Sunday, January 20, 2013

Stay...Just a Little Bit Longer

There is a constant rotation of people in and out of here. Before Christmas, an entire battalion of Reservists returned home; in the next few days the replacement unit will arrive. Whereas a majority of the people in the departing unit left in time to make it home for the holidays, a handful are so stayed behind to ensure a smooth transition to the new unit. Those folks left just after the first of the year. Since I am part of the headquarters element, and a majority of those who stayed were leadership personnel, these were the folks I’d worked with most closely.

These personnel were all Weekend Warriors; pure Reservists who were patriotic enough to not only promise to come when called – – they actually showed up when they were called while placing their real careers on hold and leaving families behind.  Those families by the way were not necessarily on or near a military base where they can get broad support but scattered across vast regions and left to fend for themselves.  Among those who departed were a regional manager for an international drug company, several postal workers, an insurance adjuster,  a housewife, and a couple of college students. That is who they are in the real world, but for the last nine months they were military professionals  -- officers and NCOs doing what was needed, where it was needed and at great personal sacrifice. I am proud to know our nation has such people in its total force ranks who are not afraid to answer the call and are willing to put it all on the line.  I am also proud to call many of them friends.

As for me, I was scheduled to leave in early March. If you read that sentence closely you will notice that I said “was”.  My unit wanted me to stay for another one-year tour, but that is more Kuwait than I was willing to deal with. With several rather large projects on the fire, I did offer to stay for 90 days if they wanted me to so I could finish them.   They quickly jumped on that and accomplished the paperwork on the same day before I changed my mind.  It is nice to be wanted.  As of today I have a little under 120 days left before I returned to the US at the end of May. By the time I get back, Michigan should've completed its winter,  some Grandkids will be needing some time with Grandpa, and there is a Valkyrie sitting in my garage aching to go out and explore some new twisty roads.

But for now,  I will stay -- the Zodiacs won't mind.


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