Last night Wife, her friend Lids, and I went into town to run errands and have some Thai food. We had been driving for a few minutes when she realized that she had left her phone at the house. We laughed about it and she remarked how she, “felt naked with out it”. It’s probably a feeling many can identify with. You catch yourself looking for it and have a moment of panic just before you remember that you left it at the house or whatever. It preoccupies you and introduces a pang of anxiety that you rationally know is just stupid. I of course get the same feeling in the same circumstances, but it is a feeling that is familiar in a different way as well.
Each time I returned from Afghanistan I had this feeling, but instead of my phone, it was my 9mm. Every morning for six months I got up and strapped my serpa holster to my right thigh and lugged around 2 1/2 pounds of “cure-for-crazy” wherever I went. My office, outside the wire, to the chow hall, and even the latrine. I didn’t always have my rifle, but I always had my pistol. When I got back it was gone. Missing from my routine and leaving a hole in my thigh that I could actually feel.
It goes away after a few months of course, and there are many other issues that vets face coming back home, so why am I sharing this? I don’t really know. Maybe with the passing of Veteran’s Day I’m feeling nostalgic or something, but I guess I really feel like there is a chasm between vets and the public at large and this is just one small way to relate to each other.