Yesterday I had my first experience of saying good-bye to a close friend due to a PCS.
Jeremy and I have been stationed in Southern California for the last 6 years. In that time we have had friends leave for other duty stations or moving back home when they got out of the military. But only one of them has been my close friends, and they moved to WI, so we see them when we go home to visit. Most have been Jeremy’s work buddies, who I was friends with too, but they were more his close friends.
But in this case, it is now my close friend, Brittany, who is the one leaving.
We have been friends for the last 3 years. Her husband and Jeremy worked together, but they didn’t become friends until Brittany and I became good friends. She supported me through 2 deployments and actually videotaped our first homecoming. I was there for her through the birth of her second child and supported her when she and her husband temporarily separated and she moved back home for a few months. We both volunteered for the command, and even when Jeremy and I moved down to San Diego and got re-stationed at Miramar, we could make an effort to hang out and see each other, even though it was a 45 minute drive. Jeremy and her husband would go dirt biking together and we would hang out at the beach with her kids.
Yesterday we had one last get together, and it finally hit me that she is really leaving. That I can’t call her to hang out or stop by her house when I am in the neighborhood anymore.
I guess that’s the double edged sword of military life. You get to meet people you never would have had the chance to, you quickly become friends and bond over your shared lifestyle and rely on each other when you are alone in new city/state. But your time together is always limited, and you go into the friendship knowing that.
I hope that never limits me in making friends. I hope that I never hesitate to get to know someone just because of the inevitability of our friendship. Because to have friends all over the country/world is a wonderful thing and I have had the chance to meet some great people.