- Name: Chris Chesak
Friday, October 14, 2005
And speaking of being a short-timer, here is my very last and final care package. Fittingly, it came from my dad who, along with his friends at the Goddard House, certainly sent us the most packages, several of which were packed full of 'lahaba' for the kids.
I'm still in the process of giving all of those stuffed animals out. The other day, on another patrol, I quickly gave out a big, two-foot tall stuffed bear, one all decked out in country overalls and hat with a sunflower pattern. (I wish I had a shot of the little girl but I actually was shooting video with my brother's video camera that day.) As I returned to the Humvee to continue pulling security while we stopped, I heard a wailing behind me. Apparently the smaller sister of the girl who'd just gotten the bear was not happy at all at being left out. Luckily though, I was prepared. She got a purple platypus. Once that was in her hand, she magically stopped crying.
While trying to not count down the days, we talk about the future; how much time guys will take off, what jobs or schools they'll return to, and just generally what they're going to be doing. Luckily, this being a Guard unit, most of us are returning to the same state, even if our platoon, a mishmash of eight different MOS's (military jobs like tanker, military police, etc.), will be scattered back to the winds.
Me, I will take a full month off to finally be a newlywed with Sally, get to know Lillian, generally loaf, and re-organize the garage (which has gone fallow in my absence). After that month, I'll take another month off, but at least during this month I'll be looking for a job. I might look for something in the for-profit world, having done my part for nonprofits (although there still might be a nonprofit job or two worth looking into), and hope to learn more about Boise companies like Micron and Hewlett Packard.
I've created a list (and even a budget) of the things I'd like to do when I come home. Although money could be tight, we're putting aside some of the money I'll get after de-mobilizing for me to buy a ski pass, fly to Boston, buy some new clothes, purchase several hundred dollars worth of beer, etc.
In short, here's the possible run-down of my first months back at home:
November - de-mobilizing out of Ft. Lewis, Wash. and hopefully back in Boise by Thanksgiving. If I get home in time, I might even get the chance to accompany Sally on a business trip to Boulder, Colo. (Which will be fine by me because I'll be with my family and will visit friends there.) Events could include new clothes shopping, much celebrating and imbibing of alcoholic beverages, and general re-introduction to civilized society.
December - a blissful, non-traveling, quiet month at home, celebrating Lillian's first birthday, Sally's birthday, and Christmas. Some friends might come out to visit, and me and the lads hope to do some tailgating at a Boise State football game or two (if Lillian will let me of course). I will also check on my Officer Candidate School packet, which I hear is now complete, to make SURE it's in the right hands at the right time.
January - another month at home, this one hopefully punctuated by family visits and all the Boise 'welcome home' festivities, including I believe a parade. I also hope to ski my face off.
February - maybe start a new job, if I've found one. Otherwise, hopefully some consulting (if not, I will be sucking off the government teat known as 'unemployment').
March - Mexico cruise out of L.A. with Sally and Lillian and hopefully a trip out to New England to visit family/friends.
And over all that time, I will be extremely happy for the littlest of things, like being able to reach out and touch my wife, hitting snooze on an alarm, picking up the phone and instantly calling you, sitting in my own backyard listening to nothing at all as gentle breezes sway the tall foothill grass, watching Lillian eat and walk (she took her first two steps last week I hear), and just feeling like my own man again.
Even the 'worst' days then will be an amazing wonder to me.