I just received your letter: you do graduate before I do...but that's cutting it too close to my trial date. I can make it back to the trial if I fly back: I'm not familiar with this area at all, so I don't know where the nearest airport is -we recruits landed directly on post. ...I wonder if I could ask my friend to drive me to a civilian airport and back here. I have to sign back in at a certain time so if I can't get back for whatever reason, I'll get a demerit point. While it may not necessarily affect the trial, it will affect my ability to graduate, and it will affect how the superiors will view me. While I normally wouldn't care about what others think about me, I have a specific purpose and don't want to compromise it at such an infant stage (yes redundant explanation but repetition is key to reminding myself not to lose sight of my goal...and a justification for just plain repeating *heart*).
But...what if for whatever reason, my friend doesn't grant me that favor or he's not able to give me a ride? The best way I can think of is leaving directly from here and coming back with the new recruits...Except recruits don't come on a daily basis -why should they? It's not like anyone even wants to be a soldier and fight (I mean die) in countries they never even knew existed. (The military raised the standard of enlistment, the government cut funds for the military and its expansion; hired civilians to do what soldiers used to do, and repealed the draft; the media helped show how undesirable it is to be overseas whether fighting or not, blamed the military for the government's failings [that is to say, invading a country it shouldn't have. But ultimately the president has the last say -he's a five star general...by virtue of being a president, but not by virtue of actually ever having been in the military or fighting a war])
But back to more important matters. I decided to see if I could find out when the next recruits are coming in the off chance that it would be the same day as your graduation.
No such luck.
I tried not thinking about commandeering at all...I know how to fly...at least the simulation told me so. I mean, I didn't take any of the classes since I already chose the medical field, but someone dared me to a battle that I won. So he decided to challenge me every now and then (we're not supposed to...it's just that some people feel compelled to defy me because I'm supposed to be inferior somehow...) Well, that same dummy saw me today and approached.
"What? Another battle you can't win? Don't you have something else better to
"Yeah. Some of my buddies and me are 'leaving' but everyone can't fit. We
need a second pilot."
"Why me? No one else in your group knows how to fly?"
"Uh...only one other, but he can't fly at night...anyway, we just need a
pilot, you can leave after you drop us off."
"But how are you guys coming back?"
"Don't worry about that. Will you or not?"
"Wait, how do you know I won't say something about this? And HOW do I know that even if I agreed to this, you won't use me as the scapegoat in the future?"
"You're not going to tell because I will sabotage your case. And I won't use you as the scapegoat because I asked for this favor."
"Yeah, but your buddies didn't -they could easily say something against me, since there are more of them than of you. SABOTAGE my case? This will affect more than just me -don't be selfish."
"Look, I know you won't tell because this isn't as important as that b*tch causing trouble for everyone else. All we're doing is leaving."
I somehow doubted that. What a golden opportunity in which red flags were triumphantly waving. Could I possibly go through with this knowing that I'm sticking out my neck for this idiot and company, not knowing what legal (or illegal) activity they may be planning? Once I help, I'll be associated with them whether I like it or not. I can't afford that. I didn't build up an image as an iconoclast or reckless fool or rash jack-donkey so I'll have to take a rain check on this offer. I AM going to see how they leave, however so that I can perhaps...you know...commandeer...Okay, I'll just let that idea rest. I answered him:
"You're right, I'm not going to tell anyone, and I'm not going to stop you or anything. For the record, we never had this conversation. Best of luck to you."
"...I see how it is. Thought I could count on you -what kind of soldier are you, you're not even going to help me? Why are you here -you don't seem like those guys who are here just for fun. You've chosen a noble profession of helping others -you must feel some obligation towards society, to humankind...?"
"First of all, we are not in the war (yet). You are planning to do something that while may not be harming this country, it's not protecting it either. DON'T try to guilt me into doing something wrong just for you."
"And yet, here you are fighting a war -doing something wrong for EVERYONE in this country who don't even know you and won't appreciate what you're doing! Well, I don't blame you for thinking that we're up to no good since I'm not at liberty to say what we're doing specifically. Whether you believe me or not, I am trying to help mankind."
"That's what natural selection is for..."
He almost laughed, while giving me an incredulous expression. I wanted to laugh too, but incredibly enough, I remained composed. I agree with him on some aspects, it's just that I didn't enlist because I wanted thanks, or because of any obligation, or to protect this country -I just wanted to know where else I could possibly live when all this is over...Maybe on a small level I felt that I had to defend what litle honor our country had left; that there must have been another solution than attacking the North. It was for answers that I enlist -not for any sense of obligation. I wanted to attack the problem from the inside, not be here to attack the outer "enemy".
"I enlisted because I wanted answers. If I fight, it's to defend myself from a direct attack. That is all. I can't fight for an ideal because a person who takes advantage of that ideal doesn't really understand it. It's spitting in our faces for sacrificing for them."
"I don't understand. What are you getting at?"
"All I'm saying is that I'm not fighting for anyone. If I HAVE to fight, it's
to protect myself. I'm here just for answers."
"Oh. So you're not fighting for anyone either? You say you need answers, but is this fun for you? Look, I know you need to get to your friend's graduation. So I thought I'd ask. Since you don't want to help me 'best of luck to you'."
He left. That spy! ...or interrogator --why so many questions *resentful face* I never told him anything about you or the graduation -why would I? ...So I went to the church and decided to weep for a bit. I'm no where closer to any solution. WHAT am I going to do?