Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ketchup

I guess a little back story is in order. There is a reason that I have been gone for the last year and a half. So here we go.

In the span of about 3 months my whole life fell apart.

It started when I found a cigarette butt in my truck. It was of a brand that neither myself or my wife smoked. Things that make you go Hmmm. Very shortly thereafter my wife left me for another soldier. I begged her to stay, said that I forgave her and that I wanted to make it work. She wanted nothing to do with it and divorced me a few months later.

Needless to say, I was a wreck. My performance at work went into freefall. I just didn't care. I showed up in the morning for a few hours and then went home to my new tiny apartment in the ghetto and didn't answer the phone. I would see my kids on the weekends and the whole time they would talk about Mr X who my son referred to as his new daddy.

When I got home I would open a beer and wouldn't stop until I passed out. I did that every single night. I lived off of Ramen noodles and beer.

My brother came and stayed with me for a couple of weeks and frankly I don't think I would have made it through the whole ordeal if he hadn't been there for me. I am forever in his debt for that.

My chain of command gave me three days of leave to deal with it. After that when my station's performance wasn't up to snuff I was told "I know you're going through a tough time BUT get over it," and "some people deal with crisis by throwing themselves into their work, maybe you should do that." I think it goes without saying that they gave my problems a cursory nod and then went right back to beating me up about the mission. Never mind that I was still making mission running the largest station in the state it just wasn't the 150% or so that the crook before me was making.

About two months after the whole mess started the recruiting command that I belonged to took a very, very minor indiscretion on my part (and I mean minor) and used it to kick me out of recruiting. I was relieved as Station Commander and made a normal dirt bag recruiter. The funny thing is that although I was no longer considered qualified to stay in recruiting I was still on numbers. They had no problem getting a few more bones out of me as they were kicking me out and ensuring that I will never get promoted again.

The most ironic part of it all is that for the last couple of months that I was in recruiting they had me run a station while the SC was in school. While I was running that station we had our ATC and I was not invited because "I was being relieved."

I always suspected that the recruiting command used my minor indiscretion as an excuse to get rid of a Station Commander who they thought had been ruined by his personal circumstances. I suspect though that it was more like they didn't want to wait for me to work through things. In classic recruiting style they wanted it now, not in a little while and my career was a small thing to sacrifice to "get it now."

In reality they did me a favor. I hated every minute that I was in recruiting. I hated it before I converted and I hated it after. However I put up with it all because I thought (and still do) that it was important. That if I didn't do it then somebody else would have to. They relieved me of that burden. I no longer had to sacrifice myself for the greater good. Thank the Lord almighty. The prospect of never getting promoted again is much more palatable then the thought of finishing out my career in recruiting.

So I was sent back to my original MOS and moved to another Army post and shortly thereafter deployed to Afghanistan. And so here I am, in the desert and loving it. I stopped drinking (obviously,) quit smoking about three months ago (haven't cheated once,) started going back to the gym and getting things back on track spiritually. I've lost 20 lbs, am right with God and I've never felt better in my life.

About a month ago my ex-wife started e-stalking me, asking me to take her back. I politely told her that I don't want anything to do with her and honestly, it felt good. Although I told her that I forgive her (I do) and that I'm not bitter (I'm not) it kind of signaled to me that I am truly over it. Up until that point I would begin to think that I was over it all and then I would spiral back down into a pit of self pity and depression and longing for her. This time I had none of those feelings and found it very easy to make the right decision.

I say the right decision because I think that's exactly what it was. I firmly believe that we decide who we love. When we "decide" to love (in the romantic sense) people who are seriously flawed we are compromising common sense and standards for petty emotions, emotions that will one day fade away. Then we are left with those character flaws that, sadly, rarely go away regardless of claimed "changes" etc. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect to find a perfect woman with no character flaws. However, I do expect to find someone with minor ones that I can be comfortable living with when the emotions fade. I can't be with someone who cheats. If she were a complete stranger who I did not have a history with but had done what she did I wouldn't want to be with her. Maybe she deserves a second chance but it doesn't have to come from me.

As for the recruiting command I hope one day they will realize that not only do they not have to chew people up and spit them out in order to make mission but that one day it might be the downfall of the Army. What's sad is that more recruiters will lose their careers, families and sadly their lives before they figure that out. To me that is a travesty and the movers and shakers of recruiting should all be ashamed of themselves. Despite some small mistakes I made during my time in recruiting I sleep soundly every night and have no problem whatsoever shaving with my eyes open every morning. Frankly I don't see how they do.

9 comments:

Politics of a Patriot said...

So glad to hear that you're doing better. And welcome back!

SFC Guard Recruda said...

Welcome back. I agree with you on USAREC. They should take a page from Guard recruiting. I love my job, yes I put in some hours, but no where near a USAREC recruiter does. I run my own program, no one monitoring me, work form home 25% of the time. I have a life outside recruiting. Go figure.

Glad you made peace with yourself. Good luck.

David M said...

Welcome back.

Look for my links to your dispatches from the front.

David M
Editor: The Thunder Run

Frankly Opinionated said...

Welcome Back Big guy. I followed that "Politics of a Patriot" Sheepdog buddy of mine over here. Gotcha bookmarked again, see you often
nuf sed

Some Soldier's Mom said...

welcome back, "darlin'"

glad you are working the bigger puzzle (life) and getting the pieces in order, but sorry it has been so hard lately (or a while back...) now to look to the future!! I still like the "one door closes..." thingy.

stay safe. eyes up, head & a$$ down ;-)

Mike P said...

I'm sorry to hear of all your troubles but I'm glad you're back on track. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I'm a wife of a Marine Corps recruiter and I too wonder how long it will take all of the branches to realize that we are losing are best servicemembers to the bureacracy of recruiting duty. It makes my stomach turn every time I think about my husband a Marine in over 8 years with never any negative blips on his record, outstanding reviews from suprierors on every performance evaulation and can end up being called every name in the book for being a "terrible dirtbag recruiter". I am glad to hear that you are doing well

Anonymous said...

Glad you're back to posting and getting over things, although I'm sorry it happened.

Donut Rollin Discipline Problem said...

Fuck them motherfuckin' 79Rs, dude. I'd rather take a job as a mop boy in a whorehouse.