Last week, we got word that Ben would be going to SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape). His flight was less than 48 hours later. Many people told Ben that SERE is some of the best training you can get in the Navy. But it isn’t fun. SERE is designed to teach you how to survive in the wilderness (without food, tools, etc.) and how to respond to being captured and interrogated by the enemy.
(This firsthand account will give you a more thorough explanation of SERE.)
The issues covered are definitely valuable information for someone who will be on the ground in Afghanistan. And you’d want your loved one to have the best chance of survival if they – heaven forbid – found themselves in such a situation. But it still breaks my heart to know that our servicemen need to be taught such things. As I watch the news, I’m convinced that we are witnessing the darkness of humanity arguably more now than ever before in my lifetime.
I know that it’s good that Ben is going through this training and getting prepared for his deployment. I do hate the timing of it, though. These are three weeks I wasn’t counting on him being gone. When he comes home, we’ll have less than a month together before he leaves again. And that just makes me sad. And it doesn’t help that not only is he gone, but he will be completely out of communication for awhile, including on my birthday. I can only feel sorry for myself for about two seconds as I remind myself what he is doing and why he is doing it. Ben has more bravery and resilience in him than anyone I’ve ever met. If there’s anyone who can make it through something like this, it’s him.
If anything, I guess these next few weeks are giving me a preview of what’s to come in the year ahead. The house feels a lot bigger now. And it’s eerily quiet. In Ben’s absence, Nimitz has become increasingly protective of me and the stash of M&M’s lasts a little longer. I’m adjusting to the new rhythm of my days.
Hug your loved ones a little bit tighter tonight, my friends.