Memories of Germany and the brothers who made it worthwhile…

Man, it stormed something awful last night.

Wind knocked over everything on my porch, rain soaked everything, and in the middle of it all, I received a call from my friends.

You’d have to be there to understand, but Hodi, Munoz, and Alejandro made my time in Germany feel like home. Sure, there was plenty to see and do, but when you’re thousands of miles away from home, it’s the people that you meet that makes the trip worthwhile.

And these clowns decided to call last night. A night when my internet was sluggish, and when the power flicked off and on. Still, it was great to hear from them.

I made the rank sergeant about the time I showed up in Germany. If I remember correctly, I hadn’t even made it to the unit yet. And there I was in a brand new country, in a brand new unit, with a new rank about to lead new soldiers.

As Dickens would write, ‘it was the best of times, the worst of times.’

To be fair, I had some trouble settling in. The only experience I had in leading soldiers was in combat. And I had left Texas without even trying to stabilize my family before setting out for another adventure.

Hodi, Munoz, and Alejandro was my stabilization. They were beyond proficient on the fuel system I had to learn overnight, and they were instrumental in bringing me up to speed.

They’d visit me during off-duty hours, and more times than not, Munoz would pick my kids up and put them on his broad shoulders and play with them. The girls adored him.

I had no idea what I was doing, but I knew these three men made me want to learn everything I could to be a good leader. They deserved it. We attended schools together, went on field exercises together, and eventually deployed together.

We did fifteen months together over there. I stressed and the sins of my previous deployment haunted me. Upon my return, I again waived stabilization and moved on to another base, another adventure.

I was sick, and for some crazy reason or other, I ignored it. My trio of friends, nay my brothers, and I fell out of touch. They moved on with their lives, and I moved on to other things.

But thanks to the miracle of social media, we’ve gotten back in touch, and I’m beyond thankful for that. Now, we need to set up a reunion so we can see each other in person.

Tough times don’t last, tough people do. I’m grateful for those who’ve stuck by my side throughout the years. Oh, and lest I forget, all three of these guys made sergeant. We stressed, laughed, and made fun of each other during our time over there. But that’s what family is for.

Y’all take it easy. Hopefully, these knuckleheads hangover isn’t too bad this morning. If it is guys, I recommend lemon-lime Gatorade and a B-complex vitamin.

Later taters,

Freeman


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