Tuesday, August 14, 2012

On the Beach

On the other side of the planet right now, my family is at the beach.

Monkey just caught a great wave on her boogie board.  Cowboy and Odie are knee-deep in muddy sand as they build a sand castle.  Princess is probably asleep, since right about now is her normal nap time.

I'm here.

I watched a guy leave today, after a 365 tour.  He's a civilian, and could've left at any time, but because he "signed up" for a 365 he stuck around.  Despite the frustrations and loneliness of being stationed here, he stuck to what he originally said he would do--and stuck around.

I put my head in my hands today after the 75th frustrating email I got, from a system so broken that neither the giver nor the receiver is capable of seeing its current state.  I looked at my senior NCO and said that I had made a mistake, and that this was going to be the longest year of my life.

I'm probably right.  But SW is also right in that 20 years from now I would regret not being here.  If, God help us, this "experiment" works, 20 years from now I'll be able to look upon what we've done here, and know in my heart that I was there at the beginning.  I'll know that despite the frustrations of a culture and mindset that I offered a small part to the creation of a vibrant and rising nation.  I'll know that the General that I mingle with on a practically first-name basis is the rising chief-of-staff of their fledgling air force.

That doesn't change the fact that my 3-year-old is asleep right now, on a blanket on the Texas coast.

And I'm not there.

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