Dec. 28, 2008. I had spent the whole night organizing equipment and jumping from one ambush location to another with a SPIKE missile launcher and my lieutenant, Captain America. He received his nickname based on an over-excited officer in "Generation Kill." Honestly he is a much better officer than that, but the name still stuck.

I had received a precious hour and a half to sleep for the entire night. The following morning our colonel and the southern command general himself called us up and informed us of our target. We raced to position and placed the missile launcher on the roof of a pillbox (fortified tower). It was my job to fire and guide the missile. Capt. America and I knew we probably would not hit our target and the missiles are quite expensive, but the general and colonel wanted us to try anyway. As predicted the targets escaped. But I can honestly say that I fired the first shots of ground forces in Operation: Cast Lead.