01 August 2012

After the Deployments.....

Transition back to civilian life.......
From the Soldier to Cop side: There’s been some action being taken in recent days to help assist the troops being discharged back into “society”.  I personally think that this is a great idea for in many cases, soldiers (a general term to include all in the military) often joined up when they were young.  They spent anywhere from 4 to 30 years following orders, giving orders but always dealing with some kind of “order”.  Then, regardless of age or background, upon discharge they are poured back into the real world. 

I know when I was discharged from the “regular army” when I was 20 years old; I had no idea what I was going to do when I returned home.  Lucky for me, my dear old’ dad let me stay with him while I worked and went to college full time. 

Fast forward to 2004-05.  When my National Guard unit returned from deployment to Bosnia, we had about 2 weeks of earned military leave that we had on the books…so after we de-mobilized, we were getting our leave pay for 2 weeks.  This was a great idea to have a few weeks to rest before returning to work.  However, the police department I was working for at the time didn’t think I needed all that rest.  As soon as they found out I was home, they called me to get me to return to work.  I almost had a whole week off—counting the time in Bosnia- I was usually working 6 days a week and usually 12-16 hour days---so I hadn’t had a vacation in a few years.   That deployment was a total of 9 months.

I was tired. 

But, I put on the blue uniform and went back to work.

6 months later we were re-deployed to Iraq (there were about 15 of us Bosnia vets with the unit who “volunteered” to go to Iraq.)  That deployment was a total of 15 moths with the useless training before.  So when I returned home and had 2 weeks of military leave I told the P.D. that I’ was taking a whole month off – and I didn’t answer the phone. 

After being home for a month and resting, I went back into the patrol car.  This time the police department got a little smarter and had me ride with another experienced officer.  She was one of the best cops I ever worked with…so the first day in the car she asked:”well, how long do you want to ride with me?”
I looked at her and said: “As long as they let me.  I like being driven around.” About 3 hours into that shift we got a call of a bank robbery.  For some reason I was the only one not getting all excited---- well, what the heck, there was no gun involved so what was the big deal?  (remember after a year in Iraq, anything is easy.) 

2 weeks later, the town had one of the biggest floods in 20 years…and I was working 12 hour shifts so many days I lost track.  But I was getting OVERTIME pay.  Unlike the Army.   

                                         A good sense of humor did help......
I think I earned my retirement.  Both of them.


Odysseus said...

I belive one of the "Murphy's Laws of War" is: There is nothing more dangerous than a Butter-bar with a compass and a map.

Old NFO said...

That you did, and it IS about time they took a hard look at the re-integration into society. It's NOT easy to shift those mental gears in a hurry (and some NEVER really come back).

Coffeypot said...

Yep! Well Done, Dude.

Anonymous said...

1. You did.
2. Carried a lot more than your share of the load, did it twice, and in more than one AO.
3. Taking big bites and spewing large chunks.
4. BTW, vsv cartoon: Me are the 2LT w/compass after a party (one combat boot and one bare hoof).
5. Please keep writing.
V/R JWest

CI-Roller Dude said...

Ody, I actually found lots of people who can't read a compass/ map. In the later years they relied in GPS- but when batteries died, they were lost.

Old NFO, Some came home, but their minds didn't. Some were just not all there even before they deployed- but the deployment just made things worse.

Mr West- I'm sure you could use a compass