This week, my mom and I have become acquainted with a mom named Hallie. Hallie’s son, CJ, is going to be a soldier in Iraq soon. He is leaving right after Christmas. He is only 18 years old too. My mom asked Hallie to tell us about what CJ will be doing as a soldier, and she sent us a great email message. Here is a part of it:
CJ is trained to be an AIRBORNE BATTLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS SPECIALIST. What that means is that he is part of a flight crew and will be flying in support of the war. We thought CJ would be stationed in Japan and would then be sent on “missions” (deployments) that would have him in a plane flying at 33,000 feet. This plane acts a moving satellite – it intercepts transmissions from ground. Even though he would have been in war zones, he would have been high enough above the action that he would be hopefully safe.
CJ did so well in Tech School – graduated first in class – that he was recruited to join an elite flight crew based out of Hurlburt Field in Florida. He was so honored to be chosen. We are so proud of him but terrified.
What this new job means is that CJ will now be on a plane (a gunship) that has large guns on it. He will be sent to do his job but will not be able to let us know where or when he leaves. Sigh…this plane flies a lot lower and goes in at night. CJ tells me that none of these planes have ever been shot down but I still worry.
Becasue CJ will be in a plane in a dangerous situation, he is now required to complete SERE – survival school. He will be trained to survive, evade capture, resist and escape. This all happens right after Xmas – he will spend 17 days in WA and will be treated as a POW for part of this time. The intent of this training is to prepare him in case (God forbid) he gets captured by the enemy.
CJ is nervous but ready to do what it takes to defend our country. We are so proud of him. Can’t believe this is my 18 year old son – what a wonderful man he is becoming.
My Grandpa Al was a Korean War veteran. He never fought in the war, but he was in the 82nd Airborne and he jumped out of airplanes. He loved to do this! My Uncle Mike was a Marine, in the Army, and he is now in the Air Force Reserves. My Uncle Paul and my Uncle John were also in the Marines. I am very proud to have uncles who served our country.
The war is something that makes me very sad. I don’t think we should have a war because people are suffering. I wish that George Bush would end the war. I wish that people like CJ didn’t have to go to war. But I am really grateful for people like CJ and my uncles because they risk their lives to protect our country.
My package will be sent out for CJ on Monday! Right now, we are waiting to get socked with a big snowstorm! Keep your fingers crossed that school is closed on Monday!!!
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