Thursday, March 03, 2005

Where to Begin?

About three weeks ago my guys and I were up early hustling about in the dark trying to get ready to go quietly. This was it, our first opportunity to shine. We had to roll off post to another facility and put all of our systems in service, I expected some "hick-ups" and "bumps in the road", but I didn't expect this.

To save some sense of brevity I will sum up. We didn't get all the info we needed for our mission until after we had arrived on site, we have had vehicles perform poorly, and the window of visibility on what we are doing is HUGE! It has been a good learning experience for my guys and me as well as a humbling experience for myself. In spite of that no one in their right mind would call this mission a success. I guess all we can do is roll with the punches.

I got my first disciplinary counseling since starting my military career. The stress of not performing to my own standards was really starting to bear down on me and during a butt chewing that I have never been great at taking gracefully I lost control. I was disrespectful and unprofessional with a senior non-commissioned officer. I was immediately ashamed of my actions and worse still I did so in front of one of my soldiers. Not the example to be setting ever, let alone in the situation we are in. I apologized my offended superior and we are still on very good terms, but I have not been able to shake the memory of how immature I acted.

A few days ago I had the opportunity to take a long time soldier of mine to the promotion board. He has been my soldier off and one since he was a PFC and there is an immense sense of pride watching him gain his promotable status. We have not always seen eye to eye on everything and I still feel he has a lot to learn before he can be an effective NCO, but that is what I am here for right? I just hope I can get back into being the example I need to be.

On the trip between posts for the board, I locked and loaded for only the second time out here. As we pulled up to a stop light I saw the barrel of what appeared to be a shot gun sticking up between the two front seats of the car in front of us. Upon closer inspection it was a little boy with a toy shot gun, but it was not really identifiable as a toy at all, except for the size. It was slightly smaller than the real thing. The little boy was just being a little boy, aiming the toy weapon at road signs, and other traffic, but I couldn't help but think how irresponsible that father was, letting his child behave the way he was. If I had not realized earlier that it was a boy with a toy gun, I could have killed him. I have no urge to take any human being's life, but if it came down to a position where I thought I or any of my guys was in danger of not going home to their families you bet you butt I would. I could have killed this child, and then would have forever had to live with the knowledge that I not only killed a human being, but a child and for no real reason. Worse still this young man in the driver's seat would have lost a son.

I am left wondering why the world has to be this way. It seems so much easier to be happy, at home with your family, living peacefully together. Will we ever get there?

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well thank God that you took the extra second to look closer bro! Hang in there, sounds like its been a rough couple of weeks lately!

Mike

8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

{hug}

Susie

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hang in there son. Your doing well. In my opinion only some one scared to death or pshycotic would have shot that child and your neither of these. Sounds tough over there, but, you knew it would be. Hang in there and hold on to your temper. The very worst time to lose it by the way is in a combat situation.
Love, Dad
P.S. lost my old address (and everything else in yahoo,so don't write there)

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Accepting a "dressing down" is tough ... But you are doing a tough job, cut yourself some slack!

Love your blog and thanks to the wife for letting us know you were ok, just too busy to post. Please know that you have complete strangers who care about you and are rooting for you and your family.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Hey Young'un

I once had an old first that never lost his temper or said much. But his disapointment and anger sometimes showed in his eyes and that hurt us more than an ass chewing.

He got more out of the NCOs and Bars than any other man in our unit.Even our higher was in awe of him.

In tough situations, when almost everyone was in a panic or frozen, he would move amoung us and with a touch or a word or two bring us up to the challenge and get the best out of us.

He told me one time, " I don't accept bad behavior from anyone including myself".

About the scare with the boy. This will come easier as you acclimate and learn on the job. Don't feel like your discovering anything new, except it is new to you now.

Hang in and don't let too much hang out.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

5:05 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Hey Young'un

I once had an old first that never lost his temper or said much. But his disapointment and anger sometimes showed in his eyes and that hurt us more than an ass chewing.

He got more out of the NCOs and Bars than any other man in our unit.Even our higher was in awe of him.

In tough situations, when almost everyone was in a panic or frozen, he would move among us and with a touch or a word or two bring us up to the challenge and get the best out of us.

He told me one time, " I don't accept bad behavior from anyone including myself".

About the scare with the boy. This will come easier as you acclimate and learn on the job. Don't feel like your discovering anything new, except it is new to you now.

Hang in and don't let too much hang out.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Young'un

I once had an old first that never lost his temper or said much. But his disapointment and anger sometimes showed in his eyes and that hurt us more than an ass chewing.

He got more out of the NCOs and Bars than any other man in our unit.Even our higher was in awe of him.

In tough situations, when almost everyone was in a panic or frozen, he would move among us and with a touch or a word or two bring us up to the challenge and get the best out of us.

He told me one time, " I don't accept bad behavior from anyone including myself".

About the scare with the boy. This will come easier as you acclimate and learn on the job. Don't feel like your discovering anything new, except it is new to you now.

Hang in and don't let too much hang out.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

5:08 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

Hey Young'un

I once had an old first that never lost his temper or said much. But his disapointment and anger sometimes showed in his eyes and that hurt us more than an ass chewing.

He got more out of the NCOs and Bars than any other man in our unit.Even our higher was in awe of him.

In tough situations, when almost everyone was in a panic or frozen, he would move among us and with a touch or a word or two bring us up to the challenge and get the best out of us.

He told me one time, " I don't accept bad behavior from anyone including myself".

About the scare with the boy. This will come easier as you acclimate and learn on the job. Don't feel like your discovering anything new, except it is new to you now.

Hang in and don't let too much hang out.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey bro,


Sounds like your not doing so well over there. Hang in there, before you know you will be home with your family. Oh yeah on the good note i make E5 on the 1st.........so holla at your boy.........ferkel

6:53 PM  
Blogger Jim Naka said...

Cool blog you have going here, I will check in often! I have a similar site about wholesale toy. It pretty much covers wholesale toy related stuff.

11:23 PM  

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