THANK YOU to everyone who has exhibited such incredible grace to me and my family as we have prepared for my mobilization. Your support, encouragement and offers of assistance mean more than you can know. I have been humbled by each of the expressions of concern and appreciation, large and small. From the hugs and individual words of compassion, to my cross country team’s awesome new XC/USMC shirts, to the overwhelming conclusion of the school pep rally… every word and every deed has been sincerely appreciated.
The difficult process of disengagement from all of my normal, much-loved duties concluded yesterday. I’m a person who pauses reflectively at the door of my classroom when I leave for summer break on the last day of school each year – so shutting the door and walking away for six months was difficult indeed. Each little act prompted reflection; rising from my own bed for the last time, tidying up my home office and closing the door, seeing the dazzling beauty of a colorful, sunny fall day in Cazenovia (how different the vistas will be where I am headed). I think of how many others have set aside their daily lives during this war (and others) and give thanks for their sacrifices.
I am now “on deck” (remember the Marine Corps is naval service, a fact still reflected in much of our daily language) in Quantico, VA - busily doing all that I must do to prepare for my deployment. There is equipment to be readied, training to be conducted, lists to be checked. I am throwing myself into these tasks, trying not to think of my farewells but focusing instead on the mission ahead. The steady and increasing stream of reports, comments and sound-bytes in the media as election day approaches only enhance my desire to get there and begin the process of drawing my own conclusions. Back to work for the moment… more soon on Quantico, Marine Corps University and the History Division.