Anniversaries are funny things. They are, more than anything else, markers of psychological time. When the new year, or a birthday rolls around the neither the world, nor the person, is all that different than they were the day before. They might be different in relation to what they were a year before, but the day to day, is much of a muchness.
Sometimes they mark a break point. A marriage defines the couple as being different to who they were the day before.
Ten years ago was one of those days for me. I was mobilised, told I was being deployed to Iraq. It was a whirlwind. We were dragged to Cp. Roberts (to waste three days doing shit we’d have lots of time to train on elsewhere). 36 hours after we got back from that we were at LAX, in the bright February sun, kissing our loved ones good by.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
The next year was an adventure. I wrote it up as it happened.
Things have never been quite the same. It changed me. Maia is pissed at the Army, she says the me who came back isn’t the me who left. My body isn’t the same, which is why I have an 80 percent disability rating. I spent a fair bit of time in and out of hospitals. I was back in the states without a chance to really decompress from the combat zone. If it weren’t for my friends, and their friends, I don’t know how well I’d have managed to re-integrate to normal society.
Today isn’t much different from yesterday. Ten years ago that wasn’t so true.