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These words are my diary screaming out loud

Friday, December 09, 2011

In anticipation of THE football game

The fact that its been 10 years really just hit me.

Well, that's only half true. It hit me the week of 9/11 too. But tonight, watching the From Philadelphia to Fallujah documentary that my local CBS station aired ahead of tomorrow's Army-Navy game, and seeing the footage from that game 10 years ago, my firstie (senior) year, and realizing that I barely remember it, that I barely remember firstie year as a whole, it really hit me. It's been 10 years. It's been a lifetime.

Tomorrow I'm attending the Army-Navy game for the first time since 2002. That year, my other new Ensign friends and I were attending the Surface Warfare Officer School Division Officer Course in Newport, Rhode Island. Those of that were Academy grads were getting our first taste of real life, with help from our ROTC and OCS counterparts. The game that December was at the Meadowlands, just a couple of hours from Newport, so a crowd of us decided to drive down. We had no tickets and no plans, we just wanted to have fun. We were just over a year into this new post 9/11 world, and we still didn't really know what we were getting into.

Fast forward to today. Almost all, save for one or maybe two, of us that went that day have completed our obligations to the military and moved along. I don't think any of us could have had any idea where we'd be now, that we would have lost some of the friends we partied with that day, that we'd still be at war 9 years later.

I'm lying in bed after watching that documentary completely unable to sleep. The footage from Army-Navy 2001 looks so old and grainy. I remember more about the events surrounding the game than the game itself, but more is coming back as I think about it. I think I blocked out much of the fall and early winter of 2001 similar to the way that I blocked out plebe year. There aren't many halts things about that time, so I leave it locked away. For some reason, the documentary tonight stirred up some emotions that I just can't place. Theres some almost misplaced anxiety, some grief, but over what and for whom I can't say.

So for now I'm going to try to sleep and get excited about the only game of the year that matters. I'm going to get up tomorrow, get dressed, and cheer until I'm hoarse for my team from my school to whip the asses of the team from that other Academy, whose alumni I'm proud to call my brothers and sisters at arms.

After the game, of course.


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