The book details my time as an enlisted Soldier, my college days, and my experiences as a commissioned officer both pre and post Operation Iraqi Freedom.To be honest, I have embellished a bit (maybe a lot in some cases) because, being Texan, I believe in a good story. The book is currently available through Amazon.com on kindle. Be advised, the book contains some colorful language and adult humor.
In my twenty some odd years of military service, I ran into all sorts of characters from all over the world and all walks of life. I feel honored to have known most of the people I met. If you want facts, talk to a lawyer; if you want truth, talk to a philosopher. The stories in this book are neither facts (although most myths are rooted in facts), nor are they truths (as truth is in the eye of the beholder). Here we have "mystory," not history. My intent is to entertain, educate (loosely), or illuminate folks as to what may have been.
All people, at one point or another, are knuckleheads. The key to a successful life is to enjoy the trip, not fret about the destination. If one can't laugh at oneself, then he or she has no right to laugh at others. I constantly poke fun at myself (my father would agree that I'm one of the biggest knuckleheads walking around), so I make it a goal of mine to point out the funny things others do. One thing to remember about "soldier stories" is that a soldier is a hero in every story he tells. No soldier ever starts his story by saying, "I'm the dirtbag who did this or that."
My uncle, Mark, was fond of telling whoppers when he was just a child. When someone questioned one of his stories, he'd simply say, "That how it's done in the Malpais."* Where he got this saying is a mystery among my immediate family.
My grandfather was a grand storyteller. He'd tell tales that made most people bust a gut, pull something, or pee themselves with laughter. What I'm trying to say is that I come by my ability to embellish naturally. We learn through telling stories. If the story doesn't match the situation, change the story. The point is always there.
I've left out the names of the innocent (or the guilty, depending on how one reads the stories) in an effort to keep these stories innocent and humorous. I hope you enjoy this book, and I hope it makes you think of all the knuckleheads you've met during your life.
*The Malpais is a lava formation near our old family ranch in New Mexico.
Raymond Jones was raised as an army brat until his father retired in 1988 having spent 24 years of active duty in the Army. Raymond served the US Army from 1989 and plans in retiring in 2014. He has five deployments under his belt (three to Iraq and two to Afghanistan) and figures it time to start writing about his adventures in the army.