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Deployed Living

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Tracy L. DeMarco
  • 376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
Living in a dormitory as a deployed service member can be compared to a bookshelf -- the people are like the bookends and their lives are the stories.

Every morning when I wake up, I brush my teeth with the same people and I see them again at night. With smiling eyes, head nods or the occasional greeting full of foamy sounds, we acknowledge each other's presence.

Once in a while though, one of us has the courage to open the book. That's called conversation and what begins is a person's story. Some stories are mysteries and it takes the entire deployment to solve the case. Others are love stories, sad stories, comedies or patriotic stories.

The story everyone - knowingly or unknowingly - searches for on the shelf is the novel; one that no length of deployment would be long enough to finish. Those stories then end up becoming life-long friends, social media connections and someone you never forget.

Resembling the plot in a story, many service members deploy with goals. At the Transit Center at Manas there are a lot of service members with lots of goals. Some travel to the Transit Center with education, promotion or fitness goals.

Others arrive here with the goal to survive. They could either be on their way to support international efforts in Afghanistan with survival in mind, or they could be on their way home having survived their deployments.

Thousands of service members travel through the Transit Center every day and each has a great story to tell.

I don't read every day. I don't spend much time in the common areas of my dorm. But I do brush my teeth every morning and every night - like bookends. What that means is that in addition to my personal and professional deployment goals, I have two opportune moments a day to meet a novel, a new friend.

Don't be the dust on your bookshelf. Open a book. Remember, we are all here together and though our stories are different we can enrich each other's lives.