Saturday, December 27, 2008

Worst Christmas EVER!

Rant time...

2nd Christmas in a row, first freaking unit to have one like this. I didn't bother me till it happened and now I am furious. A couple of days before Christmas we got a warning that there was going to be mortar/rocket attacks on the FOB during Christmas. Christmas morning we get hit hard, I would say about 15 rockets (It woke me up). They killed one and wounded 2. Everyone from then on has to walk around in full battle rattle. Throughout the day and on into the night we get more random mortar/rocket attacks but nothing like that one in the morning. What I am wondering is: 1. Why didn't they fire back. In Balad the enemy could only get off maximum 3 mortar rounds before we fired back. 2. Why did we put on full battle rattle AFTER the fact. What a REactive army. 3. If the information got passed down all the way to us, then it was some good intel and there was much that wasn't being told to us. That means, why the heck didn't we set up an ambush on them or at least patrol for it since we knew it was going to happen.

/rant off

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I don't know why I didn't put this on the blog earlier:

SPC Samuel Tolman
BCo 1/8 INF BN
Unit # 43175
APO AE 09334

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Where did February go?

So, life doesn't calm down at all, but I get the morning off. I think I have had one day off this past month, in which I recall sleeping the whole day. Dang, I just looked at my watch and it is already a week into March. Owen, I am sorry for missing your Birthday, hopefully I can call home soon. Thank you to all who have sent me packages and letters, they are the only way I can really tell what day it is. Most importantly, thank you for all your prayers, I want you all to know that they help so much. Congrats to Dane and Olivia for doing so well at their Ballroom Competitions!

Nothing major has happened to me this month in Mosul. I think that is due to the increased level of security in the city. Baghdad has sent up an additional 3,000 troops to help maintain Mosul and we are going out twice a day at least, which is why I have been so busy. I often think that if I was paid for the amount of work I actually do, I think I would be very rich. But, of course, I am not in this business for money. I love what I do, which is protecting my loved ones. Some people don't believe that we are accomplishing this in Iraq. If you believe this, think about it this way, if the U.S. Military was not in Iraq, then Al-Qaeda would be in America. They love hurt Americans and it is easier to get to us than it is to go all the way to America. Of course, we aren't easy targets hehe.

On a lighter note, with the projector Pah got me just before I left, we here have managed to create an outdoor theater. It is pretty ghetto at the moment, but we have high hopes. To many of the guys are just coming back from patrols and go back to their rooms and do nothing. So, for the sake of moral and comradery we have put this together. Every night that we show a movie we are pulling a bigger crowd, so I am pleased that it is working.

Protecting your freedoms,
Samuel (Mark) Tolman

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

If you want to see a grown man cry...

All you have to do is kill one of his brothers. A few days ago AQI (al-Qaeda in Iraq) made a lot of the strongest men I have ever known come to tears. I feel for the family's of my 5 fallen brothers. They themselves are in a better place, the greatest pain falls on the families of these heroes. I ask that whoever reads this pray for their comfort in their time of need. All the comfort I need is in the trigger of my weapon and the unlucky terrorist whom is in the sights of my weapon. It is going to suck being a member of AQI in Mosul for the next year. They have brought the pain upon themselves. This is why soldiers of the United States Army fight, for their brothers who fight next to them, for their families and others who are not able to fight themselves, and for God's great nation of freedom called America.

I am so very thankful to you all for your prayers and support.

CNN's story on what happened:

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Rainy Season

One of the worst parts of Iraq is its winter. It starts off in December by getting cold and gets worse in January when the rainy season starts too. When it rains, it doesn't rain for a long time but it always pours down. The rain makes it colder and it also turns everything into mud. The worse part is I work with vehicles for the time being and if any of you have been around where lots of heavy vehicles have been moving you know that they crush all the rocks and make "moondust" a very fine dirt. Well, when this dirt gets wet it feels like mother earth is finger painting. The mud goes everywhere and it doesn't come off unless you wash it, which doesn't help for the boots but at least they are brown anway.

I can't complain much though. The food is excellent, the rooms are good, the toliets are cleaned twice daily, the showers... well, to many people + 1 water heater = not so warm environment.

All in all morale is high which is always good in times like these.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Finally Here! -Mosul-

Well, this FOB is a lot bigger than expected. We heard there was suppose to be like 1 other battalion with us, but it is a whole regiment (like 8 battalions or close to it). Also, I have never seen so many females on one FOB! I don't think females should be allowed to deploy or even be in the military for that matter but, if you want to debate that issue you can always e-mail me ( This FOB is pretty big, they have a lot of roads and cars rolling around. Defiantly not like the last time I was in Iraq. Oh yah, the chow is fantastic too, that is defiantly not like last time either (Hank remembers the cold burnt pizza and coming in from mission and there only being green beans and Gatorade left).

In other news, the world mourns Bhutto's death. I do also. The fact is, she could have beaten Musharraf in the elections coming up and I think it was him that had her put to death. Anyway, now that she is gone I think that the US Military is going to be deployed to Pakistan in the near future, especially because I believe a Democrat is going to be elected as President this year.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Liberty, the land of the Fobbits, Baghdad

Hopefully the updates won't come this slow. *dodges random objects being thrown at him i.e. dancing shoes from Livi, garter belt from Erin, snowball from Uncle Rick, placenta from Jaslyn, Arabic book from Hank* Thank you for all your updates though, it is so much easier getting updates from the sources than through grandpa.

I am here in Baghdad playing Musical Chus (Chu is the name we give to the rooms that the army gives for us to live in) for the past week and now they have stuck us all in a tent together. I guess that is kinda like when you take all but 1 chair away but everyone still sits in that one chair. The Army has told me that Baghdad is too safe for me so they are sending me to Mosul. They said I need to take my battalion with me though. We should be leaving here shortly, we are all grateful for the move though. What makes life suck here is the fact that we can't settle in and they keep moving us around. My day's are filled with sitting at my Bradley in the Motor Pool (the name we give where our vehicles are stored) waiting to put something new on it or move it somewhere. I just bought a camera so pictures should be in the next blog. And thanks family for losing (I think Dane has it) my old camera.