So I'm sitting in class right now, its been a really interesting few weeks. It started when I had an interview about women in the military and in particular combat. I'm not going to get into my feelings on the subject just how it started something in me. I remember the day well, June 29, 2005 a day that will never escape my mind. I remember seeing the truck burning, I remember seeing the Marines in pain. I remember shooting at nothing because we thought we were getting shit at. The truck was on its side, I could smell the vile smell of burnt flesh throughout the air. That's a smell that never leaves you, it sticks in the nostrils. I don't want to get more vivid than that so that's where it will end. I remember returning to the CP afterwords to see a young female still in her gear rocking back and forth saying " I saw him, I saw him..." and just not feeling anything for her. We as a squad got together to talk about this and promise each other the remain super vigilant because we were leaving soon. I didn't really think much of it after that.
Well almost 5 years later I was sent an email with a personal message asking to talk to a couple of students making a documentary on said subject. I reluctantly agreed. When I mentioned that I had fought in Fallujah twice, the girl asked when. I gave her the dates and she then asked about the convoy attack. It all came back, like a ton of bricks falling on my head. I remembered seeing the truck get hit. I remembered everything. I was able to hold back throughout the rest of the interview. Well afterwords I walked out to my car and just exploded into tears. I sat there for about an hour just crying. I can't really explain it, but it was just too much to hold in. I usually don't have "nightmares" or "flashbacks", but when I do, I do. They never go away, they just come when they are least expected. I feel vulnerable when this happens, I don't like it. So I tend to withdraw. I tell the boys at the home I work at that emotions are good. I tell them its alright to let your guard down. I never tell myself that.
Well I have found myself opening up a lot lately. I feel better than ever, I am happy with where I'm at, not content. It's been a pretty recent thing for me to say, but I'm returning to the "whetstone" so to speak. I heard this phrase from a Marine that I really look up to. He was talking about how a warrior will always return to his "whetstone" to sharpen his tools and his spirit. The warrior is a student, a constant student. So I have taken his talk and decided to return to my whetstone. I'm feeling it has been far too long since I have sharpened both my mind and body.
I'm not the man I want to be...yet.