" Think About it..."
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True Soldier Stories
"Courage is the ability to move;
when all around you are frozen in fear
My Name is Joe Turley
I'm a Police Sergeant as well as a reserve
in the Arizona National Guard.
As an LDS kid, this was not something that was looked upon as being a "wise" choice for reasons that the readers can surmise on their own. After completing Basic Training, Infantry School and Airborne School, I was assigned to a rifle company in the 82nd Airborne Division. As with all new soldiers in the Airborne, I was surprised at the intensity and duration of the training.
Despite having heard many war stories and such,
There is no escape from the heat, cold, rain, snow or whatever element there is out there. Infantry soldiers (grunts) are out in the elements 24/7 with a minimum of shelter. Grunts just have to learn to "take it" and enjoy being miserable for the duration. Not only is the grunt expected to live in the elements, but he also has to carry heavy packs and weapons, dig fighting positions and conduct all sorts of combat operations. Sleep is not generally something that is included in all of this, at least not for any significant amount of time. This can go on for a few days up to several months in the case of some of the soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. In many cases, grunts do not have tents, sleeping bags and other items of comfort with them. After all, if you had all that stuff, where would you keep all your ammo? With all these obstacles in a gruntís way, his main objective is to carry the lightest load possible,
hence the saying, "travel light, freeze at night."
I spent four years as a grunt living a medieval existence at times. It was quite the adventure, but is one that I would be reluctant to go through again. Cumulatively my experiences gave me a better appreciation of what my pioneer ancestors went through.
I am a direct descendant of people who joined the church
I can guarantee you that they often went days without food and adequate shelter all the while making their way across the plains. Many of my ancestors died along the way as a direct result of the circumstances that they were living in. There were many times as a soldier where I was pushed to my limits and felt that I had nothing left. I would often think about how much harder life was for my ancestors and this always motivated me to drive on. In many tough situations, a personís mental state and drive is what gets him through the situation whether it be pulling a handcart across the plains or carrying 100 lbs of mortar ammunition up a hill to a mortar pit under enemy fire.
Drive is not everything though;
This experience may not be much of a spiritual experience, but it is one that has made me more appreciative of what my ancestors went through. Many of us appreciate what the pioneers went through to establish a settlement that was free from oppression, but few of us have any clue about the hardships that they endured. I feel that my experience was just a small inkling of what my ancestors went through.
If the pioneers put up with what they did,
Sergeant Joseph Turley
If you are or were a police officer,
or use the link on the front page of this site at
Thank you and God bless,
"Think About it..." mailed to your home for only $14.95 S&H included