Thursday, June 28, 2012

Into the Fire

It's difficult to know what to write about... because everything is changing so quickly. It's like trying to describe the scenery in a fast moving river from a point on the water - by the time I can find the right words and the time to articulate what I observe, I'm already further along the river...

And there's so much going on right now that I've scarcely realized the passage of time. It's already into the latter half of the year 2012! How peculiar time is.

At this time next year, I'll be deployed. There's a great deal of speculation about when/if it will happen, as I've lost count of the number of times I've been alerted in the past. In some ways, I'm ready to test what I've come to understand about myself against what I'm likely to confront there. People think that war is the hardest part of deployment but as I've said before, the most difficult parts of it all are the personalities you interact with and most of all, who you confront within yourself... or who you don't.

We, I believe, become so good at compartmentalizing our emotions in order to charlie mike (continue mission), thinking that we'll deal with them (emotions) later. Of course, we end up finding no "appropriate" time or place to do so because we busy ourselves with ever present work. That feverish pace sustains us until it just simply doesn't anymore or until we come home and there isn't that much work to be done.

But I needn't get into all of that - it's becoming all too common of a tale.

I've resigned myself to the fact that even a change in political climate is not going to impact pre-scheduled events. I'm okay with that. What wears on me is all of the uncertainty - either send me, or don't. Stop f'n with me. As I near my mid-30's and consider such selfish things as a stable relationship and perhaps, dare I say - a family, I know that if anything were to happen, it cannot happen for a few more years at the earliest.

Disclosing these thoughts is quite personal but I think it underscores some of the different considerations that women must make at certain points in their military careers. I've a number of people attempt to placate me as they mistake my thoughtfulness as longing or whining, but all biological-clock-ticking aside, I envy my brothers the fact that they have at least a decade more to go before needing to consider such things.

There is no question about my commitment to the oath I took when I reenlisted. Timed well, or not, I will go. I have complete faith -knowing that I don't understand the reasons for everything that transpires, but that everything is unfolding as it should. That, along with change, is a constant.

And what an amazing time, these transformational moments in life!

I wouldn't trade the military family I've come to know and love, even if our paths only crossed for a moment. And I wouldn't give back what I've come to know about myself over these last several years but it would be a lie to say that I'm not afraid, especially knowing what I know now, of walking into the fire again. Worse yet, knowing what I know now, I'm not looking forward to leading others into the fire because I know what they're likely to confront and their families, to endure...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

"The families of combat veterans, and sometimes even their therapists, demand in frustration, "Why can't you put it behind you? Why can't you just forget?" Odysseus' vow, I won't forget a thing," is the vow of a combat soldier to his dead comrades to keep faith with them, to keep their memory alive. Bewildered families, hurt and feeling cheated by the amount of energy their veterans pour into dead comrades, apparently do not realize that to forget the dead dishonors the living veteran. In asking the veteran to forget, the family asks him to dishonor himself."

Friday, June 1, 2012

Light in a Box

My Dearest Friend,

It came to me today. It took a while but I finally got it. VERY FREAKIN' FUNNY. Hilarious, in fact... (Note: Sarcasm)

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot. am I supposed to do with light in a freakin' box? I am not you. I am not worthy nor am I ready.

So not at all funny.

I'm still mad at you even though I know I should be thanking you for your gift... I'm just not there yet.

I'm sorry that I missed Memorial Day but you know not a day goes by that I don't think of you...

But if I could give the world to bring you back. It still needs you.