"That you may ruminate"

…On the National Guardsman I know.

Posted by Steve on July 23, 2008

Tonight, after work, we had a little farewell-send-off shindig for one of the project managers, who’s also an Army National Guard officer. His last day with us is tomorrow, after which he takes a week or two of vacation and then is on leave for a deployment to Afghanistan.

I honestly don’t know how much his mission is really one that’s specifically “This is part of the War on Terror”, except in that it’s being performed by National Guard, and how much “This is just what the U.S. Army does”. What he’s doing is being part of a 16-man team (plus translators/interpreters – and when he was describing what he’s going to do, he corrected himself after using one. I don’t remember which, and I don’t know why he did it) being assigned to an Afghan Army battalion to train it. So, he’ll have a few hundred Afghan soldiers to train on doing things the U.S. Army way. And when he comes back, he says he’ll be swearing around the office in Dari and Pashto.

He just doesn’t know when he’s coming back. His active duty call-up and deployment orders apparently just said “Up to 400 days”. I don’t know if that’s normal, although I’d just figured that when people got called up it was for a pre-specified time period since that’s how I’d do things.

That’s got to be tough for his family. He’s married, has three kids. Actually, that’s where I had Thanksgiving last year, at his place. I really appreciated that, a lot. He’s a good guy.

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