Week 7 Kaiser
This photo was taken by Raley during his deployment to Iraq. It shows a tank moving away from a violent explosion.
Over spring break I have done little to advance my story on Todd Raley. I looked through the quotes I have from Todd and decided what is going to make up the story. But something else happened that gave me glimpse of what Todd had gone through when he told me about deploying as a father and deploying as a young man.
I was shooting dart league at a bar this week and saw a very unstable person I was deployed with. He has been crazy as long as I have known him, and I had a firsthand perspective of his insanity while working with him in the year leading up to the second deployment. We tried to tell the commander but he didn’t listen. On deployment, the soldier lost it, ended up being shipped home. Now roams the streets of Oshkosh and he was roaming the bar I was at. He looked at me, and I knew he recognized me. I was afraid he was going to do something, namely come into the bar and shoot me or something.
It was a long night. I kept watching where he was sitting, just to see if he was coming. I even went so far as to ask my friend if he was carrying his gun. I was afraid because I didn’t want to be killed. I am getting married next September and want to be there for that. When I was deployed, I was single and, in crude terms, only had to worry about myself.
This incident gave me an idea of what Todd went through his second deployment as a man with something to lose. I had a glimpse of how difficult that can be. Imagine that uncertainty and fear for an entire year.