November 11, 2008

Hurry up and Wait

Hurry up and Wait

It's an expression long associated with life in the armed forces: the endless lines, the delays while an assignment is being readied, the long night before a major battle, and finally, the anticipation of final orders. For some who serve during war, the sounds of battle remain tantalizingly distant, as they are left waiting stateside for the duration.
This the beginning of a section of the Library of Congress, Veterans History Project. This project features many veterans stories. These stories describe not only the heroic, exciting, transforming but also the mundane. One story, Irving Oblas' features a quote which is the essence of Hurry up and Wait. I and others have waited months for orders, being in that netherworld of doing odd jobs and many platoons learning the glory of raking sand. There was that anxiousness during Viet Nam from soldiers I knew, on where they would be assigned. The draftees who would rather be elsewhere, submitted to the mundane. If orders came for Viet Nam, they would sigh, but never the less would selflessly serve.

1 comment:

Emil said...

It is the same saying I came across with my efforts to work in the Middle East! I thought it was unique to their work ethic.