Two digit countdown.
Anger, irritation, why me? I'm short, motherfucker!
Til it hit me, that is. We were doing a roadmarch, for conditioning, in the morning before the sun came up. I'm looking at the helmet of the guy in front of me, and I almost bring my rifle up to the ready as someone else doing PT runs in our direction. It all came back to me for a second with surreality. Not that Hollywood type shit, I still knew where I was and what we were doing, but good God man, I could FEEL it.
We explained the subtler points of footmarching while deployed to our new guy, and I glanced around. My friends in full kit. Me, my gear, the trees behind chain link, the long roads, the carbon copy buildings and gargantuan motor pools. Strykers passing. Gathering around at 4:30 PM wondering when we're going to get off work, shooting the shit, jawjacking and fucking off.
It's all going to be over soon.
Yeah, it's miserable here for a person like me, but if I don't take some good from this, then what a waste. It's not the gung-ho shit, it's not trying to look good in a uniform, its not standing tall in formation and bursting with pride that I'm expected to have. It's harassing new guys, exchanging insults with the dudes I've spent too much time around (competitively at that). Finding creative ways to accuse each other of being raging homosexuals. Being young and uncivilized and forced to live the shitty life with the other guys.
Everyone talks about how they'll get together after they get out, make all these plans, maybe run a business together, but we all secretly know that it's never going to happen. Two digits worth of days left of this life.