Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Page of Wands


Ah I remember it well. It's like I posed for this one. I had already put a few years into the Army when I saw the Pyramids. I had been to Basic training, advanced individual training, Sapper School, Engineer School, Demolitions School and Air Assault School. There wasn't anything I couldn't do, I was an official bad ass, an Army of One.

My neighbor and closest friend was a flight medic in Special Operations attached to Fifth Group, Special Forces. He was a single parent, his wife had left him and his son. So what does superman do with his kid when duty calls? You call on a friend. At any given moment, usually around three a.m. was the average, he would knock at my door.

Not much was ever said, it was too late or too early. He couldn't tell me anyways, or he didn't know himself the details. Where? why? Classified. How long? Indefinite. Even his son knew the drill, he knew where the pillow and comforter was, waiting to do their job too. Along with the young man came a briefcase. The contents gave me emergency custody, financial access and control. Executor of his estate.

So by the time I was deployed to Sinai, Egypt I had my packet ready for Special Forces Selection. I was gonna be a hero too. Save the world. My contribution. I just need to pass the E-4 board and become promotable. Time. Just a matter of time. It was the first time I was away from my kids and the pain was unbearable. I thought it would ware off. Just a matter of time.

The cool thing about the Multinational force and Observers is all the other Armies. I spent most of my time hanging out with the Fijians, they're so awesome. Every evening after a long hot day of whatever we were supposed to be doing, we would circle up on the beach of the red sea to drink cava and talk. Sometimes we talked about chicks, like schoolboys in a locker room. Other times we talked about the universe, like we were hitchhikers.

The Army has a Global Positioning System, and trains Soldiers on how to use the device call a "plugger". After a day of showing off our technological superiority, which they called "cross training", in the spirit of diplomacy, of course, We poured cava and talked about the training. I had asked one of the Fijian officers what he thought of the plugger. He thought it was a fun toy.
He explained that his soldiers were taught to navigate by compass, and more importantly, without one.

He said our dependency on such things was dangerous because it makes us lazy, we forget the basics and when our toys break, when the batteries run out, we will be lost.

"...technology divorced humanity from nature."

He said anything, everything man made is flawed and temporary. The plugger works by talking to satellites in the sky. Man made stars. Those fake stars will fail someday and fall. But those real star there, will not. Their batteries will never run out, "I have more faith in what the creator has made and I will never get lost". Fijian Basic Training.

All I could think of was how bad I wanted to share this moment with my kids. I remember thinking my tears were not as salty as they should have been and I need to hydrate. I remembered seeing tears in the eyes of my friend, the single father. I never want to hand anyone a briefcase of my estate, so I can go be a hero.

I never submitted my packet and I have never regretted it. I came home from Egypt with a new career goal in mind. Parenthood, my contribution to saving the world. Yes I remember it well, when I was a Page of Wands.


2 comments:

My Gal said...

Saving the world - one great kid at a time. I like. Yep I like it a lot :)

quincidence said...

Thank you. For some of us that want to be the single force of nature, we need reminding of that briefcase, was brief for a reason.
just the facts, and not much of that man was in that briefcase, more was on that pillow with that dutiful comforter.

Thank you for sharing.