On Saturday at the end of drill, I was worried. My squad leader was back from Camp Shelby with stories of people pulled from deployment units for medical reasons and sent home. If this sounds good to some of you, it sounded terrible to me. I want to go when my unit deploys for many good, positive reasons and one great, big negative reason: Those who are left behind stay with their unit as the full time cadre during the deployment. That would mean I would be assigned to Fort Indiantown Gap for the entire year maintaining vehicles, filling out paperwork and doing whatever is necessary to keep the unit equipment operational while the soldiers are overseas.
Even that wouldn't be so bad, but the other thing I have heard that the "Left Behind" people do is listen to complaints from the dependent family members of soldiers on deployment. This is a sad and mostly hopeless activity because there is usually a specific place in the Army hierarchy for these complaints and the soldiers in the unit can't do anything to help.
When I told my best friend about this on Saturday evening he laughed. We served together in the 1970s and have been in ouch ever since, though we we live on different sides of the country. Anyway, he knows I enlisted partly for spiritual reasons, to live less at my own will and serve a greater cause. He said, "If you were looking for humility, listening to an angry woman with three kids bitch is a good way to get humble."
He might be right. But I am going to do everything the surgeon says and be sure as I can that I am on a flight away from Fort Indiantown Gap in January.
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