Friday, March 2, 2007

Why Don't You Just Hit Me In The Head With A Hammer?

Sometimes something happens that grabs me and flings me to the ground with such force that it knocks all the wind out of me, and looking at the luxuriously esoteric ramblings before, they all look like utter drivel.

Last night, the entire team was body-slammed. I am sore from it. It hurts. When someone beans me in the head, even accidentally, I get mad. I'm mad. It's my own fault, really. I allowed myself to be drawn into hope.

Okay... short and quick. We were told that after we graduate on March 15th, we'd be allowed to go home till the first of April. I was looking forward to seeing my children very much. I waited for several days to make sure that the story didn't change before I told my kids that I'd be home to see them. Last night, we were told that we're "shipping," flying out, on the 18th of March. No leave.

Bing! Hammer blow to the skull. I want to explode.

It turns out that the Army needs to fill up an airplane, and they picked us to do it. There is another group (drill sergeants) who the Army wants to rush into theater and they don't quite fill up the plane. So, rather than send a plane with empty seats to Kyrgyzstan, we will be sent with them.

We'll probably wait in tents near a runway at an Air Force base in Kyrgyzstan for several weeks until we are really needed... and expected... in Kabul. No matter, as long as there aren't any wasted seats on that chartered plane to Kyrgyzstan. It actually happens quite often that people get bottlenecked in Kyrgyzstan waiting for a C-17 to carry them into Kabul.

I always wanted to spend a few extra days living in a Kyrgyzstani tent near a runway in a backwater former Soviet republic doing pretty much nothing.

There's always PT.

I think that they are doing this so that we are enraged and absolutely ready to kill whatever or whomever gets in our way once we get to Afghanistan. Just kidding.

I don't mind the (there's no other words for it) mindless crap that comes with being in the Army. I pretty much glide through having to fill out the same form six times to make sure that my kids are taken care of in the event of my untimely demise. I bounce right along through showing up at five different classrooms and being redirected each time till we eventually find the one the instructor shifted to. Loss of power? No problem. Water heater out for the weekend and can't be fixed until Monday afternoon? Okay. Mind-numbing boredom? Got that. A tirade from a Colonel who came home early from Afghanistan so that he could brief us about such things as being a nice guy to the Afghan general's bodyguards so that when you walk around with the general you are just as safe as he is. But when you weasel me into a position where I make my kids cry, that's it. I'm ready to choke the crap out of whatever pencil-pushing pogue is co-opting me into making my kids cry.

A very dear friend told me today that I signed up for this. I beg to differ. There are a lot of reasons why I volunteered to spend a year in the third or fourth poorest country in the world, living in conditions most people would consider an advertisement for the good life in prison, working with people who speak at least two different languages that I don't speak well, getting shot at and never knowing when I'm safe and when I'm not. I did not volunteer to get yanked around and get my kids excited to see me so that I could pull the rug out from under them at the whim of some transportation scheduling pogue so that he doesn't waste my tax money by leaving a few seats empty on a damned plane. That's the kind of crap that you'd think that they would go out of their way to protect you from when you are going to do this.

I'll be okay.

There are a lot of frustrations that I feel with the deployment in general. I am frustrated by the apathy of the American people, with their lack of support, with our wimpy lack of resolve and patience as a people. I am frustrated with the Cindy Sheehan's of the nation. I am frustrated with the senior Army leadership for not recognizing that we need to eat, sleep, breath, and evangelize counterinsurgency. I work with those frustrations every day. I do a good job of accepting these.

This frustration is a momentary challenge to my acceptance. I'll get over it. I don't have a choice, really.

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