Another one of those universal soldier experiences that we have all had and we all hate with a passion normally reserved for Nazis, terrorists, and hippies...
Except this time, a bunch of family members got to go through it with us. Today we had our pre-deployment/family readiness briefings from about 40 different people from about 20 different agencies all saying the same thing. Usually something to the effect of, we'll help you while your soldier is gone, but good luck getting a hold of us.
The briefings started at like 0800, and oh did we have fun. I spent the entire morning trying to sneak out of the room to have a cigarette or two, or ten without my platoon daddy or 1SG seeing me and ordering me back to that dreaded seat.
I mean even the mothers were falling asleep. It was brutal.
Then we all went out for lunch to this place or that and enjoyed the time that we had with our families, or in my case someone else's family. Then we returned for the "Dog & Pony" portion of our day.
We got up there and fell into formation and realized that they were being nice to us during the rehearsals yesterday. They turned the lights down during rehearsals, today they were nice and bright. Like fire of the sun bright. Which was wonderful considering that the majority of us have spent the last few weeks drunk, up to and including last night. But I digress.
Fortunately, the speakers at this "Dog & Pony" were surprisingly brief. They got up there and gave the standard party line speeches. You know the drill.
1. Your soldiers are defenders of freedom.
2. They are the best the country has to offer.
3. They will make everyone proud.
4. They will all come home safe.
I mean that is really all that they ever say at these things. What else could they say. "Um, we really hope not, but your kids are going to one of the most dangerous places on the planet, and a few of them might get killed!" Well I don't think that the parents would appreciate that, so we get the usual every time.
Like I said, thank God that these people were very brief in their remarks because after a few minutes I couldn't feel my feet anymore. I mean I am in the Guard, I am not used to this kind of shit. Then after the ceremony we were released on a 3 day pass.
Forgive the profanity, but Son of a bitch, what am I going to do for three days. I am two hours from home and have three days to kill. Everyone else is going home to see their parents and loved ones for a few more days, and then there is me. The guy that thinks to himself, "Oh sweet Jesus if I go home I have to do the whole tearful goodbye thing again." Which is easily tops on my list of things to NEVER do again. But I go anyway. So here I am sitting at home writing this after going to dinner, and going for a nice car ride with my mom, and all I can really think about is the fact that in another two days I am going to have to kiss her goodbye for the second time...