Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rowing Well, Towards the Light

So I thought things might ease up a bit after the first couple weeks.

They haven't.

I already kind of explained how a lot of the days go by here in my last post, so I won't rehash.

What I will do, though, is explain an awesome Army policy: R and R leave.

Even though the actual deployment time here comes out to 10+ months (that's the full year minus the time at Fort Hood), every soldier gets 15 days 'free' (i.e. non-chargeable) leave during the deployment.

Here's the even better part: The clock doesn't start ticking until the soldier gets to his or her leave destination. So if it takes 4-5 days to actually get from Kabul to Logan (it sometimes takes that long because of the delays at the various military transit hubs), and another 4-5 days to get back, the R and R time away from the deployed duty station winds up being closer to a month.

For me, R and R is just a few weeks away (I checked the 'I don't care' box, so they gave me one of the first available dates...most people preferred to break the deployment up more evenly). The icing on the cake is the knowledge that when I get back from R and R, the Lt. Colonel coming out here to be the 'primary' will have already arrived, and I can fall back a bit from the spotlight as his deputy.

I know the endless days mean no time for the PT I wish I could do more of. It also means I've mostly given up on writing back to personal e-mails, reading other blogs, or even doing the comments-to-the-comments that I started doing here as long as I've been writing, and wish other bloggers did more of, too.

However, my nearness to R and R is what keeps me, to paraphrase Ben-Hur again, rowing well.

On a clear day (and there aren't too many of those here!) the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is almost in view.


kad barma said...

Can't comment on the situation in which you find yourself, so hard to know the relative color of the grass, but I've been up to my ears in preparations for our annual conference (and the bureaucratic insanity which always ensues) and thinking to myself when reading your writing lately that bureaucracies may not know the difference between military and civilian. This time, a coworker nominally in charge of coordinating the group's effort pulled up lame and took a 3 week medical leave in the middle of it. (I asked my boss if he could tell me the specific excuse, so I consider using it myself). It's thus fallen on the rest of us to discover all the missed deadlines, fix all the incorrectly done paperwork, and handle the bogies heading straight for us while we try to do our other full times jobs as well. The paychecks still clear, so we're nothing but grateful, but it's still a wear on the emotions to have to go through it. Glad you're getting your R&R at just the right time, and here's hoping it'll be more reasonable once you hold Lily and enjoy reminder of what it's all about. Looking forward to some Viet-Thai!

C R Krieger said...

I skipped R&R on my first tour, so I could get home quicker (100 Missons North and out).  Then it dawned on my Flight Commander and he slowed me down on the schedule. :-(

Second tour I did both R&R and, later, a Week's leave.  The latter was so I wouldn't be there for our craven and cowardly abandonment of Cambodia in the Summer of 1973.  Otherwise I would have been on TV, crawling out of the Wing King's aircraft back seat (I was his Instructor Pilot, back when we did such things).  I scooted for fear I would tell the Press what I thought.

Looking forward to seeing you in June, but not seeing very much of you, as you make up for lost time with Lily and Mother.

Regards  —  Cliff