Yesterday’s Business is Today’s Problem! I know, I already kinda touched on this, but I figured I’d take one last shot at it.
Once Annual Training is over –or indeed, any long training tour for whatever reason– and you are safely back home, it is always a good time to reflect back on the times you had downrange. I’ve noticed that things that really annoy you while “out there” (deployment or training) quickly becomes a funny memory or even nostalgia once you’re safely back in your comfortable home.
Admittedly, there are probably no “nostalgic” memories of the downrange porta-pots, and if you have any, I suggest you seek help immediately.
But other things –hardships, strenuous training, long hours, inclement weather of any type– seem to quickly become laughable memories once you know you’ve safely endured them. Units, teams, friends and such end up bonding over things that really irritated them just a couple weeks earlier, and they “remember that time when…”
I remember nights at Taji Air Force Base in Iraq (Camp Cooke) with a strange fondness now, because now I can look back and know that none of us were killed or injured, I and everyone I know made it out of that part of the deployment at least. But at the time, when that chapter of life was still being written, the future was uncertain and it really sucked.
Same with some hard training I endured, before and since: nights spent in freezing conditions, nights with no sleep at all, days in full chemical warfare gear in the hot summer sun, thinking “it’s been hours; did they forget about us?” At the time I’d think “Well, it’s been fun but I’ve had enough”… then a year later there I was, raising my hand to do “just another couple of years… it wasn’t so bad!”
Of course, if we had to scoop our own litter I probably would have changed my mind quick.