MY ROLE IN THIS |
October 09, 2006
MY ROLE IN THIS
Name: SGT B
Posting date: 10/9/06
Stationed in: Washington state
Hometown: Rockford, WA
Milblog url: http://thegunline.com
My role in this will be, if all goes well, as a Sergeant in Company "B", 1st of the 161st Mechanized Infantry, 81st Brigade Combat Team. The physical is done (I passed), the paperwork for a few waivers has been submitted, and I should be vaulted into the saddle within the next two weeks. Done deal. I've given this a great deal of thought, and determined that this is the best course of action I can take for all concerned. I've got 13 years worth of USMC Infantry experience under my belt, which means that I'm over halfway to racking up the time needed to qualify for a retirement pension from the government (the Guard, however, works on a point system, with means that I might be able to rack up points faster, or it might take a little longer, not sure).
But that's not what it's about, is it? Not for me, anyway. This is something I should have done five years ago. I'm just a little late getting to the starting line. There were other things that demanded my time and effort. But now, I can't think of anything more important than to throw my hat into the ring, and get back in the fight -- a fight that didn't really exist until AFTER I got out of the Corps. Yep. It's the right thing to do...
Why, then, in the middle of the night, do I stare at the ceiling, my mind full of questions? Here I am, 41 years old, married, four kids, with a steady (if sedentary) job, nice house, small town, safe, secure, etc., etc. On the other hand, the Guard deploys to combat zones (my pal the Mad Irishman was derned near blowed up by an IED in 2004 -- two weeks into the deployment!), and to natural disaster sites. What the hell am I thinking?
I've busted my tail to drop the weight I needed to drop to get in, and now I need to seriously work on my physical fitness, if I am to be a leader of war-fighters. Okay, it's "the Guard", but when the scat hits the fan, it won't matter whether you're a weekend warrior, or an active duty soldier -- the balloon goes up, then I will be in the thick of it, and the soldiers who look to me for leadership aren't going to want to follow some aged butterball-looking schmuck. They'll demand a leader in fighting trim, and that's what I need to be ready to give them.
Point Two: The technology we used back in '97 is almost 10 years old! I might as well be using flint and steel while the up-to-date folks are using Bic lighters! Even the weapons have changed. The M16A1 that I carried has long since vanished from the armory, and the M16A4 sits in its place. Night vision gear has advanced as well, as has the communications package. Even the light machine guns we had, the old M-60 "Pig" have been replaced by the M240G! The field gear is different, the body armor is different, even the bloody UNIFORM is different!
I'm terrified… What in the hell were you thinking, B?
But then again, it's not the technology that I have to concern mysel with, is it? Technology can be learned, and maybe I've forgotten enough about my old gear that transitioning to the new stuff won't be difficult. And a rifle is a rifle, right? Sight alignment, sight picture, breath control, trigger squeeze -- all universal, right?...
It all comes back to me, in dribs and drabs. In the morning, I open my eyes and think of the thoughts that have bounced around the inside of my brain-housing group. And then KM6 (my wife) chimes in. She's nervous of what the future might bring, and, her being a little more liberal than I, is worried what the world might drop on us. Her eyes meet mine, and she adds one last thought to my pondering:
"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."
And then she tells me that she's proud of me...
Hell, let's go slay some dragons!