Tuesday, June 03, 2008

'Why We Serve'

When I was younger, I tried to join the Navy because I needed to learn discipline, I needed order in my life. I knew I was headed down the wrong path. Unfortunately, my prior eye operation kept me out of the Navy, but there are so many people who have shared their stories with us and I believe they should be told all over the web. Why? Because we will not hear it in the press.
Why We Serve is a speakers outreach program intended to re-connect the men and women of the United States Armed Forces with those they serve: The American people.
One of these special people who shares his experience with us is Captain Doug Traversa, who has a blog named Afghanistan Without A Clue (AWAC). Here is an excerpt from his statement:
My path to military service and my current assignment in Afghanistan is rather unusual, but it just shows that those of us defending our country are as different and unique as the general populous. When I was growing up, joining the military did not seem so far-fetched. My father was an Air Force officer, and I was a huge military buff most of my childhood through high school and college. I studied World War II, built models from the period, and memorized all sorts of military trivia.

*snip*

It all started about a year ago. The Air Force was going to be filling Army positions in both Iraq and Afghanistan. That meant that not only would we be deployed for a year, we would have to go to Army Combat Skills Training first. We would be wearing body armor, carrying weapons, and going into harm’s way. You can’t imagine how shocking this was to us in the Air Force. We didn’t do that sort of thing. We did our fighting from airplanes, and those who didn’t fly were stationed well behind enemy lines at air bases. Now we were being thrown into the Army. Yikes! This was scary. I was certainly afraid. In fact, my current boss, Maj Apple, is filling a slot that was turned down by six previous majors. By that I mean they decided to get out of the Air Force rather than do this job. These are guys with 12-15 years of service, and they got out. I don’t say this to insult them, just to show how frightening it was. [Continue reading.]
Doug is very good and decent man. I was on this side of the war while he was on the dangerous side, he wrote in his blog everyday, and he made many friends while he was there. Many Afghanistani friends, as well. He is now home with his sweet wife and darling children along with the abused dogs he continues to adopt until they are ready to be adopted by a satisfactory home.

This is just one of our many heroes who have decided to join the ‘Why We Serve’ team. They speak around the country–not about their mission or the Department of Defense–so that we here in the States may have a deeper understanding of our fighting men and women. Why do they serve? There are as many reasons as there are soldiers! Go ahead. Go read about them. Then write about them. Spread the word.

[The article written about Doug was written February 6, 2007.]

You may also find a site for ‘Why We Serve’ at Why We Serve - U.S. Department of Defense Official Website.

Cross-posted @ Talon.

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