OUR TIME |
October 20, 2006
Name: Army Girl
Posting date: 10/20/06
Stationed in: Afghanistan
Milblog url: http://desertphoenix.blogspot.com/
I have received an incredible outpouring of email from so many people in response to PLEASE, DON'T INSULT ME on The Sandbox. It truly has meant a great deal to know that there are so many people out there who care. The emails that I've received from Vets and prior service members are the ones that hit the closest to home for me. They remind me that there are those who fought so that I could be here today, and that that is why I fight, so that tomorrow others can say the same. I had taken for granted my eligibility to serve. My age, my drive. And focus. This is our time, and I'm proud to be a part of something bigger than myself. I don't always agree with the way things are handled, but at least I'm part of the process and not the problem. That's the way I see it now.
For our vets: You did your time. Now relax. It's our turn.
For those who want to serve but can't -- your letters, emails, thoughts and prayers of support keep us going. Just as there have to be soldiers out here, there have to be people back home taking care of things, living life. Otherwise, what are we really fighting for?
For those who don't want to serve -- that's OK, too. The military is not for everyone, and frankly, we don't want everyone in it. It takes a different mindset and a unique individual to do what soldiers do. Just as some office jobs are not for me, the military life is not for everyone.
It is what it is.
Our time here is dwindling and you can feel it in the air. The intensity of what we're doing is almost gone. The fight is still in everyone, but we're not as wired up as we were before. We expect bad things to happen. We're not so complacent. And we're certainly no longer so cocky. This is in fact...a war. We've lost friends and comrades, we've earned purple hearts and combat action badges, we've taken care of injured people, seen the remains of suicide bombers, administered first aid and we've spent countless hours of unending days under fluorescent lights in buildings no one should have to spend an extended time in. These kids have given so much of themselves. And for every hour an infantryman spends rucking in the field, they've spent two behind the scenes, working tirelessly to keep the wheels in motion. What we do is perhaps one of the most diverse jobs in the military.
I'm amazed by their sacrifice, awed by their commitment and dumbfounded by their tenacity. I'd serve with them all over again, anywhere. I secretly hope though, that all of them will leave the unit, and go off to better things, as this unit will be rotating back out within the year. It's neverending for them. I've been asked to stay on when we redeploy, which is a compliment beyond any that I would have expected. It says more than any award or medal. It says that I, a Reserve soldier, have proven to these guys, after all that we've been through, that I can hang. Sounds silly, but it's true. I've proved them all wrong about me. And despite all of the issues and prejudices I dealt with in the beginning, I've come through it all unscathed and the better for it.
I think it's important that these soldiers be given all the opportunities they can be given to further their careers. I can fight my own way through the maze of military challenges and successes. At the end of this deployment, I'm off to new opportunities and my next new adventure. They will still be active duty soldiers, getting manipulated by the government and this war. I can jump on another deployment of my choice, or a six month tour to almost anywhere in the world.They will have to return to their base and endure almost a year of downtime training, and then deployment preparation all over again. I feel guilty because I know I picked the right path in the Reserve component. I can live wherever I want, get a job making more money, and then deploy if I have to, or when I want to. They have to live at a base they can't stand, and deploy every other year. I have some major decisions to make in the next couple days. There are so many choices, and I'm blessed to have them. And blessed to have all my friends and family -- and of course, blessed to know that there are people out there who care about me and about the soldiers I serve, as much as I do.
I've decided. I'm going to keep the cycle going! The next time I see a service member, I'm going to give back what was so unselfishly given to me! Pay it FORWARD!