Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11

Yes, I am still here, still struggling with an Internet connection. I am back at our "frontier post" and, even though I didn't get any dinner, I can at least get a great Internet connection. The lack of dinner is because the military cooks get Fridays off, which shocks me. I have yet to get a full day off since arriving more than two months ago! Oh, well, there will be food tomorrow, right?!

Today is September 11th, and it is strange to experience this day here where it all started and where the fighting still continues. To be honest, the day would have passed with little fanfare except our intel sergeant, a Vietnam veteran, really focused on the significance of the day when we got a last minute briefing prior to hitting the road. He is in his 50s, experiencing his second war, and as sentimental as they come. His favorite task is stopping traffic on the main drag on base to allow all of our trucks to pull out in order. To see him standing there, cigar hanging out of his mouth, directing traffic and saluting each truck as it passes, brings tears to my eyes every time.

Many of us have a superstition, that thing we must do prior to departing on a mission. One soldier stands to watch us leave, believing it is bad luck to turn your back on friends as they drive away. Another carries a little toy troll and wants everyone to touch it prior to rolling out. Yet another tucks a toy lizard into the band around the outside of his helmet. And our intel sargeant? Sending us off with a salute is his way of recognizing the mission, the soldiers and the sacrifice we all give just by being here. I support all of it, anything that supplies that feeling of "fairy dust" or protection as we depart can't hurt!

So, on this day, please spend a few minutes to consider those who continue to sacrifice for us all. And know we thank you for the support.

1 comment:

  1. Sept 11 hit me a little harder than it has the past few years. I don't know if it was the videos posted on Facebook (Jon Stewart's first Daily Show monologue right after 9/11 was one), or the rainy/dreary weather. What a freak thing that was, that day. And everything changed for us... for some of us more than others, but for everyone, changes.

    So glad to hear from you again. I emailed neighbor Diane your URL!