I was thinking about how –in the comic– we’ve lost a few soldiers after coming back. Brian Patterson got out with pretty serious PTSD; Philip Albright was killed in Iraq. Cecelia Glass was badly wounded, and with a leg and an eye missing, was med-boarded out. Carlos Alvarez has stuck around but that’s not much of a squad.
Squads differ in size depending on what type of unit they are in, but they usually run from at least 4 to as many as 9… sometimes even more, but that’s rare. While it is true that Reserve and Guard units are frequently short-staffed, usually a squad with only two people in it would have already been blended with another squad to bring it up to strength. There is definitely room for Rock’s squad to grow but if I add any new characters it will be a slow process, and not a flood of new faces all at once.
Sometimes I miss my characters that are gone. Of course a few of them can come back when needed– Patterson and Glass are still in town even though they are no longer in the unit, so technically they could come back and visit or be involved in a comic that takes place out in the civilian world. And a lot of characters that were once very active are also still “out there”; Kajama, Purdue, Ricardo, Ransom, Hoddson, Crossman… technically we could see any of them at some time in the future, even though there are currently no plans to bring them back. Only Jorge Ricardo has a real chance at coming back, since he was Rock’s best friend in Basic Training and deployment and it is assumed they keep in touch.
Other characters are largely in the background, and only make appearances when necessary even though they are still technically “active”– McCoby, Mizrachi, Skeeves, MacGregor, Donner, Sadie and Butter, for example.
Will other characters be introduced? Maybe, maybe not. I concentrate on a small core group of characters at a time, while the larger world continues to spin on its own, largely unseen. To me, this is realistic of the Army life; even in the Reserves there are frequent newcomers and people leaving. Maybe I’ll find a reason to bring back others in the future.