It is cold and freezing tonight, the chilling breeze and the whistling of the wind is blowing across my face. The only apparent light is projected from the moon’s white ray of light, shining across the desert. Under the luminous white stars spread across the dark cloudless sky, I sat quietly comforted by warm wool clothing. I sat and observed for any unnecessary movements in the dark pitted sand dunes. With my trusty M16A2 assault rifle in my arms, I sat for many hours under a wooden tower twenty feet above the ground, with a five pound Kevlar helmet covering my head. The weight is so extreme, at times I feel like my neck is no longer there. Also with the ten pound ballistic vest filled with sand digging into my body, I wondered how I even ended up here. Where am I?.
I am in the desert of Kuwait, while serving the US Army for three years. During that time I was deployed several months in Kuwait after the September 11, 2001 attacks on World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Not knowing our actual destination we left quickly in three days of preparation after orders are issued. We all left for the Middle East knowing attack and war was imminent.
Most people think the military is uneducated people who could not get a job or get into school. People think the Army is filled with “rejects” that could not make it far into life after high school. Some believe the Army is filled with lazy “scumbags” that are filtered out by society. The Army is viewed as being lazy from influences of comic strips like Beetle Bailey or television shows like M.A.S.H. Since the uproar of homosexuals in the military portrayed by the media recently we are also viewed as anti-homosexual. People think the life of the Army is easy and that they can get away with many things from speeding to fighting in local bars. Many people believe the people in the Army are brainwashed and can not think for themselves. People also believe that after getting out of the military people can’t adjust to civilian life anymore, for example, the ex-military man who caused all those shootings in the east coast awhile back.