SOUTH CHINA SEA (June 13, 2015) Lightning strikes the water as San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage (LPD 23) navigates between storms. The Essex Amphibious Ready Group is currently operating in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Liam Kennedy/Released)

Conversations on the Steps of the Reserve Unit

by Arthur Turfa

Pre-mobilization mayhem on a cold, gray
New Jersey January morning. Senior NCO

wearing a stunned face stammers about
not working in his MOS for two decades.

I recall him snarling in formation a
few months ago about the equation that

being in uniform means WHEN NOT IF
being deployed. Better Soldiers were

sandbox-bound; we were slated for backfill
in Germany. I offer to intercede being a

chaplain. He shakes his head, then enters
the building. When the plane leaves one

colder night from McGuire, he remains
behind with the rear detachment.