I should have known it would happen…
You see, I have this re-occuring dream that I am “called up” out of retirement by the task force that I deployed with in Iraq (which was about six years ago now!). The Commanding General shows up at my door, there’s an urgent need right now somewhere in the world, I am the only one that could do it, et cetera… you’ve seen the movie. So yeah, it’s corny, but blame my sub-conscious, not me.
But it happened again last night.
I should have known, as I was watching an episode of Inside Combat Rescue right before bed, which is a pretty good docu-series that highlights an amazing group of men who fly into harms way “that others might live.” I definitely recommend it–especially over the normal reality-TV drivel these days.
But anyway… I had the dream again last night, more detailed than ever. My teammates show up at my front door, there’s actually an MH-6 Little Bird spinning up in my front driveway… they tell me to grab my “Go” bags, load them on the bird, and we’re leaving. I say a tearful goodbye to my wife and kids, and we head off.
As we land the helo at an air force base to load up into a transport aircraft for our flight to wherever, the realization hits me:
What is in my Go Bag?
It’s been 6 years since I last deployed. I was dreading it as I unzipped a big C-Bag, which would normally hold all of my extra kit, some tactical gear, and all the little extras you need in a deployed environment.
I unzipped the big green duffle to find …sweaters, coats, scarves, hats–my winter (civilian) clothes. My wife and I had used the bag to store our out-of-season clothes under our bed at home. I was called up, and unprepared. My original kit, usually well cleaned, maintained, and oiled….was no where to be found.
The reason I bring this up, is to say this:
We Must Stay Ready for the Call-Up.
It’s my 38th year on this planet. The year that entropy has finally caught up with my metabolism. Until this year, I could eat what I wanted and basically put off exercise when I wanted, and I wouldn’t be too bad off.
But no longer. Now, I’ve got this protruding skin over my waistband that I believe is commonly referred to as “a gut.” Now I understand the need for consistent exercise and healthy eating. Nuts.
So I realize that my “readiness,” at least physically, is no where near where it should be. I think this dream was the final wake-up call for that, and I wanted to pass this nugget on to you as well:
Be Ready. Stay honed–not just physically, but mentally, spiritually, emotionally–be ready for that time when you get the call. The call WILL come–the call to greater responsibility, the opportunity to pioneer something new, or the call to make a HUGE leap of faith. Being ready will allow us to better make the leap, will prepare us for the inevitable battles, and will allow us to better protect ourselves and our friends and family.
So keep your proverbial “kit bag” updated, maintained, and well oiled.