I know this may come as a surprise to some, but I've found it difficult to find regular work in this area, and I know that this will provide me with a steady paying job. I've therefore gone ahead and enlisted.
The local Navy recruiter informed me of a few items. Firstly, with my extra education, I will go in as an officer. This means a higher pay scale as well as more responsibility. It will be nice to use some of what I've learned. There may even be a possibility of interacting regularly with dolphins! I'm excited about this as I've long wanted to work with them. The recruiter also assured me that I definitely wouldn't be sent to Iraq, so I need to have no qualms about that. I was initially a little trepidatious about this as it wasn't in writing, but after talking with him for a long time, I feel confident in his honesty, and his commitment in getting the assurance in the mail to me in the next few weeks.
However, though it wouldn't be in Iraq, I will be also able to use my talents in Arabic language and culture. This is just amazing- a place where I will be paid to express my interests in the ocean and Arabs, both at the same time! I'm not sure how all that will work, but I'll be informed of this when I show up for training in a month.
I know this might seem a bit divergent from past beliefs, but I've really been feeling God's blessing on this country of late, and the need to support and defend it as God's land. There are few places on Earth as obviously endowed as America, in natural resources and the goodness of it's people. I know we are taught in the Bible to love our enemies, but I think there are ways we can do so even in the midst of war. One primary way is trying to reduce the amount of violence directed at them to the lowest levels possible, by encouraging them to not be violent. In this way we can love the enemy, whoever it is, by reducing the number of causalities on both sides. I want to be part of that, in whatever way I can.
I am impressed at how God works together our gifts and desires in ways we totally don't expect. I have now about a month to get my affairs in order, say my goodbyes, and get some health check-ups before I report.