Chapter 30: Shock and awe

March 20, 2003, our faces were glued to the television. It didn't matter what other responsibilities we had, we watched the United States invade Iraq. We sat there, not knowing what was in store for any us. We were stuck on an Air Station, not really doing much. Me, I was learning how to train Marines with a shot gun, others were guarding the base and flightline, and some were just sitting around, doing nothing. The MPs watched steadily as many of their fellow MP's were there. I remember how quiet it was, as the green images of destruction reflected off our faces.
The following day, I was giving my first class after hours to a group of CONAD Marines. During my instruction, a Marine busts into the rooms, asking for access to the record books. A casualty of war. When the admin Marine asked who died, I heard "Major Aubin." (Note: this is the first time that I have used an actual name in my blog). Stunned, I stared at the Marine, and asked, "Major Jay T. Aubin, a CH-46 Pilot?" Softly, the Marine said, "yes, that's him." I dropped my shotgun on the ground in total shock. He was my first Admin Officer. I used to babysit his children when I first joined 204. He was one the Mustang Pilots that I respected with all my heart. This man fireman carried me to medical one day when I was having chest pains and waiting with me in the ER until he knew I was okay. He was my hero, I just never told him.
I couldn't continue any longer as I realized, this is war. Another Marine picked up where I left off, and I left the office. I went back to my room, stared at the floor and stared at my Blues. Frozen, I slowly moved towards them and looked at my ribbons. I became angry. I lost my first friend to this war.
That night, I moved into the commons area, and continued to watch the total annihilation of Baghdad. I remember watching it when I was in 6th grade, but this time, it had a totally different meaning to me. This time it was personal.
It was at this point that I was happy that I was recalled from inactive duty. I was ready to do whatever needed to be done to win this War on Terror. The next morning, I taught that shotgun class as if my life depended on it. In a way, it did.  Holding that weapon in my hand made me feel strong and ready to take on whatever came my way. May sound odd, but then again this is me. I wanted to fight in honor of my friend, one of the first casualties of the war. Semper Fi, Major Aubin, Semper Fi!


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