How do you fear what you don't know?

My sister's gotten these questions, I've gotten these questions and my parents have gotten these questions.

Are you afraid for your someone in your family to go serve our country overseas?

Sam being based domestically in Georgia is one thing. Our largest concerns were her being homesick, which she was and is still a lot of the time. I wasn't as worried about the potential for hurricanes, whether she would develop some cute southern drawl or for her to all of a sudden develop a creepy love of peaches. She survived on all of those fronts.

But now she will really be tested when she is deployed to Afghanistan in merely weeks. When she was supposed to go to Iraq, we braced ourselves, until we were told she wouldn't be going anymore and the U.S. was heading home. Sam got a free pass.

But can you be afraid of something you've never experienced before? Our family's concensus, as well as Sam's, is not really.

We're afraid for her to be away from home, since Sam has been traditionally a home-body her whole life. It's where she's comfortable, which is why the Army has pushed her so far outside of her comfort zone. I'm afraid for Sam that she won't like being in a different hemisphere in a different time zone in a new place that according to the news, is probably not the best one to be in.

I'm not scared as much for her safety, as I am for her own personal well-being. Will she be happy when she's over there? Will the soldiers get any free time? How homesick will she be? Will she ever get a break?

And the answers to those questions are the same: we don't know.

In talking to Sam and my other family members, being in the military for someone like my twin sister is a double-edged sword. When you're done with your time, you want to be able to talk about the places you've been and your service. You want to say you went on tour and talk about where what it was like and what you did. But being based domestically is obviously safer. Does that leave you with any "war" stories? Any life experiences? The quintessential military experience?

Not at all.

So am I scared for Sam to be deployed? Yes, and no. I'm afraid for her personal well-being. But the rest? We're just afraid for the unknown.

 

 

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