Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Eagle's Eye View

Iraq, a Soldier, and Six Man Football:

I can't wait to once again come home after a long day of teaching and coaching, walking in the door and have the kids yelling "DADDY", and come running up to hug me. I can't wait to walk across the house to kiss my wife on the cheek and ask her how her day was. I can't wait to tuck my kids into bed at night and pray their nightly prayers. I can't wait to hold my wife's hand wherever we go. I can't wait to cut the grass and smell the sweet smell of spring. I can't wait to walk down to my folks house to ask my dad if I can borrow tools (believe it or not, as a guy, I have no tools). There are a lot of things I can't wait for. Most of all, I can't wait to tell my wife that I love her face to face, because then and only then will I truly feel like I am back home.

[snip]

The most fascinating thing I find in war, is not the destruction and anguish it causes, as that is quite obvious, but the loss of all sense of time. War doesn't stop for breakfast or lunch, doesn't stop for weekends, and certainly not for holidays. There is no real schedule as things change hour by hour and second by second. When you think your day is over, sometimes, its only just begun. Monday is Saturday and Tuesday is Friday and who knows when Wednesday might be, because then I am supposed to be off. There is no Memorial Day or Veteran's Day, except a cake in the dining facility. Birthdays, what are those, and who knows what you may do on your anniversary, but maybe don your protective gear and pray no one has been hurt. Christmas, Easter, and the 4th of July are only days that you celebrate personally or with the TCN's (Third Country Nationals) at the chow hall. Your day may be 12, 18 sometime 36 hours long before you can start thinking about sleep. When does my day begin and end, I am not sure I will ever know until I'm back in the comfort of my own home in the good ole U. S. of A.

I'm not complaining mind you as it doesn't begin to compare to the Iraqi people who are trying to get their lives back in order. How do they do that, when every day they wonder if they will be the ones standing beside the next car bomb. Wondering if, when they go to the market for food, they will be able to return home unharmed.

[snip]

If we are here by honorable means or deceptive intentions is no longer my concern, for my concerns now are about how we finish.

[snip]

July 5th, 2005 in Iraq...

The weather over the past couple of days has been horrible. The dust has been so thick, you can barely see 100 feet in front of you. When you go anywhere, whether it be to work or the the chow hall, you are covered with a fine layer of sand and have grit in your mouth. It wouldn't be so bad if it were not for the suffocating heat, as being outside for any length of time cause your uniform to wilt and your body to be soaked with sweat. Add the two of these together, and you can imagine the result. On my way back from lunch today, the sweat was pouring down my face, coupled with the blowing sand, I was a mess before I returned. If you can imagine sweating mud, that would be a close to my day.

With that said, while at lunch I was dining with an Air Force fireman who volunteers at CASF, talking with the injured soldiers. He was telling me, as we were sharing stories of the different soldiers we had talked to, how he has been having a tough time lately. He said, "It's so hard sometimes to look them in the face when they are so badly burned, or missing eyes, limbs, etc..." I was so thankful that God had placed him with me today at lunch, because I was dealing with some of the same issues. We were able to talk through some of the issues that had been bothering us and we both felt better for discussing it. I can only imagine what the soldiers in the field go through each day, if this Airman and myself deal with issues just sitting and talking with injured soldiers. I can only imagine their anguish and permanent emotional scars they will carry for years, possibly for life. I will have a hard time putting behind me the things I have seen and dealt with being here, I can only pray these soldiers will find peace someday.

2 Comments:

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Jeff Huber said...

"If we are here by honorable means or deceptive intentions is no longer my concern..."

No, but it's my concern, by God, and I'm not going to forget it.

Jeff

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger Capitola said...

I feel the same way. The soldiers should *only* concentrate on not dying and leave the vice-tightening on the war makers' balls to the reality-based community here in the States.

 

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