From the Soldier side: The photo says a lot. In my National guard unit right after "Nine Eleven" most of our soldiers were activated to go do something to fight the "Global War on Something". I was almost done with my "re-class" training to get my new M.O.S. So, I missed the first big call up. Some of our troops went to Afghanistan, some went to Gitmo, and some got assigned at some Army Fort in the states.
Funny thing is...I thought I was going to miss out on all the fun! Silly me. In Jan 2003, the rest of us, who were then "MOS Qualified" were sent down to our main State Camp for mob processing, screening and training.
This group was told we were going to Iraq...before there even was an Iraq war. Oh joy. Since my prior military experience was all "Combat Arms" I volunteered to help train some of the folks who had no combat arms training. Weapons, Claymore mines, land nav, etc. You know, skills needed to make it out in the field. You see, most of the folks I was going to be working with had never really done much field work.
After we came back home from several days of screening and processing...our home unit called us back. They wanted us to go to Bosnia! I didn't even know we still had troops in Bosnia....but it sounded a hell of a lot better than invading a country.
After we had been in Bosnia for a little while, this photo showed up in the Internet. Most of us saved it for a screen back ground.
Our new motto: "One Weekend a Month My Ass."
As of this date, some of my buddies have been on 3 or 4 deployments. I've only done 2. In the middle of my Iraq deployment, the Stars and Stripes said that approx 60% of the troops in Iraq at that time were from the National Guard and Reserves. Yep, oneweekendamonthmyass.