Due to a series of technical transformations and bureaucratic futility, it has been a solid three years since my unit has deployed. Given the current state of the U.S. Army, that’s more than just an extended break between deployments. Myself, I’ve been in Hawaii for about a year-and-a-half now … I don’t know, all I can say is that it’s disturbing watching the most powerful fighting force in the history of the world slowly bleed out while you drink Mai Tai’s at Duke’s at Waikiki Beach and shamelessly flirt with morally casual female tourists, just waiting for your turn to join the fight.
I don’t mean to convey that my soldiers and I are eager - just anxious. Quelling a guerilla war half-a-world away isn’t exactly a black cloud one enjoys hanging over them, no matter how tropical a paradise your holding pattern may be. Hell, I feel like I’ve spent the last 15 months stuck in the Hawaiian delusions of December 6th in From Here to Eternity.
Might have something to do with the fact that the Schofield barracks haven’t been renovated since they filmed the movie there some fifty years ago. Or that my house is literally five minutes from where that famous beach scene took place. Or that I’ve drank all over the island with an eclectic collection of honorable and profound mother fuckers, just the type the world always seem to relish destroying in war. Whichever way, I keep looking to the skies over Kolekole Pass, but the Japanese planes never come.
I guess when you’re bringing the fight to the enemy, the twisted romance in it all changes somewhat.