I was deployed in 90 for Op Des Storm, came back in 1991, was part of 7th corp. Don't know what everyone else seen on the news but we had little to nothing in creature comforts. Tent, military issued gear, and vehicles. Pretty rough living....extreme light discipline at all times during the night...although it did not matter because outside of our battery commander's tent we only had a single light bulb...we did manage to wire up a GP large tent and run a wire from the commanders generator and used the single light in our GP large.
"Going without" was not that tough, I say "going without" in meaning that we had no civilian clothes, no "normal food" (all MRE's and we didn't get the heater packs back then), no electricity, no tv, no game boys, no nothing. This taught me to be thankful for what I have today.
Most here can imagine it but others that never were deployed as a combat troop never will, and that is how much you'd "give your your right nut" for a toilet, water to bath with (we were not allowed to bath with our water only drink it), a warm actually cooked meal, a telephone call (only calls back then were via satellite phone and we had 1 opportunity in 4 months to use a phone) or just to be able to see friends and family.
Sure you are worried about what is going on "back in the world" but once you got back nothing much really changed so the fear was all for naught.
Me, I guess most of all it taught me my "limits". Limits in a sense of what ones psyche can handle, physical capabilities, and just how damn bad over-all something could be. Told myself that all I had to do was "survive this" and every other day for the rest of my life would be a cake walk.....even if I lived in a cave.
Made me run out of the military and into college. Never was college material but this event made me college material as I wanted nothing to do with doing it again. College was a breeze, started a business by the time I was 29, sold that business when I was 40 and am now retired at 42. Why do I say this? Well that deployment showed me that there are 24 hours in day, you can work them all or you can **** your life away being an idiot, so I crammed 30 years of work into the next 15 years (of which was all work), and I ended up done at age 40. ....that deployment made me do that, scared the **** out of me and made me sacrifice the next 15 years of my life in trade of for quitting at 40 years of age...now i can enjoy the rest of my life.
I have 3 young kids, 7,8, and 13...the one thing that I hate the most today from my deployment was missing the holidays. Well missing them ( I was in Germany stationed away for 3 years outside of the deployment) I became "conditioned" in my head that it was "just another day" vs. a holiday and I almost have to "fake" being excited for the holidays...nothing like kicking sand on Xmas in a far away country and knowing the other 99% of western civilization are with friends, family, and enjoying the festivities and a beer!....not to mention that Santa Claus (Jody) is probably doinkin' your significant other back home!
I was one that had a 117 GT (general technology (130 is max score, you can be anything across all branches with a 115 or above)) score, maxed damn near all my physical fitness tests so "This man's Army" offered me to become a linguist, surgeon, or whatever in the Special Forces plus $25K tax free bonus if I'd re-up for 10 years. They told me they would send me to 5 years of schoolin' (college) and I'd have 5 years active duty after that (10 total). I turned it down and done my "own thing" and have never looked back. I sure the hell didn't ever want to be deployed again fighting another damn war!