What do deployed soldiers miss?
As I’m about the embark on my trip to Afghanistan I’m starting to get sentimental as I imagine what it’ll be like to be away from home. I think one of the reasons the US Military accepts media embeds is so the general public can look at the military experience through a civilian’s eyes and see what a deployment is like for the Troops on the ground. I have some first-hand experience. In 2009 I spent a year getting to know Red Bull Soldiers and their families for a documentary called “Iraq & Back: Minnesotans’ Stories“. The Soldiers and families let me into their lives and I was able to share their stories with others. To boil it down to one sentence I learned, deployments are difficult for everyone involved.
Two nights ago I was on an evening bike ride I was thinking back of LTC Dan Bohmer’s recent post. Bohmer is serving with the Zabul Agribusiness Development Team in Afghanistan. He mentioned some of the things he missed, it was a short and humble list: pizza, touch, jeans. While I was biking around town I was thinking about what it is I’ll miss.
What are some of the small things you missed while you were deployed?
Everyday things I’m no longer taking for granted
- waiting for the shower to be neither too hot, nor too cold
- hearing ‘Batman’ say, “good night Superman” after his bedtime stories
- eating a bowl of cereal at 9:30pm
- preparing my own meals
LTC Bohmer and the Soldiers of the ZADT he is serving with are going 10 months without the four things I just mentioned. I surely can make it 18 days.