Friday, October 27, 2006

Non-Disclosure of Information

The other day we were sitting around talking about what we tell our wives and what we don’t. Some wives have commented here that their husbands aren’t telling them very much. For some, it’s because their husbands just aren’t as verbose as I am, at least when it comes to writing. For others it’s because we don’t want to worry you. I think for a lot of guys here, that’s the case.

Let me tell you about some of the situations our guys have faced here. I won’t tell you their names because in some cases I don’t know who it happened to, in other cases, I know they don’t want you to know so you won’t worry. The other thing I won’t tell you is where these events are happening since some of you have loved ones there.

The most amazing story is about a true hero. The ANA were engaged in a fire fight with the bad guys, I’m assuming they were Taliban or at the very least were insurgents. The ANA were getting the worst of it. One of our guys was the gunner in his vehicle. He told the driver to move the humvee up so that they were blocking the ANA from the gunfire. As the gunner, he began engaging the enemy. In the course of the fight, he was shot twice in the chest and once in the helmet. Because of his body armor and the integrity of the helmet, he was not seriously injured. When you look at the area not protected, namely his face, it was a miracle that he was not hit there and injured or killed. Someone was looking out for that young man that day.

Those are the facts as I know them. There are different versions of the story circulating but I won’t share them as I don’t know what is true and what is fiction. Suffice it to say, he exemplified true courage and heroism that day.

On a regular basis other guys are getting shot at, have rockets fired in their direction, are having to return fire or are in a constant state of vigilance. I know, albeit not very well, the first Utah soldier with a confirmed kill. He too was involved in a gun fight as the gunner in his vehicle. He engaged the enemy with his crew served weapon and took them out. I don’t imagine that’s something he really wants to write home about.

I know of one soldier that was injured in a fire fight. Fortunately it was not a critical injury, but guys are getting injured.

So far, I have not had any of these experiences. On the one hand it would make life exciting and this blog a little more interesting but I imagine my wife would prefer that my blog remain the same mundane one that it is.

We hear about the living conditions of some of our guys and compared to them we are living like kings. It’s almost embarrassing how good we have it here. Some of our guys are living in 6-foot diameter holes with sand bags around the top and tarps overhead. I won’t even describe the latrine conditions. Would you like to wash your clothes in a bucket? Me either. How about having to cook for yourself? I can’t even imagine. It makes me incredibly grateful for the living conditions I live in.

So wives, girlfriends, mothers, fathers and other family members, know that your soldiers that live like this are heroes. Know that those that are being shot at and come under harms way may not want to share that information with you. Maybe I’ve crossed the line by sharing it, but I hope not. But know this, we’re being watched over and protected. I wish I could say that we will all come home together, but I don’t know that. All I know is that we can feel of your prayers and are grateful for them.


Andrew said...

Thanks for the insight as to what others are experiencing. It makes me feel like a bum knowing others are on the front lines and I sit in my office investing peoples' money (and complaining about how tired I am). I feel like I should only get one vote, while soldiers should get two.

I also find myself thinking about the soldiers who are "camping" the entire time--those who are always looking over their shoulders. Seems like they should get extra RnR. What kind of support do those men get after a fire fight? I just can't imagine how I'd feel.

I am so grateful for all you guys do. I feel like I've been lazy. I intend to do something to step up my efforts. Any ideas?


Anonymous said...

And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

This is a small excerpt of a speech made by the his October in the play Henry V.

I think it expresses both sides pretty well. Shared experiances lead to deep camaraderie and those of us at home live with mixed emotions.

Anonymous said...

As a wife, I would rather know my husband is or isn't going through these things. Now I wonder--is he the shot at, the shooter, or the wounded from your story?---Aaaghh!!