Paul C. Spillers
The Unseen War
I remember being eighteen years old, and wanting nothing more than to start living life on my own. I thought my life would be easier this way; so I joined the United States Marine Corps. On October 26, 2003 I embarked on what I still consider to be the greatest journey of my life; becoming a United States Marine. My anxiety about what lay ahead was more than compensated by my naïve enthusiasm finally to begin following my dream. Little did I know that this sojourn would not only try, but also reveal my character in many ways I could not have imagined. Upon my arrival at the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot Parris Island, South Carolina I was immediately introduced to my platoon and our Drill Instructors. These were the individuals whose sole purpose was to guide and mold me into becoming part of the Corps future. Having to follow the smallest of detail the apparent, to me anyway, whimsy of another human being turned into a large dose of bitter reality. I remember telling myself not to worry and stay the course; graduation day would be here soon. Fast forward to February 27, 2005 with my first legitimate mission, OIF, under my belt. It was three weeks of constant movement trying to subdue a small terrorist cell; a group that had been laying Improvised Explosive Devices on our main security routes. With little success we were allowed to return to base for some rest and oppurnity to regroup. After taking a much needed and quite refreshing baby wipe bath; I proceeded to make my first phone call home. I had recollection of neither time nor the day back home when my mother aroused from her sleep to answer the phone. Surprised by my simple hello, she said Happy Birthday through her tears. At that particular moment I paused to reflect on the severity of my situation. I had not the slightest clue it was my birthday. Never could I have imagined my life becoming so hectic. Who forgets their own Birthday? How could...