I wanted to write a final post to do a self reflection on my deployment. I thought about what I would write and I had more questions than answers to my writing.
If somebody asked me to give them one word to describe my deployment I would have to say pointless. After a very long year this word keeps constantly ringing in my head. I think that most deployments either add problems or amplify the problems that one has. How is it that I personally know more than one person who has to take sleeping pills to even think about getting a couple hours of sleep? Common sense would tell you that something might either be happening in their life or the deployment. Yet, all we do is throw pills at the problems. In my opinion it only makes things worse.
I would love to say that I had a productive year, if anything I spent longer staring off into the desert losing my mind. There has to be a reason why God created this region, and I tried to look beyond the stereotypes. I can honestly say that I will never come back here nor do I have the desire to. Call me an ignorant American fighting for a false cause, but don’t be mad because while I try to fix the problems you hide behind words like intelligence and morals. The truth is, no matter how much you might hate our cause, at the end of the day you need us. You hide behind your words and say you don’t need us, but at the first sign of trouble don’t demand that something be done. Either you stand behind us or in front of us, either way I don’t give a damn what words you use to justify your nonexistent intestinal fortitude.
I went to Europe during my mid tour leave and I had the time of my life. I also got into an argument in Poland with a Canadian. Here is what transpired.
Canadian: why do you always invade countries and kill innocent people?
Me: what do you mean? How do you know what is actually happening?
Canadian: oh don’t lie to me, you invade countries whenever you want and kill everyone
Me: while I don’t personally agree with our conflicts I do my part for my country
Canadian: well you need to do something about Syria
Me: you just said that you hate when we go into a country…but going into Syria is ok?
Canadian: yes! They’re killing innocent people, somebody needs to stop them
Me: you can’t pick and choose what countries we should go into, let syria figure out their own war, it’s not our damn problem
Canadian: you need to go in there and help them, America never does anything good for the world
Me: is German your national language?
Canadian: ummm no….why?
Me: you’re welcome, now shut the hell up and let me enjoy my vacation
The moral of this story is, don’t complain if you are not willing to do your part. And most important of all, don’t interrupt my vacation with stupid arguments.
I have learned so much about the members in my squad. Sometimes it feels like we know each other more than our family does. We’ve spent the better part of a year together learning about each other. A family member can say that they know you better than anybody but the truth is that, they don’t know how their loved one looks like after a seven mile run, they don’t know what they smell like after days on end without showering, they don’t know how they react under pressure. That’s the lovely thing about the military, I’ve met some great people throughout my time here. They’ve helped me through the lows and highs of my military career. Some people have asked me why I am leaving the military and the truth is that I am tried. I am tired both physically and mentally. I personally feel that political correctness is going to be the end of our professional military. I cannot deal in an environment where it feels like I am walking on egg shells because somebody might get their feelings hurt while I’m doing my job. We all chose to join the Army, the Army didn’t join us, so you either get acclimated to the military environment or you get the hell out.
But none of this self reflection that I have done throughout this year would have been possible without the support of friends and family. The best feeling in life is getting a care package and opening it. It made me feel like Christmas morning inside whenever I was opening up the packages. Talking to my friends in Europe helped me keep my sanity.
Where I’ll be in life five years after the military, I do not know. But I know that I will take the experience both good and bad to my next journey in life and better myself.