A Letter Home: From SPC Ryan Swensen, 1487th Transportation Company
SPC Ryan Swensen of Germantown, Ohio, is a member of the 1487th Transportation Company and currently serving in Iraq. Prior to going to Iraq, SPC Swensen was a student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. In an attempt to give all of us at home a better view of the events unfolding in Iraq, he has written the following letter home.
The nature of warfare has changed again, as it has with every conflict our nation has faced. No longer are we faced with a uniformed enemy with a front line. Our homeland has become a battlefield of sorts and everywhere in the affected region is considered a combat zone. Much of what we remember from Vietnam can be compared to Iraq and Afghanistan; even the women and children can be considered potential threats.
Prior to heading to Iraq in January, I lived my life as a typical American college student. I would get up for class, go about my day and socialize with friends in the evening and often late into the night. I am also an American soldier that answered the call to duty. I went to my National Guard unit for my weekend drill and was met by the news that we were, in fact, being deployed. Things were about to change for my fellow guardsmen and me.
My MOS (military occupational specialty) is 88M, a motor transport operator, and I am essential to this War on Terrorism. All troops that have been deployed in the combat branches depend on me to supply them when brought in, and also to bring their equipment back when sent home. The difference is that there are no front lines anymore. I have become an infantryman on wheels. Today, the enemy recognizes that they stand no chance against a tank or a fully equipped infantry soldier, so they will engage a convoy that supports combat units. We are the soldiers that have been thrown into the business of war fighting.