Nostalgia just hit,a thought or a smell or some other clue brought me back, not to a particular time or place but more like those moments that are "comfortable" that we retreat too when we think about the good times and forget about the bad times. It was in the field, non tactical, the sun isn't up, but it's threatening on the horizon, we are up and moving for the day. It was a cold night, but no fires were allowed in this T.A., so we are standing around trying to warm up. It will be a warm day so no one is wearing jackets, we are all shivering after climbing out of a warm sleeping bag or a Ranger Roll. We haven't showered in a few days so there is the smell of pine, the forest floor of detritus, DEET, a little B.O. and that smell that Surplus stores and supply huts have of issued equipment such as Deuce gear and Sleeping bags. Some guys are eating cold M.R.E.'s, some are warming them up (which adds to the smells), some are making MochaJava, all are sharing (even while bitching about it). Someone is complaining about a piece of gear being missing or broken, someone else is cracking a joke, laughter drifts through the air, we stand in groups telling stories about stuff that would get us thrown in jail in most countries or make us Kings in others. We both love and hate those around us depending on the minute of the day, but would die for any or all of them. We are ready for whatever comes at us today, good or bad. We are Brothers. The faces are not clear, and the names escape me as I grow older, but the sentiment and the feelings remain. The camaraderie, the esprit de corps, the affection. All the transgressions are forgotten and only the good remains, just as I sit here with aches and pains, I have forgotten the ones I had to have felt back then. For this moment, this very moment, I remember it as good as it ever was. These moments are the ones that will haunt me with nostalgia as I get older and older. Not the crazy insane things we did in Uncle Sam's Adventure Club, not the parties, not the explosions, the rounds expended, or the adrenaline rushes we all lived for, the things we did that would give our Mother's and Father's heart attacks. Not the the ass chewings or Forced Marches or Ruck Runs. Not the PT sessions after a night drinking. Not even holding a friend in pain, watching his life slip away, (for that will haunt us during those dark times).This is a memory of when it was good, and all was right in the world. And I will take this memory and hold it close for those times when I forget that I used to be cool. Cheers Brothers! And thanks for the memories.