Do You Really Know What Fear Is? by Harold Aguiar

Essay by bennysosaCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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I believe that anyone who doesn’t have to face fear for his or her life is lucky. Do you know what fear is? It comes in so many different ways. The wake up call when you reach Kuwait and a Lieutenant Colonel is telling you that you are now in a war zone and get prepared to receive your rules of engagement. You are barely off an airplane that you have been in for about 20 hours or so and are still groggy, wondering why the hell are we getting off the plane two at a time. I thought this was a safe zone. Colonel Bilal told me best, he said “Son, there is no safe zone in a war, specially this one.” As I look around when I finally touch ground, the air is thick and hard to breathe. The terrain is not like sand at the beach but more like hardened cement and a lot of dust in the air.

It really smells bad here; I think, “Fuck, is this what my next 380 days going to be like.” Later on I will come to realize that, I wish that being in this area were all I had to do.

Shitting bricks when I read that sign at the border that reads you are now entering Iraq, lock and load your weapons. Once we crossed I couldn’t think of anything but staying focused. My unit trained really hard for disasters and knowing that something bad can happen at anytime really humbles the bravest of men. Soldiers that were high speed during training, I saw cry tears as we are getting briefed. This is real.

Once I got my nerves settled or the closest thing to it I began to look at the scenery while patrolling atop a turret.