Sounds really official, doesn't it? I was at a "briefing" last night!
Acutally, it was far more boring than it sounds. I'm trying to make it into something more enigmatic to take away from how badly I wanted to take a nap.
We sat in a very hot theatre packed to the brim with soldiers, wives, a few children, and a row full of speakers who probably wanted to be someplace else at 6:00 on a Thursday evening. Seventeen speakers to be exact. A few of them were a bit entertaining like the extremely enthusiastic woman telling us about the Army Community Services. She either drank a little Jack on the way over, or she likes her job way too much!
Then there was the American Red Cross guy. A real groovy cat with long hair, a beard, and a dry sense of humor. He said that he'd be more than willing to take advantage of us wives while the guys were gone.... for volunteering opportunities that is! I mean really, if he meant the other thing he'd have 50 infantry soldiers on his butt faster than he could say "Grateful Dead".
We learned where they'll be deployed to and some specifics about what they'll be doing. And no, I can't tell you! At least not until they're over there and doing it.
A week ago we had a bit of a scare. We know the date the unit is leaving (no, I'm not telling you that either!), but we had found out that Husband was going to have to leave two weeks earlier than everyone else. There are only a very small few people trained in loading all their gear, and he was one of them. He would have to leave when the gear (in big huge metal containers called "connexes") went over. I was a little sad that he would miss Thanksgiving. And I was sad that I wouldn't get to attend the big Hail & Farewell. It's not that big a deal, but I didn't get to be a part of it when he went to Afghanistan last year, so I kind of wanted be there this time. We sit in a gym and cry and say good bye to our guys and they load the buses and head to the airport. Probably not near as exciting as I picture in my head, but it's one of those rituals I'd like to be a part of.
Yesterday we got the good news that he doesn't have to go early. He'll deploy at the same time as the main group of his unit. It doesn't mean much, just that we'll have a few extra weeks with him.
I'll report more when he's gone. The unit that our guys are replacing have been there for 15 months now and it's time for them to come home and be with their families. Daddies will come home to new babies they haven't met, husbands will come home to new wives they married right before they left, and life will go on as usual for most of them. Everyone in the army has to do their time. It's a fact that we've all grown used to.
Say your prayers for them, thank a veteran or servicemember, and support the troops in any way you can.