So I worked the night shift last night and all the inmates are locked in their cells so I have nothing but time to sit there stare at the wall and...think. In my case any time spent thinking is time not well spent as my mind has been known to be somewhat, ummm....unstable. To say the least.
So what was I thinking about? Well yesterday I was talking to my dear mother and I told her that on the 28th the unit I am in is having a deployment ceremony to give us a proper send off. I debated for hours whether or not I should actually tell her about it. Simple fact of the matter is that I have to leave on the 25th to go out there and drill till we leave on the 28th, so we leave the state on the 28th but I leave home on the 25th. So basically, that breaks down to my mother having to endure two tearful goodbyes instead of just the one. She said she is not going...Thank merciful God.
But that isn't really what I was spending the majority of my brain power thinking about. I was thinking more about her reaction when I told her they were having the ceremony. You could actually see it in her face that the fact of the matter is I am leaving in about 3 weeks for a year (at least) just sunk in, and it just about knocked the fucking wind out of her. And I only said one sentence. I felt like a real asshole all of sudden.
You see in that moment I realized that this whole thing isn't really going to be that hard on me. I mean all I have to do is go along for the ride, do my job, and come home. Simple, and straight forward. But the people that I love are the ones who are going to be really hit by all of this. They are the ones who are going to have to wait for me to write or call. They are the ones who are going to hear some horrible news from Afghanistan and wonder if that is me. Or they are going to hear about some helicopter crashing and wonder if I was on it. They are the ones who will jump every time the phone rings and wonder if this is it. I would kick my own ass if I ever did that to myself.
Not to mention the fact that I volunteered for this. I could be still sitting around, not going anywhere. No danger, no leaving, no tears, no heartache, no worrying, no nothing. But I instead chose to volunteer to become cannon fodder for the machine. (yeah, I know that was a bit dramatic)
If I were them I would hate me for putting them through this. I mean it comes down to this, if my mom is out past 10 o'clock I start to get worried as hell and all these horrible things start swirling around in my head, and I cannot sleep a wink until I know she is alright. And then it usually only lasts at most a couple of hours. This is going to last an entire year. The only time that they will know for sure is when I am actually on the phone with them, and God only knows how often that will be.
I hope that God would be kind enough to do me a favor while I am gone and look out for them. Don't worry about me man, I can take care of myself. Someone needs to keep an eye on my loved ones. (mom especially) In my eyes it comes down to this. Doubt. For me there will be no doubt, I will know exactly what I am doing and where I am at all times, and I will know exactly where they all are, and have a pretty damn good idea what they will be doing at all times. Now they on the other hand will not have a clue as to where I am, or what I am doing, save what I tell them. Which will always be nothing but sunshine, puppy dogs, and chocolate ice cream, Afghanistan is a wonderful place kind of shit. But they'll know better. Why couldn't God have given me dumber relatives and friends? It would make life so much easier.
But the fact remains that this entire experience will be an adventure for me, but it will be hard on most of my relatives and friends and it will be a living hell for at least one. And I fucking volunteered. I did this to them willingly. I went so far as to actually seek it out. Good Lord, am I an asshole or what?