Sunday, April 5, 2009

8 long years are almost over

In May 2001, Drew decided to join the Army National Guard. I was very much against this move, because, as you are all aware, I always think of the worst possible thing that could happen. This ofcourse in the Army, is that Drew would have to go to war. However, we'd only been dating a few weeks, and so at that point, my opinion on the matter was not significantly important. Besides, as Drew would point out, the Guard was created for national disasters, and the last time a unit was deployed was the first Gulf War. Nothing like that would happen. RIGHT.

Summer of 2001 Drew was at Basic Training. Oh the thrill of phone calls (only the ones he would win in PT... the ones they granted him were torture-- 2 minutes with a drill seargant in your ear the entire time... we both cried on those and I told him to never call me back on a 2 minute phone call!), letters & random roses left on my parents front porch. He got home that fall, and my fears became our reality.

Drew was deployed 2 weeks after he returned home from his trip abroad for school and AIT in the summer of 2002. I will never forget that night that he got home, as it went from ecstasy to complete horror when we found out he was leaving in 2 weeks. We were engaged in the middle of that deployment, and got married a couple of months after he came home. Thankfully the news of the 2nd deployment was rumored for a while, so we were braced for it long before we ever got news. Drew was deployed again in 2006 for 18 months. This was the longest we had gone without being together, however in my opinion (and probably Drew's) it was an easier deployment.

My opinions of the military are bitter sweet. I am not one of those people who think that we don't need a military; unfortunately it's a necessary evil in this day and time. I also think (and am so grateful) that we need men who will step up and make sacrifices for our country. Our family however, could not accept that calling long term. I HATE the pomp and circumstance, the politics involved (or moreso the "good ol' boy system" in the Guard), the constant time away, and the constant fear of being called up for a deployment. Being a military family is HARD, deeply political if you actually want to make a career out of it, and constantly fluctuating. It is not compatible with our family goals. This is why I am so grateful, so excited and so relieved that today marks the last day of drill for Drew EVER. He has fought the fight and ran the race and he is FINISHED. Ofcourse, we still have 1 more month in the Guard before official papers are released (and as anyone who knows anything about the military, you really don't hold your breath till you get those papers-- and then you hold on to the papers like they are GOLD!), but I am so proud of Drew for finishing strong. WAY TO GO BABE-- YOU DID IT!

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