Not too long ago we had a whole passel of visitors to our home away from home here in Kosovo. Because of being the only member of Task Force Mustang still here (and still not on all the relevant email distribution lists for my new Battalion, Task Force Aviation), I didn't find out about the mandatory-attendance meeting we needed to show up for, until just before it happened.
Consequently, I was just wearing what I'd been wearing all day thus far that Sunday -- my PT uniform. (I wasn't the only one who showed up in PT gear, but we were definitely in the minority.)
The Distinguished Visitor who came calling introduced the eleventy-seven members of his entourage, and then spent some time talking about how the Guard is all about "stability" and "predictability" as far as future deployments are concerned. He then asked if any Soldiers had some "hard questions" for him.
When my Mustangs left a few weeks ago, many went home to the States with no job to return to. This proved to be immensely stressful for some Service Members and their families. The fact that we were not officially told the unit would be leaving early until only six weeks before the departure date -- while rumors about early release had been swirling for months -- didn't help the situation much.
The first questioner asked a pretty tough question, I thought. While the Distinguished Visitor answered him, I made up my mind to challenge the notions of "stability" and "predictability" in terms of what had just transpired for my Mustangs. I figured this might not be a very politic thing to do, but the man had brought up "stability" and "predictability" himself -- and he had asked whether we might have 'tough questions' for him.
Furthermore, I said to myself, "Self, what's the worst they can do to me? Send me to Iraq? Oh wait, they've already done that!"
So I asked my question.
Blessings and peace to one and all,
Fr. Tim, SJ