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Deployments - a mixed blessing

January 25, 2011 | Lieutenant Colonel Kendall Mower

As I have been deployed here in Iraq I've come to realize that deployments are actually a blessing for some people (notice I said some).  I know it definitely isn't for everyone, and there can be some problems back home with deployments - but something I've noticed is that for some people it's a great thing. 

I have the chance to talk with a lot of patients, and as I ask them what they do - I have had quite a few of the Reserve Component tell me that they were unemployed or underemployed back home.  The deployments are a way for them to meet their financial obligations when they didn't have other options.  One patient I saw today is a real estate agent in Tucson, Az.  With the economy the way it was - he was having a hard time - he volunteered to deploy.  Another patient I had on Friday is from a smaller town in Iowa.  He has several degrees including a Masters, but has had a hard time finding a job for the last several years.  Other Soldiers (both active and reserve) have told me that the deployments are a way for them to reach a financial goal (down payment on a house, car, motor cycle, pay off debt, wedding, etc...).  Others have mentioned the deployment as a way to reach a professional goal (check the box type of thing for a future job).  I have even met some in the Reserve Component who are now on their 4th volunteered deployment.

I fully understand that this may not be representative of a lot of deployed Soldiers (particularly active duty Soldiers since volunteering isn't as much as an option), but it did help me see a side of deployments that I hadn't seen before.

1 Comment

  • SPC David Moore
    1/26/2011 1:08 AM
    Thank you for this positive article sir. It helped me to better see the silver lining in deploying, as I've been having a little anxiety about it. Yes, I've always known the financial plus of deploying, it just took "hearing" it from someone else to make it better.

    Just so you know where I'm coming from, my reserve unit has been called up to go to Afghanistan for a year, starting Jan 2012. In my eyes, that is not too far away when the training and preparation are taken into consideration.

    So again, thank you sir! I feel a lot better. :)

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