Annual Training. It always interrupts something we like to call “having a real life” but if we’re honest with ourselves it is usually pretty quiet & tame. There are a few who lead the life of high adventure when they’re away from the Army (or other Reserve services) but it’s usually just work, school, or in Joe’s case, not much of anything. Still, applying for the local University looms ahead, so he may look back on these days with a sense of fond remembrance.
It seems there are two philosophies to joining any Reserve unit, be it Army Reserve or National Guard, the Air Guard or Air Force Reserves, or Navy and Marine reserves– on one hand, maybe you want to spend weekends training in a field you already know: a person who is a lawyer by day might choose to be a military lawyer as well, and learn things that can be applied to both fields for career progression. Mechanics, doctors, constructions, food service– there are a lot of jobs in the world of “real life” that correspond to military fields.
But then there’s the notion that when you spend all day doing one thing, your Reserve weekends are your chance to break the routine and do something you ordinarily don’t get to do. A person who works as a fry cook at a restaurant doesn’t want to flip burgers as an Army cook on the weekends. So you join something radically different– drive tanks on the weekend instead, or jump out of planes, or examine satellite photos of North Korean installations or something like that. You know, shake things up a bit.
In Joe’s case, his “real life” and “adventure” might be his time at the Reserves, while his down time at home just leaves him drifting.