When someone signs up for the Army, they sign up for an eight year commitment. Usually that means you sign up for three, four, or five years of active duty time, while the rest of the time is inactive ready reserve time, meaning the Army can call you back should they really need to. In the past, people were rarely called back. However, after 2001, people have been called back at a much higher frequency. A lot of it depends on what your job is/ was, but you never know.
What I don’t get is why people say “if they call me back, I just won’t go.” Everyone knows the deal when they sign on the line and raise their right hand. Should I get called or get that letter in the mail, so be it. That’s how it goes. Should they need me again after I leave this month, I’ll go and not complain. While I would rather it not come to that, that’s just how things work sometimes. I’ve been very lucky with the Army as I’ve gotten more experience than anyone I know with the same amount of time served. So, should it come to be, I’ll do it.
At the same time, I’m very excited to leave, but it’s also bittersweet. I’m ready to move on and pursue my goals. I’m nervous about getting the right job and everything that comes with transitions. On the other side, this has been my life for almost four years now, all either here in Germany or in Afghanistan. I’ve met some good and interesting people, and I’ve met the opposite. I’ve been given the opportunity to lead and to be a mentor. I’ve had the opportunity to be mentored as well. It really has been a set of experiences that I would never trade, no matter how difficult it has been at times. I chose the most expedient, albeit life changing route, and I think it’s worked out. It’s just time to move on and build on the base of experiences I’ve constructed for myself. We’ll see how it all works out.