teases me about counting on my fingers I chuckle and she leads us to a table. Now I can tell you at this point I have only interacted and physically saw this girl for all of maybe 120 seconds at this point and I pretended like nothing was happening or my mind wasn’t racing a million miles an hour, but I wont. It probably took me about all of 25 seconds to realize this was in my mind at least an exact clone to girl number two described above. Facial features, mannerisms, body type, hair, eyes, ass, legs, hands.

We had about a twenty minute wait for the rest of the group to show up, and I was literally forcing myself to pay attention to what the others at the table were saying. Internally I was in the midst of my very own panic attack. While watching the waitress help others and not become a drooling idiot or become some leering creep, the voices in my head were on a constant repeat of “keep your shit together schmuck”. It was full on World War 18 in my head and my heart was twisting in such a goddamn knot it was ridiculous on so many levels. This was a simple waitress. Nothing more. She was nice, not flirting. Just a normal everyday encounter with a stranger on the street of gastrointestinal commerce. What the hell?

The rest of the party shows up and sits down. Waitress comes over to help them with drink orders. I try and not stare. I surely fail. I haven’t said anything to anyone at the table at this point. I am half heartedly following along in conversation. In my head I am nearing the end stages of the mental battle of how this waitress has my full attention. I decide I am not going to bring anything up about waitress and girl number two above. It was long ago, I have moved on and at this point all it will look like is insanity. But I cant.

I have to rationalize this or I am going to face being ostracized by my friends. How do I explain this in a way that doesn’t make me look like some love sick weirdo who cant seem to let go of the past? If I say one goddamn thing to my friends at the table about this infatuation I have with the waitress they are going to see right through me. How do I frame this turmoil in my head and heart that doesn’t make me look like some kook?

My close friends know me. I love beautiful women. The reality is, to me and what I consider beautiful comes in may shapes and sizes. While on the outside this all may seem very shallow, I can in fact see beauty in many ways depending on how a woman looks and carries herself. Sure there are such things as nice boobs or legs, or butts, but really its the whole package. Having one good attribute and nothing else doesn’t necessarily make a girl beautiful to me. Its everything combined.

Now I will admit my thoughts on attraction go both ways and I live by the same sword I yield around my head.

However for me when it comes to physical attraction, this waitress was right in my wheelhouse. Oh and by this stage in the brunch with my friends, the gig was F’ing up.

I had to say something. I slowly and deliberately start off with “I have something to say and let me just start off like this…” I attempt to explain beauty and what I find attractive. I essentially get out about half a sentence about looks and whole package blah blah blah and get one look and grin from my friend Amy who I sometimes forget knows me much better then I give her credit for.  Amy cuts me off at the knees with, “That waitress is all you Brocky she looks exactly like girl number two.”

The table laughs, and it was like a ton of bricks lifted from my back. I was busted and there was no more rationalizations or denying it. I slapped my hand on the table and simply say, “I would right this minute burn this goddamn restaurant down to the ground for that waitress.” Someone at the table asks, “the waitresses what? To go out with you?” I very simply reply, “nope, just for her telephone number.” Some more laughter from friends. I half heartedly laugh too, if only to ease their minds and not show them how serious I was.

I didn’t get her number. I didn’t commit a felonious crime and burn the place to the ground.  My other friend Debbie who does work for the state taxing authority is going to lien the restaurant out of business until she finds out the waitresses marital status and contact information. Ok that parts a joke, but I did swear I’d paint her house and cut her grass all summer if she did find out.

The irony and silliness of all this is, I don’t have game to approach this girl. Chances are I’ll never see this girl again. I used to be confident in my younger days but now I am like pft. I could have asked any one of my four lady friends at the table to approach her and I am sure they would have. Heck they offered. I denied. I think in my mind because of all the emotional upheaval I experienced from girl number two above, I don’t want to know the truth about this waitress. In my mind she is perfection she is everything girl number two was without the horrible pathological liar part. In my mind this one will stay pure. This one will be forever framed in my mind of her awesomeness for that one great meal with my friends. I wont look back at the wasted time and lost trust with this waitress.

Don’t get me wrong, I Facebook stalked the restaurants page trying to find her two blocks after leaving the place yesterday. No luck. If I run into her again somewhere, somehow, I’ll make my move if favorable conditions exist. But I know what reality is, and generally theres that Karma thing too. I accept everything and live by my choices. Sure there is the what if’s and I may never knows but no matter what yesterday and today perfect waitress girl proves to me again, you just never know what may happen. Until it does thank you waitress girl.

Well that was my weekend. Emotionally it was busy, experiencing loss and love but in the end no matter what happens with friends and family by your side, there is always, hope.

Let ‘er rip, tater chips,
Semper Fi.


Mother mother
Tell your children not to walk my way 
Tell your children not to hear my words 
What they mean 
What they say 
Mother -Danzig

Another Monday, another week. We’ve been here before we’ll meet again. An interesting past week. I’ll touch on key points that have been floating around in my head, but I warn some may seen disjointed and not well thought out. I tend to hash these things out when fingers hit keys.

As most know it was mothers day yesterday. I hit the grocery store, grabbed a few racks of ribs a dozen roses and went over and cooked a meal for my mom. Told her I love and appreciate her then we ate and were merry.

As I get older I realize more and more the sacrifices parents make for their children. I realize the true meaning of family and ultimately what real love means. No one is perfect. No family is perfect. Sure there are those that give the impression of perfection, but no matter what we are all flawed. We all have some sort of family idiosyncrasies that are our own. The weird brother, aunt, mother or pain in the ass wont shut up cousin, but in the end that weirdness or blemish is what makes up the family. Its how you accept, look past and deal with it that defines you. We all fail at something at some time in life, but its how you move forward or accept the failing that defines you. If you do the best with what you have and in the end accept others as they may be while still standing with them then I pretty much think you got things in the right lane.

A friend of mine lost her mother about a week ago. Age and failing health which is nothing spectacular or avoidable seem to be cause.  No matter the circumstances having to say goodbye to a mother or parent can never be easy. This year while being able to enjoy my mother on this mothers day, my thoughts were at times elsewhere trying to understand and think about when I will not be able to share these times with her. While its not a pleasant thought it is a fact of life we all have to deal with sooner or later. I don’t take for granted the time I have with my mother, or the fact of the sacrifices she and my father have made for the family but I realize more with each passing day, not to wait. Not to wait to tell someone you love them, wait to take someone out to lunch, wait to tell someone you fucked up, or they are wrong, or simply wait to go see and stand/sit by someone. I know I have work to do.

So Amy while this may be a tough and agonizing time for you, know that your example of the love you have for your mother has had a most positive affect on someone else who has room to improve and realizes that no matter what time we are given with family its never enough in the end. Much love to you.

Lets reverse gears a little.

Ten years ago in the Cleveland area some young girls go missing. It turns out a school bus driver had kidnapped these children, and basically imprisoned them in his Cleveland home the entire time. As you may imagine, there was rape, abortion, a child conceived and other associated trauma.  A neighbor last week hears screams from the house, calls police, gets door open and finds the missing kids whom are now young ladies. Makes a few tv interviews, reports his love for McDonalds and the rest is history.

The man who kidnapped the kids and fathered the child with one of the hostages along with his two brothers who were in the house with him were arrested. The two brothers were subsequently freed and determined not to be involved in this heinous act within 48 hours of the discovery of the crime.

Now think about this for a second. The same police and the same district attorney who couldn’t find these kids for ten goddamn years right under their noses, within 48 hours determine the two brothers of the man who did confess to the crime had nothing to do with or knew anything about it. This doesn’t pass the bullshit sniff test to me.

Could someone tell me how in the hell you go see your brother, live with your brother, or even know you have a brother for ten years, and not know he has three white girls stashed in his attic, bedroom, basement? Oh yeah part of the time one or all of them pregnant and making and aborting babies? Oh yea your brother is a latin dirtbag bus driver and the kids are predominately white caucasian teen girls. What excuses and bullshit does your brother tell you to explain this kind of shit? How does a brother hide this from family for ten years if the other brothers had no clue it was going on?

It took one black McDonald’s hamburger loving man to see the white girl in the house, know the dirty latin bus driver lived there and know shit was messed up within twenty seconds and call police. How did the brothers not catch on for ten f’ing years?

I may get over to see my brother once a month at his house. Its about the same for him with me. However if either of us showed up at each others home and couldn’t tell I had three Haitian kids living with me or did know he wouldn’t buy my line of shit that I adopted them or started running some exchange student program.  He’d turn my ass into police within an hour.

In the end I know one thing for sure. The Obama administration loves this story. Not because the kids were found safe. Not because were going to find out just how truly the Cleveland police are a bunch of incompetent cockknockers. No sir. The administration loves this story because the liberal mainstream media will eat this shit up. It’s drawing attention away from how the highest offices of our federal government covered up the Benghazi attack, essentially sacrificed four american lives, lies about the entire thing and keeps the truth from the American people who put them in office. That and the little story about the IRS admitting targeting any political action group looking for tax exempt status with the words “Tea Party or Patriots” in the name of the group. Oh yea or any group associated with maintaining the constitution or bill of rights. You know something totally fucking illegal to the core of what this country has been founded on.

So thats about it. Interesting times or strange times we find ourselves living in depending on  how you look at things.

Let ‘er rip tater chips!

All day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfy

SoldsoulI need someone to show me the things in life that I can’t find
I can’t see the things that make true happiness, I must be blind
– Paranoid, Black Sabbath

Monday again. Another weekend blows by. Ever see a dead woman in a casket? Now you have. ———> We Sold Our Soul For Rock and Roll. Black Sabbath inside album cover, 1976-ish.

The last couple of years, Black Sabbath (with Ozzy, Butler, Iommi) have been rumored to be making new music and touring. When I hear these things I take it with a grain of salt. Ozzy and Sharron are pretty ruthless about contractual and legal issues in the past on any reunions, Iommi comes down with cancer, Ozzy falls off the wagon and starts popping pills and drinking, and well you get the idea.

Outside of all those things, Black Sabbath is probably the genesis and father of all things heavy metal. No one would know the name Ozzy Osbourne if there was no Black Sabbath.  Sabbath was around and making music in 1968-69.

Doing a little internet surfing this weekend I see the North American tour dates have been expanded and guess who is going to see Black Sabbath? I go into these types of concerts with an open mind and low expectations. As a music lover, I categorize these concerts in the same light as seeing The Who, Santana, Clapton/Cream, Rolling Stones, Plant/Page as last of the greatest who defined rock music with the long gone other greats. You just have to go to say you saw them. I have seen Ozzy before and even years ago they’ve had to wheel his old ass out on stage in a wheelbarrow, I think he has a f’ing cane now. None the less I’ll go and see what I can see and hear what I can hear. Paranoid, Sweet Leaf, War Pigs, Iron man, pretty much every go to guitar riff laden song a young kid learns right after Stairway to Heaven and Smoke on the Water.

One of my nieces turns two this month. My mother is trying to teach her to swim and I am teaching her to swear and spit. She is progressing along nicely.

Let ‘er rip, tater chip!





Shelter From the Storm

Dragline on CouchSuddenly I turned around and she was standing there
With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair
She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns
“Come in” she said
“I’ll give you shelter from the storm” -Bob Dylan

It’s another Wednesday and by now we’ve all probably have succumbed to the notion that the weekend has left us and we’re faced with another mid-week of skullduggery in the work place.

Nothing new or much to report. I pretty much have been getting used to two dogs in the house these last two weeks. It’s been smooth sailing so far without even the first problem with two male dogs in the house. Both play, get along, and tolerate each other well. I was rather nervous at first, but those apprehensions weren’t founded.

Don’t take my guns! Wait. What? Fifteen year old girls can buy Plan B contraception over the counter without parental guidance or prescription? HOLD THE F’ing TRAIN! Stop the presses. This ladies and gentleman is the height of republican hypocrisy.

Heres the bottom line folks. If you do not want your underage daughters to be able to run into a drug store and buy over the counter contraception without a prescription, then very simply…..don’t raise them to be sluts. Be a parent, teach them values, morals and to have respect for themselves. Teach them the values of sex, love and trust and how each is required with a good dose of maturity to navigate the world of having sex and making love. Do all those things and you wont have to worry about them running into CVS to buy Plan B because she snuck out her window and banged Hector the lawn maintenance guy on the air conditioning compressor in the back of the house.

You want your guns and assault rifles left alone, and you claim as long as we’re all law abiding their existence and availability is ok. Then same goes for Plan B being sold over the counter to those young ladies who may need it. You should have nothing to worry about you’re raising your daughters with morals and trust, this doesn’t affect you so don’t think you can assert your will and opinions on others just like you don’t want someone telling you that you don’t need an AK-47 or AR-15 assault rifle.

Now for me, I want my assault rifles, high capacity magazines and all the Plan B I can get my hands on. Why? Simple. Generally the majority of our population is lazy and you’re raising thieves and sluts. I need the weapons to protect myself and property from your sons and the Plan B to screw your daughters.

Semper Fi do or die,
Let ‘er rip tater chip