Friday, March 12, 2010

Hitting "The Wall".

Long ago, when I could call myself a long-distance runner, I experienced that runner's phenomenon called "hitting the wall." A lot of runners hit that notional wall after two-thirds of the race is complete, and it literally hurts when you run into it. Well, sportsfans, I've been getting the feeling lately that this wall-hitting stuff happens to soldiers on deployment too.

You'd think that getting ready to go home in a couple of months would be uplifting and spark raised morale, wouldn't you? Apparently that ain't the case so much. With the finish line almost in sight there is a pervasive gloominess stuck to folks like Baghdad Mud. I don't really get it, being the persistent optimist, but sometimes I find myself being affected by the "bummertude" around me. For some of my Regular Army colleagues, new assignments or school selections promise to turn their lives upside down. There have been a few disappointments too, as the capriciousness of the Army personnel system punches some really great troops in the solar plexus...or lower. We've seen a couple of examples of crappy agents getting selected for promotion over much better qualified folks, which is like pissing on soldier's heads and calling it a hot shower.
Some fellow reservists have also been gobsmacked while deployed. I personally know four soldiers whose civilian jobs were eliminated while they have been serving over here. Talk about effectively reducing the "joy of homecoming"...
I know for sure that I have got it good when I get off that Freedom Bird. I've got the best spousal unit anyone could ask for, a comfortable home, great friends and family, a meaningful job and superb colleagues...and essentially a stress-free life...once I'm out of range of those darn rockets! So I'll do my best to be sympathetic to my grumpy battle buddies, but I plan to avoid joining 'em up in the Bummer Bleachers for these last few remaining miles...

1 comment:

  1. The "upward mobility" circumstance just doesn't happen in service.....look's happens you know where, all the time.