Sunday, November 25, 2012

End of an Era....

Well it has been quite some time since I have written, and not really because I have not had anything significant happen, more so because I was being lethargic and not writing.  I figured I needed to write sooner than later though.  Because in just over a month I will be done with the Army, done for good, no drills, no jumps, no ranges, no deployments... no more Army.  Which is very strange for me...
This was a journey that I started over 10 years ago, I began to go into recruiters offices around this time in 2002.  I was just finishing up my last quarter of college and new that I wanted to join the service.  Afghanistan was already in full swing and there were talks of the invasion of Iraq.  I knew that I was going to be doing something that would likely take me overseas.  I didn't tell anyone about my intentions, out of fear, out of doubt, out of probably sheer necessity.  I knew that I was lucky enough to have friends and family that would definitely try to talk me out of it, they loved and cared about me and didn't want to have the potential to lose me.  After going to all of the different branches I settled on the Army, they offered me a deal to go into the Special Forces right off the street... which to dumb college kid Brendan I had really no clue what I was getting myself into.  I remember telling people about me signing the papers after the fact.  My best friend, my girlfriend, and my family... the latter being the hardest. I signed the papers in April of 2003 and didn't get the nerve up to tell them until memorial day that year.  I was home eating dinner, it was a birthday dinner for me being that my birthday was the week before.  I had finished eating, I excused myself and went and got my enlistment papers out... I told them that I had enlisted.  There was a moment of disbelief, and then the tears and anger came out.  My sister who was 14 at the time ran upstairs crying saying that I was going to be killed over there, my mom left the room in tears and my Dad and I were sitting at the table still.  He was quiet for a minute, he looked at me and said " You know you might get killed over there?"  I said I knew.  Then he said "You might have to kill someone?" I said again I understood that.  He then said that he wasn't thrilled but he supported my decision.  My Mom came back in and we talked about it a little, but you could tell she was upset.  My sister and I talked about it over time too.  10 years later here we are, I am getting out.  I am ending something in my life that has taken up 1/3 of my life.  It's a strange feeling, yet I know that the things I have done and seen will be with me for the rest of my life.  Both good and bad, I have made some great friends, I have seen what war can do to a person, not just the bad stuff, but how it can make a person go to the extraordinary lengths that they never knew they could do.  So I wouldn't say that I am sad, but I don't necessarily know the word that I am looking for.
On that note here is to the next 10 years and the surprises they may bring.

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