Thursday, July 31, 2008

I Am An American Soldier

I was almost everything they could want in a soldier.

I had pride and honor. I was loyal. I would work hard to prove my worth.

I was disenfranchised with my home town, with my life. A high school drop out I needed a place to belong.

I told my wife after about a year in that I loved it. I didn't always agree with how things were done and I hated the war, but I could deal with that. I told her that I was going to be a soldier until the day I died or they told me I couldn't do it anymore.

There was just one thing that kept me from being what they truly wanted.

It wasn't that I questioned things. They could deal with that and my better leaders learned to use it. I would figure things out and notice things that nobody else would or could.

It was something that had been ingrained in my from childhood that kept me from being what they truly wanted in a soldier.

A love of freedom. True freedom, not democratic republic bill of rights constitution four more years pretend your free freedom. I was taught never to let anyone take away the rights that I had and to be willing to fight for the ones that I didn't have but knew I should.

And somebody crossed the line. I threw everything I had at him. I read the manual of courts martial and quoted obscure rulings and appendixes. I read DOD and Army regulations about everything. Every single time he tried to do something illegal I would do everything in my power to stop him.

He swore that I would never get promoted. That he would see to it that I was dishonorably discharged. That I would never get an award.

Well in the end I won.

I was promoted once after he told me that. I was honorably discharged for medical reasons. Right before I got out I received an award for doing his job while he was gone. The commander allowed it even though I was flagged due to pending discharge. He couldn't stop me from getting what I deserved.

After it was all said and done I had lost my sense of my place. The time when they told me I couldn't be a soldier anymore came far sooner then I wanted it to. But that's ok.

I found something in myself that no one can suppress. That beating core of life and freedom and justice and love that makes me who I am, makes me fight for my brothers and sisters of the world, makes me know that we may not win today but we can not lose. Even if the battle rages a thousand years we can not lose. Because we have that core and nothing can crush it.

I am an American Soldier
I am a guardian of freedom and ... life

Just not the way they wanted me to be

Peace and Unity

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