I realize a few things that I didn't understand before. All I really need from home is pictures, letters, and home-cooked stuff. Everything else that I need I can usually get here in-country. I don't have access to a lot of stuff, but I do have access to everything I need. And there are enough guys in my unit that get boxes of essentials that I don't really need to go to the PX very often. Most of the soldiers that deploy don't really understand what it is like to be outside the wire. A guy in my TOC handed me a football and asked that I toss it to some kids on my next mission. I described what happens to the kids when we toss them anything. There is an instant balls-out no-holds-barred brawl, with the smaller kids usually going down first, followed by progressively larger kids until one bloody filthy kid crawls away with the prize. A few seconds later, some older teenager will go over to the prize-winner and calmly take it and walk away. The only way to give these kids anything is to throw mass quantities of it in various directions. This will still result in a mass brawl, but at least some of the kids will end up with something. It doesn't matter if the prize is a ball or a bottle of water. Everything is fought over as if it were made of gold. It doesn't matter what day of the week or month it is unless you don't have a mission. If I wake up to find that I don't have a mission today, I check my watch to see if it's Friday (Muslim holiday) or payday (1st/15th). My CHU-mate is on permanent contractor guard duty (long story), so he's usually off on Fridays. So on Fridays, I don't go to Hadji shops, and I don't rock out with my cock out in my CHU. It doesn't matter how many times you have deployed. I don't give a shit how you did it back in OIF III. In fact, I have seen soldiers that are on their 3rd deployment to Iraq do some of the stupidest things while outside the wire. Most of it is due to them having pre-conceived ideas of what Iraq is like based on their previous deployments. Iraq is different now than it was in OIF I, II, III, IV, etc. Get your head out of your ass and wake the fuck up. Fobbits rule. The fobbits have the rank and the fobbits make the rules. When confronted by an obvious fobbit of high rank, just respond with "Roger that, Sir" or "Roger that, Sarn't". When they are gone, let your immediate leadership know of your encounter with said fobbit and then resume doing whatever you were doing. I have to constantly work to keep my anger in check. It is useful when allowed out in carefully governed quantities, but it is definitely a beast that must be guarded against. This list is too long to do in one sitting. More later. After I go flog the dolphin and find a way to constructively vent some anger.