Wednesday, May 5, 2010

4 May. A sad GI story.

Yesterdays post was about a GI who saw his kid for the first time.

Like I said, there were a bunch of GIs getting off the plane and when I thanked a Staff Sergeant for his service, he made it pretty clear he was desparate for someone to talk to.

He had a 15 day leave and was coming home to nothing, as his entire family had imploded during his absence. It was a pretty sad, but not all that uncommon story.

It happens quite a bit.

This man was a professional, on his third hitch and he is responsible for a squad of infantrymen. He asked me for advice and all I could tell him is to look to his squad as a way to put this behind him.

I told him that the best escape from one's problems is to get involved in someone elses, and as a squad leader, he was sure to have a few guys with problems for him to help try and solve.

I had to give him this advice because there is nothing worse than having a leader wallowing in his personal problems instead of paying attention to his charges. Lives are at stake here and the last thing some grunt needs is to have his NCO preoccupied with a lousy personal life.

It's hard, unfair as hell, but it's the way it is.

I think the poor bastard was just grateful to have someone to hear him out, and because I had a 2 hour wait in the airport, I had the time.

He's in my prayers.

He also gave me some advice regarding my desire to blog out of Kabul, and that is not to. He told me that I was right when I figured that I would be nothing but a big pain in the ass to the upper ranks, and because stuff rolls downhill, a bunch of junior NCOs and privates would be made to do stupid things as a result.

I might just go to the airport in PGH once in a while and see if I can snag an interview or 2 from returning GIs.

We'll see.

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