You are about to enter another realm, another world, where things operate quite differently than what you are used to, a world outside of logic and reason, a world unlike any other you’ve ever experienced. You are about to enter…the Sandy Zone.
We begin our story with a young Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps. He is stationed overseas in a long-forgotten war-torn land. The fighting has been going on for years now and yesterday was no exception…except today…today will be different.
Yesterday our Lance Corporal, led a combined patrol with an indigenous squad and a squad of Marines. They were ambushed by overwhelming fire from enemy forces strategically placed along their patrol route. The entire patrol seemed to be in a turkey shoot. But, through calm cool leadership, this young Lance Corporal strategically placed his fire teams and the fireteams of the indigenous squad. Once situated, they began scoring accurate rifle hits on their enemies. While this was going on, our fearless E-3 made his way from position to position while under direct enemy fire with the Corpsman, treating and triaging the wounded, adjusting fires and distributing ammo. After 10 minutes that seemed like an eternity the last of the enemy rifle fire had ceased. Either everyone was dead or they ran away. Our Lance Corporal had successfully pushed back an ambush against a numerically superior and strategically placed enemy and didn’t lose a single man. Only five men had been wounded.
There was a ruckus outside, a runner from the Combat Operations Center (COC) came into his hooch and informed him that there was a formation in less than one minute. He hadn’t shaved or gotten a haircut recently…he knew for certain he was in deep shit if he were to be seen.
He quickly made his way to the formation and faded into the back, hoping not to be noticed for his dirty cammies, lack of a shave, and long hair. No sooner had the company been called to attention, than his name was called.
Marching up to the Company Commander and First Sergeant he awaited his ass chewing.
“Marines,” the CO began, “when we talk about setting an example to follow…” Oh shit here it came… “We can think of no other Marine than the one you see before you, to follow in the footsteps of,” wait what the fuck “…yesterday this Marine stayed cool under pressure and took the fight to the enemy, we take extreme pleasure in presenting this Marine with a Bronze Star with V for his actions during yesterdays patrol.”
“Wait…sir, first sergeant, you guys don’t care that my cammies are dirty or that I didn’t shave today and haven’t gotten a haircut in God knows how long?”
The Company Commander and First Sergeant looked at each other puzzled…
“What the fuck does any of that have to do with you killing bodies like you were the Bubonic Plague?”
“Exactly. Your entire chain of command stayed up all night pushing this through to the commander of I MEF because you deserved it. Great job son.”
What you have just witnessed was our first foray into the Sand Zone, where things operate quite differently than what you are used to, a world outside of logic and reason, a world unlike any other you’ve ever experienced.