I struggled with what to call this post. After all the %&*$* years we've been in Iraq, I finally know someone is being sent there.
Background: Chee was a military kid, went to high school in Korea. He made friends who left his life for awhile and for one reason or another, came back around.
Jason is one of those.
He called last night - I saw the caller id, noticed it was out of state, and picked up. When he said he was being deployed in a few days, I knew it was Chee's high school buddy, Jason.
I have never talked to this guy before in my life, and we spoke for a few minutes. He sounded terrible, just torn apart. Not in tears, but ripped up inside. He is married with two sons, 5 and 1. I asked if his wife had people around to help her in his abscence (she does). He's taking his laptop and a web cam. He's in HR, so doesn't think he'll be in any huge danger zone. But...he'll be gone for 387 days.
Let me repeat - 387 DAYS. I was so floored I did not know what to say.
The irony is, he was in the Gulf War. Left the military after - went to college - got a degree. Joined the reserves five measly months ago, hoping for some big money as an officer. And now, he's being told he has to leave his family for a damn long time.
Chee was angry, but seemed to understand why he joined up again. I bet he and his wife have gone over it a million times since (how many other families are doing the same?). It probably looks SO good on paper.
I cried for him this morning - I was thinking of his wife and kids. How hard it would be for Monkee and I to have Chee gone that long, and I just couldn't help it.
Godspeed, Jason. I'm praying for you and your loved ones. Be safe.