Connor England Besolo English 101 September 13, 2010
Operation New World The soldier opened up the envelope, tearing back thin film of adhesive, the only substance between him and his new fate. The papers fell to the ground, and he begrudgingly knelt to scoop them up, up , his eyes that of like-poles on a magnet, darting every which way but in that of the orders. With a sigh released from his very essence, he glanced at the script, and hung his heavy head, his greatest fear confirmed. There, in blood-red burgundy and equally as daunting, was this prisoner’s sentence: “You have hereby been ordered by the Commander and Chief to join the 287th Sustainment Brigade on a 15-month tour to Tal’il, Iraq.” This is the ever-taxing reality for many a poor soldier, be it the green-haired 18year old boy or girl who sought the military for it’s benefits, college loans, reason upon reason; or the seasoned veteran, eyes laden with scars from countless previous mobilizations. Any and all are subject to the grips of our prior engagements; war is a malicious process, and our men and women follow their oath, giving up their liberty to sustain ours back home. We know war is bad, but through the eyes of the soldier, the year we don’t see back home – their experience in a whole new environment, can be lifechanging. A soldier gives his account acco unt of his shipment; before sent to their primary location, all troops file through Kuwait, our center staging ground for all of America’s
sand-covered Middle-Eastern aggression, but the closest thing to a safe-haven they have before being shipped to war. “The orders given, troops are sent away for 2 months to prepare for the everlooming cloud of danger that the cruel machine known as war creates. Placed in vehicles with tires the size of black-bears, coated in reptilian-shaded camouflage, they are shipped to Forts around the United States, entire battalions are moved down the interstate, the sky and road their temporary shelter from the upco ming task. Arrival comes, and one by one, the freshly buzzed, digital uniform-clad soldiers-to-be file onto the fort, much like that of a 17th century university. Brick buildings each showcasing its emblem of patriotism, flags hung anywhere and everywhere. Waving in the wind from any spot on base can be seen the red, white, and blue, our symbol of freedom, rippling, its grandeur an uplifting sight.” “Days go by, nights pass for what seems like an eternity. Then training is finished, everyone is allowed to go home for 10 days, a brief but ever-enlightening repose. They arrive home, hopeful yet stoic, knowing what is to come, the faces of loved ones now hardened by the reality of what they’ve accepted. The clock ticks further, until the day of. The battalion arrives in total unity; not only the soldiers, but the throngs of families, swarming the airport in a never ending moment. Everywhere are fathers holding their daughters, sons riding on the shoulders of their mothers for the last time in nearly a year. The terminal, never quite so appropriately named, is an sea of emotion. With the uncertainty of the new life to come, hugs, kisses, and tears reign, an impression of love the only one acceptable. Goodbyes are said, and the planes are boarded.” “Takeoff. Hours pass, the sun seems to revolve around the plane itself as boundaries are broken, and all that was normal passes beneath them underneath the cover
In just months after receiving the condemnation of deployment, a world is lost and a new reality adorned. Subtle pleasures like air-conditioning, long showers, rain and grass, are all things of an ever-distant past. Each and every soldier reaches for the ground and scoops a hand full of sand for which to place in their hourglass. One minute, one hour, one day of work at a time, another grain falls. Reminiscent in the minds of all is the promise they u phold: "I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Con stitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” Each and everyone submits to the possibility that their world can be turned upside-down; from snow to sand in such a short time. It is a way of life; but they are the few who endure so that we may preserve ours.