In these last few months of time I will spend in Afghanistan, I find it hard to really dive into my work anymore. It takes a bit more effort.
In your mind, you say, “This is it, I’ve rounded third and I’m on my way home.” But really you know that’s not the case. And to think this way, for some at least, could be a dangerous, even deadly, thought.
For troops who find themselves in the field day in and day out, especially ones who have to be very aware of their surroundings, becoming complacent can kill. You begin to feel invincible. You think that because you’ve already made it over half way throught the tour, these last months will go by no harm done. That’s quite the opposite.
It’s been said that the most deaths happen during an elements (unit, brigade, battalion, whatever it may be) last few months of a deployment.
Read this article and in the second sentence, the writer notes a sign reading “Complacency Kills.” Read on and the author helps you imagine how easy it is to lose focus over time. Troops are warned often of this at the beginning, and even before, their tour starts in country. But you hear this warning much less during the last stretch.
So although I don’t find myself outside the wire too often, it is interesting to me that I recognize my own complacency. It makes me wonder how many Soldiers who find themselves roaming through countrysides and villages do not recognize it in themselves.