Winning the Lottery

This is the first article in what will be a long-running series written by me about the time in my life that will most likely conclude my enlistment in the Army National Guard. Some of you already know what this is about. I don't know who I'm really writing this for. I guess I'm writing it for me.

I was standing at the very front of the mass formation because I'm that guy. I don't mind standing in front. Some people do, but not me. They were waiting for the colonel. I was waiting for what the colonel had to say. Most of us knew what was coming. It was just the specific details that were hazy. The young guys couldn't or wouldn't shut up about it and most of us older guys would just grimace when the topic came up.

The captain snuck around the corner of the building to tell the major that the colonel was coming. For those of you unfamiliar with the military, this previous sentence sums up the life of an officer almost perfectly. Or at least that's how I've always viewed it from an enlisted point of view.
The major called us all to attention and turned to face the colonel. He saluted and moved to the rear. The colonel put us at parade rest.
Without great fanfare or preamble he announced that Minnesota's 34th Infantry Division was putting together a brigade combat team for a little trip overseas.

The PFC standing next to me looked like he was going to faint. I just felt my stomach turn upside down. It wasn't a terrible surprise to me"… or rather it didn't upset me as much as it probably should have.
The colonel continued on, only to be interrupted by an M113a3 roaring past. The motor pool isn't the best place to have a mass formation. He looked like he was about to rip the driver's head clean off but he continued on. The essence of the spiel was that a lot of us were going. It's hard to explain the feeling. It's probably like winning the lottery. There's a strong feeling of uncertainty mixed in with the knowledge that your life will never be the same.

The formation broke up a little bit later. That same PFC started yammering at me about how he has plans and a life and everything. Well no sh*t. Don't we all?
Whether or not a Guardsman gets deployed is decided by chance, and by chance, I mean the people making the roster. Those people like me. They like me because they know that I'll do my best not to get the people around me killed and do my best to kill the "bad guys" should the need arise. They grabbed a bunch of guys like me for this little"… hoo-hah. I like that word. It's fanciful.

One of those other guys like me walks up with his ever-present grin. All he says is, "˜Are you buying the hub or am I?' I just grin back. Our biggest complaint last time we deployed to Bosnia was that nobody brought a hub big enough for everybody. My 16-port Linksys shipped from New Jersey yesterday.
I told the PFC not to worry. He's going with the guys he knows. We'll have plenty of time to train. He asked me what was going happen. I told him, "˜What's going to happen? We're going to Iraq.'

Comments

Is this current, or history?

Errrrr...congrats on winning! And good luck! Shoot bad guys!

Since a friend of mine just got the news he is leaving too, I'm going to assume this is current.

Best of luck to you, Reap! Make sure you stay safe.

Keep your head down, and look over your shoulder, Reap. Godspeed.

Good luck then. Stay safe and let us know if you need anything.

This particular story is from a few months back.

Jeb wrote:

Keep your head down, and look over your shoulder, Reap. Godspeed.

And cover your ass! They have access to WoW in iraq right?

Entry deleted due to fog clearance. Watch yourself, bud.

This is the first article in what will be a long-running series written by me about the time in my life that will most likely conclude my enlistment in the Army National Guard.

I am confused by this statement. Am I supposed to be? Are you writing all this after the fact? Jesus man! You are toying with my emotions!

Reap, speaking to Iraqi locals wrote:

Watch and learn yo. This is how the stuff is blown up.

.

Seriously, though, so have the tickets been booked yet? Best of luck, man. We'll be waiting for your return!

Godspeed and all that, Reaper. Come back safe.

Are you writing all this after the fact?

I'll be leaving for training very soon. The first few articles will deal with the process leading up to my deployment. IE: the past few months. From there on out, I will be writing about stuff more or less as it happens.

Reaper81 wrote:
Are you writing all this after the fact?

I'll be leaving for training very soon. The first few articles will deal with the process leading up to my deployment. IE: the past few months. From there on out, I will be writing about stuff more or less as it happens.

How about sticking that little bit of context somewhere in the article? Just a suggestion. Glad to see I wasn't the only one confused or unsure...

Reaper81 wrote:
Are you writing all this after the fact?

I'll be leaving for training very soon. The first few articles will deal with the process leading up to my deployment. IE: the past few months. From there on out, I will be writing about stuff more or less as it happens.

As in, you will be deploying and will maintain the articles/journal while overthere?

Wow, crazy times Reap. Glad to see you'll be taking a 16 port hub along for the trip however Hope to see you Online in your downtime. Watch out for those crazy spiders.

IMAGE(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v255/Swat_R2/camelspider_small.jpg)

Good luck to ya Reap... it's going to be boring as crap around here and around work while you're gone, but I'll look at it this way: I should have a level 60 when you get back

That's exactly what I'll be doing, Badferret.

Grumpi, I know my article is really hazy on a timeline or context but there's a reason. The link I provided, while a bit over-the-top, is an accurate view of the military's perspective on information warfare. By keeping my published articles incomplete and unclear on exact information, like dates and time, I protect myself from potential UCMJ action.

Well then, keep you head down, and steel underneath your butt. Good luck.

I am sorry Reap. I wish there was something better I could say other than," Keep safe!" I know we are supposed to be strong but Im a little bit more emotional than I intended to be right now.

We all owe you thanks for the continued sacrifices you and your companions make for our benefit. Keep your wits about you, your eyes alert and your aim true.

Reaper81 wrote:

That's exactly what I'll be doing, Badferret.

Grumpi, I know my article is really hazy on a timeline or context but there's a reason. The link I provided, while a bit over-the-top, is an accurate view of the military's perspective on information warfare. By keeping my published articles incomplete and unclear on exact information, like dates and time, I protect myself from potential UCMJ action.

If you can't give out exact information, you should definitely say you killed a ninja clan with your barehands and then got a blowjob from a three-breasted hooker.

Reaper81 wrote:

Grumpi, I know my article is really hazy on a timeline or context but there's a reason. The link I provided, while a bit over-the-top, is an accurate view of the military's perspective on information warfare. By keeping my published articles incomplete and unclear on exact information, like dates and time, I protect myself from potential UCMJ action.

Fair enough. Though I wasn't under the impression that just being called up was a secret since it's on the news here whenever it happens, I wouldn't want you to get in trouble and so do whatever you have to to that end. And an long as I'm telling you what to do ;), you be sure to get yourself back home safe and sound.

Tangent: Speaking of which, any word on KT? I guess I'll go resurrect that thread if I can find it.

Grumpi, I have my own opinions on call up procedures, mobilization, public announcements of such, and how individual soldiers are allowed (or not allowed) to discuss them. My opinions differ from the those of the Army. Therefore, my opinions shall stay buried deep within me and never come up.

Looking forward to reading more articles from ya Reap. Good luck!

May you live in thoroughly uninteresting times.

Good luck, stay safe, and can't wait for the upcoming installments!

You know, I was so full of myself for finding that press release, that I completely forgot my more-valid point...

I was just suggesting that information you provided in the comments...

Reaper81 wrote:

This particular story is from a few months back.

Reaper81 wrote:

I'll be leaving for training very soon. The first few articles will deal with the process leading up to my deployment. IE: the past few months. From there on out, I will be writing about stuff more or less as it happens.

...be amended to the original story. While I completely understand OPSEC concerns, I didn't/don't think there's any distinction made regarding where on the page the information appears.

But hey, it's your story and I'm butting out now. Looking forward to the rest of the series. Be sure to keep in touch so we can send those care packages.

Oh Reap...dude. This doesn't make me a happy duck. I mean, I know you guys are trained for it, and the whole concept of deployment is something that you consider when you sign the papers...(one hopes)...but for those of us who have eschewed the base, and firmly embraced the civilian life...it worries us. (OK, me. It worries me. There. I've said it.)

That said, make sure to email me your drop box address, and I'll hook you and the gang up with some stuff...soap, cookies, small egyptian women...whatever I can get past the monitors.

Hugs, darlin!

Good luck Reaper. Stay healthy and what-not.

One of the best (and few) blogs I've read was from an enlisted man over in Iraq, called "My War" (until the military got wind of it and made him stop). I look forward to more updates, man.

Most of all, though, be safe Reap.

Good luck out there.