Saturday, November 29, 2003

Ungrateful American Day

Thanksgiving rolled around again, but this year I was standing in the rain in Iraq. Yes, it is strange to be standing in the cold desert rain. I woke up at 4:45 and argued with my company for about half an hour about getting the truck that they wanted me to drive to guard duty. (They Army is like that. They will require you to drive a truck but then make you beg for the truck at the same time.) After several more insignificant complications, I ended up guarding two local national (Iraqi) workers for the day. Sometime around noon, I realized that I wasn't really thankful this year. I know that I have many things to be grateful for like everyone else, but I don't really care. I am not thankful to have ten toes and ten fingers or a tent to live in or combat boots to wear or some family that is 3000 miles away. I am an ungrateful American. I am one more person raised in the mythic "land'o'plenty" that takes the basic means of survival for granted. So I decided to fast rather than gorge myself on a poorly prepared meal. I did not eat anything and drank only water for the twenty fours that made up Thanksgiving. If you feel disgruntled next November, I urge you to join the anti-celebration.

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