The Change Essay example

Submitted By rj_maro_123
Words: 1302
Pages: 6

The Change Back To Normality Military service is difficult, demanding and dangerous no matter the job. But returning to civilian life also poses challenges for the men and women who have served in the armed forces. It was a different time, during the Vietnam era, where people had mixed feelings about the military and how people were transitioning back. Now there is a different perspective on returning vets. Experiencing traumatic events, being seriously injured, and serving in (actual) combat effect and change a person, sometimes for the worse. As I, along with other veterans, now look back at the complicated struggles of the transition from the military into normality, I can honestly say it has not been as easy as civilians might think, but with the help there is now, I assume everything will be ok. My journey in the military started when I was a skinny, immature, naive, little boy who had just graduated from high school with no intentions of going past my initial three years of enlistment. It was a hot day in South Texas in the middle of June when the recruiter convinced me of joining. I had seen two of my uncles come back from desert storm as changed men, one of whom was for the better, except for the other was lost without help in a strange dilemma. He said he felt like he was still over there. Now, the possibility of me returning like that scared me but I never expected to come back any different than when I left (which was at 17). Little did I know I would experience the things I did The kind of bond a soldier makes with another who would simultaneously lay his life on the line is nothing that can be found in the civilian life with a childhood friend of 20 plus years. The two are just not the same. Thomas Garces was both of them. He was a cocky athletic boy when I first met him in a cross country race in 1998. I was then able to witness him mature into a diligent profound man as we grew closer together in his short life while serving in the military. It was my second deployment in the beginning of September 2004 when he took my spot in the gunner’s seat without hesitation. That was the kind of guy he was, he would take the shirt off his back for your comfort. Early that September morning, while on a short convoy, my vehicle that he swapped me for was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device. The Humvees at the time were no better than a regular car driven in the states, therefore the blow given by the (IED) was detrimental to Garces’ life. He was killed in action and a piece of me was taken with him. We are afraid to get attached to anyone because we have learned that the people we love get killed, and we cannot face that pain again. I tried marriage once before, and despite lack of closure, it did not work out well at all and ended up in a nasty divorce. It is a proven fact that the majority of married couples who served post 911 had a harder time readjusting to the family life. The irony in that is that when deployed, you are with some sort of family! It is just not the same. There is no way around it, war is a horrible thing, but there is nothing like a life-and-death fight to make you feel more truly alive! With that being said, it is not as easy as it seems to go from a war type environment to a new subtle silence. The switch was much easier to turn on than it has been to turn off. Some of us return horribly damaged, physically and psychologically only to fight another war. . I had only been home a few weeks after serving 12 years and 5 deployments in the United States infantry, in some of the most remote areas, deployed with some of the toughest units, and I had my mom nagging me like an annoying mosquito with thoughts and ideas of what she wanted for me now that I was back. I was in the kitchen one afternoon, making a sandwich, when Imelda (mom) came in and repeatedly asked me, “What are you going to do? I think you