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Monday, September 19, 2011

Letter to a Soldier on Deployment: “The Gurd Chack”


I haven’t posted one of these in some time mostly because I’ve been writing so many cover letters that I have no need to go back into archives.

This is one of those letters where I need to censer out the names. I sent these letters to a soldier on deployment in Iraq back in 2007. At the time I thought he was a friend of mine, but as I learned later the better of a friend I was to him the worse he was to me. Ah, well, shit happens.

1st July 2007
Dear (Soldier),

Another week has passed, and it appears that we have a stable situation at work. Strange the difference fifty cents an hour can make, but the change in geographical location is a big deal as well. I still don’t have a breaker so I’m going to be on seven days, but as the only thing for me to do right now is spend time with (a few mutual friends) I don’t need time off. 

The new morning guard is a real card. He comes right on time or just slightly late. He doesn’t look like he is going to last, man’s got useless written all over him, but that’s what guards are all about. He may end up working here for the next ten years.

He told me all about his crazy uncle who let a train run over his leg. The uncle named his fake leg Keado. He once hid in the bushes with a paper bag over his hand and ambushed some Police Officers screaming “I’ve got a gun! You’d better shoot me before I shoot you!”  He took eleven rounds and is still ticking.

For a wile there was a sign in the Shack that said, “Keep clean the gurd chack”. I don’t know what a gurd is, but we all had a laugh about it, and (one of the guards) put up a sign over the door that read “The Gurd Chack”. I’m putting that line in my next short play “Welcome to the Gurd Chack. We’re so Glad You Came.”

I finished reading Dune for the second time. I still note that the writing style is in contrary to what people say is good but the originality of the story. Consistence is not one of Herbert’s things.  His Freman have more than one wife but Choni thinks that Paul should devote himself to one woman. If she were a real Freman she would think nothing of him getting with the princes.

The other thing about Dune is that there is a two-year gap in the story. It’s funny when you actually start to break things down how many fuzzy spots they have in them.  I think I may give the Tax hierarchy in my novel a title of nobility. The Secliconion Domain presided over by the Dominick and the war with Deam brought about by forces within the Domain hungry for more power. Even if the war is short lived the interruption of the Deam trade routes will cause a vacuum for other trading companies to fill.

What happened with Dune was a flood of information. Small stories that illustrated points. Paul riding a worm for the first time told us about worm riding. Fade fighting a gladiator expressed his tactics in personal combat. I think Rabban only appeared in one chapter but was talked about through the rest of the book. Every page brought so much about that the story as long as it was had more information than other stories of the same length. Fascinating.

My car has still got an annoying leak that (your stepfather) can’t find. I have a puddle under it the size of my palm every time I park. I’m going to take it to (another mechanic) but I have to find a place to be wile he works on it and no one appears willing to pick me up. If I can’t get this pile of crap working right in another twenty thousand miles it’s time to give up, but by that time I should have enough for a new car.

In other news your father is being a real pill lately. He’s upset because you don’t call him thinks you’re mad at him. Well, he should get it by now that mad or not it’s hard for you to get messages out to us and frankly if I were in your shoes I’d think him mad at me. Has he written like me, no, can he talk to you as often as (your wife), no. So other then bugging (her) about it how has he tried to contact his son? In no way at all.

Then there’s the issue of your student loans. He won’t even respond to questions about them. He could say they were with the school, and that would put the issue out of his hands. Then (your wife) would have to deal with financial aid. (Your wife) just wants to stay on top of things. It’s an admirable quality. (Your Father) should be happy that she’s getting this taken care of.

Stay safe, old friend

Richard Leland Neal


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