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.