Friday, January 20, 2006

I don't usually just ramble on...

But I need a place to write down all my thoughts. I am having conflicting feelings. I feel pulled from two sides.

I REALLY want to deploy. I really want to go and help in OIF. I read the stories, see the film footage, hear the reports and I feel left behind. I find myself surfing the net for prices on Satellite phone service(the rates are not too bad!) and looking up local weapons training. I think about what it would be like to be in the Middle East.

I think the reason deploying is so attractive to me is...I am a wanderer at heart. When we were kids we would pick up and move at a moment's notice. My father was from South America. I am half Colombian. He came to the States with his family when he was 14. He and my mom married at age 16 and proceeded to have five children one after the other. Good Catholics they were! I had made four plane trips by the time I was three years old and lived in 3 different places. My dad was working for NCR by the time I was 6 and was selected to train to become a computer programmer. We moved to southern California where I spent all of my grammar school years. We moved twice while in California. My parents divorced when I was 12 and my mom married an Army Officer. More moving. I attended 3 different elementary schools, 3 different middle schools and 4 different High Schools (2 in my senior year). I have lived in 10 different states sometime repeating a state 3 or 4 times! I have lived overseas in Germany and traveled Europe extensively. I loved it.

After we were all grown I joined the Navy to wander some more. I was stationed in Orlando (boot), Memphis, Chicago (brrr), California, and Hawaii. I spent time in Austrailia and visiting other vacation spots. I asked my sisters who planted themselves FIRMLY where they gradualted highschool if they missed the travel. One answer from my younger sister stunned me. She said "I wish the people I knew now and went to college with were the people I went to kindergarten with." Wow. Really?? That just blows my mind. Not that the people I attended school with are not worthy of such devotion, but I find it stiffling. I just don't get it.

Fast forward to now. I came back to Georgia after my 8 years in the Navy. Georgia is the longest place I lived growing up. I like Georgia. I am also the daughter of a Southerner so I really enjoy the familiar feeling. I have been here now 15 years, 21 years of my life altogether, that's a long time. I married a man who has deep roots in this area. In fact I SWEAR he has red Georgia clay running through his veins. When we were dating he was in Chiropractic college. We day-dreamed of moving to Montana (yes!) or Wyoming or maybe even ALASKA!! One day I say "hey lets do it! You can open your practice anywhere and I can do my job anywhere....let's do it!" It must have really frightened him, he said "Are you CRAZY?? You *are* serious!" um,...yeah? Why not? He says "I will never move away from my family". Rude awakening for me! LOL. My dear darling wonderful husband is a true blue mama's boy. Well I shouldn't put it that way...he is just VERY loyal. He believes in family, putting down roots. I have been learning some very valuable lessons these past years!

I believe in family too. I love my family, I love my extended family. Since I come from a family of gypsies on all sides it has been very interesting to be married into this family. I mean these people are FAMILY. No one gets left behind. No one does without. Everyone is loved and cared for. Yeah we have our spats, and our fights, but that strong loyality is never pushed aside. It really has been something to witness and be a part of. I am stronger for it.

So, I feel rather like a traitor for wanting to leave even if only for a short time. They all think I am nuts to even join the National Guard. My MIL said "well no woman in our family has ever done anything like this!!" to which I quietly replied "Not in mine either." I can't even begin to imagine the fallout when I say "I am deploying"; MUCH LESS say "oh and I volunteered".

I can't just sit by and watch like a spectator. This latest bombing in a Pakistani village to kill four known terrorists just makes me want to go that much more. The fight is NOT over. Osama's taped message is clear...it ain't over.

There is this feeling I have deep inside of me. It is calling me to go, to serve. When I think of just staying back and watching this all unfold...well I feel awful. I try and rationalize to myself...you're a mom, your children are very young, you have a home and family to take care of. Then I see a video of a soldier coming home to his babies and I think...he is a father to very young children...he has a home and family too.

I am going to take my packet down to HRO on Tuesday. I hope I am selected. If not there are many other options, but I would prefer not having to relocate. Their is a Stryker group (only one in the National Guard) out of Pennsylvania that is looking for a commo NCO. Females accepted. I could also go Regular Army, but I am not sure if I can swing that or not. Anyway I feel like this is the direction I am to take.

Then there is this little nagging fear... once I am out in the desert sleeping in a big tent that I might say "Geez-o-Pete Lori, what possessed you??!!" :-) But knowing me, I'll be eating it up like candy.

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