May 31, 2009

Mental dump.. go.

End of days... leaving for Afghanistan in the coming days. Caffe Lattes, Wi Fi Hot spots, Swimming pools, perfect gyms, running tracks, video game rooms, pool tables, ping pong, blockbuster movie selection, my choice in fast food, sun bathing, and ... Air Force girls. All of this is now to be taken from me. Put in a box in the back of my head labelled "Remember when". I know I'm getting ready to leave when I become OCD about my equipment. I reconfigured my body armor, ammunition and equipment pouches again. Layed out all of my equipment and made sure I was completely ready to fight a war. Checked all the way down to how many tubes of tooth paste I have. I checked the seams on my body armoer and the inegrity of my kevlar helmet. I noticed the impermeated stains of dirt on some of the equipment I have used last tour. I saw how those stains contrasted with the new equipment I will use this tour. The edges of my gear are course, insufferable and yet totally perfect. As I ball up the last of my socks and put them into my duffel bag I sigh. I know what I'm about to embark on. I have walked these streets before. The wind blows in my face as I day dream about what I will endure.

Hot sand blowing in my face atop jagged terrain stricken with taliban. Praying for night to come to provide cover from a sniper on a ridge. Walking every inch of this terrain playing chess with the enemey. I am the pawn, he is as well. Whoever sees the other first wins this fight. This is not Iraq, it will not be easy. In Iraq the terrain is flat and manageable. Afghanistan the terrain is an unimangiable contrast of slops, and grades. No mans land as many would dare to call it. I imagine the weight on my back after a week long mission. Feeling the blisters form on my feet from being unable to stop and simply change my socks. The anguish on the face of each man walking in my squad. Every step on this land is one less then we will ever have to take again. That is however if you look for the light at the end of the tunnel. I won't see that light, I'll be to busy making sure my boys come home. Without micro managing them, but providing the right amount of freedom. Know when to yell and when to shut my mouth. Guiding there gun fire to the face of the enemey. "On my laser.." I will yell signaling them to fire at my precise choosen location. Fearing only that I will have to write a letter home to there family. That letter I avoid to describe even in my own mind. The reward is knowing that mission is complete and I'm going home. A year of mondays start soon. There is no other day in the week during a war.

I look at my weapon and touch her. Ever so gently I am to her. She is my rifle, my holy gauntlet in war. She comforts and protects me. I hold her in my arms as if they will never grow tired. She speaks volumes as her screams create fear and bestow death. However her somber appearance glistens in the evening light. To be so sweet and beautiful she is the most dangerous woman in my life. I respect and adore her. No one comes between us.

Everything said prior to this sentance makes reasonable minds make reasonable conclusions about war. Well those reasonable conclusions are for reasonable people. I however choose the latter. Concluding that war is something I am so very glad to face again War has changed my very essence. I want you to take a walk during the morning or evening. Look at the sky, the trees, grass and everything else nature created. Block out the noises and distractions created by man kind. After being in a war all natural occuring things are magnified. I appreciate the life and simply beauty of our world. War should not make me do this but thats what it took for me.

One who hasn't known me long would call me a cynic. One who has known me for a long time would call me hopeful. One who has known me for a life time would call me a realist. Saying that war will never end makes sense. Also saying that one day we will not have a need for war makes just as much sense. However a realist knows that wars, be them for good or bad... will occur as long as we as humans believe that a cause is worth dying for. The day we have no cause worth giving our greatest gift (life) for then we are living for nothing but an illusion. Plato.. your an idiot... you should have really said "Only the dead have have seen the end of true belief in a cause". However that quote doesn't sound as cliche. That however is the truth. (Before somebody hits me with "There are no politics on the battlefield" arguement, then tell me what we were talking about before we got to war)

Yuck.. now that I got all that garbage out I can put my feet back on the ground. I'm just a regular guy, what do I know. Much love from the middle east. Kuwait, Afghanistan or where ever I will be at when you read this. Take a deep breath, your back in Kansas okay Dorthy.

I will definately sleep better tonight. Blogs rule.

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