Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Battle for Joy

In college I was a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). They taught us a lot about the theory of war.  That teaching mostly revolved around scintillating topics like the 5 paragraph operations order, and military decision making process (MDMP).  But the days I had the most fun were when we pulled the weapons from the armory, and went to the range.  The day we threw the grenade was truly exciting.  You stand with this heavy round ball (a little smaller than a bocce ball) and you know it can cause irreparable damage to you and others.  We stood in cement bays, with Drill Instructors standing next to us.  Their job was to throw us to the other side of the cement barrier if we dropped the grenade, or forgot to throw it in the excitement. 

I stood in my bay ready to pull the pin, looking at the crater left by someone who dropped their grenade earlier that day.  There is a healthy terror to pulling that pin.  And yet, when you do, you release a powerful weapon.  In a flash of light and sound, I could hear and feel the powerful force of the grenade going off on the other side of the bunker wall.  In live combat the grenade is an even more terrifying weapon.