For the first Monochrome Madness of 2015, I wanted to use a photograph from my Afghanistan deployment in 2010-2011. As the year starts out, I tend to still be reflecting on the past and thinking about the future.
Deployments have been a huge part of my past. They have shaped who I am today and therefore, will affect my future as well.
In this photo, I was at an entry point of a base. Local Afghan men were waiting to be let into the base for work. Some worked there daily, while others just as day laborers. I find the expressions on their faces telling. Some are eager. Others are trying to be patient with the long process. Some a little bewildered.
I try to imagine what it must have been like to have to wait through this. I understand it completely as a Soldier. Security measures must be thorough due to past terrorist actions. So it is a fine line between safety precautions and expedient processes. (And we wait in our fair share of long lines too.) I guess the best way to think about it, if you have never deployed, is airport security. Most of us have experienced an airport since September 11th. It can be frustrating to say the least, and I am doing that this week for Reserve duty.
As a Soldier though, it makes sense. For us to be safe against the ugly, violent people of the world, we have to wait. We have to be searched. We have to be inconvenienced. It may be a hassle and take up a lot of our time, but isn’t a little lost time better than the alternative? For me, it is. So in 2015, I promise to remind my civilian side to work on my patience more. I will wait in those lines and think…This is all for my safety. Thank you.