September 18th, 2011

Life is precious.

Posted by julieengel in Uncategorized

So recently this week I’ve decided to change my theme. I was debating a few themes for a while, and although I decided to write about life on tour, I changed my mind again. After reading several stories written by United States soldiers who were on tour in Iraq, I knew I wanted to change my theme for good. I intend on writing about the Iraq war through the eyes of a United States soldier who has been on tour in Iraq. The way every day citizens view the war is far different than how a soldier who is in combat in 120 degree weather every day views it. I feel like this blog will give me an opportunity to show people what these soldiers go truly experience, so everyone can gain a better understanding of what it’s like to be a soldier. So with that said, here’s my first blog post about this theme…


 You know they say to enjoy every moment of your life because life is precious. It can be taken from you in the blink of an eye.  Every day I check my watch and find comfort when I see the hours pass by. The passing of time helps me believe that I’ll be home soon; that I’ll soon be able to hold my baby girl and see my beautiful wife.  But whoever said life is precious was right, and I can’t sit around day dreaming about when I’m going to be with my family next. My comrades have become my family now, Iraq has become my temporary home, and somehow, I’ve learned to embrace it. Sometimes you have to see the light in the darkest of situations.  It’s not something that’s easy to accomplish, but you really must try to make the best of what you have no matter the circumstances. You never know when your unit will be ambushed, or when an operation will go terribly wrong.  So far my unit has been lucky, but having served prior to this tour in Iraq and being a part of Operation Desert Storm, I expect the worst and hope for the best.

Five days ago several of my soldier’s witnessed their first attack during their travels about two miles away from the final destination. One of the men from another unit who served as a convoy escort for ours had been killed by a planted explosive device.  He was the first fallen soldier we’ve had since our arrival in Iraq. Yesterday I attended the memorial service held for our fallen soldier, Christopher Jones.  The service honored Jones, his time and service in military, and his family. I think the saddest part aside from his death, is that his family couldn’t be there to mourn Jones with his military family, or experience the memorial. It made me wonder what would happen if I were to fall victim to this war overseas. What would happen to my wife and child? Who would take care of them? Jones death reminded me of the fine line we walk here between life and death. I haven’t written a will or a “just in case” letter but I think now is a good time to get that started. There is so much to say to everyone once this is all said and done, but I may not live to see that day. I think I’ll get that started now while I have free time. Hope to write again soon.

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2 Responses to ' Life is precious. '

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  1.    jenny abeles said,

    on September 19th, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Hi Julie. I love how the look of this blog fits your theme, and the picture is very affecting. You have a keen aesthetic sense, I think. I also like your new topic, though I do have questions about how this fulfills the definition of “creative nonfiction,” wherein the “I” really is the author. I appreciate your creative ambition in imagining the thoughts and experiences of soldiers in Iraq (is that what you’re doing), but I think what you do here is closer to fiction than non-fiction, even if you know the people who perspectives you’re writing from. If these are people you know, how about writing from your own perspective about what they reveal to you about their experience? A thoughtful, intelligent young woman safely ensconced in Queens trying to understand what is happening half a world away with fellow Americans in uniform is as great and important a story as any soldier’s story. That’s my gut feeling. What do you think?

  2.    Julie Engel said,

    on September 21st, 2011 at 1:00 am

    I’ll try that for my next blog.

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