What makes a 20 something year old “Boy” put on a flight suit, sit on top of a case of high intensity explosives (The Ejection Seat), on top of tons of highly inflammable fuel, load up his aircraft wings with thousands of Kgs of explosive ordnance, take off with the heaviest carrier borne aircraft, from the shortest deck in the world, fly into enemy territory at 200 feet over terrain he’s never seen, or engage an enemy, again never seen, at an height or situation, never expected, shoot down his enemy, or burn up his home, and come back, and manage to land on a moving runway that tumbles and tosses with every wave in the rogue sea, that turned black, and the sky crying fury, the Gods putting this lad to test on this very day, when he has put in whatever he had into these last 30-40 minutes, all the sweat, toil, blood he has shed over the last decade, training, training, and training, remembering nothing but victory. What makes this 20 something year old “man” return back alive, and still not think of his mother that awaits back home, or his wife who has no clue weather she’s still married to a living soul, and he thinks on, of the enemy, of the uniform, of the unit, of the squadron, of the tricolor, the biggest victory of his life, till the linesman tells him his bird is ready to fly.
It is 10 days after PEARL HARBOR, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz drives into the base, taking over as the Commander-in-Chief-Pacific Fleet. A young Lieutenant, a Fighter Pilot, jeers at his staff car, ” Hey Nimitz, when are you letting us fight the Japs?”. The Admirals Staff Officer immediately tells the driver to stop, so that he may take down the name of this uncouth youngster, but the Admiral nudges him and asks them to move on. All he says is, “well, am i glad that my boys still want to fight.”
What does it take this 20 something year old “boy” boil his blood over a cause, known to none, but to the ones who swore to their constitution and to their flag, to the reason maybe unknown to him to , but the love for his motherland, the hatred for those who make it bleed, the anger he hides over the bodies he’s seen. What makes him forget hunger, sleep or pain, and make it across okay, day by day, be it sun or rain. Be it day or night, as with all his might, rote cramming the books, and sweating it up in the bright sky. Sleeping when he can, making the most of when he cant. Making jokes about death, and the times to come. Well, this young lad, as they would say, is a perilous case of patriotism, most would call it being foolhardy. Yet the lad never fails, to yet again pick up himself, get the boots on, and walk into the sunset, with just that one idea on his mind, “I might not be the King of the lands, or the Richest of man, but i am a soldier, and i owe more, more than you, more than her, more than any, to this, to my, to our, motherland”.
What makes a 20 something year old “Boy”……well, maybe you’ll never understand.