Monday, April 16, 2007

I'm not perfect

Is it possible to use a bad situation to grow as a person? I think the answer is yes. I am learning that is harder to do than to say. I think of my situation and look for ways to improve myself. Improve my faith, my attitude and my life. If I expect that of myself, why can I not expect that of others? I have never been in combat. Neither have my leaders and neither have many of the soldiers from home that I fight with. I am not the perfect soldier, not the perfect father, wasn't the perfect husband. I like to think I will be able to improve on these things in the very long time I have here.

My aunt wrote me some very inspiring words. She reminded me there is more to war than the bombs and the bullets. There are stories to be told everywhere. I work in a position where I see almost every soldier as he leaves out and returns from missions. None of the guys on the guns get the same experience. I have the opportunity to go around to the trucks and see the guys preparing, mentally and physically, for the challenges ahead of them. I see the faces and hear the words of them all. Some guys play ball, some sit in solitude. Some pray, some sing or tell jokes. My aunt challenged me to look to them; to tell their stories along with my own. What better way do I have to honor my brothers than to share part of them with you?

I also think that our leaders are learning as we go, just like the rest of us. I do not always agree with them and that's the great part about the Army; I don't need to. I must accept that because someone has a different idea on how things need to be done, doesn't mean that one of us is wrong, just different. The Army has confidence in my leaders. They have the training necessary to be in the positions they hold. I am learning to accept that they too are under great amounts of stress; more stress than someone at my level and it is so easy for me to sit on the outside and criticize.

These are the same guys that grew up in the small town back home. Everyone sits around drinking coffee and joking about people and events back home. We all have someone back home that makes us want to do our jobs and get home safe. The thing about the guard many active guys don't get is we aren't just in it because this is our job. We are all brothers, friends, neighbors, sons, cousins or once were enemies of the men we fight beside. I have to tell you, when one of the bad guys picks a fight with one of our gun trucks, our boys unleash hell! I can only relate it to a "clearing of the bench" in baseball. It makes me proud to be a part of Charlie Battery!