6 May 1976 - 28 Apr 2007
Well its been a few days since I've made a post, but its also been a few days since I've been able to get online. The past 2 days there has been a communications blackout. Those of you who have been deployed know what this is. Basically the reason our base goes under a communication blackout is because someone from the base has died and the military wants to make sure they are the ones to contact the family of the deceased before word gets out from soldiers over the internet or phones. Well I was sitting in here on the computer getting ready to post some stupid blog about how boering life is now when they came in and told me we were under comm blackout and had to get off.
I remeber feeling bad at the time because I hate to have to hear about soldiers dying here, but when theres a comm blackout it really hits close to home. This base I stay at is not very big and so theres really not that many soldiers here. When one of them dies, it really lets you know how real things are here.
After I left the internet I went back to my room. I hadn't been there more than 20 minutes when they came in and told everyone in my platoon to get their stuff on and get the trucks ready because we were heading out NOW! We wern't supposed to head out until the next morning so we all started wondering what was going on, but noone knew. We had our assumptions tho that something was or had gone down with some unit in our battallion. We got our stuff ready and shortly after getting the trucks loaded up we were all told to go inside. Ok well maybe were going to be told to stand down. My entire platoon gathered in this one room. Then guys from the other platoons in my company started coming in and we found out that our First Sergeant wanted to speak with us all. OMG! The room was silent, because we all knew what he wanted to say.
After a few minutes our First Sergeant came in and shut the door. He wore a terrible expression on his face. We all knew what was coming, just wondering who. And sure enough the words came from his mouth.
"I just wanted to put out to you guys before the rumors got started. Today SGT Tollett was out with the CO and was shot. He didn't make it."
The room became a dungeon of fear, anger, sorrow and pain. I couldnt believe what I had just heard. I had just seen him right before he had left and had talked with him briefly. How, why could this of happened? What happened? So many questions, but the same end result. One of our fellow soldiers, a brother in arms, and a friend, lost his life. We wern't particularly close, but I had come to be friends with him durring this deployment. I know people have nothing but good things about people after they're death, but this man truely was a great man. He was loved by everone in the company, and probably the worst guy to have ever died from our company here. And I truely mean that from the depths of my soul.
This really put things in to persepective. There wasn't much that could have been done in the situation to of prevented this. It was a lucky stary round that had found had hit in a lethal spot. It could have been anyone else. Thats the sad thing about war. Theres never knowing who or when or what or how. It simply comes down to if its your time or not. And even though we all come over here knowing that this is war, and this is a real possibility here, it still caught everyone off guard. Until that day, noone from our unit had been killed. Im sure others, as well as I held on to that slight hope that all of us would somehow make it home from this place. Maybe I was naive to believe this, but I, as well as everyone else now know the true cost and its not something that can be measured in dollars, or planes or time.
All I know now is that there is a score to be settled. This now became more personal that it ever was, and I feel sorry for the future SOBs that cross our path.
In memory of SGT Tollett, you will never be forgotten and will always have a place with us. Watch down from heaven and be proud of your boys as we are proud of you and your sacrifice.