John 15:12-13 This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Just thinking out loud…
The way a Soldier lives, while the rest of the world sleep soundly in their beds, in Safety. We sacrifice for their illusion of Safety.
I’m gonna answer the question I get alot.
“Were you scared in combat?”
Here’s my answer. Yes and No. Not in combat, but after the adrenaline has left the body and you’re sitting back in camp and you go over the moments of the battle, that’s when I felt fear… when you were so close to death.
I’m a Combat Engineer (SAPPER). Today, I am gonna talk about experiences with IEDs. I’m sure you’ve heard the stories of fire fights from hundreds of soldiers before me. Though I could talk about the day I got baptized into combat, my first fire fight. I’ll talk about the battles I’ve had that were silent.
Just the sound of the wind, sand, and heart beating…
Well, as a Combat Engineer I would have to investigate any kind of IED that the regular soldiers came across while on patrol. On days like this, I would tell myself, “I must be fearless.”
I would tell myself, “If today was my day to buy the farm, at least I wouldn’t feel a thing, but see a bright light.”
From the explosion… First, I’d have to get myself in that mindset. Wipe the sweat and sand from my eyes due to that Iraqi heat and winds. Then, walk toward the IED. I would confirm that the item was an IED. The other soldiers would walk away from the IED to a safe distance. Now, it was just me and my new friend, this IED.
I’d take a second. Close my eyes. Take a deep breath and focus. I would brush the dirt off the suspected IED not knowing if someone was watching me. The one who set this IED was ready to dial their cell phone and detonate the device I was inspecting.
For those few minutes, to me felt like hours. If the IED was real… which at times they were fake. But I wouldn’t know until I inspected it. I’d rarely try to disarm them like you see in the movies. In real life, what I would do is place 1.25 pounds or more of C-4 next to the suspected IED.
When I set my own explosives, I started to move away slowly. When I was about 5 feet away, I hauled ass. I was hoping the person who placed it wouldn’t set off the IED while I was close enough to get injured. When I was far away, I would blow it up!
Once all went well, I’d make a joke of it. And laugh it off with the other soldiers. But after the missions were over and everything settled, I would think of these moments. What could have happened? What would my family think if something happened?