Tuesday, May 31, 2005
An Air Force Reply to an Army Friend In Iraq
Funny thing... in Kirkuk all I ever heard about from the Army guys was how we in the AF treated our folks better. Honestly, we may do that, but I've spent the entire weekend thinking about taking advantage of the blue to green program. The Air Force may be great, but I was never meant to sit behind a computer screen in a cubicle and waste away. As we celebrated memorial day I wanted nothing more than to spend the time out there pounding sand. I guess I've been stir crazy ever since coming home.
No matter what I accomplish here in the States, it's never as important or rewarding as it was out there. I was standing in line at Sam's club on Sunday and someone noticed my Kirkuk T-Shirt and said welcome home. I thanked them... but I felt like crap because I don't feel like I deserved it when there are so many other people out there now actually doing something worthwhile while I'm sitting here in line at a Sam's club buying Chips and Salsa.
Yes, I guess it sounds like I'm whining in my reply to a friend who's stuck at a F.O.B. in the middle of the desert, but I can't hide from my thoughts. Life seems so much better when you wake up every morning and finish every day dirty, exhausted, yet fulfilled because you made a difference and helped further our nation's cause.
The famous General Patton quote about sacrifice in battle is absolutely true when applied to today's Air Force. "No Airman ever won a war by sending emails and building power point slides...." You know the rest.
To my friend, you Army 'Pukes' have every ounce of our respect and envy because you are the ones putting your lives on the line and making a difference. Coming from someone who used to think the Army was a useless relic of the past, you guys and gals truly kick ass.
Now back to my cubicle.
posted by El Capitan at 7:30 AM
The hard part about that kind of thanks is that it isn't for us; it's for the guys doing the hard work. We're a convenient symbol they can convey their feelings to.
It took me a while to learn this is why I should not feel guilt about some guy coming up and saying nice things--I'm the one that makes the other person feel better, by wearing the uniform where they can see it, and the guy's thanking all of us. We all get our turn in the barrel; we all get our chance to be thanked while we're doing nothing special.
It's a funny way to think about it, but it works, I guess.
The other night I watched a guy on TV who taught tactics with me in 1988. He wore a CIB and wings with two combat jump stars. One of my best buddies is now the J3 of the Multi-National Corps. He commanded a Brigade in the 101st a year ago during the invasion. I was an airborne ranger qualified infantry officer until I retired in 1996. I never got shot at, or shot anyone. And I am glad of it.
Don't worry about it. Do your job the best you can. Remember who you are supporting, however indirectly. They couldn't be doing what they are doing, if you weren't doing what you do...even if it doesn't seem like it.
I totally understand what you mean when you say you weren't meant to sit behind a desk all day.
Although, I'm not military, yet that is, I don't find my job fulfilling. Now don't get me wrong I definitely don't have a desk job, but mine is so unfulfilling.
I'm not satisfied and I want a postition that's in service to others. So having said that I can relate.
Now on the other hand, don't think for one second that you, or your job should go thankless. I really hope you don't feel like crap. I certainly don't want you to anyway. So thank you! You've made a difference whether you believe so or not.
And you're right, you can't hide from your thoughts, and it's admirable that you don't. You'll keep yourself honest and hopefully remain true to yourself.
I'm not sure what you will do, but I hope it's something fulfilling and worthwhile to you. I want so bad to be a pilot in the Army, so I know what those desires feel like.
I pray for your desires, that you find your way out of that cubicle, and do what makes you happy.
It means a lot to know that the AF appreciates us..we know they do..but to hear it said is awesome...we love the AF.
I especially like A10's, being a Scout and all, and not liking enemy tanks around...although thats not the threat now. Ya'll do some pretty cool illum missions for us, though.
Scouts Out, Sir,
P.S.- I may have finally tracked down the item you asked me about. I'll keep ya posted.
I understand how you feel sir.
Nothing I have done in the civilian world has given me the sense of fulfillment I had will serving. I even feel a sense of guilt or of not being where I should I be. I tried to reup, but having been discharged as "disabled" I am not allowed to, even though I am better shape then I was back then.
God bless you all serving, whatever your job in the military, wherever you are stationed.