Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A Bitter Disappointment

Flew again yesterday. The flights are not all that difficult, just busy. When we got back the schedulers informed me that I was on a mission going to Ramstein the next day which would mean a chance for me to see the wife and kids, if only for twelve hours or so. I called Arlene and told her the good news. I've been around the Air Force and have flown these sorts of missions enough to know that things can change in a very short time, so I told her not to tell the kids. I didn't want to put my younger ones through the turmoil if things cancelled.

The mission did cancel late last night. I had to call Arlene this morning and give her the bad news. No one was more disappointed than I was, but that's the way things go. The guys are keeping their eyes out for missions to Germany for me. Hopefully one will come up before too much longer.

I've done long deployments before. Last summer I was gone for 132 days. The worst part about this deployment is that there's a chance that I can see them. Last summer there was no chance, so there was no expectations to crush. This seems worse. Of course, if I do get back, I'm sure the look of joy on my kids' faces will make it all worth it.

I'm reminded of a quote by Thomas Paine that helps bring meaning to all of this: "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."


Rick said...

Wonderful quote. I don't travel that much - your deployments and Jay's travels dwarf my sky miles. But it's still tough on the kids. Hope things work out for you soon - need me to call Jack Bauer to make it happen?

Chuck said...

You need to have Jack call Palmer who can call in a few favors.

All kidding aside, those deployments are tough. I appreciate the sacrifices that you (and your family) make to keep the bad guys at bay.

Martha said...

Sorry to hear your visit didn't work out. I know that being separated from your family must be tough. I am really proud of you Steve, for your service to our country and also for having such an important job. I think you are the only pilot I know. And from talking to my husband, the deployments can be difficult.

George said...

I'm disappointed for you, buddy. Hopefully you'll get another chance for a visit soon. At least you've got your carrot and cellery sticks to keep you company, Mr. Veg. Perhaps this was meant to be, so that you wouldn't be tempted to eat a schnitzel of sausage in Germany. Serioulsy, let me echo the sentiments of my fellow Airport Eagles. We're proud of you and really appreciate the sacrifices you are making.