I remember the speech my commanding officer gave some time in the month of October as we were mustered in formation. It was inevitable that we were going to war with Iraq. Not everyone would be deployed; at least not right away. Deployments were done in waves as necessary. Some would be deployed first while others would be considered reserves, ready to replace those who were lost in combat.
As I listened to my C.O., he made it clear that he was burdened with the task of deciding who would be the first to go. He asked for volunteers to make the decision easier for him. I didn’t even hesitate. I was encouraged by the many others who were volunteering also. It made me feel proud to be associated with such brave men.
However, try explaining your willingness to volunteer for war to your friends and family. It’s not easy. It wasn’t easy for them to accept it either. Some were in disbelief, others in shock. But eventually, everyone was supportive of me and would have me in their thoughts and prayers; which meant the world to me.
Regardless, what's done is done and now we played the waiting game. It wasn't really a matter of if but when the call would come in. It would come sooner than I thought.
“It gives me strength to have somebody to fight for.”