"TODAY", is the day I can say I knew was coming for years. Years in the making. From the moment I excepted a military scholarship, (11 years ago), for medical school, I knew there would be a day I would call "TODAY". Am I ready? A most definate "No", but my concerns would fall on deaf ears so what's the point. The year was 2000, I was dating my now "wife", and joining the military seemed like a choice that was out of my hands. Medical school would be paid, the world was almost "not" stable, army life was one of ease and laziness, and my wife's father was a West Point graduate who instilled a sense of duty in his children. I loved my wife and if I wanted a future with her I had to go along for the ride. Then in my second quarter of medical school the unthinkable happened; "September 11th". The world changed and my life with it. All my Pre-conceived notion's of future endeavors in the US Army were set to a different beat. We were sailing for the island of hostilities and endless war. This wasn't what I signed up for, but guess what; no one fucking cares.
Fast forward to July 2011. A lot has changed. I am happily married to my wife Melissa, have 2 boys (Turin 3yrs and Talon 2yrs), and a newborn daughter (Myla 3 wks). Life was just becoming stable after years of tortureous medical school, orthopaedic residency, no sleep, stress, and did I say stress.
"TODAY" was not in the grand plan of my life. The Hardest part of "Today", is leaving my family. I cried. There are so many what if's when you deploy. You know what they are so I won't hash them out here. I never realized how important my family was to me until now, when I am about to step on a plane to Afghanistan. My heart is torn and spirits are being tested. Its hard to explain to toddlers why you have to go when they will never understand. There questions of "Why?" can never be satisfied. That really hard.
So, what is my mission on this deployment? I will support a forward surgical unit "FST", in northern Afghanistan as an orthopaedic surgeon. Considering 80% of war injuries involve extremities I will likely be busy. By the way, the most action occurs during the summer months. This is when all the insurgent pricks wake up from there winter slumber fortify themselves in the surrounding mountains and reek havoc on coalition forces and innocent by-standards. The ironic thing is I may be saving the lives of these insurgents as well as civilians and our military forces.
It's that time. The plane and an uncertain adventure is ready. I'm taking a deep breath and closing my eyes. Now, I open them. I love you Melissa, Turin, Talon, and little Myla. Next stop, Kuwait. I'll talk to you soon.