24 February, 2007

They Also Serve...

...who only stand and wait. Two stories that reminded me of that today.

The separation:

Today I got a text message from Joel during class. The four words somehow caught in my throat. I had to leave the room. I’m continually trying to maintain my military bearing. The second week of Army Chaplain Officer Basic Course my goal was to survive the ruck marches. The third week it was to complete every challenge in the field and on the obstacle course. The fourth week it was to not be hospitalized for some serious liver problem… This week my goal is to not cry in class. So classmates of mine… pretend you didn’t read this and just act like you believe me when I smile and say I’m doing great.

Yes my husband is going to war for a year. Yes it stinks. But hey we’re in the Army and this is what we do. This is what we signed up for… this is who we are…

Are you buying any of that? Because I’m not. Not tonight anyway.

The fear:

Our meeting came and went and still nothing. I dawdled around at church as long as I could but eventually I had to go home. I drove slowly. I finally called a girlfriend and made her check the headlines to see if there had been any kind of helicopter crash that I hadn't heard about. I didn't want to turn down my street and see some kind of "official-looking car" sitting parked outside my house. I didn't want to pee on the seat if that were the case.

[H/T to Barb for the first link above]