Recently I have been plagued by the question “Do I Have any Regrets?”
After four tours of duty in Iraq (since July 2003) and one of two years completed in Korea I hate leaving home. It never gets easier! The time spent traveling internationally provides me with far too much time to think.
On my way back to Korea I began asking myself what do I regret? After ten years in the Army what would I do over? Would a do-over significantly change the outcome? I returned to Korea on 21 January 2013 and the question continues to linger in my mind.
It was brought to the forefront again when the Army informed me I would not be able to return to Fort Hood, Texas after Korea. On paper I have spent nine years at Hood although four years were actually in Iraq. Since 2006 my family has made Hood our home. La Shawn has a great career and we even purchased a house. My career manager believes (and is probably correct) returning to Hood would hinder my career progression.
Instantly, the question reared its ugly head and I began to wonder “Do I have any regrets?” I finally answered in the affirmative. Yes, I do. I wish we never would’ve “settled down” at Fort Hood. In 2007 I had no vision beyond wanting my family near me. La Shawn wanted a house and I wanted to give it to her.
We knew in the near term I would remain at Fort Hood because of the deployment cycles. I could also reenlist (in the future) to remain at Hood. I also discussed the “what-ifs” with La Shawn and she said she wanted to make Central Texas our home. She was willing to deal with separation in the future. She was ready to restart her career and establish a home.
She is my best friend and soul mate. I wanted to give her everything she wanted. Her requests were reasonable and I obliged.
Now back to the question “Do I have any regrets?” The answer is an overwhelming yes! I regret we settled down in Killeen. We established roots instead of remaining agile and ready to go wherever the Army sent us. I get to experience many new environments but I am alone. I wish La Shawn and Roscoe P. Coltrane were by my side.
As of now I am working with the Army to find an assignment close to home. I am grateful my career manager has a decent attitude and is willing to work with me. I pray for an outcome that benefits the Army and my family.
Jennifer Matlack of the Huffington Post wrote a great article on dealing with regrets. Check it out and let me know what you think. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/01/push-past-regrets_n_1843321.html)
Do you have any regrets?