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Old 06-13-2016, 01:23 PM   #21 (permalink)
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In 2002, people were screaming about how we had to invade Iraq.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protes...t_the_Iraq_War

I had known what was up the second I watched the repeating video of an American flag on the top of a building drop straight as an arrow into a cloud of dust. I knew the construction was a composite of concrete core and stressed metal skin that should have torqued or leaned as it went down after a hit on one corner.

With the exception of the protesters everyone was just doing as they were told.

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Old 06-13-2016, 04:01 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protes...t_the_Iraq_War

I had known what was up the second I watched the repeating video of an American flag on the top of a building drop straight as an arrow into a cloud of dust.
What flag? The link is a chronology of anti-war protests mostly.

At the time, I was for the war. In retrospect, it was a mistake. We should have let Saddam make the "presidential" decision between inspectors or bombs.
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:57 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Insert a paragraph between the link and the obtuse reference to the American flag in free-fall.

"Not everyone is susceptible to the manufacture of consent. To me it was a re-run of the Killing of the King ceremony in 1962."
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:08 PM   #24 (permalink)
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It is entirely possible this conversation has gone as far as it should.

While I am just happy we have civilly discussed my personal life without anyone telling me how messed up I am (I do not believe anyone commenting so far has done anything of the sort), now we are discussing politics, and that can easily get out of hand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
I hate tricare I pay about 100 more a month for real insurance.
Active Duty or Reserve Select? I have never seen criticism of Reserve Select.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Charlie View Post
In 2002, people were screaming about how we had to invade Iraq.
I feel like it has been years since I have heard anyone accept that popular opinion supported invasion at the time, just people insisting we never should have gone, often claiming they were always against it. I do not have any idea what the correct course of action was, it just feels wrong to not do anything.

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Originally Posted by Fat Charlie View Post
Taking the shortest hitch meant I only had to do one year of dehydration, back injuries, IEDs, hillbilly armor, corrupt command and KBR contractors making more money than any soldier ever will.
We always had pallets of water bottles. The problem was the hours-long convoys when you need to drink all of that water. I never hurt my back, but bumped my head a few times. Don't worry, the VA says I am fine. I just missed a deposition this morning because I am a bad man.*

I was blessed to never hit an IED. We definitely had Soldiers who did, but MRAPs did their job.

We had IOTVs with side plates and all of our trucks came with plating.

I respected my leadership.

Contractors do make a great deal of money.

From what I understand, they initially thought it would be quick, easy, and glorious. They did not want to commit billions to equipment that would only be used a short period. Some have said they still held back, they should have bought thousands of M1117 Armored Security Vehicles, etc. I wish they had bought proper equipment all along.

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Originally Posted by Fat Charlie View Post
You can always extend, but it's wrong to back out once you've committed.
I started this thread while sitting in Costco. I still have three and a half months left, but only one drill, and it seems like an abrupt end to eight years of my life. A woman asked me how to get out after signing up. I told her you can't, it is a serious commitment, but good opportunity, make the most of it, and things will be okay.

She was not satisfied.

I did not want to go to Afghanistan, but did not try to get out of it. I hated being there, but never understood why. I was extremely blessed, I carried a SAW 249, but never fired in-country, and as far as I know, nobody shot at me. I never hit an IED. I was never near any mortars or rocket attacks. As far as I know, I did not personally know anyone we lost. Sometimes the food was depressing, but some chow halls were great.

I did not give any reasons for hating it, did I? I wish that I knew! I have been home five years now and I have difficulty sleeping almost every night. I will call the VA and see if I can work a sleep study into my schedule.

I did my job to the best of my ability. I cannot think of anything I did to make the country any worse than when I arrived, while we worked with the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police to make it a safer place. We did micro-loans for members of the community. We provided farm tools. When I say "we," I was involved in each of those activities.

*My father passed away two years ago and I forgot my deposition for his malpractice suit. I absolutely needed to make enough reminders to ensure I was there. I failed, but the attorney says we can reschedule.
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:16 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by mcrews View Post
He who retires with the most wins.
They might win, but I'd rather be happy and satisfied.

My grandpa is a rich and miserable old man. He will accidentally leave $3k in each pocket of a jacket he wears and then forget about it until the next time he wears it.

I'm competitive and want to win just about as much as anyone, but for some reason the rat race isn't among the races I have ever found appealing.
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Old 06-13-2016, 09:11 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I consider racing to red lights and jostling positions on the freeway to be a rat race.

The eldest sister works for (a contractor for) Google. We do not discuss what we earn with her because we make more.

The second is a nurse practitioner, but seems to have a different employer every year. I mentioned my hourly wage and she said she made the same amount, but I am trying to get a raise, and her most recent employer is definitely not giving her enough hours. She and her husband bought a nice house five years ago and always purchase cars new, but they keep them several years.

I greatly want to live in her neighborhood, it is nice and everything but I want to see my family more often! It is always difficult to see homes for sale in her neighborhood, but one like hers cost a quarter million, and the payment at 4.5% would be $1,266.71!

I rent a room for around $320 monthly.

I would rather (eventually) purchase a certified used car and a house I can pay off in fifteen years.
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Old 06-14-2016, 04:42 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Real estate is cheap out there. A quarter million buys a slightly below average 3-bedroom home out here. Zillow says my house is worth over $300k now, and I'm comfortably able to afford it on a $40k income with a payment (including taxes and insurance) very near to the monthly cost you mention. Then again, it helps that I rent out 2 rooms for $500 apiece including utilities.

Fixed low interest debt (mortgage) is a fantastic hedge against rapid inflation, which is likely in the coming years due to outrageous national debt and over-extended entitlements to baby boomers such as Medicare and Social Security. Writing off interest payments on federal taxes is icing on the cake.

Heck, my plan to pay for my wife's med school if I ran out of cash was to take out a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). The interest rates are lower than student loans, the interest is tax deductible, and the debt can be dismissed in bankruptcy unlike student loans.

There is very little reason to take on other types of debt when home equity is easily accessible, except that some credit cards still offer zero interest for a year.

As with all things real estate, the most important things to consider are location, location, and location.
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Old 06-14-2016, 12:55 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
It is entirely possible this conversation has gone as far as it should.
Was it something I said?

Quote:
From what I understand, they initially thought it would be quick, easy, and glorious.
Same with World War I, and look at how that one turned out.

Quote:
I did not give any reasons for hating it, did I? I wish that I knew! I have been home five years now and I have difficulty sleeping almost every night. I will call the VA and see if I can work a sleep study into my schedule.
Consider moving to a state where you can legally self-medicate.

Quote:
I did my job to the best of my ability. I cannot think of anything I did to make the country any worse than when I arrived, while we worked with the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police to make it a safer place. We did micro-loans for members of the community. We provided farm tools. When I say "we," I was involved in each of those activities.
In my case, I was attached to the 2nd Civil Affairs Company. The first half of the tour, I had the company motor pool, but the 2nd half I lived in a province capital in a VN apartment building and we rode around looking at foot bridges and school houses being built, and distributing food and building materials. It was almost like being in the JFK's Peace Corps.

I was shot toward but no at.
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Old 06-14-2016, 05:27 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freebeard View Post
Was it something I said?
Just that we started discussing politics and I worried that would get out of hand.

A townhome like the one I tried to purchase for $94,500 is now going for $112,000. That one only valuated at $79,000, though. It is in the same building or one over. Zillow does not give an estimate, but other homes in the neighborhood are going for the same price. There is a two-bedroom going for $80,000, although it has been up over a year. It looks pretty nice. The HOA is $138 monthly and includes water, sewer, garbage, and roof.

I had worried home values increased too much for me, but that is not horrible.
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Old 06-14-2016, 06:57 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
They might win, but I'd rather be happy and satisfied.

My grandpa is a rich and miserable old man. He will accidentally leave $3k in each pocket of a jacket he wears and then forget about it until the next time he wears it.

I'm competitive and want to win just about as much as anyone, but for some reason the rat race isn't among the races I have ever found appealing.
Fortunately, my advise is not intended for you.
But nice job in taking it out of context��

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