Answering the call

It was one of those truly miserable days.  The temperature hovered in the mid to high thirties and a nearly constant rain.  If the showers slackened off at all, a heavy mist ensured that everyone remained chilled to the bone.  The mud was everywhere, even in the areas with patches of the now mostly brown grass.  In short, perfect weather for trench foot if one didn't take care of himself or his buddy.

But these were Soldiers training for war, and as us old geezers used to say about this type of climate, "Perfect weather for training!"  Besides, a little adversity never hurt anyone, and at any rate, they would have to do their job in all climates and weather conditions.  At least no one was shooting at them - today.

The training was on the critical task of surviving in a chemical, biological and radiological environment, the schedule was tight, so putting it off until better weather was not an option.  On went the bulky protective suits, on went the protective masks, checking for fit, and repeat the sequence.  Practice, practice, practice - as gear, clothing and skin became covered in muck, and the soaked clothing brought out the uncontrollable shakes and shivers.

Just as important in learning these skills, was that as officers they would be expected to train their own Soldiers to ensure that they were also prepared for possible combat in a toxic environment.  As a former combat arms officer, I at first thought that the training cadre should have been a little tougher on them.  Of course, it was always rough "back in the day" for us old Soldiers, yet, maybe we did have it easier in some respects.  In our officers' basic we never had to wear our body armor at all, and carrying our weapon during all training as these officers were doing was unheard of.  I could imagine the fun they were going to have that night cleaning their rifles after being out all day in the steady rain.

Some people, like John Kerry, would say these volunteers really had no choice.  They are at the low end of social status, income potential, and mental abilities.  They're simply the unlucky ones, even though they are officers.  It's obvious their education was in the wrong field, or they just barely made a passing grade and therefore couldn't go to an Ivy League graduate school.

Others of the arrogant left would libel them and our veterans with ignorance and malice and think it's funny.  Apparently, it has gotten so bad in the news rooms of the MSM that they don't care if most Americans see them as devoid of any concept of common decency and respect towards those that protect the rights of all, including cowardly editorial supervisors.  For upon closer examination, the officers in this basic class put the lie to the left's propaganda.

There are both Second Lieutenants and First Lieutenants in this class; maybe not so unusual in and of itself, except here they are almost equal in number.  But then there are Captains, and even a few Majors.  This is definitely not your typical officer basic group, for these people new to the Army are all physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and physiologists.  They are the specialists in orthopedics, psychiatry and medical technology.  How many of us could picture our doctor covered in mud, wearing a gas mask and body armor, and carrying an M-16?

Above all, these are the Soldiers and professionals who don't have to be here.  Instead, they could be in a busy practice back home or they could be nursing in a warm, dry hospital.  Yet, they have answered the call to heal our wounded, comfort the dying, and console the living in hellholes that will make today seem like a piece of cake.

That is what America and her dedicated volunteers are all about.  And if the left and their media enablers haven't yet figured out that there is something bigger than self, they never will.

Now, who are the inferior ones again?
It was one of those truly miserable days.  The temperature hovered in the mid to high thirties and a nearly constant rain.  If the showers slackened off at all, a heavy mist ensured that everyone remained chilled to the bone.  The mud was everywhere, even in the areas with patches of the now mostly brown grass.  In short, perfect weather for trench foot if one didn't take care of himself or his buddy.

But these were Soldiers training for war, and as us old geezers used to say about this type of climate, "Perfect weather for training!"  Besides, a little adversity never hurt anyone, and at any rate, they would have to do their job in all climates and weather conditions.  At least no one was shooting at them - today.

The training was on the critical task of surviving in a chemical, biological and radiological environment, the schedule was tight, so putting it off until better weather was not an option.  On went the bulky protective suits, on went the protective masks, checking for fit, and repeat the sequence.  Practice, practice, practice - as gear, clothing and skin became covered in muck, and the soaked clothing brought out the uncontrollable shakes and shivers.

Just as important in learning these skills, was that as officers they would be expected to train their own Soldiers to ensure that they were also prepared for possible combat in a toxic environment.  As a former combat arms officer, I at first thought that the training cadre should have been a little tougher on them.  Of course, it was always rough "back in the day" for us old Soldiers, yet, maybe we did have it easier in some respects.  In our officers' basic we never had to wear our body armor at all, and carrying our weapon during all training as these officers were doing was unheard of.  I could imagine the fun they were going to have that night cleaning their rifles after being out all day in the steady rain.

Some people, like John Kerry, would say these volunteers really had no choice.  They are at the low end of social status, income potential, and mental abilities.  They're simply the unlucky ones, even though they are officers.  It's obvious their education was in the wrong field, or they just barely made a passing grade and therefore couldn't go to an Ivy League graduate school.

Others of the arrogant left would libel them and our veterans with ignorance and malice and think it's funny.  Apparently, it has gotten so bad in the news rooms of the MSM that they don't care if most Americans see them as devoid of any concept of common decency and respect towards those that protect the rights of all, including cowardly editorial supervisors.  For upon closer examination, the officers in this basic class put the lie to the left's propaganda.

There are both Second Lieutenants and First Lieutenants in this class; maybe not so unusual in and of itself, except here they are almost equal in number.  But then there are Captains, and even a few Majors.  This is definitely not your typical officer basic group, for these people new to the Army are all physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and physiologists.  They are the specialists in orthopedics, psychiatry and medical technology.  How many of us could picture our doctor covered in mud, wearing a gas mask and body armor, and carrying an M-16?

Above all, these are the Soldiers and professionals who don't have to be here.  Instead, they could be in a busy practice back home or they could be nursing in a warm, dry hospital.  Yet, they have answered the call to heal our wounded, comfort the dying, and console the living in hellholes that will make today seem like a piece of cake.

That is what America and her dedicated volunteers are all about.  And if the left and their media enablers haven't yet figured out that there is something bigger than self, they never will.

Now, who are the inferior ones again?