Hwaet!

Tue – October 7, 2003

by lex

So. Today I am a blogger.

hwaet

This picture is from an aircraft carrier at sea in the Arabian Gulf. March, 2003. Those of you keeping up on current events at the time may realize that the ugly green things in the scarcely more attractive grey jackets behind me are JDAMs – Joint Direct Attack Munitions. They are about to be elevated to the flight deck, for an arranged marriage with FA-18’s and F-14’s. The union will be brief, however – these bombs are destined for the palaces of thuggish, dictatorial regimes, revetted armor formations and sadly, poorly lead, poorly motivated conscripts standing in the way of the Third Infantry Division and First Marine Division, First Marine Expeditionary Force. Ordinarily, we aviators don’t think in terms of people on the receiving end, we talk of targets “serviced.” Except when we’ve got troopers on the ground: some frightened, pimply-faced 19 year old kid from some town in Iowa that we’ll never meet, wearing desert cammies and carrying a rifle – when there are American Soldiers on the ground, then it gets personal. You can spare a thought for the wetware on the receiving end of the machine- the kid has no politics, it’s either this or the plastic shredder… you can feel sorry for him for the bad luck that brought his coordinates to your cockpit, but you can’t dwell. You’ll be back tomorrow.

As for JDAMs, for smart weapons they’re fairly dumb, they don’t know where they’re going yet – but soon they will be told, and they’re going to fall desperately in love with the targets of their affection. A union devoutly to be wished, to be sure – but ultimately a destructive relationship. So it goes…

That was, what? seven months ago. Since I’m a Sailor, and not a Soldier, I’m home now. Pray for the boys over there, they’re doing this for us, they’re doing it for you…

When I first thought about serving my country, I considered the Air Force, but decided I’d rather be in the military instead. My father told me once that in the Army, you’d live like rats and die like gentlemen. In the Navy, you’d live like gentlemen, and die like rats. I rather counted on living, and that has made all the difference.

Quote Yeats to me and you’ve won my heart…

 

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1 Comment

Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, Uncategorized

One response to “Hwaet!

  1. Pingback: Index – The Best of Neptunus Lex | The Lexicans

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