October 3, 2007
Matt Dawes 9/18/07 Period 3 and 7 War Photo
The plane ride over to the rugged, raw, and dry Middle East was like no other plane ride I have ever been on. Once I took my first leaping step off of the Boeing 777, I instantly learned that no video, article, or picture can truly prepare you for what hits you when you open all of your senses to the world around you. Maybe it is just like in the Army; no training or sergeant yelling in your face can truly prepare a soldier for the sound of enemy fire, screams from the wounded, and the reality of war. I found myself feeling this sensation when I was out on a routine tour with the 3rd Brigade Rangers, and we got caught in an immense sandstorm that altered your vision to a maximum of ten feet. We were all jammed in the Humvee and over the sound of the roaring engine came a distant crackle of enemy Ak-47, along with mortars. The Hummer was stopped on the dime and everybody was ordered out, even me, the reporter with a gun that I can't even comprehend how to work. Rob and Grey, who are the two men in the group that man the massive M-60 machine guns, hurried to either side of the vehicle, pulled down their jet black outlined Oakley goggles, and dropped down to their stomachs to aim the guns towards the sound of war. I, never being in any situation like this, was shaking and was as scared as if confronting a ghost. The commander of the group, Shot, as he is called, casually walked over to me and told me to stay calm, and all I could think of was how in the world is this guy walking around thinking nothing much of the near gunfire, and here I am crying like a baby. This does really go to show how the men who ensure our freedom and safety everyday are as tough as nails, more than loyal to America, and willing to risk their precious lives to keep America the most wonderful place in the world.