To What Does a Soldier Look Forward

Some people look forward to a day in the future from a very early age. Like a little girl that hasn’t even reached the age where she notices boys, but already knows the main colors she likes for her wedding day. Others might look forward to things after becoming adults, like a specific job title. What does a soldier look forward to in the future?

In my experience, a soldier doesn’t think about the future. He also rarely has time to reflect on the past. Military life is mainly in the present. “Right now, I have to use my time off to relax”, “Right now I have to be strong for my men”, “Right now I have to accomplish this task, that task, another’s task” We simply move not from past to future, but from one present to another, and without noticing the motion of time around us or through us.

So excuse me for wondering this again, but what does a soldier look forward to? One thing remained on my mind from day one. Something I visualized in my head from the day I left my family and my life in NY to this very day. Something that, no matter how distant it may have felt, revisited me from time to time to keep me sane.

The day I go back home.

To a soldier like me, this desire started a lifetime ago.

Until yesterday, that day was put off so badly and so far, that it would have been a very funny joke to me had someone mentioned that I’d be going home soon. But that was yesterday. Time moved forward, and here we are in a new present. This weekend, I’m going home for a break from the army. It may only be temporary, but so is a wedding day. So is a job title.

In my case, it’ll last a month.

I myself haven’t been fighting very hard to go home, I have been torn between seeing my family and my desire to put my training to use. After all, this is the part of the enlistment that appealed to me in the first place! Vacation can happen after the army, why interrupt my service?!

But, everyone needs to recharge their batteries sooner or later. Its been nearly 14 months since I’ve been home. As soon as I received my ticket reservation from the army, I knew instantly that I can’t wait.

I’m reminded now of my days in Michve Alon, where I began my service. There, we were all lone soldiers. We were all guys with poor Hebrew. And those of us from abroad, once in a while, would sing this song.

And I sang it as I visualized this blog post, in the future.

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