When a man is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Oh, friends. I feel so incredibly defeated right now. I want to toss my proverbial running self into a deep, dark hole and fall asleep, never to wake up again.
Truth is, I am so out of my element.
Don’t get me wrong, if I’m going to be away from my husband and friends for almost a month, I am thrilled that I can at least be with family.
The shades of unfamiliarity are cast everywhere I seem to go; the house, the neighborhood, the town, the state [for goodness sake I’m on the opposite coast], and even being on Fort Bragg seems so foreign to me.
During my run today I set out into the rolling hills of Fayetteville, in the high heat and humidity, only to be met halfway with the threatening roar of thunder. Just great. I was having a hell of a time just maneuvering my way around the debris that littered the ‘barely there’ sidewalks, or dodging the overgrowth of brush that cast over said sidewalk. To make matters worse, it was along a VERY busy road, with cars whipping by you at least 50 mph. Finally, as if the run wasn’t high stress enough, I had to deal with drivers trying to enter the busy road; constantly on guard in regards to cars darting in and out of driveways and neighborhoods.
I’m going to try and look at the positive side of this – I set off with the intent of running 10 miles today, but was forced to do four. Maybe the weather was on my side for this one, making me head home prematurely; irate, drained, and of course, defeated.
Anyway, I’m thinking about deferring the Marine Corps Marathon to next year. Granted, we’re going to DC anyway, but right now doing anything more than five miles seems downright impossible.
Well, not impossible. I know that’s not true. I’m just wallowing in self pity for the time being.
I ran for the following fallen soldiers ::
Army Pvt. 2 Ruben Estrella-Soto // April 22, 1984 – March 23, 2003
PV2 Estrella-Soto, 18, of El Paso, Texas was assigned to 507th Maintenance Company, out of Fort Bliss. A good student that played football, PV2 Soto looked forward to studying engineering, and found that the Army could help pave the way for him. He knew the value of education, and wanted to get out of poverty, all the while serving the country that had given him so much. While in the Army, he became a US Citizen.
Marine Pfc. Tamario D. Burkett // December 4, 1981 – March 23, 2003
PFC Burkett, 21, of Erie, New York was assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The oldest of seven children, PFC Burkett was a poet and artist. While writing letters home, he made it a point to write something small to each individual sibling. Described as a gentleman, he was a very honorable ‘everyday young man’.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Jason Hicks // May 1, 1977 – March 23, 2003
SSgt. Hicks, 25, of Jefferson, South Carolina, was assigned to the 41st Rescue Squadron, out of Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Before enlisting in the Air Force, he was a member of his local rescue squad, and fire department. Enlisting in 1996, he planned on making it a career until retirement, after which he was dreaming of opening a seafood restaurant. He married his wife in a court house ceremony in January of 2003, planning for a bigger wedding once he came home.
Air Force Senior Airman Jason Plite // April 13, 1981 – March 23, 2003
SrA, 21, of Lansing, Michigan was assigned to the 38th Rescue Squadron, out of Moody Air Force Base. In his short life, it is apparent that SrA Plite made his mark on this world. An avid swimming, he set records at his local high school that still stand today. Graduating basic training with honors, SrA Plite pushed himself by completing the Pararescue courses, of course, graduating with top honors. It was often remarked that he had a soft heart, and that you wouldn’t know that he was a part of a special and elite group.