Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My friend Jeff

Jeff is a soldier. He is a Master Corporal in the Royal Canadian Regiment out of Canadian Forces Base Petawawa. I don't know much about what he actually does. It's something to do with reconnaissance, but I only know this because of the jokes that are made about a 6' 5" tall man doing sneaky stuff. "It's a bush, it's a bush, it's Jeff, it's a bush."

When I first met Jeff I'd already heard stories about him. He's a crazy guy, who has a bajillion stories of his own, and when he tells them he always starts with "So there I was...". The first time I spent time with Jeff was at a May 2-4 weekend bash. He took his clothes off and did cartwheels in the rain. He told his famous Edmonton Strangler story and used me as a prop. I am afraid at the time I didn't see what was so great about this guy. I didn't understand why three of my friends were sleeping with him (we're a pretty liberal bunch, if you have a judgement, kindly keep it to yourself.) Sure he was funny, but he was also crass, and didn't understand personal boundaries.

Over the few years since then I've gotten to know Jeff much better. He is the crazy, crass guy with the stories, sure. But he's also a deeply intelligent and sensitive guy. When you get to talke to him alone, or in a small group, you learn things that you didn't know; about him, about yourself, about the world at large.

On August 8, 2006 his company was deployed to Afghanistan. As anyone following Canadian news will know (I'm not sure what kind of news US/UKers get) the NATO forces in Afghanistan haven't been having the greatest time. Yesterday, while knitting a sock for Jeff (we've been working on a care package to send to him) I saw the news about the friendly fire attack. Half an hour later I had one friend on the phone and two at the door.

Jeff is going to be ok. He's in a Dutch Front field hospital and will be moved to Germany soon. He'll be back in Canada in about two weeks (as soon as he's cleared to fly) and then he'll have a couple of weeks of reintegration training (code for talking to a bunch of headshrinkers). With any luck he'll be back in our area around mid-October. We don't know exactly how injured he is, but they offered him the option to go back to active duty after he's healed up. He took the option to come home, which makes his friends and family very happy.

I can't wait to hear him say "So there I was..."

10 comments:

Noneuclid said...

I'm very sorry to hear your friend was hurt--that's really scary. But very happy to hear he is okay, and coming home. My best wishes for both him, and for you and all his friends and family.

Jim

CosmicAvatar said...

Nothing hits home harder than when it's happening to someone you know. Glad to hear he's OK and coming home.

allison said...

Wow.

I was really worried that this story would not have a good ending. I am glad that Jeff is mainly okay and coming home. I think about the men (and women?) stationed over there all the time. My son is in the Navy, but he has expressed the inclination to join Special Forces. Everytime I see another Canadian is hurt or dead I find myself thinking that it could be our kid.

I am glad Jeff's family can rest easy now.

P.S. That is a beautiful piece of writing.

Min said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Min said...

I'm so glad he chose to come home.

Min said...

(Sorry about the deleted comment. There was a typo. I forgot that there would still be evidence of the deleted comment!)

Helen said...

I was worried about the end of this story too, so I scrolled down to the bottom to see what it was, then reread!

I'm glad he's OK (such as it seems), and that he'll be back home with friends and family soon.

Jess said...

I'm so glad this story didn't have a worse ending. I hope you get to see him soon.

Kim said...

Just wanted to post a general "hi" and say I've been enjoying reading your blog recently. Thanks for sharing!

Jenn said...

I'm glad he will soon be home, and I hope he is back up to shagging speed asap.

I, too, had to skip to the end to see if he was okay. I hate the news, I hate people dying, but I really hate knowing my people are around those things.

Many many hugs.