Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sacrifice?

I never really got it when people would say things like, "Thank you for your sacrifice." Just felt weird. I'd think Dude, I'm getting paid. Obviously it's more apparent now. You just don't realize the extent to it when you enlist, I don't care who you are.

You hear about the IRR, but it won't happen to you. You probably won't get stop-lossed, except for maybe an extra couple months or something. Not that much of a sacrifice, it's new and exciting. The fucking ARMY, dude! Kickass!

And then maybe one day it hits you with the force of a Mac truck. You sacrifice EVERYTHING. Put it all on the line, gambled with all you got and more. Can't be who you want to be. You have to fit into a mold, a very specific one. There's reasons for all of it, yeah, I got it.

Specific haircut, clean shaven, natural hair color only, no piercings, restrictions on tattoos, where you can go and what you can do, how you conduct yourself. You completely give yourself away. No longer your own. That's a hard fact when it stands up and stares you down and you realize just how wrong you were about your world from the day you inked up those government forms.

I still don't regret enlisting, I probably never will. I do regret that immediately after things take an incredibly positive turn in life, the Army needs more. And the Army comes first, no matter what you think or how you feel.

Not gonna like it, gonna do it anyway. What, something's fucked up in the world and soldiers are getting the short end of the stick? That isn't news.

46 comments:

  1. The value of your expereince will become more clear to you as time goes on. You have done the toughest thing there is. You have gone to war, you have survived in very tough circumstances. This time will be over some day--sooner than you think. But what you have learned will never leave you--the knowledge that YOU CAN DO it, no matter what life throws at you. It sucks to face that test when you are 40 or 50. You have done it while you are young. It isn't only in the Army where you gotta do what you don't like.

    You are bright and talented. Take the energy you are using being pissed off and focus it. You're stuck either way so you might as well make it count.

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  2. Yes, you made a commitment. This is what happens when you give your word. Sometimes you get held to it. Apparently, you have a ways to go before you've fulfilled your obligation. Damn, I hate it when that happens. Sadder but wiser, no doubt.
    You will make it out of there, and the rest of your life will be your own. You will still be able to make of it what you want. Please be careful who you turn into in the next year, as it is going to be a profound part of who you are. Best!!! z oh and fer chrissake keep blogging you're all we got now goddamnit

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  3. hey suspect

    i dont when you were over here last (iraq).... im over here now, for the second time... this deployment is far different then last... in 06 we were getting hit all over the place.... the 72 hour sigact. roll up we would cover prior to mission would consist of about 40 IED, EFP, RPG, VBIED, and whatever else they were useing.... now adays here in baghdad we have maybe 3 things happen a day.... if that... its calmed down alot... just the other day i read that a soldier was killed in baghdad.... they said it was the first us death in about 40 days in baghdad..... so i guess what im saying is, your chances are better...

    now dont go and get your hopes up... there are plenty of things going on here to piss you off and keep you blogging till the sun comes up.... the biggest thing that shocks the shit out of me is how much this place is turning to a garrison war.... we wear pt reflective belts EVERYWHERE.... sidewalk NCO'S are everywhere.... go a day without shaving and see how many people call you on it..... the list of uncredialbe shit that you will have to deal with while in a combat zone is baffleing.... so good luck..... oh do you have ball park when your coming over here and a general city your going to..... i know the whole opsec thing, but code it up a bit..... ill figure it out...

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  4. You'll be getting an extra $500.00 a month, so STFU and deal with it. Odds are they won't even send you because of that. You'll be banking close to 40k doing a year of that with free rent and food.

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  5. You are doing the right thing. Hang in there.

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  6. With respect to the above, please don't STFU.

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  7. Hi Suspect,
    Glad to see your latest post, I was getting a little worried about you...and you know that generally prompts an overly wordy email, so you saved yourself from that torture...lol!

    While at first I thought Nught was a little harsh, I think he has mellowed a bit, and you have won him over and now you have a new friend. One of my daughter's friends, just got back from Iraq and he had basically the same take on things as Nught. If anything, I think you will lose your mind over all the garrison BS that will be going on, the freakin' weather, and the BOREDOM. I am really PO'd about this whole thing, every time I think of you back there, it makes me sad! :( I hope you can focus your energy into something positive and stay out of harm's way. It doesn't matter how few and far between the dangers are, they are still dangers! There are quite a few ANON's here who are mighty mouthy! What's up with that?

    I had to laugh at 13..."word" is right!!

    Here's what I would like to know...if you weren't getting stop lossed what color would you like your hair to be? Would you be growing it long and sporting a beard? What about the tat thing? What kind of tatoo would you get? Piercings? I guess those could be sort of dangerous on the job...painful when they get caught on things! Ouch.

    I wish you didn't have to go back Ryan.

    I wish I was a messenger and all the news was good
    I wish I was the full moon shining off a Camaro's hood

    I wish I was an alien at home behind the sun
    I wish I was the souvenir you kept your house key on
    I wish I was the pedal brake that you depended on
    I wish I was the verb to trust and never let you down!!!

    God(s) bless you Ryan. I will be there for you come hell or high water.

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  8. BIG D

    mellowed out a bit, have i..... i guess your assement is correct..... im just another angry soldier without a stop loss issue to call my own... when i vent i tend to piss out of my ass in all directions.... it really just depends on my mood now a days.... as for the comment that me and suspect are new friends.... i dont quite know yet... my first post to him was a dig to try to induce a literary onslaught to the likes i think hes capable of... i think i was in the mood for a good word fight....lol.. he replied to me with a short factual comment followed by a "soups ready" comment.... i have to admit i thought it was funny, but it wasnt the response i was looking for.... all my other post up until now have had more of an introductionary style feel to them... instead of provoking, ive went with a friendlier aproach... i really dont know if hes shuning me or really just trying to figure out how hes going to approach me.... im an A male type with strong opinions and im very confrontational... i dont know if that suits him well or not.... he will either talk to me or not either way ill figure it out soon enough...

    NUGHT OUT.....

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  9. Nught, I like what read of your blog, the account of your exchange with the guy you were guarding. I thought it was excellent. I just can't bring myself to comment; however on a site that looks like it wants to post my email address. Maybe it doesn't, but I already get enough wacky email from people who want to help me out with transfers of funds through unlikely circumstances.

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  10. "Anonymous said...

    You'll be getting an extra $500.00 a month, so STFU and deal with it. Odds are they won't even send you because of that. You'll be banking close to 40k doing a year of that with free rent and food."

    That doesn't mean shit when you catch a bullet in the face or get blown to shit. You don't like this? Don't read it. Better yet, wanna switch places?

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  11. lol...... the silent treatment.................

    woohoo....

    hey anon.... i really dont know what you were saying about the email thing.... you think the site and or im going to do something with it.... but you can post here..... or is it because it wont let you post anon of my blog.... i thought i changed that to day so you all could... if not let me know and ill look into it again...

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  12. sorry suspect i just cant help myself....

    You'll be getting an extra $500.00 a month, so STFU and deal with it. Odds are they won't even send you because of that. You'll be banking close to 40k doing a year of that with free rent and food."

    lol.... even i wasnt this much of a prick was i.... ok lets clear so things up cause this guy is confused.... 1) its a little more then 500 when you calculate the fact that your not paying tax... 2) i have never ever ever ever ever heard of someone not deploying because the army didnt want to have to pay them their combat pay intitlements (Odds are they won't even send you because of that.) and 3) this ones my favorite... (You'll be banking close to 40k doing a year of that with free rent and food.") really.... you promise.... you mean i can make as much as a garbage man while dodgeing shrapnel... 40K..... are fucking joking fag.... i know 40K may seem like alot you walmart folk..... but really its small fucking potatoes.... i get off mission and go to the MWR to read a book or play ping pong and the guy who i have to sign in with at the desk is making over 100K.... im suppose to be happy with my 40K..... im the one getting blown up..... FREE RENT AND FOOD.... im not a 19 with no bills and no fianacal responsibility's i have a wife who has to pay my RENT every month... i have a wife that has to buy the FOOD the my kids and her eat... so no that shit isnt free....not to me anyways...

    hey suspect whats the deal.... im not good at picking up on the little clues and hints... you want me off your blog say the word and im gone.... NUGHT OUT....

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  13. Hopefully you'll be done with the army very soon. I'm thinking of you and wishing you all the best. Oh, and the anon STFU guy/girl is a weak turd who doesn't know what (s)he's talking about.
    Take care,
    Lynda

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  14. I think Nught is my new favorite reader. haha!


    What a long year it will be, but ultimately much better than living indefinitly in Canada (at least if its on the border)or France, god forbid :P

    Maybe it won't be so bad...

    B.
    (no french/canadians were hurt in the posting of this comment.)

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  15. Just for the record I hereby declare my contempt for all anonymous posters who spew forth all manner of hatred and stupidity and do not have the courage to sign what they write. Where do you get off telling someone on their own blog to STFU, stop whining, stop sniveling or anything else for that matter. I agree with Suspect's suggestion: To any and all who believe $500 is some kind of grand consolation prize for stop lossed soldiers:

    YOU MOUNT UP, STRAP IT ON AND GO TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM!

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  16. BigD, suspect don't just post for the cheerleaders.

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  17. Ah, c'mon, I want to see them strap it on !!

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  18. Take away your combat pay, and your stop loss bonus, you are making maybe 23k a year in the Army. $17.00 an hour is 36k. You'll be lucky to find a job in this economy making 17 an hour right off the bat. For those bashing the 40k numbers, that's right at 20 an hour. Hell, I'm retired from the Army and make 65k on top of that. Took a while to get there though.

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  19. anon's right. And 65k is 31.25 an hour. He's probably salaried though, so he works Army hours. I make 25 an hour, and am retired from the army myself. That makes me 75k a year, and I did 2 tours in Iraq, and 1 in the stan before retiring. I started out at $13.00 an hour, but progressed rapidly in the civilian workforce with 4 promotions in 2 years. Hopefully I can keep my job during this recession. It also helps that I don't live around a military base. I'm not having to compete with all the other ex-military guys in the workplace. I'm literally the only one who has been to Iraq, or is retired.

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  20. i have to say i think the numbers are alittle off.... heres why (you both retired military so you should both know this)....

    if i were to work 8 hours a day, everyday for a year, i would have to be making 13.70 an hour to hit the 40,000 a year mark... and thats before taxes... ( 8 times 365 = 2920 hours- 40,000/2920 = 13.698 an hour 13.70 times 2920 hours is 40,004 dollars)....

    now most civilians dont work every single day.... most get two days off a week... theirs 52 weeks a year so times that by the 2 days and you get 104 days off a year... thats with out holidays and vacations... if you subtract that 104 days for 365 days you get 261 days... 261 work days at 8 hours a day equals 2088 hours worked.... now your looking at 19.16 an hour to make the 40,000 dollar a year mark.... your right thats pretty close to the 20 an hour mark....

    but soldiers dont work 8 hour days... or at least i dont.... im on call every single day and every single hour im over here... there hasnt been an hour of the day i havent worked at some point or another.... its 1130 at night here, if they come in my room in a minute and tell me to put my shit on, im going to work.... so since i never off... i can never just do what i want and have the freedom of knowing that im not on the clock. i work 24 hours a day... they can and have woke me up after 2-3 hours of sleep and told me to go to work... that happens in the army.... so im working while sleeping in my mind....

    so i work 24 hours a day..... 335 a year while deploys (i knocked 30 off for r&r even though its only 15 days of leave... i counted the transit time) 24 times 335 is 8040 hours a year im on call.... 40,000 dollars divided by 8040 hours equals 4.98 an hour.... so in my mind im making less then a guy flipping burgers...

    so in conclusion... you assesment that im making 20 dollars an hour is off big time in my mind... according to me if i were making 20 and hour i should be getting around 160k a year.... but i guess it depends on how you slice it... NUGHT OUT......

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  21. You don't work 365 days a year. Here's how it's computed "genius"

    80 hour, 2 week pay period. 10 days of work X 8 hours a day. 26 pay periods in a year.

    $17.00 X 80 = 1360 1360 X 26 = $35,360.00
    $20.00 X 80 = 1600 1600 X 26 = $41,600.00

    Now take out a MINIMUM of 17% taxes. and it is SIGNIFICANTLY less than that. If you want to make what you're making in the military with free food and housing, then you'd better retire so you're getting a check to subsidize your life, or you'd better start out at 20+ and hour. Trust me.

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  22. Oh, and MOST jobs nowadays require you to be on call 24/7 unless you're a secretary. If you're not on call, you're making a LOT less than $15.00 an hour. McDonalds won't make you be on call. I'm RETIRED from the Army, so don't try to preach to me about the rough life of being on call 24/7. I was an 11Z2S when I retired.

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  23. whoa.... slow the ?&*$ down....

    to the first anonymous retard who took what i said, reworded it and pawned it off as his own.... pay attention for a second.....

    you say 80 hours X 26 pay periods = 2080 hours a year

    i said 8 hours times 261 working days = 2088 hours a year

    the difference... when you take 7 days a week times your 26 pay periods you get 364 days... 52 weeks a year isnt exact.... pretty close, but not exact.... now i got 8 more hours a year then you did... where did those hours come from.... that extra fucking day you left off smart guy.... now i said you would need to make 19.16 an hour to get 40K.... when you plug that into your formula (19.16 X 80= 1532.80 a pay period X 26 of those = 39852.80, but when you add the extra 8 hours of work from that day you left off you get 153.28 added to the 39852.80 you get 40,006.08 a year... 40k) WE SAID THE SAME FUCKING THING...

    FREE FOOD.... so where can i send im wife to pick up this free food you speak of so that my three kids and her can eat.... you know since the foods free and all.... hey dumb ass i pay for food...

    FREE HOUSING.... and where is this free housing you speak of... cause my house cost me around 1100 a month.... saving that 1100 sure could go along way to streghting out that 40K....

    i still pay for food and i still pay for housing... just because the army doesnt make me pay for my 10 by 10 box i live in with a roommate i might add doesnt mean i dont pay for housing.... now that i think of it, if the army did try to charge me for this box i live in, i think i would rather take up shelter outside.... sleeping bag and a poncho and id be good to go...

    hey anonymous number 2..... your turn...

    theres a big difference from being "on call" and constantly being "called on".... i calculate those hours because i routinely work those ackward hours.... its normal for me to work 14-18 hour days 6-7 days a week here.... in a 21 day span i may have 2 days that i dont have a mission... those days are filled with fun motorpool dispatch bullshit or fix down trucks or going to some bullshit as mandatory army class or something else really gay and time consuming.... its rare that i get a 6 hour block not reserved for sleep in a day..... i think my assesment that i work 24 hours a day is alot closer than the 8 hour bullshit others are suggesting...

    i really dont give a shit that you are retired or that you were an 11 series.... i never preached about the rough life, i preached about the rough pay... and for future reference i will preach to you all day long about the things that i am a subject matter expert in...... if your going to say it then say it, dont beat around the bush about it.... if your contention is that geting blown up in IED's, and getting shot at, and having your friends die (all of which i have experienced for my country) is worth 40K.... that i should take 40K and smile about it.... then your retarded..... if thats what the going rate for the things i just mentioned then why the hell dont soldiers what to say in the army...

    listen old man.... just because you did your time and got out doesnt mean you have the faintest idea whats going on over here right now.... if your not here right now, then all your speaking on is assumtions and hear say.... im speaking on facts...

    and another thing.... holding strong opinions is one thing... voicing them and not putting your name on it is another... its fucking cowardly... NUGHT OUT....

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  24. Hey you angry little boy who calls himself Nught, you're going to go NOWHERE in the civilian world with that attitude. And as far as the food goes, you got married, so the gov gives you a BAS stipend and BAH to house them. Don't act like you pay for it, unless you decided to live beyond your means, and then that's your own fucking fault, you mindless TWIT.

    Steven L Shepherd
    MSG, USA (Retired)

    P.S. I'm only 43. that's hardly an "old man", and I could STILL kick your sorry little ass.

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  25. I can only hope that you guys believe in what you are doing, because there is no money that will make it worthwhile if not.
    All work is like that, you have to believe what you are doing is worth it, or you lose your heart, and there is no faking it.
    I am old enough now to know that if I am ever going to make a difference, I have to do it now.
    Money comes and goes. I don't know how to tell if I have enough money, but I can tell if what I am doing has meaning.

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  26. lol shepherd is it.....lol come on man, you imbelished alittle right..... now be honesnt... if you retired as a spc its alright to say so.....

    i really dont care where my attitude takes me in the civilain world.... i wont be there for 15 years....( lol you will be 58 then.... food for thought)

    bas my friend does not off set the cost of feeding a family.... my bas this month is 323 dollars... that for a whole month and IS claimed on my taxes at the end of the year as income.... bas is calculated into that 40k if i were to try and NOT LIVE OUTSIDE MY MEANS... well that would be alot of ramen and mac and cheese for my wife and three kids....

    the same goes for the bah... its an entitlement... and is counted as income everybit as much as base pay is.... if your job itemized your pay check in the civilian job you work to justify what they were paying you..... and they said this 500 a month is to cover your car and this 1500 a month is to cover your house and this xxxx is for what ever else.... would that mean that you get a free car and house or that you still earn the money going towards those things.... the army doesnt give it to me free.... i earn it everyday and its considered taxable income.....

    P.S. I'm only 43. that's hardly an "old man", and I could STILL kick your sorry little ass.

    really....... really.......lol.... really... man thats to funny.... you know these statements are easy to make sitting behide a computer screen.... but hey spc. im sure you scored some tough guy points with some of the readers.....

    REALLY..... NUGHT OUT....

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  27. Hahahaha! God I love Nught. I want a poster of him choking someone. Fuck yes.

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  28. He probably has several photos of him "choking" himself. Probably posts them on MySpace. The dude sounds like a loose cannon and I'm sure he'll talk shit about me being anonymous. Like I give a fuck. I forwarded his blog off to the censors at large. I'm sure he won't be around much longer with all the contempt he shows towards his superiors. Of course, my 3yr-old son is superior in intellect to him. Oh, and "Nught", I'm in Mosul.

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  29. grounds gone sour.
    Dead is sometimes better.

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  30. wow low blow.... anony.... did you just go tell on me.... if complaining about superiors is grounds for cenorship then fuck..... your right im screwed.... i really dont see me going anywhere though.... how hard is it to get a new email and make a new blog.... the internet is HUGE.... im here to stay.... GO TELL THEM THAT.

    oh and one more thing... i only choke myself when its naughty time....

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  31. NUGHT: Official Bouncer Of The Comment Section.

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  32. hahahahaha.... shit i dont know what happened here..... i kinda pride myself on being a people person..lol....this place got a little messy quick.....i try to not throw the first punch, but shit god help us all if ones thrown at me.... i dont know if bouncer is an accurate discription though.... im thinking more along the lines of..... hall monitor.....

    i just went and came back from the shitter.... while there i saw a stars and stripes on the ground, so i picked it up and read it.... one artical caught my eye.....

    THE ARMY TO BEGIN PHASING OUT STOP-LOSS...

    gates says that the first unit to deploy without stop loss will be an army reserve unit in AUG. ative duty is set to deploy its first unit without stop loss in JAN.....

    let me guess suspect...... your deploying in DEC..... it would figure....

    ps. ive been sactioned by the blogger himself....validation is a mo fo...NUGHT OUT.....

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  33. If my unit deploys in December, I sure as shit won't be stop-lossed. As far as I can tell, we don't have an official date, and no one's received any kind of paperwork to prove this alleged stop-loss. JPPSO came to pick my shit up, so I sent them packing with a bunch of books and DVDs and other shit so that they wouldn't charge me for wasting their time.

    Also, I've officially shipped home household goods, but the unit is already alerted, so that probably won't exempt me. Can't blame a sneaky bastard for trying.

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  34. when is your ets..... i know a couple of the guys in my unit got out of stop loss because they did send there shit with JPPSO.... as i remember i think that was the determining factor on whole got stop lossed and who didnt... when they did put forth a firm stop loss date, the only exection was those who had already shipped there shit... they were still allowed to leave.... so in my unit if you just missed cut off and your shit was shipped.... they let you out...

    now keep in mind thats determinded at the 0-6 level.... your unit may do it differently... but fuck man, its worth a shot....

    ps.... if asked, dont say you only sent dvd's and books... fib... you sent everything....

    NUGHT OUT......

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  35. Good God I love this place. As an innocent outsider (who is actually an insider) I love how up in arms people get.

    Amazing. Keep it up, army anons!

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  36. Having Nught as Hall Monitor is kind of like having the Hell's Angels as "security" at Altamonte. z

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  37. Dude. I keep reading "Nught" as "Nugent." Probably not that much of a coincindence.
    Way to keep anon's on their feet.
    Suspect...damn, man. Well, looking on the bright side - you'll always be able to count on your commenters to boost your morale. Just keep on writing!

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  38. lol..... ive used the pen name nught for the past few years on all of the applications that require a username.... it started with poker.... the correct way to pronounce it is NUT..... im not questioning anyones reading ability, ive been asked how to say it in the past....

    HELLS ANGELS..... lol... to funny....

    Mezzo, im alittle slow sometimes... i couldnt tell if you were poking fun at my name or not.... i looked up the word nugent, and couldnt find anything....lol.... so i cant tell if it was an honestly mistake or a little fun at my expense..... i the only thing i think you could have been doing is, comparing me to someone named nugent... i dont know of him.....lol.... im lost, can you enlighten me....

    NUGHT OUT....

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  39. My best guess is he was reading it like Ted Nugent.

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  40. shit... now i have to go look up ted nugent....lol.... i hate when i feel dumb....

    NUGHT OUT...

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  41. Looking up things is good for you. Now go go look up "Mongo," filed under "Blazing Saddles." *leaves quickly*

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  42. NUGHT -
    I was not making fun of you! Anon was right, though, Ted Nugent is who I kept thinking of when reading the comments. Probably just a sign of my age (thisclose to 30) and proclivity for classic hard rock. ;)

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  43. PS - thinking of Nugent because Nught was not a name I'd ever seen before.

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  44. nught, you don't know ted nugent? I'm sure you just don't know his name.

    everyone knows strangelhold, and cat scratch fever...

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