Thursday, January 1, 2009

Day 32: New Year

Hello, New Year! It sure doesn't seem like it's supposed to be 2009. I'll be turning the big 2-5 this year. It's weird to think about it. I had so many ideas on where my life would be at this point. I was supposed to be married with a kid, one on the way, a fabulous career, and a minivan in the garage. None of those plans involved me being all the way on the other side of the globe wearing combat boots and carrying a loaded rifle every day. The Army was never apart of my goals growing up. It didn't hit me unil I was in my last year of high school. I already had scholarships and my acceptance letter to college framed on the wall. Then I saw the president on TV saying we had a shortage of troops. I knew if I raised my hand then someone else wouldn't have to. A mother, a father, a wife, a husband, or even a sister. My sister. Do you remember the draft scare? I just knew that if enough of us joined voluntarily then I would save the people I cared about most from being forced into it. I couldn't sit and wait to see if I was unlucky enough to have my own sister drafted and sent to war while I stayed home. It was then that I knew I'd be here. I've been in the military for over five years now. It seemed like I'd never deploy. At first I was afraid to, but then I became angry that I hadn't had my turn to join my battle buddies in deployment. Five years of being in non-deployable units wore on me. I felt like a bum Soldier. My friends were ripped away from their lives, friends, and families to muck around the Middle East for months. Some of them went two and three times while I still sat at home. I hated it. When I finally transfered away from the Air Assault School I asked for a deploying unit before my brain had a chance to even think of breathing. It was my chance. Less than six weeks after leaving that prison I was on a plane headed for Afghanistan. I finally feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be. The Army's pull on me has finally been released. I feel like I can go home justified that I've done my part. I didn't really know why I kept reenlisting until now. This is what I was waiting for. I think I'll finally be able to let the Army go. I can be normal again without feeling guilty or obligated or afraid. I thought for a long time that I'd retire from the Army, but I don't see myself fufilling my personal goals if I do that. My service will be complete. My dues will have been paid. And I can go back to being me.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reading this filled me with so many different emotions. But mostly pride that you are My Daughter, My Soldier, and My Defender. You are My Hero, My Life and My Joy.

Proud Father of Sgt. Laura (Lady Bug) Barefoot

Bee said...

Love that post... (and your dad's sweet comment).
It's wonderful that you get this sense of accomplishment! It's people like you that make this world a better place!

I remember having those ideas too of where I would be when I would be 25... then it didn't happen and I only met my future husband when I was about to turn 26! Now here I am, about to turn 39 next month, and about to welcome a new little life in my world any time... waow, life is quite a journey!...

Cindi said...

wow, what remarkable woman you are! I found your blog through Ethel, and I will look around in a minute. Your dads post brought a tear to my eye.
Thanks so much for your service and dedication. God bless you and keep you safe.

Mrs. Fence said...

It seems that it has all been said in the three posts before me, so I'll simply say thank you. You are an inspiration and a wonderful role model to all who know you, and now, to some of us who are getting to know you. God bless you and keep you.

CALLIE JEAN said...

Your ability to speak to my heart is amazing! And your dad made me cry! I could only imagine how proud of you he is!!!
It is wonderful that you now feel that you have accomplished what you set out to do when you joined the Army, finding out who you are in life is prob. the hardest thing you will have to do. I will be hitting the big 3-0 this year and I find myself "recreating" who I am over and over.
You are doing a wonderful thing for everyone in this country and for that you all need to be thanked till the end of time. I am glad that you have this blog and that there are people out there that can help you as you help us!
God Bless!

Vanna said...

Laura,

I have read over all of you past blog entries and you have such a way of saying things. I think we all find ourselves recreating who we are based on where we are in life. It's "normal" (whatever that is). When I found out you were in the army (think I read it in the Taylor paper), I was surprised. Then proud. So, thank you for doing a job I wouldn't want to or couldn't do. And for protecting my children.

Renu @ midnitecreations said...

You are very eloquent with your words. Your words stir the emotions and draws one into your life and your world. I for one appreciate what you did for your family and in the way we are all connected, for mine. Thank you.

get scrappy said...

I stumbled across your blog while I was on Becky Higgins' blog. I read your post and I am amazed at your bravery and selflessness. You are the true definition of a hero. My family and I thank you and the all of the other soldiers out there for everything you do everyday.

Jenn Christman