re: The Golden Rules of Returning Home
Hat tip to The National Guard Experience.
The Golden Rules of Returning Home
Re: The Golden Rules Series
After being deployed to Afghanistan for almost a year, I have laid out these rules of returning home for family, friends, soldiers, and wives. Now, listen up. The government is hard-pressed. It copes with millions of issues from returning soldiers and their families. I wanted to help and do my part. So, here are some guidelines to help cope with the 'real' issues. Anyone who doesn't read these rules, deserves to be a punching bag. Don't try to be a hotshot and think you know-it-all. Oh wait.. Anyway, once the welcome home festivities are over and the balloons are taken down, are when these rules take effect.
I. Wives, Listen up. Seriously, if I could only list one rule, this would technically be it. BE PREPARED. Uhh, intimately. If you know what I mean. Even if your husband's deployment was only three months to six months, be prepared. If his deployment was a year, God Help you.
II. Soldiers, don't try taking over family affairs right away or complaining about her new hairdo. This is a recipe for disaster. I mean, really, after your loved-one has been managing the bills, the house, the kids, the pets, yardwork, groceries, and so on, for a year - NOT wise. Trust me. If you choose to violate this rule by saying something like 'the new curtains don't match the sofa', Rule# 1 will no longer be in effect.
III. Soldiers, Once you return don't over overindulge, especially with alcohol. Remember highschool? When you got drunk for the first time and woke up in a woman's dress, smelling like rancid puke vomit, and you had strange marks all over your body and your car was missing? Then your so-called buddies posted pictures of you making out with your dog. It could happen again. According to the figures, experts say that your tolerance to alcholic beverages goes down exponentially each month. Be assured, you become a lightweight. Years of tolerance building have been lost. One Zima and you'll be acting like a fart-knocker. Plus, if you're not careful you'll end up blowing your tax free $25,000 you saved on deployment at the bar. Good news, overindulging doesn't apply to Rule# 1.
IV. Family, friends, never ask if we shot anyone. We're tired of hearing this question. What's wrong with you people? We're trying to get over the anxiety of a combat zone, near-beer, major depression, anti-malaria pills, constipation, post-traumatic stress disorder, MREs, and you've got the nerve to ask this. If you do, you should have the shitkicked out of you. Yes I own a pair of shitkickers, and yes I know how to use them. Now. Soldiers, if you wanna have fun with some civilian puke, scratch your head, twitch your dominant eye, say 'Not today', then skip to your closet while hollering 'wait right there, i'll be back.'
V. Soldiers, never tell bullshit war stories. Now, hear me out, Rambo. Let me break it down into easier to understand terms. If you see a girl at a bar and you're trying to get jiggy with it, don't drop some war story abot single-handedly killing 100 enemy with nothing but an e-tool. It's a bad pick up line. Instead, my favorite, ask her 'are your legs tired? because you've been running through my mind all night.' Worked for me...
VI. Wives, quit asking if we're ok. Our IQ might only be 2 points higher than a rock after spending a year in the desert, but if we don't remember how to operate a toilet, we'll figure it out. Eventually. And don't add insult to injury by talking to us in baby-talk: 'oh my little sugar muffin, did you forget how to flush the toilet.'
VII. Employers, have our jobs waiting for us Guardsmen and Reservists. The law says we can return to work as if we never left. That includes our vacation accrual. CHA-CHING!
VIII. Wives, share your soldier with family and friends. There is a tendency not to share. But trust me, if you're sick and tired of Rule #1, letting your soldier visit family and friends is about the only relief you're going to get.
IX. Family, friends, don't complain about simple things. Are you trippin'? All civilian pukes are guilty of it even when we call home. There are things they take for granted: 'dammit, they put ketchup on my cheeseburger' or 'for chrissakes i asked for no butter on my popcorn'. You're going to piss off a soldier that was gone for 12 months who just killed 100 enemy with only an e-tool. You'll get a can of whup ass opened up on you.
X. Wives, I know I'm repeating myself, damn skippy, but this is for your own good. Be prepared.