I went "radio silent" here on the blog for the last week-and-a-half, give or take, as we were finishing our Culminating Training Exercise (CTE), which validated the unit for deployment to Afghanistan.
To put it succinctly, it sucked. Imagine trying to do your job, but with people standing around you with clipboards constantly asking you what you're doing, and why. And then demanding more reports from you. And then asking you why you haven't accomplished task x and task y. But you would have accomplished each had they not been there in the first place to pester you!
I've heard it said a few times that the purpose of the MOBSTA (that's 'mobilization station' in longhand) is to make you want to deploy to the war zone). If that's true, then it definitely did its job -- I know that once I get 'over there' I'll be able to get into my routine, do my job, and organize my guys in the way that I see fit.
Right now, we've got a four-day pass. We're one of the very last units to get this...one version of the story says that's because of the need to condense training requirements, but another, more informed version says that the Army doesn't want to give the 4 "free" days to Reservists and Guardsmen just before deployment because of all the trouble that results from cooping people up for 2-3 months, and then letting them run free for three days before the big plane ride.
Either way, as I sit here typing this from Gray Army Airfield (GRK) in Killeen, I'm grateful to have the time off.
I'll spend as much time as possible with Ratriey and Lily.
I may try to blog a time or two, and might even try to make a dent in the growing "unread items" side of my inbox. Catching up on some sleep would have to score higher on the priority list, though.
For right now, though, I'm not really thinking about much -- just glad to be able to un-fog the brain for a little while and try to relax a bit.