Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Sorry for the light posting lately. Just not much happening. My post this morning about hurting was in reference to a bit of tendonitis I've developed since starting some mixed martial arts training. I'm far, far, far from ever thinking of actually being competitive, but it's fun, it's a hell of a work out, and it lets me occasionally beat up an Air Force recruiter.

I've been working with a 09L applicant and it's getting close to the time when he'll be ready to join. As we walked back to the car after he worked out we talked about the Army (of course). He said some things that absolutly motivated me. I asked him to put the words into writing and he oblidged. I also asked if he minded if I posted his statements and he said I could as long as I removed some identifying information. I didn't have a problem doing that since the only person I'll confirm the identity of is myself.

You asked me why I wanted to join the Army. It is simple. I want to join because it is the right thing to do. This country (SFC B: America) has taken my family in and did everything it could for us. We live in a nice house in a safe neighborhood. We have jobs and money and cars and we don't worry about what we do. Me joining the Army is not a popular choice for some people in the refugees. They tell me I'm going to be harming my own country (SFC B: Iraq). They are wrong. I'll be a translator. Americans are very smart, but they don't understand our language like they do Spanish. They (SFC B: Soldiers in Iraq) are getting attacked and attacking because they don't know who to talk to or how to talk to them. I can do that. I will be helping America and helping Iraq.

My father was a wanted man in Iraq. It's why we left. He said things about Saddam and he was wanted. We came here with nothing and we were taken care of. My father has gone back to Iraq and has said things are 100% better. (SFC B: The town they're from) is very safe and the people are happy now. Things work. There is electricity and markets and my father even bought a house for us for when we can go back. The only people who made this happen were America. Saddam was taken out by America when no one else would do it.

People in my community tell me I should not be in the Army because I will get killed. I tell them "So what?" (SFC B: Punctuation added) if I do. I will have died doing something good and my family will understand and they will thank me and know I was doing something I wanted to do. But I don't think I will be killed. I will be with the Army and not just someone who isn't in the Army. I don't know if I will want to go back to Iraq if my family does. I like it in America. I want to get my citizenship and go to school. But I think I should be in the Army because if I don't I will get all this without earning it.

Anyway, he told me that and I asked him to write it down so I could add it to my Interview Book. He actually says some more things but they're off my topic so I didn't include them. It was such a wonderful thing to hear for me. I get very jaded out here dealing with people who have no idea how good they have it, or understand the sacrifices made to get to this level, and are being made to keep us here, and will be made in the future to improve our lives. It's frustrating. And yet while I get told to "F**k off" by some punk taking English 101 for the second time at a community college so that they're not kicked out of the house by their parents, this young man from a culture that is nearly alien to me has the simple motivation to "do something good". It got me a bit psyched up really.

Tomorrow will be the last day before a long weekend. There is a prior service who will be joining for me next week who will, hopefully, box the station for the month with about a week left. Should be fun.


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