Hurry up and wait!
For those who might not know I have been told back in Nov that I was going to be activated and deployed back to Iraq. Now for some this might seem like the end, but being it will be my second trip I am not as worried about it like I was in 2003. The problem I have is the fact that I have been sitting here waiting. Now I know the army is famous for hurry up and wait, but I do have a life outside the Army and I would like to be able to make plans for events in Feb. It is very hard to tell your little sister that you may or may not be at her wedding because you have yet to hear when you are going to be activated. Now I have been in the Army reserves for 11 years, I am actually 2 months away from finishing my 3 year re-enlistment, so I have played this game a few times. But the last time I was activated I was not given advance warning of it happening. there were rumors of the possibility of being activated but nothing like what is happening this time. When I was activated in 03 it went down like this: received a phone call on the afternoon of Feb 13 (Thur) was told that I have been activated and come get your orders, on Saturday the 15th I was on a plane heading to Little Rock, AR to go to the unit that I had been transferred to. For those keeping score- that’s a day and a half to get my things together, tell my wife (now ex-wife, but that’s a different story) and my 1 1/2 year old daughter bye. not knowing if I was going to ever see them again.
At the time I thought that was crap! I was mad because I had no time to focus on my family, no time to get the items that i wanted to take with me, and no time to alert anybody as to what was going on. But now looking back in hindsight, I wish that is what happened this time. Even thought my family like the fact that I haven’t been called up yet, and that I was home for the holidays. Don’t get me wrong I do to, but and this is a big but, it sucks knowing that every time the phone rings it could be the call. I wish I could be told yes you are going and here is the date you need to be a the mobilization station, or to be told no you are not going plan your life, go to school, have fun. Is that asking to much? Is that wrong for me to want that?
Now the obvious thing that most would think is well spend time with your family now and enjoy the time you have. Well that’s exactly what I am doing and have been doing since Nov. The hard part is having to explain to friends and the people I work with that no I haven’t heard anything, no I don’t know when I am leaving, yes I think it will happen its just a matter of time. Which this leads to a question that I have been pondering for awhile, what happens of I don’t get activated? I have already talked to my employer that I will be getting activated so they can prepare, I gave talked to my 6 year old daughter so she can be prepared, I have had to explain to my wife what I want to happen to me if the worse does happen, and I had to inform my sister that I may or may not be at her wedding and to prepare like I won’t be there, what do I do then? How do I inform my boss that- Hey I’m not getting activated by the way so technically I lied to you but at the time I thought it was the truth. Now obviously everybody will be relieved if I don’t get activated and I doubt there will be any problems because of it, but what if? Then again you can play the “what if?” game all day long and never know what is going to happen. but for once it would be nice for the Army to be able to tell the troops whose lives are going to be put on hold what is going on and when it will or will not happen, is that to much to ask for??
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