Training is complete. I, along with the rest of the unit, have put all the appropriate checks in the appropriate boxes so that someone, somewhere believes I am now qualified to go wander around in a “combat zone”. We were fortunate enough to get an opportunity to take six days leave so that we could make our way home to visit friends and family one last time before we leave. And thus, I have been home for the past few days enjoying time with my family. It is nice to be home. I am also excited about what is ahead. I will miss my family and friends terribly but there is something very exciting and satisfying about being a part of something bigger than yourself.
I expect that when I return to the Army in a few days, things will be quite different. Jumping through training hoops defined by others is over. The focus will shift to getting packed and ready to go. I am sure the first day or two will be harried in order to make sure we’re ready. I expect that once we are in fact packed and ready to go, we will wait. That’s what the military does. We hurry and then we wait. But, for now my focus is on enjoying these last few days with my family.
As a family we are ready for what is to come. We’ve been through this once before and it is easier the second time through. We have a better understanding of what to expect. There is a certain peace in the knowledge that comes from having done it before. This makes it easier to enjoy whatever time we get together because we are not stressed out about the departure. So far, it has been a very peaceful and enjoyable few days. Everyone has adjusted schedules to afford more time together but there is less pressure on that time. We have been able to simply enjoy each other’s company which has been nice. I’m very proud of and grateful for my family. I think it is very cool that the family is strong enough to handle military life. Even Reserve Military life which, I believe, is harder on the family than active duty.