At some point, it could be months after you get home, you stop seeing bad guys on rooftops and in open windows. You’ll see your unit re-deploy into the shit without you. You'll have a lot of people say that you need to go "talk to someone."
Your toned gut will pudge up from American-style eating, making you glance twice as you pass the bathroom mirror. Suddenly, you find yourself trying to commit to an exercise regimen - for the first time in your adult life you need a reason to stay fit other than being ready for war. On that first run, you’ll barf like you did in basic training and hack up phlegm alone on the course – cursing the winter’s cigarettes and other unhealthy indulgences.
Coffee still tastes right when cold and black. American girls look amazing after seeing women covered up for so long.
Each day you long to be back in the zone, where all you had to worry about was the mission. Now, you turn lights off to save on your electric bill. Curse the damn late fees after being a day over on your credit card payment. Watch the parking official nail you for $15, you fed the meter and even went back in time – but the little bastard got you anyways.
Suffer long days - commuter traffic, suit and tie, office without windows, computer and phone.
You will work your ass off for civilians, get paid more than you did in the military - and have very little to show for it - because the bills rape you each month and you end up breaking even with nothing. Oh, and you'll stress over the bills anyways.
The people you missed so much while overseas, you never see them now that you are home anyways. Your relationships are shot, get over them. She moved on.Even if you try, it’s not going to be the same. “These crimes between us grow deeper.”
Civilians expect you to become, well, civilians. Forget the war, forget what you did. Come back and be a day-to-day slob like them, slave to the grind, pay the bills, have nothing to show and bitch about everything – numb yourself with cable television before popping a Lunesta so the stupid green butterfly can put you to sleep. Trudge off each morning to get your fix at Dunkin Donuts, muddle through 8-10 hours of work well-below your ability, pop a Cialis or Viagra to get it up after all the stress and monotony kill your very will to procreate.
And now you are officially a bitchy, whiny veteran.
But the VFW and the American Legion are not for you. You’re mostly alone. You long for your time overseas, when at least there was something to do.
So enjoy the big adventure overseas, get the most experience you can from the war – because for many of us – coming home is the beginning of the end – the long and boring road that winds to our eventual death.
Sadly, this could be one of the best retention pitches for the Army – "stay in because life really does suck!"