The Difference Between Deploying and Being in a Fraternity

Those of you that are frequent readers of realize that I am a veteran. I served for 5 years in the military, which included two deployments to the Middle East.

Deploying is a very interesting experience. The temperature is dreadfully hot. The living conditions aren’t great. You are always dirty because of the sand that more closely resembles powder. You end up working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. And there are people shooting at you…

That being said, deploying is about the closest experience to being in a fraternity since I graduated from college. You eat, sleep and work with what becomes your closest friends. A camaraderie develops that is only matched in a fraternity house.

There are, or course, many differences between the experiences. One glaring difference is you appreciate things more when you are deployed.

The fact is there really isn’t much to do on a deployed base. And the things that you can do you have already done a hundred times. But because you are so limited with your options, you seem to really appreciate the little things in life. This is especially true with your friendships.

Remember this as you go through your fraternity experience. Appreciate your friendships with your brothers now, because most of them will drift away after graduation.

Take advantage of everything being in college has to offer. Never accept being bored. Get out there and make a difference. Live it up and have the time of your life.

And next time you are in an airport and see a soldier in uniform, take a second and shake his hand. Thank him for keeping us safe, and let him know that you appreciate his sacrifice.

I have been that soldier before, and I will tell you it will mean more to him than you’ll ever know.

3 thoughts on “The Difference Between Deploying and Being in a Fraternity – Memorial Day 2011

  1. I have to agree as well. I deployed before coming home to attend college. At the end of my tour, I was separated from my closest friends who I had lived, worked and played with for nearly two years through mobilization training and our desert vacation. You live in small, crowded spaces. You workout with your roommates. You know more blackmail and embarrassing details about them then you ever wanted and have just as much on you. But when it comes down to it you are eternally bonded together through experiences that are only know to others have also experienced them. Combat is to service members as ritual is to fraternity members.

  2. Second. It’s a little like pledgeship in a lot of ways. Never really thought about it in those terms, not really. Stay safe.

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