I wasn't able to attend the Warrior Writers retreat earlier this year due to various obligations and I haven't posted on here for a while, so I thought I'd choose a topic from the retreat and slowly get back into posting on here. This is the topic:
What was your relationship to your weapon? Did you love it, hate it, feel safer with it? feel scary with it? Did you use it as a hat rack, as a weapon, as a security blanket. Was it an M-16, SAW, 9-mil? or what??
Tell us about you and your weapon. What kind of weapons do you use now
In Field exercises the M-16 went into my sleeping bag with me and I cuddled with it because it was all i had. I'm not sure why but a fire arm has always made me feel safe. I was in jROTC in high school and shot bolt action .22s competitively, so that led to familiarity. Familiarity is interesting -- with my weapon, it didn't lead to contempt. It didn't lead to loving it, or hating it. No hat rack M-16, no neglected dust gatherer, either. No superior performance with it, no poor performance -- always in the middle.
It didn't make me feel tougher, either.
I always wanted to carry a handgun. I read a lot of true crime, I what the news and read the police blotter, and I know that those self-defense classes at the Y aren't really going to help me overcome someone who surprises me and is bigger and stronger than I. I always wanted to be able to defend myself with any necessary means.
I'm a survivor, and a weapon, an M-16 that I lugged around Iraq with me and never once fired, was just another thing I had.
I've been out for several years now, and I've gone back and forth on the issue of purchasing a handgun or putting together a rifle or purchasing a shotgun, even. It is really not foremost in my mind now. I have a daughter. I'm getting a divorce. I'm a full-time student with barely a part time job. I'm 24 and just moved back in with my parents. The positive side? Rent free, among other things. Reconnecting with my family after so many years being gone and missing so much of my little brother's lives (they were all grown up by the time I got out of the army, practically).
My current weapon? My weapons...? My mind, my heart, my soul, my cliches. The power I hold in my feminine amazonian spirit, the love of my daughter, the width of my hips and depth of my heart.
My goals that I mold and move forward on. My intelligence which is not diminished by my gender, my age, or my poverty. My semi-ability to appreciate good and bad situations for the experiential living they provide instead of wallowing in the bitterness they suggest. My weapons are not of flesh and blood but of passion and strength. The M-16 I sleep with now is comfort in the knowledge that I will always carry on.