Sunday, August 13, 2006

Into The Fire

Last night here at the rear. Doing last minute laundry and repacking. Items have been taken off the packing list, namely the impractical ones I was talking about. Tying up loose ends.

We woke up butt-ass early today and went to some field, where we waited for too long. I had stood there in formation for maybe twenty minutes before I went, "Oh, hey, we're waiting again, aren't we? Heh, I hardly even notice anymore."

The purpose of this was to unite the deploying units as well as the civilian counterparts. They called it a "wedding". I laughed about that. The wedding ends when the flame is gone. Poetic justice at its most twistedly ironic beauty. After that, we ate breakfast at some chow hall I'd never been to. I think we were in the 3rd Brigade area, because the barracks looked really nice from the outside, and the chow hall was amazing. Civilians ran it, and it just looked really good. Like a hotel restaurant almost...or a hospital cafeteria. Anyway, it looked a lot better than the latrine we eat in.

The whole purpose of today was to get some classroom instruction and a little hands on training, as well as issue of more things we'd need. Death by Powerpoint. Everyone was nodding off. The only way I can ever stay awake in classrooms is if I intentionally get a Slipknot song stuck in my head and silently drum my fingers and fidget a lot. Not many other guys have learned this trick apparently.

It wasn't an interesting day at all, and I'm swamped with preparation and I'm tired. So let's get to the point here.

Now is about the time I need to be psyching myself up for this. Going to be gone for a month, living in tents, third world country style. The hours are going to be long from what we've been told. Odds are, we'll be down for the count at the end of the workday. Lots of walking involved. There's that selfish side that I mentioned before that nags. For now, I need to remind myself of good things. Why we're going, how its not bad, etc.

This is a real deployment. The orders came from Donald Rumsfeld's desk. The people fighting the fires are tapped, and they need some help. That's where we come in, step up like we swore we would, get in there, get the job done and done right. There are houses up there, there may be lumberyards or anything else that is someone's livelihood. This is humanitarian work. This is where societies earn their bread and butter. When you get off your ass and help someone else out who needs it. When you put your goddamn rat race on hold and get your hands dirty.

We're representatives of the army, and of the United States. As soldiers do, we complain a lot, gripe a lot, turn it all into jokes, but dammit, we get it done.

This may be long and tedious, but keeping it all in perspective is important. We answered the call, we have a mission to do. And its for a good cause. No one can debate that. No one. There is no disputing the fact that what we're doing is absolutely the right thing to do. And that's worth the shitty conditions.

See you in a month.

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