Some days, I miss you.
You were but a heaping pile of metal and dirt. But on most days you and your v-shaped hull gave me the confidence I needed to face the irrefutably stupid- leaving the wire every single day in the IED Galore hard packs of Helmand Province. It was honorable to command you and my team into the Wild East, into treacherous terrain.
We got well acquainted in our short time, you and I. I knew all your quirks even though I was very rarely your operator. Knowing exactly how much LSA would keep our friend, the Mach Deuce, happy. Your Blue Force Tracker, which was for looks and to bruise my knees every single day on the way to Camp Hansen. I would’ve had to rely on an old 1:50,000 and a protractor in a time of need. Thankfully, during our time together, it was always just enough to follow the heaping pile of metal before us and the giant tracks it made in the moon dust to show us the way. Your frequency jammer was also purely cosmetic. It wouldn’t be bothered to turn on, much less show the signs of error. Your doors opened at your mercy, and most often had to be combat locked because- deranged as you were- you found it humorous to let the latches fly while on the move.
It was a short romance we had. A beautiful one nonetheless. Many unforgettable conversations took place while frequenting your guts. Your metal ribs always protecting our fragile bodies. There were moments of happiness as well as anguish, anger and misery. There were many moments of frustration.
I will never forget you, nor your nooks and crannies. The sliver behind the dash where I’d keep Ayn Rand’s Anthem, or the upper right hand corner underneath my seat where I kept my moleskin stored. The cracks and spaces in between glass and armor never devoid of writing utensils; felt-tipped markers, pencils, and pens.
We had very few incidents, you and I, and I am thankful to you.
You would’ve gladly given your life to protect mine.
Corporal Casteleiro, G. A.