Saturday, September 12, 2009

Could they be dead, and what does that mean?

We just passed September 11, 2009, which mean that it has been 8 years since the American world shook. It is completely unbelievable to me that it has been so long. I cannot imagine how much time that really means in the lives of the troops who have been fighting wars for us since the first assault on Afghanistan. I still feel very detached from the reality of war; although, I doubt that will last long. My brother told me last Friday that he is joining a captain's training and that he is transferring to a combat sector. He has been doing mission intelligence, and that seemed like a much safer job. But he wants to join a cavalry reconnaissance group, and for that he needs more diversified experience and needs a deployment. This all means that he will probably deployed in 7 months, and he will probably be in combat, rather than mission planning and mission intelligence. In summary, much more dangerous situation than I was previously imagining = much more dangerous. I'm really worried about him.
Since he first informed me of his choice to join ROTC, I have wanted to support him, even though I have been against this war from the start. I have believed in what he believes in. But, now I am truly worried. Not just for his life, but for his future. Even if he returns safe and sound, he might probably suffer some kind of irreversible psychological damage. Oh I really hope that he is ok.
We come from tough linage. My grandfather on my dad's side was a general and fought in three wars. My grandfather on my mom's side evaded the communist regime in Romania and successfully lobbied the emigration of his (our) family from Romania to the US. His actions contra to the Romanian government landed him in prison twice before moving to the US and getting a job in a plastics factory.
I feel really spoiled when I think about their sacrifices and my relative comfort.
Eight years ago, before I met Mariano, and before the US officially declared war on Terror, I spent the night with three 'soldiers' in Baltimore. It was their last day on US soil before deployment to the Persian Gulf. It was the summer of 2002. And it was very unusual circumstances. One of my college roommates from Oregon was visiting DC for the week. Her flight back to Oregon left from Baltimore and we accidentally missed it and got to the airport after the last flight for the night had departed. The airline told us that she could get scheduled on the next flight free of charge if she was at the airport in time for the first flight leaving the next day. It was a Saturday night, and we thought that we could stay up all night. We met the 'soldiers' at a club in Baltimore. Two guys and one girl from different cities in the US. They had never met before that night. All of them were in the reserves to pay for college and they were not really expecting that they would ever really be called to fight.
That was their last night in the US. I felt their fear, their apprehension, their sense of duty, and their sense of unjustness... It was a point in time when none of us new what war was and we did not not what to expect. We definitely did not think that we would still be at war 7 years later. I often wonder what happened to them.

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