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.


  1. I imagine you "like" having the time because it offers the opportunity for heightened consciousness and prayer. Oh and would you mind calling me "Sir" the next time we chat?

  2. I suppose if you don't mind me calling you "Ma'am." And in a linguistic digression, I think the Army syntax of "packing your shit" is exactly right. In the Army, that particular 4-letter word is the generic term for what you own and what you are responsible for. And although we all treasure our things, if the worst happens, things quickly "turn to shit" to use the Army phrase--become of no value. I bought an analog watch for land navigation. It ticks. So I hear some of the 15,600,000 odd seconds I have left till we go. The ticking heightens my consciousness and reminds me I do not have any time for innocuous prayers.

  3. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 08/04/2008 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.


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