Back to my military life

After a month off work following my knee surgery, I'm back to work today. And it felt very strange to don that uniform again. For a moment, I had a taste of what life would be like without it.

Today, in the most mundane of fashions, I woke up at my usual time and got ready for work. Something I haven’t done in over a month. I put on my CADPAT (the green relish-looking uniform) then stuck on my Velcro name tag and Canada flag shoulder patch. Then I went downstairs, ate breakfast, fed Duncan, and then sat down to lace up my combat boots. It’s funny that after such a short period of time, those minute functions would feel so foreign.

What was even more strange was going into work and knowing that things are changing so rapidly. My knee surgery hasn’t been much of a success, so odds are, I only have about 6 months left of actually working in a military environment before I am released. Because of that, I requested that I change jobs to go work for a unit that deals with people who are releasing as well as assisting the families of lost soldiers. It’s an emotionally trying job but a rewarding one. After doing this job, I know I will walk away from the military knowing I have contributed something great. My current boss agreed to let me go to the new unit and suddenly I had everything I wanted put right into my lap. You know what I felt? Of all things, I felt sad.

I can’t explain it really. And everyone around me thought I was crazy. I had WANTED to go to this new job! I had asked for it! And here they were, handing it to me on a silver platter and I suddenly was questioning my decision.

Because here’s the reality. The military isn’t just my job. It’s become this huge part of who I am. I grew up in the military. I’ve been in the forces since I was 18. And I’m about to leave that. I can’t explain how scary it is.

But when I really think about it, I know that moving on to this new unit is exactly what I need in life. I will help other soldiers who are going through the same thing as me. Leaving behind that identity and creating a new one. Leaving the military isn’t something negative but rather, a chance to chase my dream of writing. And I will chase it.

So today when I put on my uniform, I felt a mixture of both sadness and happiness. Because one part of my life is ending. But another is just waiting to begin.