Friday, August 12, 2005

Lieutenant Brad


That's him. He's 23. The product of a Jesuit High School, a Catholic University. Double Major: Criminal Justice and Sociology. Plus his prerequisite AFROTC courses, meant he essentialy had a triple major in college. Oh, and he was also head resident his senior year.

His troops love him. Except during PT. He can do more than a pushup a second for five straight minutes and barely break a sweat. This is in the Nevada Desert.

He's the first one in, the last one out.

He's the All-American boy.

I'm flying out to meet him on Saturday night. Because he's leaving for Iraq. "Boots on the ground, August 18th." So he needs me to help pack up his apartment.

Yeah. He needs an overweight 46-year-old to help him pack. That's not why I'm going to Las Vegas.

I'm going because he's about to go to a place where, when he looks at people approaching him, he'll have to decide whether or not to have them killed. If he guesses wrong, he could be killed.

First job out of college.

I'm going because he knows he may not come back again, or he may come back different. I'm going because he wants me there. I'm going because even though he's got all the prerequisite bravado, all the training, and all the willingness necessary to be successful in the military, he's still just 23.

I'm going because I have to.

Look at him, and think about all the other 23-year-olds with girlfriends still in college that are over there. Think about his cousin Daniel, a Marine, who's 18 and we don't exactly know where he is in Iraq because he's not allowed to tell us. We do know he carries a mortar with him just about every place he goes. Think about Cindy Sheehan's son. Think about all the other sons and daughters and mothers and fathers who won't come home, and wonder why they are there, and wonder what they can possibly accomplish over there.

God go with you, Lieutenant.

20 Comments:

Blogger mal said...

safe travels *S*

8:22 PM, August 12, 2005  
Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

Godspeed.

--ER

1:42 AM, August 13, 2005  
Anonymous Boni said...

BP,
We'll keep him in our thoughts. Keep us posted on his
situation...

8:53 AM, August 13, 2005  
Blogger United We Lay said...

Is this your son? He'll be in my thoughts.

5:01 PM, August 13, 2005  
Blogger Mz. Pig said...

amen

5:28 PM, August 13, 2005  
Blogger Jessica said...

Thinking of him, and you, and all the families spread out overseas, and those left waiting at home. Be safe.

9:28 PM, August 13, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

Jesus, Brian, you are bearing more than most of the pundits in their wildest dreams. You are the family who's blood is the backbone of America, because part of our power in the world is our military, and now our military is being called upon to do such impossible things. God be with you as much as with your son, he needs you, and we need him.

1:01 AM, August 14, 2005  
Blogger Mz. Pig said...

just a naive thought...old men should fight wars that old men start.

3:15 PM, August 14, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kurt Vonnegut had some fine wisdom recently. It went something like this (with much license)...

To Iraq: We Americans ask you to follow our example and create a government of freedom and democracy. After some powerful country, like France in our case, helps you to break away from your dictatorship, it's OK if if takes nearly 100 years for you to free your slaves. It's OK if one of your bloodiest wars is a civil war to do that. It's OK if you have to wipe out indigenous people who are in the way on your freedom crusade. It's OK if it takes 130 years to give your women the vote. No rush. After others' sons and daughters, like the French for us, help you win the chance for freedom, it's up to you to shed your blood to keep it. And if some of your leaders hate us Americans a couple of centuries later for what we did for you, that's OK, too. And if those elected leaders start throwing you into jail and tossing away the key, like the English did to us early Americans, you'll discover that's just a new chance to battle anew for your freedom. As our flag-waving new centurions are fond of saying, "Freedom isn't free."

7:12 PM, August 14, 2005  
Blogger Mz. Pig said...

Anonymous...show your face...I think I like the cut of your jib.
(and this isn't even my blog!)

8:49 PM, August 14, 2005  
Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

Tell your son to listen to his fear and to trust his training. Tell him to keep his head on a swivel and his ears up. Tell him to keep his weapons clean, to have twice as much ammo as he is suposed to have, carry extra batteries and always carry a knife. Above all, tell him to be safe and to hurry home.

7:44 AM, August 15, 2005  
Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

Oh yeah...Tracers work both ways.

7:46 AM, August 15, 2005  
Blogger Shawn said...

I like this post. thanks.

9:20 AM, August 15, 2005  
Blogger indygirl said...

Best of luck.

7:05 AM, August 16, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Thank you to all of you, whether you posted or not.

Crank: Last night he took me out with him on the firing line. Even though he was certified with his rifle two weeks ago, he was required to get recertified within a week before deployment.

He received clearance to allow me to go to the class, and to the range.

I may post on that experience later, but the thing that impressed me the most was the fact that after they returned to base, the class had the option of cleaning their weapons that night, or the next morning. He was the only one who chose to stay the extra time and clean it that night.

He'll be fine. I'll be a wreck.

Yeharr

8:04 AM, August 16, 2005  
Blogger Melanie said...

Wow, I'll keep him in my thoughts and prayers. I can't imagine what YOU'RE feeling right now. Hope you're okay. I'll be thinking about you. Have a safe trip.

10:41 AM, August 16, 2005  
Blogger Shawn said...

Well, I have replied to your comments at my blog.

3:31 PM, August 16, 2005  
Blogger ticharu said...

Intense... hope he comes home in one piece and alive.

1:56 PM, August 18, 2005  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Peace.

12:57 PM, August 19, 2005  
Blogger SFChick74 said...

I'm sorry if this sounds crass, but damn he's hot! Aside from that, I hope he comes back safe and sound. I hope you can find the strength to get through it all too.

8:07 PM, August 25, 2005  

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