Originally posted by observer
If you copy and paste the link it says "document not found"
You're quite right - sorry. I don't want to post erroneously.
I got the link via Google news, so guess the URL is dependent on that site too?
Here is the story cut and pasted for convenience:
As war looms, young soldiers confront fear
Tue Mar 18, 6:25 AM ET Add Top Stories - USA TODAY to My Yahoo!
Gregg Zoroya USA TODAY
CAMP NEW JERSEY, Kuwait -- There are explosive, violent thoughts that play on a young soldier's idle mind here in the desert.
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Slideshow: U.S. Military Build-Up
Most of the Army's 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division troopers are untested in combat. They wonder how they will react, how fear might grip them,
when the war starts. Each wonders what kind of soldier he will be when that happens.
Pfc. Gene Marr, 21, of Omaha, Neb., ticks off all the things on his mind: ''Whether we're going to get ambushed, whether they're going to
outnumber us or we'll outnumber them. Whether they're going to be really hostile or surrender.'' Marr, a grenadier, a soldier who specializes in
grenade use, adds, ''There's not a night goes by I haven't thought about it.''
The soldiers of the 101st are light infantry used in helicopter assaults. Their mission will be to strike deep into Iraqi territory.
The troops here are wrestling with the same fears known to millions of soldiers through history.
But the soldiers and their officers going into battle face more complex problems than defeating a conventional army.
Will they face a determined enemy or will they be welcomed as liberators? Will they be drawn into bloody urban fighting, where the enemy will melt
into the civilian population? How should they react to internal ethnic fighting?
Then there is the largest worry of all: chemical or biological weapons.
''Every day my heart beats faster and faster,'' says Spc. Jaime Betancur, 23, of Queens, N.Y. ''But when I get on that bird'' -- the
helicopter that will take him into combat -- ''all that has to drop off.''
The American military is widely viewed as the best-trained, best-equipped fighting force in the word. It is a distinction keenly felt by everyone in
the 101st, a division known as the ''Screaming Eagles.''
Marr is a member of the ''Rakkasan'' Brigade, a storied regiment that played a decisive role during World War II. Rakkasan is Japanese for falling
umbrella, which was how the Japanese described the parachutes of the airborne troops during the postwar occupation of the country.
When Marr visualizes his platoon in the midst of battle, ''I tell myself, 'Don't choke.'
The Hollywood movie most frequently cited here as depicting worst-case combat is Black Hawk Down. The film describes a conflict in which the American
military's superior training and technology failed them in the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia.
Training will pull them through
Most of the troops say they expect the endless drills and training in peacetime will pull them through during the chaos of combat. They will react
before they have time to think.
Nonetheless, though training can be pushed to authenticity's edge (two Rakkasans were crushed to death by a tank in urban-warfare training at Fort
Polk, La., in November), everyone knows it's not combat. Even the toughest and cockiest of soldiers worry how they will react.
The Rakkasans were in Afghanistan (news - web sites) last year. Most, though, never came under fire, and a third or more of the brigade has turned
over since then. Scattered through the ranks are older veterans of Desert Storm of 1991or the hard-fought Panama invasion of 1989.
''The only thing you can do is train with tough realistic conditions,'' says 1st Sgt. Jimmy Clouse, a Panama veteran. ''But then when you
actually get into combat, you don't know how you're going to react.''
''Fear is not that bad, because it heightens your senses,'' says Sgt. 1st Class James Coroy, another Panama veteran and member of the Rakkasans'
Soldiers in that battalion cover their helmets with tattered pieces of cloth and burlap known as ''iron hair,'' a camouflage dating to World War
II airborne soldiers.
''It's panic that's bad,'' says Coroy, 36, a native of Gonzales, La. ''I just talk to my soldiers and I say, 'Look, if we stick together, we
trust in the leadership and do our drills, our training, the way we're supposed to, everything is going to be OK.'
Chaplains become outlets
The drilling continues in the desert here.
Troopers, looking spectral in the blowing sand storms, charge over dirt embankments with their M-4 carbines or machine guns and plunge into
''enemy'' bunker systems as their platoon sergeants bark out commands.
The storms have grown so thick that the Rakkasan brigade commander, Col. Mike Linnington, has advised soldiers to carry a compass even when they go to
the chow hall.
It's hard to confess fear to your buddy, let alone the platoon commander.
Chaplains remain the time-honored sanctuary for those buffeted by fear, anxiety or doubt. Chaplain Mike Rightmyer, 36, of Austin, Texas, who is
ordained by the Presbyterian Church in America, ducks with a soldier into a bomb shelter for some privacy.
Few come to him openly professing fear of combat. The one who did said he was terribly ashamed to admit it.
Others plead different concerns: about the morality of this war or the correctness of taking a life.
''I tell them it's an important aspect of obedience to God to keep your promise, keep your covenant, keep your oath (to defend the country),''
For those who doubt the rightness of a possible war with Iraq (news - web sites), he offers religious logic. ''If you had to choose which regime God
is behind, look at what Saddam's regime stands for,'' Rightmyer says.
He cites the brutal history of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)'s dictatorship and quotes Genesis 9:6: ''Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man
shall his blood be shed.''
Line soldiers say they are counting on their training, the endless repetitive drilling, to overcome the terror of battle.
''I've been prepared to do just about anything that could come up,'' says Pvt. Jeffrey Hren, 22, of Milwaukee, who married days before his
deployment. ''You get as realistic as possible so you get to know what it's like with all the noise, all the commotion going on around you. You
feel comfortable just acting on instinct.''
Crouching in one of the battalion's prefabricated bomb shelters to escape the desert wind, Hren says, ''I'm going to be afraid, but I'm just
going to have to push through it. I'm going to do what needs to be done. I don't want to let down my team, my squad, my company.''
Officers' composure is key
During World War II soldiers played cards, read letters and smoked to pass time. Now the props may be different, but the fears are the same.
Here the troops still play cards, but they also while away hours on video games or watching portable DVD players.
It is rare that someone talks about fear. But team leaders pick up on body language.
''You can sense that they're worried,'' says Sgt. Arthur Mann, 23, of Bardstown, Ky., who has a team of three riflemen. ''It's just the way,
when you talk about things that are dangerous, they look down or roll their eyes or twist their necks.''
Mann's wife is expecting the couple's first child, a girl, in May. Here he has a St. Michael medallion duct-taped to his dog tags. St. Michael is
the patron of soldiers; the charm reads ''Pray for us.''
'Cockiness . . . will get you killed'
''Everybody's scared,'' Mann says. ''If you ain't scared, you're cocky, and that's the cockiness that will get you killed.''
Young officers on the brink of their first war are sensitive to how their troops, especially those who might be spooked by the violence, will study
their commander's face to know how to react.
Capt. Christian Teutsch, a 28-year-old West Point graduate from Richmond, Mass., smiles when he thinks about composure.
''I do not have a poker face. My wife (Lydia) says all the time I can't lie about anything,'' says Teutsch, who commands Charlie Company, 3rd
Battalion, of the Rakkasan 3rd Brigade.
''My emotions are always coming out. And so I hope that when my soldiers see my emotions coming out that it's the confidence and the focus coming
out, and it's not me being scared,'' he says.
A devout Lutheran, he often turns to the 91st Psalm and intends to do so before he goes into combat: ''You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day.''
His battalion commander, Col. Lee Fetterman, is working to sow seeds of confidence. He tells his subordinate commanders that the role they and the
troops could play in any future war will be the ''seminal event'' of their lives.
Each day, he makes tent rounds, joking, chatting and singling out personal details with his troops.
The colonel is a firm believer that fears can be allayed by a soldier's sense that he is an integral part of something large and important. The
result, he says, is that the soldier ''starts to identify with the organization as bigger than himself.
''People in the organization become important to him. And it is more important to him not to fail them than just about anything else in the
''You make your peace before you go out,'' Fetterman says.
''It's sort of a fatalistic approach, but you say, 'What happens to me personally is going to happen to me. But I'm as well-trained as I can be
and as well-equipped as I can be, and I'm as ready as I can be. I can't do anything about it. So all I have to do is focus on my job.'
Sorry for the error.