One family for another...

Guest blogger, Brad, is from Broken Bow and is a National Guard sergeant currently deployed in Iraq. He is nearing the end of his tour and reflects on his time there:

     I have been deployed to Iraq for the past year. My job with this unit has been to provide medical aid to wounded soldiers during long transports from one base to another. Besides my medical duties, I have had the responsibilities of being a crew member on a UH-60 Blackhawk and records keeper. As stereotypical as this might sound, I have grown really close to the guys that I have served with over the past year. I can almost call them my brothers.

     We all have different quirks that make us unique and help us keep our sanity. We have the clowns, the fix-it guys, IT computer guys, the workout studs, etc. Without one of my fellow platoon members, each day would have been just that much more of a challenge for the rest of us. We all have learned a lot from each other, and about one another, over the past year. I am not trying to say we have always got along with each other. Just like any family, we have our little problems. But because we are like family, we find ways to work them out or through them until we are able to find a solution.

     With that being said, we have had no dropped missions while in country due to any problems related to crew relations or broken aircraft. With the help of everyone over the past year we have saved many American lives and become better, well-trained soldiers in our duties and responsibilities that make up our unit .

   It's just going to be weird to return to life in Nebraska. I have roomed with a guy from Wisconsin all year. Not to tell you how lazy we are, but to help you understand our relationship, when we had down time, we use to talk over our wall and give each other a bad time. This included his wife giving me a bad time over skype. Not having a good friend like that just right next door all the time when you are bored, or just want to talk, is going to be different.

    I am not going to a different unit so it's not that I am leaving for good its just going to be hard not having everybody around all the time. We will still see each other during drill, and I even think some of us have things planned to do something together when we get back. I am trading one family for another.

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