My good friends and enemies, I now know the first six lines of hand-to-hand combat the Marines use to teach their recruits. So now instead of just falling to the ground when approached by the bad guy, I know just enough to really piss him off.
One of the instructors asked the group to raise their hands if we thought we couldn't "pull the trigger, or use the hand-to-hand combat skills to kill someone." I swiftly raised my hand. I was one of maybe five in a group of 80. Not afraid of what others thought, I quickly took to the stage and explained. I've shot expert with M-16 and have just missed expert with the M-9 twice. During hand-to-hand (lines training) I quickly mastered the commands and was throwing everyone down to the ground. However, I'm a broadcaster! I've killed many bits, several punch-lines, but never another human. No one in the group has. I'd like to think that when push comes to shove, my sense of duty, self preservation, and lets face it...awesome hair would prevail. Its been leaked I will be receiving a lifetime achievement award for my hair when I return from Iraq. I think I'd be stupid and arrogant to assume I have it in me. My friend Bryan...he could kill people, already has. He has told me the emotional strain and heart pain associated with "pulling the trigger." He has also told me about the remains of the dead. None of which are too appealing to a peaceful loving guy who finds joy in how peoples eyes sparkle, or the enjoyment he gets from telling stories to others.
This training was tough. I thrashed my body all around while perfomring tasks like convoy commander and combat medic. For those of you on your way to CST, or simply deploying, I urge you...get in shape. I've lost 27 pounds since Jan 1, and shed a minute off my 1.5 mile time...and I'm beat after 14-days of training. BE PREPARED!
With that said, I know I'm not going down before I accomplish several things...like meeting one of the greatest artists of our times:
Seriously, there should be no doubt...I'm a trained warrior...ready, willing and able.