Twenty years ago this coming December me and many others were flown out to Saudi Arabia to prepare for war against Hussein. He had invaded Kuwait with intentions to take it over and we were not going to allow that. I spent half a year in the middle of the desert, living in a tent and wondering if I would leave alive. The company I was with was the 42nd Medical Company. Like 90% of the men and women in uniform, we were a support group there to back up and assist those on the front lines.
If you have ever been in the military you know that friendships can and do become strong and almost family-like. Eating, sleeping, working and even showering together means you have to know a lot about those around you. It was no exception with us and our relationship was sealed even further by the fact that we served together in a hostile zone. However, being in the military also means you move from base to base every 2 or 3 years. We all would love to keep in touch but life happens and a person moves on. Those who meant so much to you are remembered from time to time with fondness, you wonder what they are doing now and then you go on with your day.
A few weeks ago my father got a letter in the mail that was intended for me. Because we share the same name, he often gets mail meant for me and this time I was happy it happened! It was from a person that I served with during my time in Germany and Desert Storm. In it, she informed me of a 20 year reunion for the “Four Deuce” as we called ourselves.
After receiving the letter I went to Facebook, something I generally don’t use much and when I do it is usually just to share photos with family. After finding the one that sent the letter I was connected to a man that I considered my best friend while we were stationed together. We roomed together and hung out all the time. In those days I was a heavy drinker and we shared numerous binges, getting into things we shouldn’t have and generally being young and foolish. We all grow up sooner or later and while I went on to leave the military and pursue a career in the wireless communication field, he went on to make the military his career and will soon be promoted to Command Sergent Major, which is the highest enlisted rank you can obtain. I connected with many others as well, some are still in the military, some have moved on and a few are no longer with us.
The reunion is scheduled in March of next year and I hope that I can make it. The days I spent with those people were some of the best days of my life. Facebook has made it possible for me to reconnect with them. Before social networking I would probably never have seen them again and had the chance to catch up on how things are going with some of those I considered family.