I spent the morning unraveling the mystery of this strange kind of deployment. I took a long lunch, briefed my co-workers on how to do my various office tasks (which took surprisingly little time, maybe I'm not as important as I sometimes think), and went home at the leisurely hour of 1600.
I spent a great deal of time reflecting on the pros and cons of my current situation; here's how it pans out.
Pro: I am going to make a ton of money this year. I will be getting combat pay and 8-10 months of tax free. So I will finally be able to take my wife to Europe. I'm thinking about a Norway, Sweden, and Poland trip.
Pro: Adventure, excitement, a Jedi craves not these things, but I do. This place is booooooooriiiiiiiiiiinnnnnggggggggggg.
Pro: Timing. I haven't started my Master's program yet, and I will be back on time to start in the 2009 class. Upon completion of the 14 months MBA program, I will be at my end of obligated service. The timing literally could not be better.
Pro: Timing again. Who know who is going to be in the White House next year, and what kind of chaos will ensue if they decide to evacuate Iraq.
Con: I'll be catching the whole of summer in the desert.
Con: Missing another Anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Wife's Birthday, My Birthday etc. I was out warring for the 2006 holiday season as well.
Aside - it amazes me how much bitching goes on about the war, when it really affects almost no one here at home. Whenever the topic comes up of my deployments, most people have to stretch to distant cousins or friends of friends, e.g. "My buddies older brother is over there." While most people who have served in the war, have gone multiple times, and do relatively little complaining. Just enough complaining so it's funny, not pathetic, e.g. "the food was so bad, it was so hot..."
Con: And this is a very big con; We just moved here and my poor wife has no family here and no close friends. This is going to be a tough one on her, and I can not describe how guilty that makes me feel.
Con: Danger, why the hell do I need two guns? What am I going to do there?