A few days ago, my roommate and I crossed paths going to and from the gym. With an anxious gaze, she stopped me.
“I was just talking to this colonel I know,” she said, “and she’s told me there’s been a string of sexual assaults around the KIV lately.”
“Like, people jumping out of the shadows?” I asked.
She nodded. I had my doubts. Not that I don’t believe people when they say they’ve been sexually assaulted, but strangers attacking vulnerable passersby under the cover of darkness sounds too much like a hysterical stereotype. Wouldn’t the base be on lockdown if night-stalkers were really a problem? Everybody carries a gun, for Christ’s sake.
“So do you mind if we start locking the door to our room at night?”
I shrugged. “Okay.” Since she sleeps next to the door, she’s the one who would have to bear the burden of the loud click of the lock as I go to use the bathroom at 4 am.
I’m not too worried about it. My fists are lethal weapons, after all. Plus, I’ve got my gun, and my knife, and I’m not afraid to use them.
“But can you pull the trigger?” my Fieldcraft Hostile instructor asked the class back in August. I believe if you’re in the military, you’d better be able to pull the trigger.
“But can you really?”
I’ve been asked this question a lot throughout my career. I’m supposed to think hard about it, and look deep inside myself and feel doubt if I’ve really got it in me to take another person’s life.
“You don’t know for sure unless you’ve experienced a life-or-death situation for yourself.”
I have yet to be faced with a situation where I needed to decide whether to kill someone. I have, however, been in lots of physical fights with people; in fact, fighting is my specialty. There is, you could say, something like a monster inside me I let off its leash on occasion to go medieval on someone’s ass. Could I pull the trigger if I felt my life or someone else’s was in imminent danger?
So maybe somebody will jump out of the shadows as I’m walking to dinner, or sneak into my room at night. But they’d better be ready to die, because I will fucking kill them.