Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Fan Blogger--Army SPC Angelina Christian

Today’s blog is the first of what I hope will be many by Star Trek fans and people attending Planet Xpo’s STAR TREK 40th Anniversary Gala Celebration & Conference in Seattle. This one comes to us all the way from Iraq, and I really hope you will take the time to leave Angelina a comment about her blog entry. You could be our next guest blogger! Send your photo (if you have one) and brief story to Amy Ulen as soon as possible...we only have 29 days to go!

Blog #11 by Angelina Christian,
US Army Specialist currently serving in Iraq

"What I Learned from Star Trek"

To wear a uniform of any country is to represent the ideals of that country. And you must believe in those ideals or it is no longer a uniform but becomes just a costume you cloak yourself in to avoid personal responsibility for your actions. Not to say everyone who wears a uniform is righteous—-far from. I wear the uniform of an American Soldier, and I wear the uniform of a Marine in Starfleet. As I put on my boots, grab my shirt, and adjust my hat, I am a stranger in a foreign land. Some see me as an invader or savior—-for I have been called both-—because I wear the uniform that embodies the principles of my forefathers who struggled and are struggling still for freedoms most never know. If I fail in my tasks and do evil (as some who wear this same uniform have done and are doing), I feel the sting and must strive harder to remind both the people who I serve and represent and the people who have allowed me to remain in their country that we are not all the sum of the whole.

As I put on the uniform of a Starfleet Marine, I am cloaking myself in the vision of a man I admire who, with an imagination that knew no bounds, created a world in which we as a species set aside differences and embraced a simple concept “Infinite Diversity in Infinite combinations. Or ‘Can’t we all just get along?’” And with these words international cooperation between governments opened the way for science and doctors, scholars and teachers to better ourselves and allow us leaps and bounds in space exploration, education, preventive medicine. As we explored space if only with imagination and a little help from special effects, a small box brought us to a world which hopefully in the future we can strive to embrace.

My day begins before the sun rises, and I am still working long after it sets. I wear a uniform that attempts to blend into my surroundings, and my equipment is a far cry from high tech. I carry no phaser (but it sure would be nice to have that stun setting). My weapon is my actions as I remain calm and polite while inside I shake and scream at the injustice I see. I stand back as I watch a country piece itself back together, thinking “let me help,” but I must remain silent and offer assistance only if asked. It is a fine line I tread, and I do this because someday soon I hope to be partners with a people I both admire and want to smack upside the head for the atrocities they do to themselves and my fellow soldiers. And, yes, sometimes I wish to smack my fellow soldiers, too. You are free to disagree or agree with why I am away from home and family, my opinion is mine and I will keep my own counsel. I wear the uniform of an American Soldier so someday soon the universe I watched on television will help transform the world I know into the world I hope for.

4 Comments:

  • Angelina,

    Thanks for taking the time to write and share your views of Star Trek in light of recent conflicts. Regardless of what anyone thinks of the war, we all know that freedom isn’t free, and I thank you for the sacrifices you are making while striving for worldwide peace.

    Amy

    By Blogger Amy, at 9:55 PM  

  • I couldn't have said it better myself, Kitty.

    Love,

    Your Husband

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:15 PM  

  • Hello Angela.

    Your husband pointed me to your blog, while communicating over the G and M project (I recently had the pleasure of joining the team).

    I've asked him to pass along my sentiments on your essay. Let me say myself, Bravo. Your words are eloguent and inpsire for a better future.

    By Anonymous Roliba, at 11:18 PM  

  • Angelina,

    I salute you!

    Here in Tacoma, I am surrounded by Army, Air Force and Navy bases. It's wonderful and emotional, because I see uniformed men and women nearly every time I step outside the door, worship at church, or accept an invitation to a family barbecue. Nearly every time, I take a moment to thank and to shake the hand of the person who is standing in the gap for us and for freedom-bereft people in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    The surprising thing is that, whenever I do this, almost invariably the soldiers look surprised at first; then a broad smile lights their faces.They seem enormously grateful that someone has stopped and taken a moment to recognize them and to thank them!

    Yes, war is hell! Who LOVES war? Not even a soldier would raise his or her hand in the affirmative on this question.

    I think the international controversy over whether the war is a good thing or a bad thing impacts our soldiers greatly deep down inside, where their spirits struggle to remain victorious despite the pros and cons they hear swirling around them in the news and on the street,so any time we step outside our own comfort zone to thank them for "soldiering on", it's a huge deal to them...

    Knowing this...

    Trek fans: Thank a soldier today, no matter what your view on the present conflicts! You'll catch a few of them at the Planet Xpo convention, looks like! (They just might resemble Starfleet officers instead!)

    Angelina, you and your fellow soldiers are in my prayers!

    By Blogger Kristine M Smith, at 12:50 PM  

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