Seven Thoughts

So this weekend I found out that my brother is most likely going to be shipped to Baghdad. I have a whole range of emotions that cropped up when I found this out. I will take you, dear reader, on a journey. This will be a journey into the thoughts and feelings of one SRH concerning his older brother’s potential deployment to the Green Zone.

The first that the careened through my head was, “WTF? My brother is a full time naval reservist working HR functions in Virginia Beach. Why would he be deployed into a warzone, much less a dry boot warzone?” 1. He is in the NAVY, why wouldn’t he be stationed on one of their big ships? 2. He works in Navy HR doing man-power logistics, what would necessitate him being on-site to plan man-power stuff? 3. WTF? He is in the NAVY!

The second thought that went through my head was, “Hasn’t my brother been kicked out of the military 4 or 5 times? Why would they even WANT him in their war, unless of course it was to get rid of him….” My paranoia is pretty well entrenched in my sub-conscious. I dismissed this thought pretty quickly, but it still popped up. How far down the barrel are they scraping? If my brother the perennial honorable discharge candidate for the US Armed Forces is getting sent into a combat theatre, does that mean they have already used up the qualified people?

The third thought that went through my head was, “Great, now my brother’s going to be in Iraq and my best friend is still stuck in Afghanistan. I don’t need this stress.” I mean, really, between Little Man’s asthma, OT issues, Wifey’s liver mass, and the typical and atypical professional stressors, do I really need a family member to be sent into Operation Desert Handjob?

The fourth thought that went through my head was, “I wonder what exactly they would need my HR logistics brother to do.” I called the guy and asked what was up. He would be doing manpower projections for a joint task force team-up between the Army and the Navy concerning Improvised Explosive Devices (IED’s) and Counter Electronics Warfare. There are 4 types of IED’s running around in Iraq: ones set off via-cell phone call, ones set off using a remote detonator, ones that are physically set-off due to pressure changes and weight, and ones that are set off using sophisticated electronics. It seems that the Navy has a pretty good system set up to deal with Counter E-warfare, while the Army doesn’t. Therefore, the Navy is working closely with the Army to learn this stuff.

The fifth thought that went through my head was, “Whoa, whoa, whoa there city slicker. Why would my brother get this assignment? He doesn’t work with Counter E-warfare. Did my brother volunteer?” Okay, turns out that my brother currently works with some kind of joint task force and has previously been part of some Counter E-Warfare crap, so he might have been tagged, but then he said that he is really excited about this “opportunity.” Opportunity?!?!? Is he just spinning this or was it some kind of “either volunteer and be thanked or force us to send you and not be thanked” situation? Either way he is at least starting to spin this in his head. “It will be a good career move for me.” “I will get a leg up on the next group up for promotions.” Etc…

The sixth thought that went through my head was, “I really don’t have the relationship with my brother that I want. What should I do to help change the status quo.” I really would hate for him to go into a combat zone and get waxed without at least having attempted to create a new friendship with him. I honestly could have stopped the last sentence at “waxed.” I do love my flawed brother, I really do. Whenever I think of him, I remember the fun loving guy I used to throw cold water on while he was showering. I think of the guy who, without prodding from the parents, invited me to hang out with his friends. I think of the guy who was quick to laugh and quick to make a joke. I think of that guy before I think of the guy he seems to be today. The guy who is immobilized by the responsibilities he doesn’t want. The guy who has used the military as a shield and a crutch. The guy who has an inability to make decisions out of his fear of failure. I always think of the fun guy (not fungi) first. Always.

The seventh thought that went through my head was, “I hate this fucking war.” Now there is a chance that I will lose my best friend and the potential of being friends with my brother again.

To recap
He should know his orders within the next week or so
I NEED to exercise tonight
My shoulder is feeling better
It still hurts though
Looks like we have figured out a way to make little personal pizzas for Little Man
That is very nice
Sorry for the melancholy
That is where I am today
Tomorrow’s 20 Questions will be all about Gen X stuff