Details on the Sandbox

Alright, because of the nature of my blog currently, and the all important question, 'To Go, or Not to Go', and what other people have told me in emails or in my comments of why I should or shouldn't take a deployment to Iraq. I'm aware of the many angles I can take on this, but when making a choice like this, I often take a look at many different angles and the whys or why nots. I often like to make lists.

So, in regards to me, from my perspective, the bulleted list of reasons for me to go, or not to go, from reasons that are incredibly mundane to very important. Granted, this is just for me volunteering to go. If the army ended up sending me on an involuntary deployment, I would go and not try to get out.
Reasons to Go To Iraq
  1. Career wise with Military it would strengthen my resume for longterm.
  2. Would make me a more effective Drill Sergeant if I continued that route when I returned (I would know exactly what I'm training soldiers to eventually face)
  3. Lot's of Money, of which most would be tax free.
  4. Would definitely make E6 while over there (or even before I went over there)
  5. Sense of duty drives me to serve.
  6. Combat Patch
  7. When facing criticism for my political standpoints on various topics, I have the legs to stand on and back up my position. (Put your money where your mouth is)
  8. I support the war in Iraq as a soldier, it is only fitting that I am willing to serve in it.
  9. This deployment would only affect my schooling by a few months.
  10. If I wait and reenlist overseas, big fat tax free reenlistment bonus (unless bonus is removed by that time)
  11. I will likely not be working in the position of Preventive Medicine (Yes, this is definitely a plus)

Reasons for Not Going
  1. My current Unit needs me here.
  2. People change when they face combat, and not always for the better.
  3. Deployment could easily span out to two years, I'm not sure if I'm ready to spend that long in that environment.
  4. Strong family ties makes me want to stay close to my family, and the stress they endured for a relatively easy deployment to Kosovo makes me reluctant to put them in that position again.
  5. 25 years old, I'm ready to work on settling down.
  6. Self preservation, Iraq is a high risk deployment and I would lie if I said that wasn't a factor
  7. Potentially dangerous mission, even for Iraq.
  8. I wouldn't necessarily be deploying with people I know very well, and I could literally go anywhere.

A note on voluntary deployments, in the military, especially considering the contrevertial nature of the War in Iraq, the military is trying to go about a certain way when deploying troops. In regards to deployments such as the one I am mentioning, the Army is first taking soldiers who have never deployed to fill slots, then taking soldiers who are volunteering to deploy (if the soldier has never deployed and volunteering to go, they are almost guaranteed a position). The rest of the slots are filled with soldiers who have already deployed once but still have time on their clock, so to speak.

What that means is in a five year time frame, soldiers can expect to be deployed for two out of those five years. Those two years do not count Mobilization time and only takes into account 'Boots on Ground'. I have one year on my clock, and have just gotten off a deployment seven months ago. The timing of this deployment I can easily be picked up to go. The only thing that would definitely keep me from deploying is if I get scheduled for my school on time, or if we have enough people in the Brigade that fill the current slots and they do not need me.

Because of the security nature of the deployment, or what not, obviously I can't give times or dates, I'm not even going to mention the mission and what it entails. There's a good chance I won't be doing my primary job skill.

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