Soldiers switch hats between two lives and identities. Military life and civilian life.
Military life commands a call to duty. A call to service. It also means following orders.
Civilian life clamors for flexibility and spontaneity. Usually missing a designated chain of command and training manuals.
Uniforms, uniformity and orders dominate soldiers lives. Soldiers follow orders. They go where they are directed. They provide service where and when they are needed.
Answering a call to duty soldiers leave their civilian life and their identity behind. For most soldiers, it will be 12 to 18 months before they return home. Before they become part-time civilians again.
Until then, civilian life remains civilian life.
What’s for dinner?
The neighbor called, grandma escaped again.
Who used my toothbrush?
What, you flunked 1st grade again?
It’s not my fault the dog ate the turkey.
Rather like jumping out of a canoe mid-river, the soldier reports for duty. The family re-adjusts. New roles are taken. A new chain of command forms. The family moves on, no longer interrupted by the missing soldier.
Expecting things to be the same as when they left ,soldiers meet the challenge of being strangers in a life they once knew. Leaving a canoe mid-river was easier than getting back in 12 to 18 months later in a completely different place.
Until next time . . . Changing Stories – Impacting Lives