Saying Goodbye to Good Friends
One of the things I really love about the Army is that it can bring together people who would not have had much interaction with each other in other circumstances. This is particularly true for a Yankee like me. Despite the six teenage years I spent in Utah and law school in Virginia, my politics, my sports affiliations, etc. still mark me as a northern boy. As such, the South-centric military has surrounded me with guys from Texas, Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida, and the like. While this makes me a lonely liberal in my office, it sure makes the college football season more interesting. Though currently all the captains are white males, there is still quite a bit of diversity, and I've made some great friends.
Unfortunately, one of the things I really hate about the Army is that no matter how great the friendship is, you always know that within a year or two, somebody will be moving on, either to a new duty station or a new career. This mostly happens in the summer time, and today is the last day for a guy with whom I've spent the last year building a great friendship. He's staying in the Army, headed to Fort Hood for a very cool job, and it is the right move for him and his family. But it still hurts, both on a personal and a professional level. He is a good friend and a great mentor, and the office will definitely miss him.
Since I plan to stay here for another couple years, I have many farewells to look forward to. In fact, it is virtually certain that every military attorney who was here when I got here will leave before I do. Several alread have. The discontinuity can be great in some respects: there is always fresh blood for the office, and fresh challenges for the officer. But today it just makes me sad.