Sorry for the unannounced and unexpected hiatus. No excuses here; just needed a couple of days away from the computer. I appreciate your understanding.
Ultimately, tonight I would like to talk about the days PRE-Iraq War; yes, that blissful, happy time that found
Before the telling of that tale, however, I want to relate a personal current event. Since the inception of Educated Soldier (and, certainly – by other medium - before), I have affirmed my ardent support for the efforts in
The most daunting obstacle may not be my desire to participate but a few various blemishes on my credit record. I sure hope that these past mistakes don’t prohibit the opportunity to commission should I decide to do so. It is said that the purpose of gaining a security clearance (which dictates the necessity of an investigation where my credit record would be analyzed) is to find if one is trust worthy. I am certainly that. I just missed some bills. That shouldn’t reflect on my ability to be loyal but on my ability (or lack thereof) to make money. But I digress…
I will post more here concerning my possible continued progress in this regard as it presents itself. Until then, moving on...
While I am sure that the winter of 2002 was a trying and thought-provoking time in the
Ultimately, I would get that opportunity – twice. I talked about some of those experiences here, here, and here. The first post told of a devastating situation that occurred while “invading”
SCENE: Desert night, outside of the group immediately before us, there is no life visible in any direction at any feasible distance. While darkness would conceal such life, none is to be hidden. It simply fails to exist; this is
Seated in folding chairs in various positions within the radius of trucks are leisurely looking soldiers. Most are wearing desert pants; many have no shirts on. Some are wearing sandals, while others wear boots. None of them seem occupied by any important task. Small talk is made but the scene is encompassed, in a general term, by silence.
It is mid-March, 2003. Each of the men of this scene would soon be traveling on a journey unlike any other they have ventured. They are the Combat Observation Lasing Team soldiers of Echo Troop, 9th Cavalry of the Third Infantry Division. In just a few days, they will make one further movement to northern
And this is the unaltered truth. Up until the day that I stood beside a television reporter and watched from about 100 meters the first shots of the war being fired, I was on the side of the argument that truly doubted that this war was going to occur. In
What’s interesting is that I knew my role should an invasion occur the day I landed in
I remember utilizing the makeshift gym on my camp in
To those that have military experience in the
If one were to visit these camps now, they wouldn’t have too badly of a time. However, some of the camps would be hard to find as they no longer exist. Instead, they have been replaced by enormous posts in the desert that feel more like home than would a base in
Within my platoon, the debate was hot over the argument of whether we were going to war. I said, “No.” I read the internet, I was politically savvy, and I felt that I had a better grasp of the strategy being utilized by Big Government. I was wrong. It sort of worked like this:
A couple of days after the scene that was described above took place, all the units in Kuwait pushed north to tactical assembly areas to stage to fight. It sounds unbelievable, but even there –a few miles south of
After moving to this new logistical area just south of the
Sometime that night, my team was ordered on a mission. We were to escort this peculiar gray humvee to a specific point on some map. It wouldn’t be dangerous. In fact, it wouldn’t even take us any closer to the border. The atypical gray humvee happened to be manned by journalist Greg Kelly, his camera crew, and assorted video and computer equipment. My truck and another escorted Mr. Kelly’s to a seemingly random point in the vast desert. All was black; I could hardly discern fifteen feet ahead of me with the naked eye. Mr. Kelly’s crew set up his cameras and equipment and prepped a satellite feed to Fox News headquarters in
Let me tell you, as a forward observer, I work with our guys on the cannons often but I had no idea that there was a Howitzer any where near me that night. It was that dark and the tracked vehicle was that quiet. Its eruption echoed throughout the vastness of the night. Suddenly, everything became frenzied. The cannon bellowed several more times, sending rounds into
Mr. Kelly did some further journalistic things and, eventually, packed his gear and we returned to the assembly area. After the frenzy of “war” that I had just witnessed, things became again oddly serene upon returning to the logistical area. The war was only open on certain fronts and this wasn’t one of them. My emotions went from “up,” back to steady. The following day I would enter
And this is how it started. The night before we rolled into
You know, looking back, I can say, in retrospect, that I was naive in so steadfastly believing that I wasn’t being sent to war. That naivety has comforting values, I guess. It could be suggested that when I first engaged an enemy or when I first saw pure devastation that a loss of innocence occurred. However, I can say this wholeheartedly: I don’t want that naivety back nor do I desire the return to innocence. I am proud of my war experience, proud of service in a just cause and, ultimately, the more I write, the more I yearn to return…