The ups and downs of preparing for war:
Active-duty soldiers and drilling reservists typically get many months of notice before a deployment; as an inactive reservist, I got roughly three weeks. Being mobilized for war involves changing jobs, moving, and leaving your family behind all at once. I was sorely tempted—as one lawyer at my firm suggested—to take a three-week-long siesta on the beach with my dog and some potent margaritas until my report date. But the Army officer in me knew better, so I developed a plan. When I was a young lieutenant in Korea, a charismatic brigade commander of mine likened mammoth military tasks to eating an elephant, saying that the only sure method was to eat it one bite at a time. And so I set out to tackle my deployment one piece at a time.