Thursday, July 31, 2008

Are you going to miss your family?

I get that question at least weekly, often from very earnest people who must think I have not considered that getting deployed might involve being separated from the people I love. With 181 days to go till we go on active duty, and at least 35 of those days in training, I do think about being separated from my family--a lot.
Our motor officer has been deployed twice--once with 48 hours notice, once with almost a year's notice. He prefers 48 hours. "You don't have to keep thinking about it," he said. "Just pack your shit and go." Our motor officer is a warrant officer, the rank between enlisted soldiers (like me) and commissioned officers (captains and generals and so forth). Warrant officers are like consultants in the business world--experts, but not managers. So people turn to them for advice about everything--in the same way kids expect teachers to know everything.
In this case, I'll disagree with Mr. Consultant. (Male Warrant Officers are called Mister as opposed to Sir for commissioned officers.) I like having time to spend with my friends and family, to get things in order at home and at work before I go, and I like being aware of the clock ticking.

Who Fights Our Wars: Marine Veteran on a Local Train

--> Recently I rode to Philadelphia from Lancaster. After 50 miles, I knew I was going to be late, so I rode to a stati...