Long, long ago, hotshot82nd had been given an impossible mission, except he had been trained by one of the finest of the military units in America, where they don’t believe in “impossible” missions. Way back then, units like his were singled out for recognition of their superior nature with their own special colored beret. mhere and hotshot82nd met in a far away country serving their country in the Army. hotshot82nd didn’t think women belonged in the Army. When mhere arrived to this unit, hotshot82nd was the big deal – NCO of the Year for their brigade and a SGT Morales Club inductee. mhere worked down the hallway from hotshot82nd, but she avoided him and another infantry NCO from that office. They would walk down the hallway, looking straight ahead like they didn’t see mhere and as soon as they were right beside her, they would shove mhere into the wall and say, “Out of my way Private!” Then they would laugh and keep walking. mhere learned to peek out of her office and look down toward their S-3 office (that’s where the training and operations happens) to make sure the coast was clear before venturing down the hallway.
After a while, the other NCO started talking to mhere and he would come in her office and chat. Once he even asked her what to do, because he was having problems with his wife. hotshot82nd though, hmmmmmm, mhere avoided him and thought he was just too cocky. One morning, their first sergeant (he’s called Top in the Army) pulled mhere aside before formation. Top smiled and told mhere, “Kid, you’re going to become a machine-gunner!” Fear gripped mhere’s heart, because naturally, she was afraid of guns. When she had enlisted in the Army it never entered her mind that she would have to use guns. She had read the recruitment information and it talked about all these amazing jobs (military occupational specialty – MOS) you could pursue and mhere had decided she wanted to be a public affairs specialist. She liked to write and in high school she had been editor of the yearbook and on the school newspaper staff. Her recruiter told mhere that she should become a translator, because mhere had taken 2 years of Russian in high school. mhere knew that would be a disaster, because while she learned to read okay in foreign languages, speaking them could only be described as pathetic and anyway, poor little mhere knew she had enough trouble just spitting out sentences in English. mhere had made it through basic training markmanship training, only with a great deal of help from a kind drill sergeant, who stayed by her side and talked her through it.
hotshot82nd, standing nearby with a few other infantry soldiers (grunts in the Army), bristled with anger when he heard Top tell mhere that she was going to become a machine-gunner. He disgustedly told Top, “Girls can’t be machine-gunners!” Top smiled at hotshot82nd and said, “Sergeant, you’re going to train her!” and walked away. mhere told hotshot82nd that she knew it was a dumb idea too and she knew she couldn’t be a machine-gunner.
hotshot82nd began taking mhere to the range and at first every time she had to fire a machine-gun, little mhere would close her eyes. hotshot82nd told her she needed to keep her eyes open to always watch what was going on. mhere knew she would be a failure at this and as was her nature she started worrying, “I’m going to get chaptered out of the Army, because I am too pathetic to learn to be a real soldier.” hotshot82nd didn’t want to hear mhere’s defeatist talk and he told her, “Look, I was given this mission and you will learn to be a machine-gunner!” mhere told hotshot82nd, “I am scared of guns!” He told her, “Just remember the mind controls the body, the body does not control the mind!”
Weeks went by and mhere started to improve at being a machine-gunner. She would remember all the things hotshot82nd told her and it got easier, but mhere constantly worried whether she would be able to actually shoot another human being, because oh my gosh, mhere didn’t even like killing flies and she would try to get someone else to do it.
mhere remembered that lesson, now, as the attack on her escalated. She now knew she was under attack. She had sat on her sofa feeling pressed down, while hotshot82nd put up their Christmas tree. mhere tried to focus on decorating the tree with her children, but the pressure did not let up, so she smiled and chatted and handed ornaments to her children to hang on the tree. mhere’s oldest sister had given her a little cross-stitched Christmas door-hanger ornament a few years before that said, “I Believe” and mhere placed that on her living room door. When she was alone, she began to pace around her house, worrying, worrying, worrying and the only thing that kept her mind from slipping into terror was reminding herself, “I Believe!” and she kept asking God to help her, because she didn’t know what to do and she had moved past being scared to being terrified. She would tap that little cross stitch door-hanger ornament and repeat the words, “I Believe”.
mhere had figured out that she was the target, because hotshot82nd and her children remained unaware of anything amiss. mhere spent many hours worrying, “what if they hurt my kids or hotshot82nd?” So far, it appeared that she was the target. Then mhere began thinking, “well, if they wanted me dead, I would already be dead,” mhere and hotshot82nd didn’t own any guns and even if they did, mhere doubted she’d be brave enough to shoot anyone, so she didn’t know what to do. Uneasily she kept thinking back to that night when she had awakened and peeked through the slats of her mini-blind. “Could that be where this is coming from?”, she wondered. mhere was too afraid to go over there and knock on the door or check it out, because she feared, “what if they kill me? Then my kids and hotshot82nd will be alone against these crazy people and they don’t even know there’s a threat”. mhere kept thinking, “who is doing this?” and since the only people outside of family she was talking to were on that message board, she had her answer. mhere kept posting messages, because she thought, “this is America and I will not let anyone take away my right to free speech!” The hours she spent wrapping Christmas presents, she braced her knees against her bed to keep from being knocked to the floor and she thought, “No one is going to wreck my kids Christmas!” And mhere kept thinking about her beloved Sun Tzu, “always refer to the Estimates.” she told herself.
Although mhere still didn’t know exactly what the objective of this attack was, she worried that this was a psychological operation and she was not well-read on this topic. presidentmendacity and thatwitch2016 stayed mired in scandals and mhere remembered reading about their unsavory entanglements with the Chinese with their campaign financing. She wondered, “is this an American operation or a foreign one?” She didn’t know. The only thing she was 100% positive about was – she must stay calm, because she must keep her children and hotshot82nd safe.