taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Thursday, February 13, 2003

My sister is leaving for The War on Sunday morning. At 4:30 a.m. (0430, to her) she will take herself and all her stuff--flak jacket, 9 millimeter, mystery novels, helmet, soap in little ziploc bags, gas mask, curling iron--and go to Fort Bening, Georgia. There, they plan to train her for War some more. It will take 7 days to prepare her, evidently, and the highlight of the trip will be when they gas her with riot gas. I guess they need to make sure that, all these years after Basic Training, she still knows how to barf.

From there she will fly to Kuwait and stay in a warehouse at Camp Doha for a little while. The official Army site of Camp Doha says that "Many people leave Kuwait in the best shape of their lives." Also, there is lots of free food. So Camp Doha is kind of like one of those weight-loss vacations, except actually it's nothing like that at all. Because, you know, you might get slimed with botulinum toxin or shot at, or something.

From Camp Doha, she doesn't know where she'll go--wherever she's needed. She gives shots so that all the soldiers can feel safe from evil Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. So she might go to Afghanistan (I don't know if you remember, but we're actually still in a War there, to add to the other War) or Qatar, or even "in country" where they've got those Special Forces guys and the ship from Baltimore, the USS Comfort. She'll set up hospitals. She'll live in a tent. She's cutting off all her hair and leaving her boyfriend and two children behind.

Unless you know someone who's going to war, you don't really know what it's like. And unless you're going to war, I think you don't know what war is like at all.

She says the General is supposed to e-mail me. I guess he's going to tell me that my sister is doing a great thing, going to war. I'm very anxious for the General's e-mail. I'd love to know what he has to say.


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