The last thing I wanted to look at for 6 hours was a man in uniform....
I know, I know, it sound RIDICULOUS... cause c'mon, I'll be the first one to admit that Sgt. in ACU's walking up to my dorm is one of the hottest things I've ever seen. Oh, and don't even get me started on the dress blues at Cav. Ball! Whew! The only thing that was better than my reaction to seeing him in dress blues, was his reaction to seeing me in that blue dress ;).
But ever since this deployment, I have a love hate relationship with seeing a military uniform anywhere. Don't get me wrong, I still think it's dead sexy... and makes me proud to know someone who wears it. But it just makes me think of Sgt. and brings back lots of memories... which is fine! There's nothing wrong with memories but when you miss someone so much... sometimes a small dose of memory is all you need. If you allow the gates to open then you'll eventually be drowning in fond or not so fond memories of your significant other which will inevitably cause you to miss them even more than you already do, and it utterly shatters this protective, positive attitude you've built up.
I recall one time I was in a bookstore reading (cause I rarely buy the book, I'll just sit in there and read for a few hours...) and out of the corner of my eye I see the distinctive green and tan digital pattern. I look up, hoping I'm wrong, but knowing I'm not, and I see exactly what I thought it was. A soldier. I tried to avoid my stare but when I couldn't I got up and moved to another chair out of the line of sight. Suddenly my book wasn't so interesting and I wanted to go home.
Another time the uniform got the best of me was at the airport. Ohhh the airport; A tremendous hodgepodge of peoples coming and going, cheerful hello's and tearful goodbye's. As soon as I got through security I knew it was coming. At the Starbucks I stopped at, I witnessed the unmistakable tight haircut and blue attire that was surely a new Air Force basic training graduate. Further towards my terminal there was not one, not two but THREE soldiers, walking in front of me in their ACU's with backpack in matching pattern to complete the ensemble. "Please don't turn to 26A, please don't turn to 26A" I thought to myself. I tend to get to the airport extremely early and usually have to wait over an hour for my plane to board. I didn't want to look at another man in uniform for the next hour and wish the entire time he was Sgt. Apparently God heard me! They definitely did not turn into 26A. God however, does have a sense of humor. They turned into 26B, the terminal right next to mine, who's only division is marked by a trash can and a large gap in seating. I did exactly what I figured I would, glanced up from my magazine for the next hour at the back of an Army blouse and had to control my urge to go over, tap the man on the shoulder and ask "So do you know Sgt.?"
Yesterday the uniform saga continued. We travel to colleges to recruit college students (novel idea huh) as counselors for our camp. This is typically done at summer camp and/or job fairs hosted by the school. This recruiting effort, I figured, would be no different than it usually is. There are typically a bunch of other summer camps, a long with other places of employment looking to hire young people for positions or internships. We go to sign in and are lead to our table where we'll be setting up when what should my wandering eye see? A USMC OFFICER SELECTION PROGRAM sign, on the table beside me.
Oh yes. Immediately to my right. Not across the room where I might be able to avoid them but strategically placed where I will not only be able to NOT avoid them, but I will be forced to listen to their introductions - "hi I'm Ssgt. Jones with the Marine Corps officer selection program" and their spiels "It's a tough program, ya know I turn more people away than I accept, we're not the girl scouts, we're the Marine Corps" (seriously, that's an actual quote).... All. Day. Long. It's not that this annoys me, not at all, I love the way military guys talk. They introduce themselves with pride and a sense of self worth. They talk about their service with such fervor and dedication. It's exactly how Sgt. is as well. THAT'S the reason I didn't want to listen to it all day... not because it irritates me, but because I miss hearing him like that. And yes, they're also in uniform. The entire time I'm trying to focus on my job and what I'm doing... and I manage pretty well except when there is a lull in the crowd and I can't help but laugh. I seriously have to turn away from them so I can giggle and arrange brochures on our table without looking like an idiot. It's exactly what would happen to me. Really, how could I expect anything else :).
On the drive home after our fair, I wondered allowed if that was some sort of sign. It's been a few days since I've heard from Sgt. at all and I'm a little bit worried, a little bit frustrated, and a lot missing him. "What kind of sign?" she asked. "I don't know, maybe like.... I'll be seeing uniformed military personnel around here soon. That's not a good thing." (I won't get the knock on the door but I'll get the second person phone call) "no, no, that wasn't even the Army, it was the Marine Corps... maybe it just means that you need to be patient. Having to stand there all day had to make you patient with yourself.... maybe that's what the sign is. Just be patient and know that he'll get ahold of you when he can, he misses you too, you know that." I smile to myself as I mull this over. I certainly like her sign better than the one I came up with, I decide I'll go with that. "Yeah, that's true... we'll go with that." I paused and then I added:
"You know what else that uniform makes me miss?" "whats that?" she responded. "I miss the way his butt looks in it... did you see that guy that showed up after lunch!"
If I have to stare at it for 6 hours I might as well enjoy it :).
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