Today was quite surreal. The start of the day was like any other. I acomplished a lot, put some final touches on a project, and went to class, excited to see everyone after a long spring break.
All my usual friends were their. The same individuals I have known for a few years now, being in the same classes with them, all of us English Majors going into education.
We all took turns admiring a few tans, and exchanging stories of what we did during the break.
My dear friend Jason, who I have really grown to attached to, informed us all that he was expecting a phone call. If he was going to get a call to ship out it would be coming tonight. He was sick to his stomach and had the phone turned off during class. Partly out of respect, partly out of not wanting to know.
Mid-way between class was time for a ten minute smoke break. We all nervously glanced back at Jason while he checked his phone. There was a voicemail. The number was from Minneapolis. He didn't want to check it.
The look on his face was obvious while he listened. We all knew before he told us. He had to report tonight. He and 11 more are flying to Turkey. ASAP.
We all watched him as he packed up his bag. In light of the circumstances and the fact that the deadline for Iraq ends tonight, our professor told us to take off early. I think she really just gave us all an opportunity to say goodbye and good luck. We all went to a bar down the corner to have a beer together. Just one. That's all there was time for. We all gave him hugs and pats on the back.
It was the sickest tasting beer I have ever had in my life.
We don't know where he is going after Turkey. We don't know when he is free to come back. We know he probably won't graduate with us...not now.
I have no worries. He is a smart guy. I know we will see him again. It's just surreal. You never think stuff like this happens. At least I never did.
Joanna - of the still in a fog class