If you believe the western creation stories – the world was created in six days and everyone rested on the seventh. Or, add in a few thousand millennium here and there and you come to a more scientifically accurate estimate. Still, there seems to be a magic about the number seven.
So here I sit on a Friday – arriving back in Germany last Friday and getting home sometime on Saturday. My analogy is off (for resting on the Sabbath) but still – I sorted of sat around the day I got back. For the rest of the week I have done a bit of this and that. Call it chasing down paperwork, packages, passports. Nothing all that exciting and actually quite guilt producing.
If you return with a unit, there is a mandatory formation (I got to meet some interesting people, a member of the Bundesgrenschutz, and haul around heavy luggage) followed by a 48 hour pass. Next up is supposed to be a week worth of reintegration activities. Items like lectures on reuniting with families, laying off the alcohol, not taking stupid risks and whatever medical appointments are critical one’s well being. After those festivities – most people sign out on block leave.
Returning by oneself – it is a bit different. Under normal circumstances you return to a unit which makes sure that you attend the appropriate activities. Being detached to the Brits – it is not like I have a home unit, a location, a job. In any case, non of the things that I need to do can be accomplished in the UK at the moment. So, I hang out here – and have quickly run out of things I can control and do leaving me with a couple of choices – take leave (why would I do that?), find some educational activities, or find a job.
I have the weekend to figure things out. Since I am no longer deployed, I might just have to cope with a five day work week and weekends off.
Oh, wait. That makes seven days.
I think you can do it.
But you may not want to get a job right away.
I recall coming back from Hungary.
The problem was of course, that I promptly returned to Heidelberg, while everyone with whom I deployed was in Wurzburg.
Going from being the commander of a deployed hospital, where I had status, and had a great rapport with my soldiers, to a place where no one knew what I did, or cared, well, I had never felt so alone in my life. I lost my family over the course of a bus ride.
For all intents and purposes, I came home alone.
I did make it back to the welcome home ceremony. One final bow.
I say that getting back was the best and worst day of my life.
I got all my troops safely home to their families.
And I had to give them up.
When are you going to the Brits to out process? Are you going to Sanhurst?
Maybe some knitting time might sneak in?
I thought there was a version which said God made the earth and man in six days, made woman on the seventh, and since then nobody has rested. It was obviously one of those military-inspired rumors back when I wore the uniform . . . a long, long time ago.
actually, an evil rumor having to do with the original dude not taking out the garbage ….
I arrived in Kuwait on the 5th day and I will depart on the 7th day.
Yup! I am just sitting around waiting for my time to depart Kuwait and head back to CRC