Sunday, January 8, 2006

Farewell to the Desert


It's time.

God willing, in less than 24 hours the Qatari Peninsula will be in my rear-view mirror. I have to spend the night in Norfolk, VA, but I should be at my doorstep by Wednesday evening.

It's funny, that after all this time of dreaming of going home, that a part of me is actually sad to go. I've gotten pretty attached to this place over the last four months. There are definitely things that I will miss--the weather, the people, the opportunities to do things here that I normally wouldn't be able to do at home. Not so much that it diminishes my desire to get on that plane, but enough to make me a little sad to go.

I've changed over my time here. Positive changes? A better man? I don't know. I guess I'll have to wait until I "re-integrate" (that's what they call it here) to really find out. I've mentioned what I plan to do/change when I get home, it just remains to be seen whether or not I'll be able to pull that off. As of today I officially failed to meet any and every single personal goal I set during my time here. Every one. Even the easy ones. There are definitely things that I know I can become when I get home, but there's some big ones that I've always said I would do and before I left, I still hadn't.

One seriously positive change while I was here was this website. Not so much having a website, but managing (almost) every day to stop and write. Add on top of that a constant need for subject material and I became much more aware of my surroundings and the normally (very) mundane events that came along with working in the CAOC. I became much more emotionally involved in the war, in what they were saying on the news, and what some of the great bloggers out there were saying. Writing for me became one of the most therapeutic activities that I've ever done--an outlet that I didn't previously have in any other aspect of my life. It also, on here, became a model for me of not only the person I am, but the person I want to become. There's something about being able to think and review everything you say before you say it, about every possible impression you are going to give by describing your actions, that can make you sound like a really good person. I hope I can someday live up to it.

Jets were taking off as I was on my way over to write this. It gave me a surreal feeling of the perpetuity of war. I truly hope that some day all of this is unnecessary, but for right now even with me and my friends gone this war will go on. The Army is in the middle of their rotation uprange, and when all those who have gone through 12 months of hell are gone, the war will still go on. Chances are I'll be coming back here in a year or so. I'm sure the conflict will be in a completely different phase by then, but I'm sure the war will still be going on.

Another change is how I am as an officer. I have a better understanding of what we are doing as an Air Force, what our place is in this (or any, for that matter) war, and what I need to do when I get home. I've gotten word that my job may be changing--and I fully intend to have a completely different attitude at that place. If I manage to write a lot down about it, you'll come to understand.

Goodbyes should be easy--the military has a funny way of making farewells pretty easy to do. Usually people are in a rush, no one wants to get all sentimental in front of anyone, so its normally a quick handshake and a "seeya around." I like it that way. I've gotten pretty attached to a lot of the people here.

So that's it--my deployment in a 71-post nutshell. It's been a hell of a ride, but the rollercoaster's back at the station, and it's time to get off. I'll try to take notes about the trip home, but don't count on much. Forgive me if this time I'm more focused on the destination than the journey.

I've got kids to play with.

4 comments:

  1. Safe travels, dude. And yeah, keep your priorities straight. Your kids will be big before you know it. It flies by.

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  2. Guess you're in the air, on your way home, God Speed!

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  3. Welcome home, Lucky! Have fun.

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