Operation Iraqi Freedom

My Time

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Long time no post. Let me catch you up really quick...

About 3 months after I got back, I got into a fight with a weight bench. Not one of those puny "I'm just sitting here with an uninhabited press bar" benches, but a "You know you can do up to 40 different exercises and I'm currently holding about a ton of unused potential man-ness" kind of benches. Doesn't matter if it was a Hulk Hogan starter set bench, I got beat, and beat hard. I broke my patella in half. 2 surgeries later, I now realized I haven't dreamt that I had a good knee in over a year. Weird how you dream you're disabled.

Now don't let me confuse anyone, I'm not completely disabled. I can run a little bit, I can walk without a limp, so I don't mean to deceive anyone. I'm not in a wheelchair, I'm not fully disabled.

At the same time my unit got a new leadership program. I don't mean to sound rash, but I wouldn't have followed my 1SG into Alabama so I decided it was my time to move on. My friend was a saxophone player in a Reserve band in Charlotte...I'm thinking what you're thinking, the Army Reserves have a band?!? Yes they do, and I joined it as a guitarist/percussionist.

While a part of the band, I finished my degree in Criminal Justice, got married to the love of my life and moved to Winston and got a job with a major bank.

2 years later I am officially a PFC. Private F*cking Civilian. Ft. Livingroom...ever heard of it?

It's funny, I spent a total of 4 years in a very liberal college, 8 years as a soldier, and 1 1/2 years as a deployed soldier and I have learned more about live in the last 2 civilian with a job years than ever. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my status a soldier and a veteran for anything, it's taught me how to survive physically, but my civilian life has given me an opportunity to look at the life of a soldier from the outside.

Have you ever met someone who's about to go to the sandbox? And I don't mean from a "Yea I'm about to go too" standpoint, but a "God bless you, you're a true American hero" standpoint...it's the saddest thing you've ever seen.

I have. Years after I got back I had to watch my best friend get ready to go. I had to watch him pass test after test qualifying him to get shot at. Ironic how you're ability to pass a survival test can get you killed. Watched him as he told his wife goodbye, watched him as he changed his mannerisms, his personality, his very reason for existence.

"Let me know if there's anything I can do to help" I say truly heartfelt, but sounding foolish...I think to myself, there's nothing short of packing his bags and moving him to Europe that I can do to help him.

It's good to be back, more to come.

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