Veteran’s Day is a special day for me. It is a time of reflection. Of deeds long over by men and women I have had the privilege of serving beside. I am amazed at the amount of courage on display- daily- and of the willingness to endure hardships without question. Maybe a little grumbling, but never turning aside from the task.
I had just left Afghanistan and joined my actual unit in Mosul, Iraq. Summer was ending and bad weather was setting in. I never thought Iraq could get cold, but man! The first thing I noticed was how depressed everyone was. There was a feeling of gloom over the compound that didn’t make sense. No one was dead, or even badly injured.
There was no motivation. I couldn’t have that. Once I got past the nonsense of being the ‘new guy’ by people who had no idea I had already been to one war and had been in my unit for the better part of the last 10 years, I did what I do best. I yelled, cursed, laughed, joked, and did my part to improve morale. I was outside the wire from day one and remained that way until it was time to head home. Hell, I even volunteered to be part of a three vehicle recon element from Mosul all the way back to Kuwait City.
War sucks. There is no two-ways about it, but every scrap of morale is precious. It takes so much to be in charge of 50-100 people, in the most stressful conditions in the world, but I’ll be damned if I won’t do it all over again. Here’s to you, you men and women from the ages who have answered your country’s call and gone to foreign shores.
It took some convincing but I got around to putting my memoirs down from my 3 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. I would appreciate you checking them out, and maybe sharing with a friend. And pleas- if you have read it- leave an honest review.