Saturday, October 17, 2009

Goodbye Uncle Sam, Goodbye.

Thankfully, neither of us really have an Uncle Sam.

The 15th came and went uneventfully (for me- thanks to a migraine kicking my ass) and it wasn't until Ed's aunt emailed me the next day did I remember that I had missed Ed's last day of being indebted to the Army. His contract with them was officially up that day, and I wish like hell we would have celebrated. Balloons, party hats, noise makers- something! But still, the ever so important face remains- he's out. A huge chapter of our lives has closed. Closed, but not forgotten or recovered from quite yet.

I don't know that many in the military would celebrate the day their IRR ended (at least not that they'd admit- there's some kind of weird stigma attached to leaving- you have to be unhappy about it or else that somehow translates into you not feeling like your time in was 'worth it' or 'meant something'...) and although I'm sure it's slightly bittersweet for Ed, considering there's admittedly a part of him that would go back there in a heartbeat if it weren't for me or the kids, he's said he's glad to have that part of his life done with. There's a lot of healing left to do now.

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's less then a week until Ed's IRR (Inactive Ready Reserve- he has to serve 2 years after his active commitment to the reserves is over- which started in October when he was over there) is officially over. Six days until I never have to worry about the words "Stop Loss" or spending another year alone with (now two) kids.

Yes, I'm counting down. I can't help it. I'm not entirely sure my psyche can handle going through all of that again.

Recently, I met a girl who's husband is currently over there for his second tour- and they have three kids. He's active duty but she stayed around here to be close to her family. When I mentioned how I couldn't do it again, she smirked and made a snide comment about how it's not really THAT hard. I had to stop myself from saying anything else, because I know how hard it is to be actively in that position. You can't even begin to admit to yourself how hard it really is alone, or else the cracks will start to grow and the fear of breaking completely apart is palpable. I don't envy her, as much as she may have looked down on me for admitting that deployments suck and I never wanted to do it again. I don't find it a lack of strength, but an honest realization of what a deployment totally encompasses- there's SO much no one told me about this journey. And I'm still learning more about it by the day.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

If something should happen....

Two years ago today- this was the post on my private blog:

Ed's convoy got hit by 2 IEDs today.

And when he was messing with the second one, they started getting shot at.

He's fine, thank god, and he's hyper and excited because it's the first real combat he's seen. I dunno. I guess you would get a pretty good high from surviving trying to be killed...

Killed. Fuckin' eh.

I knew *something* had happened... he hadn't called all day and hadn't been online.

And as superstitious as it sounds, I knew because 2 of my analog clocks stopped around the exact same time today- 1:50. I'm not sure if they stopped in the AM or the PM, but they stopped... And when I noticed it, I knew. I didn't know what I knew, but I knew.

I wasn't walking around with a heavy weight in my stomach, so I knew he was ok. But I knew *something* had happened.


I don't know how I feel about all of this.

It's late, I'm tired- and the benedryl I took to help me sleep is coursing through me, making it impossible to think clearly. Now, if only I could get my haywire mind to just shut up and let me sleep.

I'm numb. The benedryl or absolute gut-wrenching denial? Not sure which... I'll sort it all out tomorrow. Tonight, I thank God he's still ok, and I try and get some rest... *sigh*

There was always that innate fear that Ed wouldn't come back home to us. As a mechanic and wrecker driver, he was often out of the wire, riding with a Explosives Ordinance Disposal team.. they're pretty much the crazy bastards that drive around actually LOOKING for IED's to detinate or disarm before some unlike guys (or civilians) come along and find them. They call it "Route Clearance"- I call it 12 kinds of crazy, but whatever.

That day, he was on a route they often took when one of the vehicles in the convoy was hit with an IED (sometimes they find them by default.) Ed's job was to jump out of his wrecker, hook up the blasted vehicle, and tow it back to base to either be fixed or used for parts. On the way back to base, the convoy hit yet another IED and another truck was blasted. Thankfully no one was seriously injured (MRAP's rock. Seriously.) but as he was out trying to hook up the second vehicle to his truck, a bunch of guys in a truck came by shooting at them. It was dark out, so all he could see were the pings of metal on metal as the bullets hit the truck around him. He downplays it and says it was nothing- he didn't even get a scratch.. but I look at him and wonder how he could think something so.. immense.. could have had absolutely no effect on him.

He made it back into his wrecker and realized as soon as he got in, that the lights on the blasted vehicle were stuck on, and made them a giant target for the guys shooting at them. So my ever-so-intelligent husband jumped back out of his truck, into the middle of this fire fight, and used his wrench to break the lights out of the truck. He barely remembers it- he was going on nothing but his gut instinct and adrenaline, but the guys in his unit recommended him for a medal for it.

He calls this ordeal the one thing he did over there that really 'felt like war'... he always says something about how he's not a 'real Vet' because he didn't see the action that some of the guys, like Infantry, have seen over there. I tend to think that no matter what you do over there, you're still over there, and that's a damn sight more then most people.

I hope he knows how proud of him I am.