Friday, September 21, 2007

An Opportunity, an Honor...and Just Plain Fun

There is a couple at our church who has a son who is a Special Forces marine. He is on leave now and will be going back to Iraq (volunteered this time) for his third tour at the end of the month. I was told he was interested in taking his new Springfield XD40 (chambered in .45 ACP) to the range. Rather than just tell him where the range was, I volunteered to go shooting with him, and today was the day we went.

The whole time he was coming to pick me up, I kept telling myself, "Don't act like a little kid gawking at a super hero". That may sound silly, but I love to read about guys like this...let alone getting to spend time talking to him. If I wasn't called to ministry, and if I wasn't such a wimp, I would love to do what these guys do (I'm not afraid of what they do, I just know I would never survive the training!). He told me about a book titled No True Glory. He said it was a well-written and accurate book about the fighting he was a part of in Fallujah. You know I will be checking that book out from the library soon or heading over to Amazon if they don't have it!

We talked about a lot of stuff ranging from the false picture the US media gives of what is going on there, the progress being made there and attitudes of the soldiers there, to the kinds of weapons he trains with, to some of the stuff he had trained to do, to hanging upside down from a rope from a helicopter and shooting.

He told me his parents weren't too happy about him volunteering for his third tour in Iraq. He got blown up during his first tour (something about his intestines no longer being on his insides, I think!) and his mother getting the call and thinking that he had been killed. He said this will probably be his last tour, but he explained, "I get to blow up stuff, shoot cool guns and jump out of airplanes. I don't have to pay to do these things...I get paid to do it. It's like every guy's dream." If it didn't come with the possibility of getting your guts blown out (or worse), who could argue with that?

So hopefully I sounded interested in what he did and didn't sound like an idiot. What an awesome opportunity, and what an honor, to spend a couple hours with a guy like this who serves his country with honor, integrity and skill.

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