A little of THIS and a little of THAT

Initially I started this blog as a way of sharing my experiences overseas with those that were interested...however so much has happened over the last two years, including more travelling to foreign destinations, revelations of some kind or other, and experiences I thought others could learn from that I decided to mix it all up.

I hope that somewhere you'll find something that interests you and that you'll be able to learn from.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

There for the right reasons?

Our first night of training we had a big opening dinner, and like all orientations we were asked to introduce ourselves, tell something unique about ourselves and why we were there, why we wanted to go to Afghanistan. “My name is Marie, I’m an amateur photography and if I do say so myself I’m pretty good at it. I’m here because I’ve been involved in one way or another with the military community since becoming a military wife, and I’d like to experience a little bit of what my husband has gone through on his four overseas deployments including Afghanistan, while at the same time supporting our troops”. Supporting our troops became a standard answer that night, there were a few military wives like myself, a few ex military, and some that had just come across the ad, or heard through a friend etc....

There were also a few college and high school graduates. Not many were honest in their answers as to why they were there, but a few, very few were annoyingly honest and said they were there for the money. Now being there to make a few extra dollars isn’t necessarily a bad thing if you’re willing to do your job to the best of your ability, knowing that the job you have in front of you is like no other and requires to go above and beyond, most of which those that were there for the money weren’t willing to do. You knew right off the bat once you starting working who was there and for what reason. You could tell by who would go the extra mile, who would make a quick phone call to another store for a soldier who was only in KAF for the day, but really wanted something that our current store was out of, who would take the time during slow peaks in Tim Horton’s to put a smile on a cup, or who would make fresh coffee at the Canada Houses before the first pot ran out. You could tell who were there for the right reasons just by the little things they did. There were people there looking to pay off their college and university loans, wanting to buy a car, and those that were there looking for love.


Looking for love in a place such as KAF is a little unusual. Once there, you go into a survival mode of sorts. For me, and for every soldier I have spoken to, you get into some sort of a routine while overseas. Go eat, go work, go to the gym, eat again, watch a movie, eat again, hang out with friends, email home. It’s what keeps you busy, keeps you sane and keeps you from missing home and missing your loved one.

While it’s true you might find someone there you share a unique connection with, share similarities with, or share a common bond when it comes to hobbies or life goals, it goes without saying that under most circumstances you will not find your life long partner or your forever BFF. This goes for both men and women, those who are friends and those you wish to become more than just friends with. You begin living day by day, and after awhile you’re waiting for the day you can go home, and catch a break. And since not every soldier or civilian is there for the same amount of time, American soldiers are overseas for a minimum usually of 15 months for example, while Canadians are overseas for a minimum of 6, their reasons for companionship are become different.

As with everything, nothing is impossible. I know of one couple that has got married since returning and one couple that is now living together. I, am back where I belong.

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