To get ready to go to war you have a lot of shit to do...there is a lot of medical stuff that needs to be taken care of, shots, check ups, dental, etc. There is also legal stuff, life insurance, wills, shutting off the cell phone and what not. Also, there are dozens of online classes that the Navy makes you take before you are ready to deploy (one of which is "Cold Weather Injuries" and since I am going to Iraq in the summer seems to be about as beneficial as all the other courses). To make the process streamline they give you a checklist of all the things that you need to do and all the courses you need to take before you can deploy. I spent about 3 months doing all that prep work.
When I arrived in san Diego I gave the folks my checklist and validations and basically told that the only thing I need to do is get fitted for uniforms (even though I have my old desert cammies from prior deployments) and one new shot. I sat in briefings all day yesterday on medical insurance (which I don't need), legal documents (I am a prosecutor but I do know my way around a will and power of attorney), measuring your stress level (which was quite topical at the time) and an orientation of the base (which I've been stationed at two times before). So when I was released today after waiting for a doctor to clear me after one booster shot I was told to go "home" and come back at 9am tomorrow. For what? To be released again for the day.
But I did make it to the Exchange to get a few things including a new digital camera so I can take some demanded pics of me "with guns" and some of the other pastoral parts of the Iraqi country side. Luckily when I get to the Gulf area I will be making a metric buttload of money so I can pay for all this stuff.
So, I sit here after a nice long run in downtown San Diego counting my money like Scrooge McDuck! That, however, is the only benefit of this deployment which will be my last! The minute I return from Iraq I am submitting my retirement papers and becoming a civilian. Once I figure out this camera I will post some pics (sans guns for now).