When I go to work, I do my job. I do it with all of my heart because I take pride in what I do. Some parts of it suck, but I do it anyway. I think most of the people in my community feel the same way. The day-to-day becomes a mixed-up blur until we get sent away, and then we fall into the blur of a new routine–be it stateside training or overseas operations. Whatever we’re doing, wherever we’re doing it, it usually feels like it’s just a job.
Until it’s not.
A few days ago, four members of my community died in a plane crash in Afghanistan.
When the news came out, the press didn’t release any names because the U.S. military wanted to notify families first, but the news was enough for us to know that we’d lost some of our own. Many of my close friends have been on that same deployment, and all of their faces flashed across my mind.
Monday, we finally found out who we had lost. Among them was a close friend to many of my friends–the brother of one of my coworkers. To hear my chief tell us the unfortunate news in a wavering, tearful voice . . . he made it sound like it could have been any of us. It could have been any of us.
That’s the moment when you realize that this is more than just a job. Sure it pays the bills. Sure it’s stressful and monotonous. Sure the benefits are good. But sometimes the things they ask us to do are dangerous. Even when it doesn’t seem dangerous because you’re used to doing it. Sometimes we go out and don’t come back.
I don’t really have much else to say. I did not know the guy personally, but so many people I’m close to knew him very well. Whatever the case, it hurts to lose one of our own.