This is the post excerpt.

I sit here at work trying to stay awake and my mind drifts… Its been a week since I was in harness. Since I was standing side by side with men and women ready to face the best in the world and put their bodies into harms way for the chance to prove themselves in the crucible that combat is.

All statements such as “you need pressure to make diamonds” and “you must heat and hammer steel to shape it but still the steel must survive the quench to become what it is meant to be” while being accurate enough don’t truly describe what combat is like and how it changes you. Its a different world, place where time goes both faster and slower depending on factors…. where a split second decision can lead to success or failure, pain and injury, or maybe the matchless thrill that being the last team standing brings.

I WANT to be bigger, stronger, faster so that I can meet more opponents and come out the winner of those contests. I WANT to train with the team that will stand beside me, to use their strengths and to train to overcome their weaknesses and become victorious. We don’t get to be Victorious in the modern world. Its an amazing feeling, and no participation award or “atta boy” type recognition remotely matches Victory.

Raising a glass in celebration after a day in armor with friends, old and new, who were opponents hours before is a surreal experience. I enjoy the drinks but am more likely to become intoxicated on the company I am sharing. There is a camaraderie there after the fights are over that is hard to explain. I saw it in France and Spain when fighters from over a Dozen nations, with perhaps NO common language, gathered together to celebrate the deeds done that day. Different life stories and paths…. different politics and interests…. different in many ways perhaps but all sharing something important… the battle, the fight, the risks, the rewards, the knowledge that there are others just like us and that at times we must draw together to do battle or wither inside. Young and Old, veteran of many battles or raw recruit ready to be bloodied their first time… they feel it the same and most will answer the call.

I will take the field again soon. For now I heal my body as it suffered in its quest for Victory…. I repair, replace and improve my equipment so that I will stand better prepared when next I enter the crucible…. and I will enter it again. For now I train and prepare for the next call to arms. I have battles ahead of me and I will be ready for them.


-Trey “APC” Sutter