Late yesterday I talked to the sergeant in charge (NCOIC) our the battalion admin section. She dropped the likelihood of me going to Afghanistan from 70% to 30%. The problems are technical but real in the sense that if there is not an open slot, I can't fill it. She (the NCOIC) said a lot of people are still trying to figure out a way I can go, but her 20-year experience in Army paperwork says what every soldier knows: paperwork is reality. Before I can get aboard the long flight, all the paperwork will be right or I won't go.
My wife said she is going to plan for the deployment no matter what anyone says. She said if someone definitely tells me "No" she will consider that maybe, but if someone definitely says "Yes" then I am going. She is a smart woman. And she knows how determined our sergeant major is. So while I ride the roller coaster--at least in the emotional sense--she will wait. She said, "I will know you aren't going when the plane leaves and you are here."
Of all the books I have read about the military, the one that best describes paperwork is Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. If you haven't read and you like black humor, it's the best book of its kind I have read.
Next post I will tell you why I am a PA resident and a Penn State graduate and how Army paperwork made that happen.