On this past Friday, the girlfriend and I visited my friend Kate in San Antonio. I first met Kate when I got mobilized with the army and got sent to Ft.Lewis. She's a nice person, but a bit misunderstood, like I was, with the rest of the group that we were with. She ended up not going to Iraq with the group because she found out that she was pregnant.
Towards the end of our stay at Ft. Lewis, Kate and I became roommates. It was a tumultuous time in both of our lives, my grandmother was sick with cancer, and Kate was very pregnant, and unsure about what is coming up next. Her husband at that time was not the most supportive either.
Our correspondeces during my Iraq/Kuwait stay were few and in between. I thought that she just got busy with the baby and life and didn't think much of it.
When I came back stateside, Jim, a guy that was in our group, and lives near Kate, encouraged me to contact her again. I called her up early last week and found out that she had been dealing with a lot more than just a baby. Her husband got arrested for being in this internet child porn ring, then got busted to a private and now is in prison. Also, shortly after her husband's arrest, she found out that she has MS. That's a lot for anyone to handle, and I don't care how young/old you are.
One thing about Kate is that she's tough, and determined to be in charge of her life. She's going to get medically discharged from the army, then go get her teaching certificate and teach and I'm glad for her.
While in San Antonio, Kate, Jim, the girlfriend and I went to have some fine Italian food, watched a DVD, played with baby, and chatted about her life. It was a good evening had by all.
I haven't talked with a lot of other people from the unit that I was with, but I do know that some are still adjusting with life after war, a few got really high-paying jobs, thanks to their Iraq experience, but most part of me still wonder if any of us has become better person through this experience, I hope I have. I'm more cynical, but also more hopeful in some ways.
While I do hope for all the best with the people that I was with, I hope it more so for people like Kate.