10 August 2010

The Second-hand Minuteman

Yesterday, I told you that I wasn't going to deploy to Afghanistan. Today, as I am writing this, I am on a plane headed toward Camp Shelby, Miss. I'm calling this boomerang turn-of-events "Operation Bad Penny."

Confused? Imagine how I feel!

National Guard life can be fast-changing and full of surprises. The latin motto of the Army National Guard should be "Semper Gumby," for "always green, always flexible."

I received less-than-24-hour notice that I'd be headed to Shelby, where I'll help out in getting my buddies in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (2-34 B.C.T.) get from Mississippi, to California, back to Mississippi, and on to Afghanistan.

While packing my bags, I considered my Minuteman ancestors: Citizen-soldiers who kept a musket at the ready, who could run toward the sound of the guns, at moment's notice.

Me? I can be spontaneous--I just have to plan ahead to get that way. Apparently, so does today's National Guard: It took me about 12 hours, getting travel orders published and airline tickets purchased. It was like a red tape scavenger hunt, with me doing laps around the state headquarters building.

But here I am. In Mississippi. Where I'll see friends and colleagues to whom I said good-bye just last week. (I imagine plenty of double-takes and handshakes in the TOC.) We'll catch up on current operations, and wait a few weeks say our good-byes again. Meanwhile, I can help get them a little further down the road to Afghanistan.

Another day, another change, another mission.

"Attack!"

3 comments:

  1. Well, you're just along for the ride!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello, goodbye, see ya later, like now. What ever happened to the old Axum, ‘Hurry Up And Wait’ the Army use to have?

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  3. Yeah--instead of "hurry up and wait," it's more like "hello I must be going."

    Waitaminut--dId I just quote Groucho Marx. Or was it Phil Collins?

    Off to the Internet!

    ReplyDelete