Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Embed Process.

After meeting and interviewing female service members stateside, I suggested half jokingly our next stop should be Iraq. That would only make sense, right? We interviewed a wide range of women who have served in Iraq but people should be able to actually see what Iraq is like for us. Our day-to-day lives, our jobs, where we sleep, what we eat, how we pass the time, the bonds we make, and everything else in between. I suppose we could ship over a view video cameras and do a half ass job of portraying what it is like over there...but that takes the fun out of it. So, here is where we stand...my big mouth and an amazing Navy LT from the Pentagon we interviewed got us in touch with a CPT from the Multi-National Force Iraq, who helps with the embed process...we've submitted our paperwork and are waiting for a response.

This is why I need body armor. We need to supply our own and it's hard to get a hold of. I still find this really bizarre.

I told my mother and a few friends what I was trying to do. My mother is convinced I'll give her a heart attack within the next few years and she doesn't understand why I need to do this. This is what I told her. 1) Soldiers don't get to decide if they want to go to Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else for that matter...they just do it. And if I need to go to Iraq, I'll go to Iraq. 2) We can do interview after interview but to really attempt to understand something or present it, you should be intimate with it. 3) I told her this will hopefully shed light on the female Soldier...maybe after this we won't be asked, "did you carry a gun over there?", "what about your period?", "did you feel weird over there?", etc.
4) And then I told her it was my old "stumping ground" and I was almost kind of excited to go back. (This was her least favorite point.) She's finally starting to warm up to the idea. She knows I won't be gone for a year or even a month...but she looks at me like there's still a possibility that the worse could happen. So I made her read this...

Security by Hunter S. Thompson

"Security ... what does this word mean in relation to life as we know it today? For the most part, it means safety and freedom from worry. It is said to be the end that all men strive for; but is security a utopian goal or is it another word for rut?

Let us visualize the secure man; and by this term, I mean a man who has settled for financial and personal security for his goal in life. In general, he is a man who has pushed ambition and initiative aside and settled down, so to speak, in a boring, but safe and comfortable rut for the rest of his life. His future is but an extension of his present, and he accepts it as such with a complacent shrug of his shoulders. His ideas and ideals are those of society in general and he is accepted as a respectable, but average and prosaic man. But is he a man? has he any self-respect or pride in himself? How could he, when he has risked nothing and gained nothing? What does he think when he sees his youthful dreams of adventure, accomplishment, travel and romance buried under the cloak of conformity? How does he feel when he realizes that he has barely tasted the meal of life; when he sees the prison he has made for himself in pursuit of the almighty dollar? If he thinks this is all well and good, fine, but think of the tragedy of a man who has sacrificed his freedom on the altar of security, and wishes he could turn back the hands of time. A man is to be pitied who lacked the courage to accept the challenge of freedom and depart from the cushion of security and see life as it is instead of living it second-hand. Life has by-passed this man and he has watched from a secure place, afraid to seek anything better What has he done except to sit and wait for the tomorrow which never comes?

Turn back the pages of history and see the men who have shaped the destiny of the world. Security was never theirs, but they lived rather than existed. Where would the world be if all men had sought security and not taken risks or gambled with their lives on the chance that, if they won, life would be different and richer? It is from the bystanders (who are in the vast majority) that we receive the propaganda that life is not worth living, that life is drudgery, that the ambitions of youth must he laid aside for a life which is but a painful wait for death. These are the ones who squeeze what excitement they can from life out of the imaginations and experiences of others through books and movies. These are the insignificant and forgotten men who preach conformity because it is all they know. These are the men who dream at night of what could have been, but who wake at dawn to take their places at the now-familiar rut and to merely exist through another day. For them, the romance of life is long dead and they are forced to go through the years on a treadmill, cursing their existence, yet afraid to die because of the unknown which faces them after death. They lacked the only true courage: the kind which enables men to face the unknown regardless of the consequences.

As an afterthought, it seems hardly proper to write of life without once mentioning happiness; so we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?"

She's now starting to understand me more.


Blogger olgreydog7 said...

Good luck finding an IBA, those things are pricey. I like how you are getting different perspectives on this. Rather than just say you've been there and this is how it is. That's good journalism IMO.

10/21/2008 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 10/23/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

10/23/2008 11:57:00 AM  

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