It's time for Mili Mondays! Today's writer is Michelle from "Annoyed Army Wife"
It was the dreaded D Day…deployment day. OccDoc and I got a hotel almost on post the night before. We spent most of the night talking and snuggling (awwww). My mom met us in the morning to head on post. I was dressed in a causal summer dress with a really excellent jean jacket over it and my mom was in a colorful skirt, we, apparently, overdressed. As per usual, OccDoc was left out of the loop on things and didn’t really know where to go. Fortunately, it was early Sunday morning and we followed someone to the bag drop area. OccDoc dropped off his crap and my mom and I screwed around in the car. OccDoc went inside to draw his weapon and whined about it. After he finished whining about having to carry around a rifle all day one of the First Sergeants walked up to him and said, “Sir, I promise not to cut on anybody, if you promise not to shoot nobody” despite the glaring grammatical errors a deal was stuck.
We hung out in a big open garage for a couple of hours. OccDoc saw one of the other officers and decided he couldn’t avoid him and said hi. Upon meeting OccDoc for the very first time a couple of months ago this officer told OccDoc every single medical condition he’d ever had in great detail. This guy is nothing short of a walking disaster. If being medically-challenged isn’t bad enough he is severely socially challenged. Prompting my mom to whisper to OccDoc, “What is wrong with that guy?” OccDoc and I wondered off in an unsuccessful search of a pop machine so OccDoc could get a bottle of water and left my mom unattended in the large garage. She was armed with a camera taking blurry photos of rifles sitting next to teddy bears and some women in sweatsuits to mock later. Apparently, the weirdo officer was running around repeating, “Too much fun” in a giddy voice. My mom does not pull punches and truly wears her heart (and discontent) on her sleeve. After Officer Weirdo walked by her repeating his manta my mom must have pulled a face. A nearby single soldier sitting on the ground saw it and busted out laughing.
A few minutes after we returned to the garage there was a mass exodus; my mom said she didn’t know what was going on, so we followed the crowd. The soldiers were herded onto a bus and my mom and I walked to the car and positioned ourselves behind the bus since we had no clue where it was headed. A few minutes later we pulled up to the gym were the ‘ceremony’ was to be held. My mom and I grabbed a couple of seats behind the roped off area. OccDoc found a babysitter for his rifle and headed over to hang out with us. He made a quick, (Ha! Yeah right!) call to his parents to say goodbye; the call lasted 15 minutes and OccDoc barely got a word in edgewise with his mother. He handed the phone off to me since he didn’t need it anymore and didn’t want to take it with him.
We sat for about an hour. My mom kept laughing at a young soldier who opened his bag no less than 3 times each time producing a candy bar. “What? Butterfinger? He just ate a Snickers bar! He’s going to eat all his snacks before he gets on the plane.” I felt a pang in my chest – I forgot to pack OccDoc snacks for the plane. I hadn’t even thought about it. OccDoc and I decided to venture outside. I had to walk around the building in my 3 inch wedge sandals to meet him in the quarantine area. We stood next to a young soldier joking with his buddies – they were punching and kicking each other in the balls. I told OccDoc to remember this guy’s face because I’m sure he’d see him in sick call with swollen testicles. OccDoc giggled. Fifteen minutes later there was a quiet announcement, “If you’re deploying get back inside.” I made my way back inside against the crowd streaming out the doors. OccDoc was standing by my mom giving her a hug. “I guess it’s time,” he said to me. We hugged and kissed. I said, “See you later. I love you, buttercup.” And OccDoc replied,”I love you, too, baby.” I slapped him on the ass as he turned away and I headed out the door with my mom.
I stood in the parking lot slightly dazed with my mom. And she said, “Now what?” “I think it’s over, Mom. I think we go home now.” “WHAT? It can’t be over! There wasn’t even a bugle or drum in there. I can’t believe that’s IT! No fanfare or ANYTHING!” I looked around at the women bawling and hugging each other. Yup, it’s over. No bugles or drums. No color guard. No presentation of any sort. No real announcement. It was over. We walked to the car and headed to lunch. A few days later I asked OccDoc if we missed something or if there was another gathering we failed to attend. He said no and that it was all very confusing; I was glad he was confused, too. I was secretly glad for the confusion which must have superseded any other emotion I felt at the time. Without the confusing I would have been a mess, but with the confusion, I was just, well, for lack of a better word, confused. We can only hope homecoming is less confusing…