I am deploying to Iraq this summer. June 7th to be exact. I will spend a month prior at Ft. Dix in New Jersey for in-processing, medical evaluation, and training. I leave home May 4th. My deployment is one year, so I will be gone for just about 13 months total. I just found out yesterday (April 20th).
I will be with a Psychological Operations unit. My duty will be in product development. I will help develop US Army/Coalition materials for distribution to the Iraqi civilian population – some call it propaganda. It’s really just us telling them the truth about why we are there and what we are doing to help them as individuals and as a country. And to prepare them if there will be a raid in their community! It’s pretty simple stuff actually, sort of like marketing.
I was a bit surprised at this; my unit had told me that I would not be deploying anytime soon, but the group that was originally supposed to go had too many medical issues and soldiers were dropped from deployment status. I was hoping to attend grad school for at least a semester before being called up. I can still do classes while overseas, so that is an option I am exploring.
I am a little scared, but also excited. This is what I signed up for! I just didn’t expect it to be so soon.
I am very sad to be leaving friends and family on such short notice. I will miss weddings and babies, and holidays and birthdays (including my own!), and lives in general! But I will stay in touch. I plan on starting a blog or something of the sort, so that friends can log on at anytime and see what I am up to. I may not be able to update it on a regular basis, but I will do my best!