:: Wednesday, February 08, 2006 ::
The time is drawing near
I got an email today from the commander of one of the units I am going to Afghanistan with. It states that there will be a "going away party" on March 2 for all units deploying on Operation Enduring Freedom (me). I'm just assuming that this means our "training" will begin on March 1 and we won't leave for Camp Shelby until after March 2. But this is all speculation.
However, it kinda makes me a little more nervous. I'm starting to get letters about this deployment and times are starting to become prevalent. Its already February 8 and our deployment is the first of March. How time is flying!
But I guess the faster it gets here the faster it will fly by hopefully. I'm not worried about the deployment as much as I am about going crazy because I am going to miss Ann so much. We were talking the other day and she was talking about how much work she will be able to get done when I'm gone. I never noticed, but we spend a lot of time talking and just sitting and watching tv together. How in the world am I going to be able to survive without that?
Its not possible. I'll just have to remember all the times we spent together and play them like movies in my head. I guess that works.
Freedom is sweeter than I could ever imagine though. It feels so nice to not be at work. To wake up and not have to worry about answering the phone or trying to help somebody that is convinced they know what they are talking about. It feels nice to wake up and not have to worry about whether or not my boss is going to be in the office or whether or not one of the other guys will bomb a support call and I will have to talk to an irate client. It feels so nice.
However, the feeling is bittersweet; it's very similar to the feeling after I graduated. When I graduated, I didn't have to worry about waking up and going to school or going to work everyday. Instead I lounged around watching tv and hanging out with Ann. But I only had three weeks to do it all in and then I left for the Army. Yeah, similar feeling. I have three weeks of freedom, but then I leave for another Army event. Woohoo...
But this one will be better (or at least just as good). BCT and AIT did suck, but looking back now from an experienced (somewhat) point of view, it was good for me. I learned a lot of stuff there: tactical, physical, and mental. I know what I can do now. I can climb four stories of wood without a latter (we have it on video), I can (used to at least) run three miles and go more if I had to, walk 15 miles with 20 lbs of gear on my back, do so much more stuff that I can't even remember. I amazed myself with everything I did.
Did you know that I got Warrior of the Week when we went to Log Warrior at Ft. Lee? True story. My LT decided that I was one of the best soldiers in her platoon of like 30 people. I was third in my class of 92Y and I am already a E-4/SPC in my unit. If there is one thing I learned from my grandpa Ralph, that was do everything you do right. From everybody that I've talked to that knew my grandpa, he was the best at everything he did. He was a E-7/TSG in the Air Force, he was the "best mail carrier in the world", best volunteer firefighter in the county, best husband in the world, best dad in the world.
And that carried down through my parents too, who made sure that I knew they didn't expect any less of me. Everyone I meet says my mom is the sweetest person, the best billing person in the industry, can turn any practice around with a flick of her wrist. My dad teaches the dumbest kids how to the most complicated things and they understand, he's the best teacher MHS has ever seen, he gives kids a chance when they don't deserve it.
My parents are the best in the world. Tiff and I were talking one time and I realized how amazing they are. Even though we did some stupid stuff, they stood up for us. They never let us down. We always had Christmas even though we didn't have much money. We always got school supplies (though they weren't the 96 box of crayolas, the 16 pack did just fine), we always had new clothes for school (even if just a few). Dad would make me practice my clarinet when I was in band, even though I'm sure he couldn't stand listening to it. They were always at my band concerts, even went to a few football games.
I love my parents so much, but I don't think I've ever told them. Yeah, an occasional "I love you" here and there, but that's about it. I never told them that I treat Ann like a queen because dad always treated mom like a queen. I went to work even though I never really wanted to because mom went to work even when she felt like passing out and giving up because her family meant more to her. I didn't give up in the Army because I knew how proud my parents would be to say, "My son defends freedom." Of course they would have been proud of me for just trying, but that wasn't good enough. I couldn't let them down.
I enrolled in college this semester to get an education and support my family because I was taught to take care of my family instead of lounging around doing nothing. I dropped my classes to go to war to defend the country that I have been raised in, and defend my family from enemies we don't even know exist. You may think differently, but this war has its own purpose. We may not be fighting the Nazis in foxholes along the Siegfred line, or island hopping in the Pacific to stop a war-crazed nation from destroying us, but we are fighting an enemy that very much poses an immense threat to us. Does anyone remember what happened just 4 or so years ago? Or is that another news story to be tossed in the archives?
What am I saying? I don't even know.
God is good. All the time.
:: Ben 12:20 PM [+] ::