It's hard to believe I'm going home soon. At times it feels like a year and at other times it feels like I just arrived. The team is starting to filter out and we are down an engineer.
I wanted to share a couple of pictures from a recent awards ceremony where all three engineers on the team (including myself) earned an Army Combat Action Badge (CAB). Strangely enough, the criteria for Air Force equivalent is much more strict. I will definately not receive one but my guys have been submitted for the award. They should also receive Purple Hearts for the incident, but alas the Air Force is dragging its feet once again. It's shameful that the Army Purple Hearts for same incident have already been presented. I thought a Purple Heart was a Purple Heart, no matter what branch of the service.
The ceremony was strange in the fact that people were congratulating me for getting blown up. Who in their right mind wants to get blown up or shot at? I don't want a "congratulations," but at the same I don't want sympathy. In the military we train and prepare ourselves for combat. So getting blown up or shot at is what we want to do, what we hope to do, what we should do. And of course fight back! It shows that we are mentally and physically tough to endure such an event and prevail. We are brave and courageous in perilous situations. And maybe that does warrant a congratulations. But sitting in an MRAP--attracting baby IEDs--totally helpless--is not very courageous.