I just was poking around the internet after my tirade bitching session that I just got done with and I was looking at a site, not going to tell you which one, but it got me to thinking...
I am heading into one of the most dangerous places on earth with little more than US Army training which is designed with a 6th grade education in mind. I am heading into a place that does not value what I value, they do not worship how I worship, they live in mud huts, I live in a house. They don't have paved roads, I piss and moan when they close one lane of the 290. They have lived in a land torn apart by war for God only knows how long. They live in a world that subjugates women. That gives all reverence to God and has no regard for the sanctity of human life (so long as you are a non-muslim)
I would not characterize what I am feeling as fear. Certainly that is part of it, I would be completely insane not to feel at least a little bit of fear. I am feeling apprehension about whether or not mentally and intellectually I can meaningfully deal with my time over there. Not to mention am I ready mentally for the challenges of dealing with these people?
I am not one of the blood-lusting soldiers that seem to fill the ranks. I think that if I am going to be a soldier and be placed in harms way, it better be for a good reason and we damn sure better be doing it for some attainable purpose.
Am I ready? Will I be able to navigate the foreign culture into which I am about to be thrown? Will I be able to keep myself from letting my own personal prejudices get in the way of accomplishing the goals that are set for me? Will my personal prejudices get in the way of my dealings with the Afghani people? Will I be able to overcome their prejudices toward me? Will I be able to control the ignorance of some of my fellow soldiers?
So many fucking questions...and I haven't even left the states yet.