On April fool’s day 1998 I have been given the gift of praise. I’ve had strangers buy me breakfast, little kids pulling on my uniform and telling their mom they met someone like me. I am not a celebrity although many times in my life I have felt like one.
Every time I wanted to get my life back the people who stand behind me say life is grand. They would say, Sherri to be able to see the world. This is truly a gift. What is not a gift are things people don’t know about.
On January 5, 2008. I got my individual augmented orders for Ramadi Iraq. Sitting at my desk I did not know whether to feel happy or sad, but I prepared. I had two weeks before leaving for training. I had to pack and go ...view middle of the document...
Some of the rubber ball ammunitions were placed on the inside of grenades that is used to control crowds. During the past few weeks I had met some other Sailors like myself passing through Ft. Lewis. They told me the previous platoon went to the hospital because of misuse of O.C. Spray. This platoon showed me their eyelids with a few small blisters and said the pain would be unbearable.
A few weeks later we arrived at the training they spoke about. It was in the woods with little gravel roads around a tree line and a wooden cabin in the center where all of us sat with our backs to the outer wall. I do not know why, but the instructors always find it funny to feed someone right before a challenge just to see them vomit. I never ate, only in the morning at breakfast and it would be very little. I lose anywhere from 20 to 30 pounds every time I go to train.
In this platoon I had my own squad which consisted of everyone inside of my HUMVEE. I would be the driver and an important position. The only female with three other men who I would help defend at any cost. Today I could not help one of them. Diaz my friend who every morning went with me to breakfast. He was a spec 4 and was with me listening to the stories of what took place during the O.C. spray course and did something I could not prevent. He took out a rusty knife which he found on the ground a week prior and threatened an Army sergeant. Diaz did not have the mind to do what he did, but fear will change a person. It got him out of O.C. spray and placed into a police car headed for Leavenworth prison. My friend I wish I could have saved.
Another close friend an AT1 Figueroa helped me when someone tried to take my journal away. He told them everyone has something they hold on to that gives them comfort. My journal is mine. I started to feel sick and warm, but needed to keep my composure, and thankful to AT1 for allowing me to keep my sanity. Even though AT1 always was my partner and friend he still out ranked me. We were warned that perception a word I will always hate is a reason we could not be friends. Male and female for most is a reason two people can’t talk. Two others ruined the ritual for us a long time ago when a female had her head in the water and got pregnant. This wastes military dollars and so males, and females can only train together.
The sun went down and it came up again. The only reason I would continually be favored in the platoon is because everyone here are sailors with a few that were once a soldier like myself. My experience and hard charging performance made others look up to or helped them hide their weaknesses. Today I would be like everyone else, but there were still a few who had animosity because they could not lead like I could. They took their revenge today.
There is nothing that a soldier loves more than a soldier who joined the Navy. They will always love me like family, but consider me a sailor and secret friend when...