Monday, August 04, 2008


I am getting closer to deployment and the reality of a year away has set in. A few months ago, we had an Officer Professional Development where all the officers in the Brigade get together and do PT and have breakfast followed by discussion about some aspect of development.

At breakfast this particular morning, I was coincidentally sitting with three other single officers, two Captains and a First Lieutenant. The discussion turned to deployment and how it is on single officers. One of the Captains went on to explain that, while everyone talks about how hard it is to be separated from husbands, wives and kids, he felt deployments were harder on single soldiers. His logic was that, while you do miss your family, you have someone to think about and someone to come home to. For the single soldier, you simply stop your life and go back to square one when you return.

I remember Adam, the friend I had who died in December, said something similar. He was home from his second deployment and it had been a while since I'd heard from him. I joked that he was behind the power curve...that his classmates had all married and started families and I wondered why he was waiting. He became almost angry and said something very out of character like "The Army just keeps screwing me." He said that, of course he wanted to start a family, but how does one do that when you've got only eleven months to meet, court and marry someone between deployments?

The Captain advised me not to try starting a relationship. Just to date around a bit instead because, as soon as the reality that you'll be gone for a year sets in, no one will want to put in the effort anyway since you'd be asking them to wait for you longer than you were together to begin with.

I didn't follow his advice and foolishly tried to date someone. As expected, my impending year away has had the expected outcome. And now, as I sit and imagine my year in Iraq, while I worry about my soldiers and my health and being away from my family...I also wonder what the next 15 months will bring me. When, upon my return, I will be in the exact same place I was in my life back in May '07. The only difference then will be my rank and pay. I'll still be alone, in the same town with the same prospects I have now. When we get back and my soldiers families are all here to welcome them, my mom and sisters will be here for me. We'll all go to dinner and then, just like now, just like in Iraq, just like when I get back, I'll go home alone.


Blogger beth said...

dude that convo is so true - deployment for single people is like waking up one day a year older

and i still dont even have an apartment :-P

7:13 AM  

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