As for the housekeeping matters I just thoughtr I'd answer a few questions. Several people have written asking about the people I'm meeting, or if I've gotten to meet anyone yet. So far I've opted to keep the conversations to myself, as I kinda feel that those are intimate in that they are face to face, and are directed at me. I think maybe I may start posting generalities about the people I've met, but I doubt specific conversations will make it unless they become particularly impassioned or inflamed. My fear is that people may read these conversations and start attempting to asign a political agenda to them. Let me state for the record, again, this ain't the case! A phrase I like to use is "my views are my views and they're not your views." Basically, i'm saying that I have no desire to change anyone's mind on issues, nor do I feel that I need to be persuaded to believe the same way as others. Most people will probably label me a conservative based on my arguments, but the truth is my views are known only to me, and I will almost ALWAYS take the counterpoint in the interest of good conversation, so don't be fooled!
I will say that most of the conversations are similar, and usually revolve around the politics of today, the war, and the troops. The reception I've received has been outstanding everywhere I've been, and no one yet has had the nerve to say anything "bad" to my face. The closest I've gotten was yesterday when a car with an obviously middle eastern and apparently muslim couple (headscarf, full beard) drove by on the highway, and the occupants gave me dirty looks and the driver was gesticulating wildly and did not appear to be happy at the moment. Before anyone fires up the "reply" button with hate mail for either side, I'll also mention that within the hour another carload of obviously middle eastern guys came by and honked, smiled, waved wildly, and gave me the thumbs up. It takes all kinds.
The biggest complaint I've had so far is this though, and this may ruffle a few feathers and cost me a reader or two, but whatever. While everybody is very supportive of vets, most people seem to have this idea that we are "losing" this war. The cite the horrendous body count and all the other stuff espoused by the 24 hour news channels, without ever stopping to consider a few things. Here is my general view based on my own reading and experience. We have lost just over 4100 people in this war since 2001. If you were to poll any military leader in the last 3000 years and tell them about a country waging war on two fronts, controls both countries they occupy, and has fought this for about seven years all at the loss of 4100 troops, they would call it the greatest military victory in the history of man. One must remember that there have been battles in past wars where 20,000 troops on one side were killed in less than twenty MINUTES of combat. Those are staggering losses. We as Americans lose more lives to drunk drivers every year than we lose in combat in seven. Just a few things to consider....
Anyhow, I hope to be able to integrate some of the things I learn from people into the blog in the next few weeks, but no promises! Tonight I'll try to get the story about the GM plant up online for your reading pleasure. This is all contingent on my travels this afternoon, so hope for the best!
In other news, I filled the Bean up today. Usually I've just been topping it off after every stop, just to give RTD time to drink and drool. I took a few pictures of the subsequent robbing that happened along the way, so enjoy! I think they tell the story well enough!
I'm hip... I'm cool... I'm fillin' the Bean!
CRIKEY!! HOW MUCH?!! Sadly it was on 1/4 of a tank...
He he... I'll show them! Get me a little return on this "investment!!"