I wasn't in any sort of special forces unit, I don't think I even met one of their members before the event. Just another grunt processed through a boot camp in Alabama. No history of service in my family and no great belief in the causes behind Argentina conflict or great patriotism. It was all about me - the chance to use machine-guns, pick up some college money, and maybe gain a useful skill or two that would look great on a job application.
But then the world fell apart around us. The army however handled itself well. Mostly. There were those who abandoned the ranks to seek out loved ones, and who simply broke under the stain of fighting the reanimates. Spit in the ocean compared to what the civies did.
You had outright looting when the police were busy elsewhere. People breaking through cordons and compromise security in their own desperate attempts to escape when they didn't believe we were doing an adequate job of protecting them. Highways became kill zones as crashes started multi-mile jams and the running reanimates caught up and ripped the roofs off cars. Neighbor turned on neighbor.
Orders from the top became fewer and fewer, supplies shipments smaller, but the chain of command remained. Even that eventually snapped, and we were on our own. A good number of people declared the USA dead, took their equipment, and wandered off.
Ye still, some of us remained.
Ranger is what an English major might call a "loaded term" around the military. Everyone knows the mottoes "No one left behind." and "Rangers lead the way". They're famous for their espirt de corps and toughness. They're the guys with camouflage skills, special equipment, and wolf companion - at least in the 12th edition of the fantasy game we play on Saturday nights - got to keep the moral up.
Experience Point or Point du Hoc what I'm getting at is these are the special people, and we try to hold up their banner. There are less than 50 million people left in the states, out of a one time population of about 460 mil, and most of those are living a hand to mouth existence without thinking about the declaration of independence. The portion of that group who have their needs met seem to be thinking of starting over under their ideals.
We may be overdue for an election. Most of congress are probably man eating abominations, or have become reanimates. We haven't gotten commands in months.
But the sign over there still says Washington avenue. There are still coke machines everywhere. This is still America.
I am a solder, sworn to uphold the constitution and the nation it governs. That document still reads "We the people..." and I am going to make a more perfect union. Others may have given up, but there are still soldiers out there who believe in this nation and are wandering the wastes helping to protect what is left of it.
There is no nation of NEST, there will not be a State of New Birmingham or Protectorate of Tesla.
America once and for all.