Because Heather likes kitties, you should look at the picture at the end of Kim du Toit post (of course, it wouldn’t hurt you to read Kim every day). This picture captures the essence of the American soldier, as only a former English major could explain it to you.
Look at that kid. Unlike the nutbars that pass for the irregulars in armies in most actively combative parts of the world, he’s not so enamored with his gun that he’s waving it, firing it in the air in an orgiastic pleasure in his own killing power. He’s got it ready, but he’s not enamored with death. His objective isn’t death, his or others, in itself, but sometimes it’s necessary. Sadly.
Instead of ranting, raving, foaming, or pillaging, he’s spending a quiet moment petting the kitty, a juxtaposition of Life in the dangerous, potentially deadly situation he’s in. The kitty represents the innocence of the civilians he’s protecting, and of the world to which he wants to return someday, whole and unscarred physically from his service.
Just from looking at the picture, I hope you come home, and I hope they let you bring the kitty if you want. Come on, Army, it’s a good story.