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.



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

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

  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!


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