Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Being told you're getting deployed

This story is the beginning of a new chapter in my life:
(some names of people and units changed to prevent OPSEC problems)

A MUTA7 National Guard weekend in October. That means Thursday through Sunday, longer than your average weekend. Colder than normal, mid 50's maybe, and raining. Kind of miserable all around, I can feel my socks and boots are wet just from bringing my bags in to the barracks from the trucks through the grass. I feel the muscle in my left shoulder tighten up from the flu shot we got around 930 when we got in that night. Luckily I got all my homework for the weekend done by Wednesday so I don't have to worry about that here.

"Hey, Staff Sergeant Hedlund," I hear from off to my side, it's hard to see who it is because of a light behind them, I walk closer.

"Oh, hey, what's up," as I get closer I notice it's SFC Johnson, our full-time guy.

"I need to talk with you later."

"I'm free now, what's the problem," I reply, thinking about what he might need to talk to me about. Did I forget to do something? Did one of my soldiers screw up? Maybe some admin stuff just needed to be filled out.

"87th pulled you from the unit. Effective today." he said, non-chalantly, as though this sort of thing happened all the time. I instinctively sort of looked at the ground as I thought about the reasons this could happen. Of course there was only one that I could think of.

"...Oh, really...How come?" I finally ask, hoping there's something I'm missing.

"Another deployment, but you still gotta stick around for the weekend."

"Okay, you have any info about it yet?"

"Sounds like southern Iraq, and on the plus side, it's an E-7 slot. That's all I got," he said back as he started to walk away.

"Alright, thanks." I walked away, feeling like I got hit with a train. What would this mean? What do I do? What is 87th? Why would they pull me for an E-7 slot (I'm currently an E-6, or Staff Sergeant)? Too much to think about. I can't begin to understand what it means. My thoughts turn off.

Well, I have to keep an upbeat positive attitude for the rest of the weekend for my soldiers. Can't let them down, can't let myself down. 

There'll be plenty of time to think. Maybe it's for the best. I guess I'll have some more stories to shape my character...