I miss it: the smell of sand, sweat, and gunpowder, rings of salt from dried sweat on my pants’ legs, and around my waist just under where my armor sits.
The beauty of the infantry is its ability to truly teach tolerance. At the lowest level, when it is simply a matter of survival to count on everyone around you, regardless of religion or skin color, the only logical option is to ignore the differences.
There are two things a combat deployment offers which all of us strongly desire. The first, being purpose. Every morning we woke up and knew why we were there. It is immediate and unavoidable. Although, it is extreme and unpleasant, there is a comfort in that purpose. The second, is simplicity. We have one goal. There are relatively simple rules on how to accomplish it, and we understand that just about everything will go wrong. Pretty simple.
When we deployed, in our heads, the towel we left hanging next to the shower to dry, would still be hanging there when we got back. Well, it won’t be. If it is, some important questions need to be asked.
An infantryman’s job is to deliver his enemies into the waiting hands of Death. It is Doc’s job to protect his brothers from Death, to knock him aside and say, “Not today.