Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

the airman

One of the reasons I joined the Air Force was because I felt it would help me grow as a person, and today I did, just a little bit. See, my whole life, I have always wondered why I don’t seem to feel like other people. Any time I have ever “belonged” to a group of people such as a college or a church, when I it was time for me to leave, I felt nothing. I always wondered why.
Also, my whole life I have never really tried my hardest at things until the bitter end. In every group of people I have belonged to, and even individual relationships, I cut my losses. When it came time to look failure in the face, I cut my losses and got out. Instead of going down swinging and never giving up, I was so afraid of trying my hardest and it not being good enough that I never gave the fight everything I had.
Its about fear. Its always about fear of pain. If I fail and didn’t really try, it hurts less than if I try my hardest and fail. Or so I thought. It turns out, the failure doesn’t hurt at all. I never really thought I had a chance here. Aside from Pararescue there is nothing more difficult to do in the Air Force, but I committed myself to doing the very best that I could. And I did. I fought every step of the way. I did go down in the end. But I went down proud.
How do these to things fit? For the first time in my life I really miss these people. All of us together gave it everything we had. Some are making it, and some didn’t make it, but everybody who made it past the first 3 days gave it everything they had. I look at the people I know and I give them my email address and ask them to stay in touch, because I care this time. I really, really care. When I think about it, through out my life, the people I know who I gave my best to and who gave their best to me, I still care for, but I never put it together. When I give it my best it doesn’t hurt to fail, and I come to really care about the people I worked with.
Today is my last day here. I started to feel afraid. More afraid of the angel I’ve never seen than the devil I know. I’m going somewhere different, learning something different, doing something different, and I started to feel kind of sick with nerves. The realization that I am leaving the first group of people I ever cared about just made it worse. (For family and friends who are offended, I’ve missed individual people much. Its a WHOLE group that I’ve never really cared about.)
As I walked to my final appointment I looked down at my uniform. And I wasn’t afraid anymore. If I something happened to me today, I die an Airman. Not a tech school flunky, not another minimum wage slave, not another college grad. I am an Airman. I have 21,000 brothers and sisters in Iraq right now. They face their fears everyday. We’re Airman, thats just what we do.

December 22, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment