And then I got a call telling me that before the month of October is over I will be in Afghanistan.
Let me tell you that it is completely different when you know you're actually going over there. Talking about it is different. Everything everyone says about it suddenly seems more important. Little things you never think of become big things. Deep philosophical questions become much more personal. You start to measure yourself up, wondering if you're up to challenge. Everything you do that isn't related to Afghanistan or combat seems like a terrible waste of time. You suddenly recognize all the time you have wasted in one way or another for one thing or another. You take stock of who your real friends are. You realize how dear your family is to you.
Don't get me wrong, this is what I wanted. Not to take a life or fight in a war, but to do my turn. I realized a long time ago that people were sleeping on rocks for a year, dodging land mines during the day while I went to school and slept on my bed. It just didn't seem fair.
It's just that now, it's real.
And it's in less than a month.