War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

when is the tour over?

I spoke on the phone to a pal last night. father of a young buck who went over with TF 3-09. “Dad” has become a good friend, albeit from several thousand kilometres away. we chatted almost daily for a year, especially when his boy was over there.

and Pop kept himself occupied while The Boy was over there, by pouring over every scrap of public int. about A’stan as possible. subscribed to every newspaper, blog etc. which is how he found ME! early on he thanked me for being his “int” on his son’s activities. e.g., his son came home from Suffield and Dad said to him “so the Gastro was pretty bad huh?” and his son would look at him amazed and ask, “how did you know?” (btw, I NEVER discussed anything remotely sensitive).

it was a long, long winter for families of TF 3-09 (just as it will be for ALL families during deployment – EVEN IN SUMMER!!). and last winter was excruciatingly long. especially as The Boy’s rifle company was particularly hard hit.

and when I flew to A’stan, then outside the wire, I shared a tiny room with The Boy and 3 other young fellows. I watched the boy kit up one evening and head out into the black Afghan night for a patrol. and as The Boy exited, I thought to myself, “that might be the last time I see him alive. I’ll have to tell his father what he looked like, what his spirits were like”. thankfully he came home at 0400 hrs, flushed, wired from his first real stroll.

every night last year Dad and I spoke on the phone. he checked in on me, going through a tough time on the homefront, and I checked on him (ditto). we’d chat about this and that and inevitably talk would turn to A’stan or the army or military life. and there were lots and lots of tears of anxiety, loss.

then The Boy came home and Dad and I chatted, though a little less often, and that was okay. but when we chatted, it was STILL about A’stan and military life.

sometimes we talked about how tough it is for the men and women to come home. and I realized that it was really tough for Dad to let down his guard and realize that his son had come home ALIVE. that the nightmare was over (though certainly with some aftereffects).

last night Dad and I chatted. it was the usual “hi how are you?” but it was strange. it wasn’t until after we’d hung up that I realized what was different. the main topic of conversation had NOTHING to do with war! it was about a new interest in Dad’s life. a new subject that is rich and deep and full of fun.

and it was as I was going to sleep, smiling, that I realized, Dad’s war, thankfully, IS OVER.

best,


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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled when is the tour over?. It was posted here on November 04, 2010.

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