Monday, February 27, 2006
Bob, thought I'd share this with you:
Volunteering for military service is always sobering. Indeed, it is more so in a time of war. And more so yet, when the taste of war, having tasted its bitter spit, still lingers.
Last Thursday at days end in the Cemetery, Emerson reenlisted.
Though he could have elected a seven year stay in D.C., not inclined to do so while we are a nation at war, he put in for and has promised to him a secured slot in the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, the Black Jack Brigade Combat Team, Ft. Hood, TX.
He did so, not for hunger or thirst for war. But because, just a few months shy of eight years ago, as a vocation, he chose to become one trained and ready to defend our nation, should a time come where in she needs such men.
When he chose to be trained and ready to protect and to defend her, he did so believing, being that, he and others who shared that passion, would be allowed to protect and to defend our nation, by fighting and defeating her enemies, winning her victories for her--That is the job he signed up for, took to heart, and now, prays he and his comrades will still be charged with the duty and freedom to perform.
And now, as one so trained, to leave now, the "field" being what it is, was to leave with a job undone.
That he could not do.
Emerson said there was another reason why he reenlisted. Many young troops in TOG have yet to see combat. Many, reasonably, fear it. And for them, E stated, he did it.
To help them see, one who has been there (to war) remains willing to return to it.
Though he clearly sees many policies presently in play that cripple us, in faith we will change those policies, and thus not allow all the cost of this war to be in vain; at the small chance of that, willing, eager, and ready to fight and defeat this present enemy; he requested to be transferred into the above BCT unit of action, once promised that, requested a reenlistment contract.
He said the reenlistment ceremony was stirring. Sobering.
Since Delta Co had Primary Duty last week, and thus was in the Cemetery (in blues, of course), at days end, once they’d cased the Colors, they proceeding on into the reenlistment ceremony.
My understanding is, when one reenlist in Arlington, one can request anyone from the President to SD, or the likes to conduct the ceremony. But E chose his CO, a man he has much respect for, who just recently came to TOG from the 1st Cav. and has three Purple Hearts to his name--earned while in OIF.
E said after the comments were stated, his right hand raised, that solemn oath made, then, unlike normal days when all of the Co is bused back to barracks, when one reenlist in Arlington, protocol is, that day that one walks out.
E said it was about a 17 minute walk.
Appropriately (perhaps even by divine design), the last ceremony they did that day was an Active, and an OIF causality--thus in section 60.
E said, leaving the companionship of his comrades, he began the walk back--up the hill and past the rows that represent many of our well-over-2000-dead who have died on the Iraq front. He said, as he did, he . . . .(the cost of all our wars, you could say, lifted their voices, testifying of the cost of war, and he “heard” them--as he so often has, in this cemetery, or down at the Vietnam Memorial Wall, so too, Gettysburg, Normandy, the fields of France) and he said, he had shed a few tears, as he told God (forgive the candor) "Jesus, I am scared sh--less. . . ” (“Courage is fear that has said its prayers”) “I ask you to keep your hand on me . . . ” (in his mind and heart, this choice for reenlistment is walking, if not running, back to war) “and for the boys I will lead into combat, be that three or more, though I don't know them yet. . . "
He said God, "Though I am afraid, I feel so G---D--- proud right now . . . just be with me in all I do."
He said all the way back, he talked to God. And as he did, he said, a perfect peace overtook him.
He's eager to go now. Eager to get down to Texas. Eager to ready to deploy.
My prayer is we use such men wisely, and to their full capacity.
Our son is only one amongst many of our nation's finest--time and time again, he says "Mom, Dad, I serve with the finest men on the face of this earth." I know he is right, having talked with many of them on many occasions--they are indeed, treasure of our nation, men worthy of our prayers, and or our gratitude.
All those soldiers we've ever talked to share at least one basic common thread: they want to be allowed to fight and win our nations battles.
They want to be the ones to secure her victories and thus her freedoms.
I pray they be so allowed. (dlb.)