Saturday, August 8, 2009

I have had a few friends ask me about the amount comedy, cursing and sarcasm that one is exposed to after they had read one of my previous blog post. I think they just wanted to hear a few stories about some of the crazy shit that is said and done. Telling a good story might get a laugh or two but that is not my intention with this blog.

Storytelling might give people a peak at the characters that are willing to defend their country but a story has the potential to be skin deep. However, it also has the capability of introducing us to an entirely different understanding of the human condition if told in the right pretext. Some stories only tell us of the day to day actions of a person. What is usually left to the imagination are the most important details. I want people to understand who we are and why we do what we do. The world needs to know that we struggle with what we do. We never pray for war but if we do not serve, who will?

As I share our story with you, I hope that you will begin to understand not just who we are but that we are no different than you. We just chose to stand between you and the things that go bump in the night. I only wish that I am capable of conveying that image to you in my writing. You will begin to see what it is like to be in an INFANTRY battalion.

Infantry, let's think about that word for a minute. The word infantry is a license to say and do some of the most insulting, politically incorrect things when around other grunts and know that everyone is going to laugh. Nothing is off limits: sex, gender, race, religion or anything in between. Imagine placing Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Stephen Colbert, Conan O'Brien, Larry the Cable Guy, Kat Williams, Jack Black, Jim Carry, and Steve Carell in a room with an infinite amount of alcohol, a get out of jail card, a handful of strippers, a few guns, a couple hundred thousand dollars, a gay guy, a goat, and three midgets. Just sit back an watch what happens. These are the things that bring us together as brothers. This level of camaraderie can never be experienced by those who have never donned the uniform.

It also means that we have families that we leave behind when we are called to duty. People outside the military bubble do not understand that when we deploy so do our friends and family. They never step foot into a combat zone but they are right there with us every step of they way. They worry about what might happen on the next patrol just as much as we do.

Infantry also means that there are moral and ethical dilemmas that are fought as we walk the battlefields of our mind. We question every mistake and ask ourselves were we erred. Mistakes in our business are not measured in dollars.

Comedy is not the only possible signature of the personality. Stress, anger, frustration, loyalty, duty, honor, respect, and motivation are a few of the factors that play keys roles in how each and everyone of us is defined as a person. Comedy just happens to be the tool of choice to fend off stress and fatigue. The fact of the matter is that a person could not do what we do without having a sense of humor. It nullifies all the bullshit we put ourselves through.

As the soldiers of or battalion embark on this journey, I only wish to show you all the emotions, sweat, anger, pain, tears, joy, sadness, loneliness, frustration, compassion, and all the moments that make us human.

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