So now that Swiss is officially “in theatre” I have been oscillating between calm logic, moderate anxiety and fear. This first month was such an odd one; he was never in danger, he was safe in Kuwait, nowhere near danger or risk or, well, war. I got used to it. But things are different now… it has taken a few days for it to sink it. He isn't ‘safe’ anymore. I don’t get to not worry anymore.
This whole deployment thing feels very different nowadays. There is a weight and legitimacy that this deployment hasn't had yet. This is very real.
I know that sounds lame. Of course it is real. 4,252+ is REAL.
But this past month was so easy, so worry-free, so easy to manage… I just missed him, I didn't fret over his safety or the dreaded knock on the door. Now, everything is different. There are real threats, there are IED's, there is a war. And Swiss is in the middle of it.
I know that his new job is one that is ‘safer’. I know that he isn't on foot patrol every day like last time. I know that he will be able to stay on the FOB for the most part. But I also know that this, really, means nothing. Accidents happen, surprise attacks happen, and at some point he will have to go off FOB and there is no controlling what happens out there. He is not immune. He is not invincible. He is at war.
Anyway, I am still coming to grips with this. I was prepared for this, but the extended stint in Kuwait snuck in and washed away the preparation, the fear, the nervousness, the harsh reality that he isn't just away at Warrior Forge or Ranger Challenge or FTX. It feels like I am starting all over again and the stark realities of the situation are like blows to the gut.