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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Right Edge

The not knowing is the worst part. I feel like my life is on hold. After the events of September 11, I stood frozen watching the television in shock. I was shocked, angry and perplexed and now confused not knowing how these events will continue to affect my life. I sit in class wondering if I am wasting my time. Should I be out having fun, enjoying life before I get activated? Do I want to get activated? Whether you are a reservist, in the National Guard or a full time member of the Armed Service, you are still a soldier, a sailor or airman. Many college students who are in the Guard or Reserves joined for help with college funding and for ideological reasons and to improve their perspective and quality of life. Now everything has changed because the idea of being in training in case we have to go to war has become more of a reality.I am wondering how serious I am about being a soldier. I am a secretary in a very elite unit. Basically, the best part about being in a Military Police Criminal Investigation Unit is everyone else’s job. The idea was to get military law experience, learn the ropes as a part-time enlisted soldiers, (protocols, procedures, traditions, lingo and lifestyle of what it means to be in the Army) and after I graduated college to go on to become an officer, transfer to a JAG unit, go to law school and go JAG. (Judge Advocate General- a lawyer in the military). Nobody anticipated that terrorist hijacked airplanes would attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I didn’t anticipate that I might be activated in the midst of my college education. Soon after those horrible events, six agents from my unit were activated and this past weekend I watched as the rest of the agents dressed in full fatigues piling into vehicles to drive to Washington D.C. They have orders to be gone for at least a year. One of the officers has a one-week-old baby. All that is left of my unit is the support staff consisting of ten of us-the clerks, the supply personnel, and the mechanics. It is a rare case that we did not all get activated. Apparently they want and need us in D.C. they just don’t have any room-with all the soldiers that are already there. We are still on alert and they are continuing to discuss activating us if or when they can.Drill this weekend was very eerie. After watching the bulk of my colleagues drive off to D.C. I went back to my desk to go file something, anything. Looking out the window, it felt like the fog just kept getting thicker. One of the mechanics was on his honeymoon when our nation was attacked. His wife is also in the reserves. They both wait to hear for orders. I wonder what the tension at his home must feel like. I think about my own family. I haven’t talked to them in a couple of weeks. When I got home from drill my roommate said that my mom called. My roommate told her that I was at Army drill and my mother’s response was “I thought that was last week”. You’d think my family would be more involved due to the recent events but obviously they are too caught up in their own lives to notice. I didn’t bother calling her back. Curled up on the couch eating a Dunkin Donuts’ bagel, watching MSNBC discuss the anthrax scare, I thought about Charlie-all the could haves and should haves. Thinking how I could be curled up in his lap now, if only I wasn’t so afraid of love. Oh well I figure everything in life happens for a reason and I try to look ahead and not behind. But what is ahead? In a month from now will I be in Washington D.C. filing papers day after day or will I still be at college trying to find the inspiration to study? Or if I put all my efforts into studying only to get activated before finals, will it all be a waste?Standing in line to get a new military I.D., I had to sign in and show some form of identification before entering the building. The MP that had me sign in had to have been barely older than 18. He was fully armed with an M-16 strung on his shoulder and a 9MM on belt. His face looked sullen and his eyes sad like mine. I wonder about the soldiers who will fight in Afghanistan. What does the expression on their faces look like? What do their families faces look like? What about the look on the families of anthrax victims, what do their eyes look like? This is what Osama bin Laden wanted.

About the Contributor
Felicia Whatley served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years: Managing Editor: Spring 2009 *News Editor: 2009-2010 *Whatley served alongside Caleb Nelson for these years.