Chris HausfeldDehanEnglish 101 Substantive Revision-profile Sidekicks We arose out of the swamp dripping with black mud and covered with blood- sucking leeches. Our guns pointed toward the enemy. We fired at the incoming platoon of enemy soldiers. The barrage of bullets seemed endless. We were heavily outnumbered while under constant gunfire from the enemy at almost point-blank range. We were pummeled by clip after clip of bullets from the enemy while grenades exploded all around us.

Our flesh was not pierced by one bullet nor were we injured by one piece of flying shrapnel. A shield of righteousness surrounded us deflecting the objects that were hurtled toward us. We fired our remaining bullets from our M-16 s with each bullet finding its intended target. We had wiped out the entire enemy platoon of twenty men. The enemy had underestimated the combined forces of Lieutenant Christopher Gavitt and Private Chris Hausfeld.

Many years ago, during my preteen years, I used to play out several adventures like this one in my head over and over again. All of the adventures involved Christopher Gavitt and myself, his trusty sidekick. We would fight the 'bad guys' together usually while in a jungle warfare or desert combat situation. I first met Chris Gavitt when I was ten years old at a ski resort in French Lick, Indiana. My mother informed me that we would be sharing our vacation condominium with her boyfriend's brother-in-law, Chris. At the time I was not too thrilled about staying with a complete stranger.

But this complete stranger was to have an enormous impact on my life. On the first night in the condo we all settled down to watch the movie, 'Rambo.' Chris got quite enthusiastic about the movie. He told us stories of his own military exploits. His adventures were miniscule compared to Rambo's, but I was still very intrigued by them. Rambo was a hero of mine at the time and to meet someone who had been in some of the same kinds of situations as Rambo was a dream come true. I pestered Chris constantly throughout the weekend to tell me more stories about his military experiences.

I can still remember the vivid dreams I had that weekend. I can remember feeling the adrenaline rushing through my body as the scenes of military conquest unfolded in my unconscious mind. Chris's confidence has always amazed me. He is not afraid to try anything. The weekend at the ski resort was his first time ever on skies. He learned to ski within a few hours on the first day without an instructor.

By the end of the day he was skiing better than I was, and I had been skiing for two years already. He told me that the time he spent in the military gave him the confidence he has now and without that confidence he would be a totally different person today. This strongly encouraged me to go into a branch of military service. I wanted to be just like Chris. I wanted his confidence, and I wanted to do some of the same things that he has done.

Chris helped me get over my fear of failure. He always encouraged me to try new things. He encouraged me to go out for the basketball team in high school. I told him that I was afraid, afraid I would not be good enough, and afraid that the kids on the team would make fun of me. I had some traumatizing experiences of being the subject of ridicule on my soccer team in elementary school. He helped me to overcome these fears.

He taught me how to play basketball. We practiced for hours on end on some days. I soon became more confident in myself as Chris and I practiced together. My newly found confidence helped me make the basketball team that year. But the main reason I had the confidence to go out for the team was four little words, 'I believe in you.' Chris would recite these words to me whenever he got the chance. I did not realize until recently what these words really meant to me.

Recently, I told Chris that my major in college is Archaeology. I told him I would probably change that major at sometime in the future because I was told it is hard to make a living in the field of Archaeology. 'Do not let that discourage you,' Chris would tell me. He again told me 'I believe in you.' He said that if I enjoyed the subject of Archaeology and I put my heart and mind into it, then I could overcome any obstacle along the way.

He told me of a story when he was in Egypt on a mission. He was exploring a cave with his troops and they came across some Egyptian artifacts. After bringing the artifacts into a museum, they were told that the artifacts were more than 2500 years old. Chris was amazed by his discovery. Ancient history has always intrigued him.

He said that if he went back to school, then he might consider a field in Archaeology. This strongly encouraged me to continue my current major of Archaeology. I told Chris many times I would like to join the military. He always told me the military would be a good experience for me. He never pressured me into joining. The decision, he would tell me, is mine alone.

When I turned eighteen, several military recruiters pursued me. I seriously considered joining a branch of the military. I asked Chris for his advice on what I should do. We sat down and talked about it.

He asked me 'is that what you really want to do?' He told me that if thought the military was something I would enjoy, then I should join up. I thought about it for a long time and I finally decided against joining the military. I am just not the kind of person who is cut out for military life. I realized that I would not enjoy it. Chris agreed with my decision. He told me he was hoping I would come to that conclusion; He wanted me to figure it out for myself.

Every once in a while I still conjure up adventures in my mind that Chris and I go on. The subject of our exploits has changed. We are now famed Archaeologists who travel to foreign countries discovering ancient secrets of past civilizations. We get into dangerous life threatening situations trying to discover the truth about the past. Ever since Chris's entry into my life, my whole perspective on life has changed. He has broadened my horizons and opened up options in my life I never thought I was capable of exploring.

If Chris had not joined the military, then he would be a totally different person than he is today. If I had not met Chris Gavitt, then I would not be the person that I am today.