The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.


January 15, 2008

Name: The Usual Suspect
Posting date: 1/15/08
Stationed in: Iraq
Milblog url:

Hello readers. I'd like to give you a moment to adjust your ass, as it's about to be rocked off, with a sonic volume of awesome.

Unless your internet is as slow as mine (or you have your sound off), it's probably too late. Enjoy.

[Note: The sonically awesome audio tracks that originally accompanied this post are now only available at Suspect's site. The "Enjoy" link will take you there.]

The reason I bring this up, is that I feel that you all deserve the same caring treatment that anyone riding in a Stryker with me receives. IPods, etc are a must in any Stryker. And more importantly, media players loaded with fuckin' METAL.

Metal that reaches through the speakers and whips your pansy ass into a puddle of goo, attacks you with sheer masculine animosity, and melts the face off of your bitch-ass friends, especially the hip-hop enthusiast types.

We got one of our old medics back, and he's on the truck for the first time. I'm driving, and I feel it's my job to brief him.

"Heya, sergeant. I just wanted to let you know, your face is about to be rocked off, and your ears are going to receive a merciless ass-kicking courtesy of old school Metallica."

He laughs. Good man.

On that note, I would like to include a short letter that I would like to extend to Metallica:

Dearest Metallicats,

In eager anticipation of your new album, I would like to point out a few things I expect from you, with the hopes that it gets you further pumped to thoroughly rock out.

Y'see, being pretty much the Godfathers of modern metal, it is your sworn duty to fix the state of affairs that our music industry is in, and breathe some life into GOOD metal, because Slipknot can't do it ALL on their own, and besides, you need to remind all them bands that you are the dominant one. It's like living in a primitive culture of gorillas, and that's why you must use your guitars and whatnot to beat those sad bitches into a pile of shit. And rock the entire time you do it.

I expect you to bitch slap me with sonic fury, and never once apologize when you neatly package my candy ass and hand it to me. I expect my balls to be stomped, figuratively, and for my mother to cry because you're kicking too much ass.

You will know when you have succeeded when the faces have been wiped off of Mount Rushmore and replaced with visages of you guys growling at people. Even better if there's a sculpture of a giant fist crushing some dweeb for sucking too badly.

Let's put it this way, if your new album has to be packaged with a pack of Depends because it's so unbelievably shit-your-pants-awesome, I will be most pleased. I require major hearing loss, a numb feeling in parts of my body, and whiplash from banging my fucking head until my eyeballs bleed.

I want an album that makes poodles explode when you play it. An album that makes bands like Nickelback give up and go back to pumping gas. An album that gives Courtney Love a sex change. A colossal wall of sound that is equivalent to the carnage one might witness when an army of cougars, wolverines, grizzly bears, pissed off pandas on PCP, cracked out steroid squirrels and ten foot tall gorillas is let loose versus a room full of Backstreet groupies.

This album should be so devastatingly awesome that when we blare it in the Stryker and drop ramp to step out into sector, children run in complete terror, the elderly crawl away in abject fear, and Ali Baba realizes that his music is complete shit, and comes over to the dark side where us kickass American types rock out. This of course will upset the "war profiteers" or whatever, but fuck them if they can't rock.

Please put me in a coma with your thrashing badassery.

Thank you.

                                                                        Your Pal,
                                                                        The Usual Suspect

I think it's a pretty damn good letter, personally. Good metal is very important for an infantryman. You have to get up early, something I respond to by blaring ear-bleed music much to the dismay of some. You have to drive off-road, something that just isn't the same without thrashing chaos stabbing its way out of the speakers. If you have to run around with a gun in your hands, you better have METAL reverberating in your skull, not some bullshit rap song about gold chains and women of questionable morals.

Metal is about being pissed off and aggressive, something we are very familiar with. Rap doesn't make you want to kick in doors and smash things in abandoned houses (something that is unnecessary to the uninitiated and those of rank above E4, who just don't understand that things NEED to be broken. In fact, back in Baghdad, that was how my squad leader kept track of me:

"Suspect! Where are you?"


"Oh, OK!")

Kids, I just can't stress enough how important metal is to your development as a human being. If you don't get a ten billion megawatt charge and an ear to ear grin/scowl from ass-bashing music at high volume, you might not have a soul. Or you may have an excessively high estrogen count, in which case I refer you to

You want us to win the War On TERRRRRORRRRR? Then crank up some crazy insane metal and let us out of our cages. Or else learn to be more diplomatic, whichever. Regardless, metal is the path to all things awesome.

Note: If this post left you feeling all sorts of motivated to rock out, please scroll down to the bottom of the playlist and listen to some Slipknot, to make sure that your punk ass can handle true mayhem.



Thanks. Your playlist is probably the best explanation ever of what it is like to be young and a foot soldier in Bush’s war.

Amon Amarth. I didn't check yer whole playlist because I am at work, but Amon Amrth. If it isn't there, it should be.

Sorry, but I sometimes look at this blog at work and having a blast of unwelcome sound was a shock. You want to inflict this on everyone, but recognize that this drives people away and annoys them.

Hmmm...what was that saying, "If the music is too loud, you are too old?" I am 54, a veteran, wife and mother of other veterans and I like the music. If I was to look in from a job site I would keep my speakers turned very low indeed. But no sense spoiling it for those who LIKE to I do!

Well it's nice to know there will be a lot of deaf fifty year olds in a couple of years! I don't mind being hard of hearing, because after raising 7 kids a little silence is nice. I hope you don't mind.

Where are the Four Gods of Metal (Sabbath, Maiden, Priest, Motorhead)?

The guys you list are nice, but what about where it ALL originated from?

Dude, I'm 52, but i laughed like a mad woman at your post. I know it's true, and I commend your spirit! EXCELLENT.

What the heck, just gotta dive in here with the rest of the over 50 crowd. I wanna rock and roll all night, and party every day! Great song list, great post.

Pretty good shit, over there. All I wanna know; r u sharin'?

In case you haven't heard them already, get your ass some tunes from Mastodon. This is brutal old-school type medal, but made in this day and age. My personal morning favorites are "Blood and Thunder" and "I am Ahab," though I haven't tested them downrange yet. Also, "Hand of Stone" will beat you up. RAWK!!!

Thank you I needed that. Keep it loud and proud.

Ass adjusted and playlist d/l'd. Rage on and keep you head bangin' and down. FYI workin' dude...keep you nose out of the blog during working dollars, nothing to be ashamed of then, huh?

"Rap doesn't make you want to kick in doors and smash things in abandoned houses"

But...that's not what those Congresscritters say when they want to slap warning labels on rap (and metal) CDs to warn parents that, "This album will make your kids BAD and compel them to shoot up their schools with AK-47s."

You don't think they're LYING to us about that and trying to use bogus culture war garbage to distract us from things that really matter or anything, do you?

Slightly more seriously, I could see myself kicking in some doors to the right Run-DMC. I'm also curious to know how many black soldiers are in the Stryker battalions and if they feel the same way.

More people need to learn to communicate like you do.

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