Disclaimer

The views expressed within this journal are my own, and in no way represent the views or policies of the United States Army, Department of Defense, or any other official agency.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

998 miles. 13 hours. 1 Life. 1 Goal.


So this is it, right? Journal?

This is the final moment that I'll be in Cincinnati until I come back from Iraq on leave. Fountain Square is so beautifully stunning now. The view traveling out of the city is a lonesome antithesis of the view in. The cascading horizon growing smaller in the rear view mirror is a hopeful cry for the next time – the next rendezvous with my Reds, my Bengals, my friends, my family, my incomplete life...

The night seems tranquil for Halloween parties having brewed throughout the evening. The cool, fresh fall air has grown increasingly cold as the emptiness swallows us whole. Farewell conversations drag out into the awareness of what is about to ensue.

Family. Bonds.

All the maintenance in the world to these is never sufficient. So take notice to these words of advice. Cherish the time, words, and feelings – cherish them before your lottery ticket is up.

Hugs are complimentary, and never go out of fashion. Payable before death.

Forgiveness. That's all I will ask for… I ask for those I've ever wronged to realize that I am only human, and that I try my best.

So I toast you this beer, this glass of wine, this shot, this 12oz can of coca-cola – to the future; to looking onward. My job is my family at present – my digitally green, far-spanning family.

"I am your son. I am your daughter. I am your daddy. I am your mommy, your nieces, your nephews, aunt and uncle – your lover, your soul-mate…"

And it's my job to bring these loves back to each other – to reunite families. This war isn't about politics to me. This war isn't about praying for a Democrat to bring us home, or a Republican to right the wrongs in the world. No blood oil, weapons of mass-destruction, or poll percentages inhabit here. My one fundamental job is shielding the preciousness of life at all costs, possibly costing me the thing in which I swore to protect…

I spent the previous 23 days before leave in an underrated leadership course. I learned more than just regulations, rules.. I learned more and more in relation to respect. I learned how much I'm respected. I learned how important it is to be a selfless leader. I even found a bit of myself I never knew was there.

"All soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership. I will provide that leadership."

It means so much to me to adhere to this lexicon of Army literature - The Creed of the Non-commissioned Officer. Call me corny. Call me na├»ve, but don't for once think that I take this task lightly – that my compassion exists in a fickle state.

For the families of my soldiers; God-willing, I will return the missing parts of your life, your love - to you. I will choose to bear the flag before making a decision which will have others bear it. That is my pledge, my oath, my promise, and the only truth I can distinguish fully.

See you all in 15 months. Keep in touch!

Tony.

P.S. I thank everyone who has given up their time and effort to support the soldiers while they are deployed. Thankfully, the soldiers in my unit have the most wonderful, caring families that I have ever seen. If you wish to help the soldiers in any way, visit http://www.anysoldier.com. They use soldiers to help soldiers. Read more about it on their website. I will be a sponsor there if you wish to send anything directly to my soldiers.

1 comment:

ellethakiller said...

Tragic is one word to describe this fellow... The first time I met him or should I say his nipple, a far up voice said " hey..." in a simple " hey look theres some one down there kinda way" ( ryming is fun). That day just so happened to be halloween, and the smell of the dusk air insued a feeling of unabashid mishchief within the ranks... After a gallon of green face crap and an eyeliner application that I wont soon forget we were off to the " peg".... That night was a blast and a half only to be upstaged by the many after it....

Tony is straight laced guy that keeps up with the well we'll call it excentic crowd that os the YOM crew... To get this small thing off my chest mr. Famous' idea of a good time around me is seeing how flustered he can make me, like poking your finger ina bird cage... But alas the multitalented ass face is rather sweet and cute... I have mant more a coment but alas another redneck needs my help picking out his next tribal arm band ... To be cont...