Editor in Chief
His deepest fear is not death. It is not being captured across enemy lines and it is not being tortured. His deepest fear is being crippled and unable to serve his country and protect his people.
Eighteen-year-old Christian Hewitt is a private in the United States Army and a former LPC student. He will be leaving the peace of Northern California right before Christmas to spend his holidays in the war of Southern Afghanistan.
“It will suck being away from home for Christmas. But patri- otism drives me. If I don’t do it, someone else will have to. Someone has to sacrifice to keep the majority safe. Why not me?” Hewitt said.
Hewitt is forward observer who has been trained to spot and aid in the ‘taking out’ of threats to U.S. foot soldiers before they enter an area. He is also a devout Christian.
He is soft-spoken and mild- mannered on the surface. But five minutes of conversation reveal a hardened interior. An interior that at first seems to con- trast the stereotypical love thy neighbor, kumbaya, cookie cutter Christians that are fed to us in the media.
And it is in contrast. Christian believes in military might and protecting the innocent at all costs. “A strong military is neces- sary to keep the free free and free the oppressed. If they are trying to kill me and harm my country
then I’m going to kill them. I’m going to react. I don’t really see it as murder. It is not out of spite or hate.”
Christian is willing to risk life and limb to protect the lives and limbs of Americans he has never met. “Civilians should not have to worry. If we look at other parts of the world they are plagued by violence because there is nothing to stop it. Nobody or not enough militarytoquellit,”Christiansaid.
“That cannot be America. People here should have peace of mind. Civilians should not have to wake up in the morning and worry about being shot at.”
Christian signed up to be one of the gatekeepers of the great American peace he speaks of at the age of 16 with the full support
of his family.
One might question what type of family would be willing to sign their not so adult son up for the military during war times. Pacifists might critique it.
But the Hewitts are not the typical family. Both Christian and his 22-year-old brother Nathan decided in their pre-adolescent years (nine and eight respective- ly) that they were going to join the military.
They come from family of veterans. Their grandfather is a Vietnam vet and their uncle is a Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan vet.
And in December both Christian and Nathan will join the ranks of their kinsmen. They will both be deployed to Afghanistan, which has been dubbed the most dangerous place in the world for U.S. soldiers by the American media.
Both of Beth Hewitt’s boys will be risking their lives to keep Americans back home safe. Any mother would be up in arms and down on knees hoping for a safe return.
But Beth needs no hope and knows no fear, for she has faith.
“I have no fear because I have direct faith in God.”
Asked how her family recon- ciled the “turn the other cheek” and “love thy neighbor” teachings of Christianity with the concept of war Beth, a homemaker, said, “Although war is not the pre- ferred means to solve conflict, it has existed since the beginning of biblical times and sometimes is a necessary means to find peace.” While Beth’s faith keeps fear at bay, Christian admits he is scared.
“I’m a little bit scared, I’m anxious and excited also.”
“Excited because I’m going to make some money and actually do what I was trained to do,” he said. His fear, he said, comes from the potential of being harmed.
“Not so much death, ‘cause if I die I won’t know, but more of becoming crippled.”
“My uncle basically said to watch the ground, look for areas that are dug up, potential IEDs, things that look out of place. You will see the people that are shoot- ing at you because they are shoot- ing at you, the smaller things you might miss are what get you.”
Christian knows it is not only the threat of physical pain that looms. He said he knows loneli- ness and boredom might get the best of most days while overseas.
He said speaking to people in his training unit who had been previously deployed he knows the pain of leaving all that is familiar is too much for many to bear.
“It’s nine months of work. Things can get hectic. There are no constants, everything is sporadic when you’re deployed. You’re either sitting there bored or out at work. There can be long stretches with no contact with family and friends back home and that hurts as much as any physical wound,” Christian said.