Today I went to lunch with a high school friend of mine, Captain Dave Carrico. He just returned from being deployed for a year in Iraq. It was great to catch up with him, hear about his experiences in Iraq and just get another person's out look on life in general. We just chatted for about a two hours over lunch at a pizza place south of Fort Lewis. It was really cool.
The military has changed so much since I have gotten out, but at the same time, so much has stayed the same. They are making such great use of technology to keep American son's and daughter's alive. But no matter what, it still requires soldiers on the ground in order to accomplish the mission.
It strange listening to him talk - his speech patterns were so military and he was ending his period of active duty to go back to a cubicle in some tech company. Things that are so commonplace in the military (ending phone calls with "Out", the F bomb as an adjective, the 24 hour clock) that aren't used in the civilian world were a now a part of Dave. In fact, the title of this posting comes from some briefing they got in order to help them come back to the civilian work place.
After lunch, I dropped him back off at his afternoon out processing station. One more day and he'll be back on his way to the Bay Area.
I'm glad that he made it back safely and that his unit didn't lose anyone when they were over there. Citizen-soldiers like him make the world a better place for all of us.