Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Becoming a Soldier

For Veterans/Remembrance Day, here's something pretty amazing: a photo essay from The Denver Post covering 27 months in the life of a very young kid named Ian Fisher as he graduates from High School, enlists in the Army, goes off to war and comes home, gets married, and somewhere along the line becomes a man. The pictures are beautiful. All I kept thinking, when I read through it was, "There is no way I could have done that when I was that age."


Brian Dunbar said...

"There is no way I could have done that when I was that age."

I too have my doubts that I could do what we're asking the kids today to do. I enlisted knowing a war _could_ be possible, but not really thinking about it too much.

And I know of a few guys who died in training or on deployment - a few in pretty horrible ways - but never anyone I actually knew.

I do not know if I could do all that, knowing what I know, now.

But then, really, I was not sure if I could make it through boot camp when I enlisted. I only know that I wanted to real bad.

I suspect you could, Rufus, if you had to. You simply keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going.

Rufus said...

I almost enlisted. It was a few years after high school and I was sick of working construction. But, I remembered that I had gotten kicked out of my first high school for an unwillingness and an inability to follow instructions. That made me think that the military really isn't looking for kids who are both really absent-minded and have a serious problem with authority. I think I'd have either turned out like that fat kid in Full Metal Jacket or been court marshaled as a deserter!

So I'm definitely impressed by the fact that these young people can hack it. You wouldn't know it from watching them in the malls or multiplexes, but their generation has risen to the occasion.

Holly said...

I almost enlisted, too. The recruiter straight up told me I would hate it, and I should do everyone a favor and not bother.

My brother, however, did enlist. He had a similar transformation at Fort Benning, where he did his basic, and also Airborne Ranger training. No doubt that guy shaved his head.

I think he had some shortcuts, though, for instance, he only had one girlfriend for things to not work out with repeatedly, instead of having to meet more than one woman...

Rufus said...

Yeah, a funny story- the recruiter actually yelled at me on the phone during the first phone call, in which he was, ideally, trying to convince me to join. Granted, I was chewing on a rib while he was talking, and I can understand why it annoyed him. But it definitely made me rethink who I'd handle military discipline.

Holly said...

(Oh yeah, forgot about my problem with authority. I get the adrenaline shakes just getting pulled over, or when they check my ticket on the tram. Getting yelled at for a living would so not work out.)