I wrote this as a way to help me deal with what I felt like were black marks on my military career. I have since accepted it and moved away, but it is something I feel like other people go through as well, so I thought I would share it.

I am sitting in front of my computer at 0200 in the morning and I can't sleep. I have not spoke of this to anybody and I feel compelled to share it with everyone, even if no one truly understands.

I was raised very patriotic; in part from my father, an Air Force vet himself and part from my mother, a woman who loved the Air Force she knew, and loves the country she is in.

I joined the military, in all honesty, to serve my country. I wanted to be counted among the ranks of those who did their part. The select few who signed a contract to allow themselves to be changed forever for the good of a nation.

I joined the Air Force for one reason above the rest. The Air Force held no suprises for me. I knew what would happen from the moment I swore the oath at MEPS. With one father, and two uncles in the same branch I knew EXACTLY what I was stepping into. I understood that it was peacetime and while no large threat darkened America's horizion. The only enemy the military was fighting at the time was itself. Politicians for Colonels trying to prove their command ability over the rest, performing tricks for their bosses hoping to be the next one to recieve a star. A dysfunctional family full of kids trying to out do each other for a minute of attention from their parents. I knew this and silently and shamefully prayed for a conflict. Something I could be a part of that history would remember. The next generation would interview us for class projects in history. The next "Greatest Generation".

I doubted this would happen at all but the sick hope was there. I completed my training and went home before being sent to my first duty. The first thing that I asked my shop was when can I get deployed. I want to deploy. That's where memories and friendships that would carry through the years were made. That is where the stripes were earned.

9/11 happened for me, in the middle of the night during a typhoon. I watched the events unfold in the TV next door. I saw the second plane hit in real time. I heard the tension in the voices of the newscasters as we flipped from channel to channel is disbelief. Threatcon Delta snapped us into reality as I called my folks to tell them I loved them and that I was for-sure going to war. The next time I was in the shop, after the typhoon had cleared, I volunteered again. Instead of flying to a new country to avenge the death of innocent American civilians, heroic Fireman, and peace, I was selected, not to go abroad but to stay and gaurd the base. Deployments came and went, yet I never left. I wasn't worried, another chance would come. I PCS'd to a Special Ops unit and I knew I was going to go finally. I never went, but I never worried, there would always be another time.

I have finally begun to realize that I will never go. Others went instead, but I never will. I am out. I have been out since December but I am just starting to get out. I lay awake at night and finally accept that it is over. No matter what I accomplish now, I will never be there again. That will never be my life again. That is a hard idea to swallow. I don't know what to do.

It doesn't seem fair. My service was not complete. I never went. This can't be over. I need to go. I signed up to go, even before there was really a place to go, or a reason.

I think a certain way, and have no reason to. My haircut looks normal to me but abnormal to those around me. I speak an almost foreign language. My job now feels pointless and boring. I try to make it something that I am familiar with but can't. I am starting to adjust and I don't like it. The confusion echoes in my soul and it irritates me everyday. It burns me at my core and screams through the veins that used to carry something else, something more.

It isn't supposed to be over. I didn't go.
VaquerosTres VaquerosTres
26-30, M
4 Responses Mar 7, 2010

Thank you for sharing this. I know there are others who feel the same, and it is not something easy to discuss. I often feel angry when I hear comments along the lines of "only in supply" or "only on a desk." Someone has to do it, and thank you for your time in a support role. <br />
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What was your rate, if I may ask? Sorry I don't know the AirForce word... MOS? In the Navy, they say rate (I'm not asking rank).

Join the Air 'Guard. You can be a civilian and still be part time military. Plus it offers a full scholarship that you can us along with your G.I. Bill. My Unit is on AEF rotations and you can volunteer for overseas duty anytime you want. The down side is when you retire after 20 you do not get your benefits till 62 i think It is a lot more laid back and you do not have to worry about shaving everyday

It was a rough adjustment period, but I am through it and better off for it. Thank you for the comment!

Thank you for your service. Just because you never deployed doesn't mean your position here wasn't just as important...and very much appreciated. I'm glad you got past these feelings :)