Round Two. Red Arrows vs. Iraqis. The process for deployment of the Wisconsin Army National Guard 32nd Brigade (Red Arrow Division) begins today. The soldiers – more than 3500 of them, the biggest in the division’s history – reported early this morning to their respective armories throughout the state. Before long, they’ll be boarding buses and heading south for three weeks of training. Then they’ll get a bitty break and there’ll be more training. And more training. And then they’ll ship out.
Yup. We’re a military family again. Not that we haven’t been, but we feel it more acutely during a deployment. Our oldest son is one of those Red Arrows getting on the bus this morning. This is his second deployment and you’d think we’d all be used to it by now, but we’re not. Oh, we know the ropes – packing Matt’s stuff into storage…living will…joint banking accounts…contact info…car keys… On the outside we know exactly what to do. Not so much on the inside, though.
For the next year, we’ll all be in a different kind of place. Missing one another but trying not to let it affect us too much. Constant preoccupation yet trying to keep constantly busy. Worried yet hopeful. Scared yet trusting in God’s power. Tug of war, literally.
We don’t like the danger and separation, but we’re not going to let it make us bitter. Military service is a calling, and Matt’s been called. And because he’s been called, we’ve been called. So we answer the call together, as joyfully as possible, placing our hands in the hand of Divine Providence.