Thursday, April 17, 2008


Yes, for those of you who wondered whether he had to *walk* from Portland, no, he's been here 4 days and I've been enjoying his company rather than blogging. Here are some striking tidbits from our conversations, in no particular order.

  • One of the "culture shock" items occurred before he left. When he had to turn in his weapons, he felt like he had lost an appendage. He said it felt weird and it wasn't a good weird. Not having a means of protecting himself meant he felt naked and vulnerable.

  • We were talking about how many military transition to civilian life by choosing a career in law enforcement. When I told him I had read the adrenalin rush which comes from being in a combat situation becomes addicting and many ex-military find a desk job too mundane and boring to want to do it for any length of time. They feel more alive under dangerous situations.

    Daniel said he totally understood. When he gets shot at, he frequently finds himself laughing - he says he finds it "fun" in a deranged way. He supposes it's "fun" all the way up until the time you go down with a hit.

  • He is not finding it difficult to talk about himself and his experiences because he's alive, kicking and in one piece. He has shown us a video taken by someone in a vehicle 2 behind his which recorded an EFP hitting Daniel's vehicle. The blast took out the "rhino," a device which sticks out in front of the Stryker, and probably saved at least 2 lives inside the vehicle. Daniel said it was a rude awakening, because literally he was fast asleep at the time.

  • Other people's experiences he has more trouble with. He has made it through a telling of Perez' death twice and finds himself shaking at the telling. I have not heard it yet.

  • He wears a memorial bracelet for Sgt. Johnson and his squad have ordered the one for Spc. Perez. I was thinking of the promise we give to remember the fallen troops. Their brothers in arms put it tangibly.

The picture is sent by Mrs. Cap (wife of Daniel's friend Capellino) of Perez' memorial service.

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