Because tomorrow I start demobilizing.

I won't lie, I've learned a lot in my two years with this unit, but I have to wonder if it's been at the sake of my happiness and, honestly, my health. I wasn't exaggerating when I said that place is (those people are) toxic. Hopefully in a couple weeks I'll feel better. I know I need to spend some time meditating and trying to release all the stress and frustration that has built up in my neck, back and shoulders. I've found a yoga studio not far from my house, maybe that will help, too.
But I do feel like I'm coming away with some valuable knowledge - and more importantly, experience - as a public affairs NCO. I can speak more eloquently on our overall, big picture mission, and I'm pretty confident I could serve in any public affairs role - media engagement, photography, journalism, production of a publication, even acting as a spokesperson.

Despite all her shortcomings, my boss has (mostly) good intentions, and I will miss her pushing me to be better, work faster. And, if nothing else, this time as shown me what not to do. I depart my office feeling at once relieved and saddened.

For the past two years, I have helped train each and every mobilizing Reserve and National Guard public affairs unit. Each unit has affected me - some good, like the remarkably close Alabama unit; some bad, like the [unnamed] unit who stole one of our cameras. I've enjoyed sharing my lessons learned with them... I tried to give them more information than I had when I deployed. Information is a comforting thing when you are going forward into the unknown.

I've also learned a lot as an active duty Soldier, period. I've never done this before. I definately have a better feel for how The Real Army works now, and, well, I have mixed feelings about leaving it and returning to the Reserve. I'm thankful for the wives of this unit for taking me under their wing and making me feel like family. And I think a (small) piece of me will miss putting on the uniform every day.

Whenever someone asks me if I'll make a career out of the Army, my stock answer is that the Army has been good to me so far, and as long as it continues to be good to me, I'll stick around. It is both the honest truth and a complete lie.

So until next time - who knows when it will be, but I'm certain there will be a next time - thanks for the memories, Army.

- Antiope

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