Once upon a time, long ago and far away, when I was a (civilian) Public Information Officer for the U.S. Army, I was like
a modern-day Donald Rumsfeld -- in love with the beautiful, shiny, erotic toys
of war. The devastation caused by these toys to the "boys" of war was light
years away from even approaching the periphery of my understanding.
One beautiful fall day, after an exhilarating live-fire exercise
at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, home of the Field Artillery, wherein the sheer beauty and brute force of the Army's
newest "shoot and scoot" weapons system -- the Multiple Launch Rocket System
(MLRS) -- was displayed to visiting D.C. officials and packed bleachers of cheering
Redlegs, I was consumed with patriotic fervor; my ears rang with the sounds of
Later that evening, at a local
Underwood's Barbeque restaurant -- still quivering with exhilaration -- I drew on a sauce-stained napkin a rough
picture of my perception of the battlefield of the future -- a perfectly
functioning artillery "Robot." I showed it to Lee Gibson over at Fort
Sill's Audio/Visual shop, who drew the basic illustration. Gibson sent it to
Wayne Crawford at the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Monroe,
Va., who adapted it for an upcoming publication, and sent it to C.B. Pritchett
at Martin-Marietta in Orlando, Fla., who painted it for the final
The illustration below, on the cover of TRADOC's
October 1980 Casemate Chronicle, depicts this mighty beast in all his
destructive glory. His feet are the Abrams Tank and the MLRS. The MLRS Missile Pod and the Pershing II (PII) Missile form his hands. His heart is
the magnificent Target Acquisition System, and his brain (of course) is the Remotely Piloted Vehicle
(RPV), from which today's destructive drone evolved.
My problem is -- I know I should apologize, but
when I look at all this glorious power, I still get a Rumsfeld "rush." When I
open my mouth to say I'm sorry -- to beg your forgiveness -- all that comes out is "Hoo-AHHHH!"
So, my question is -- do ya'll love me any more?
No? Well, okay then. I understand.
But ... do you love me any less?
Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.