02 December 2007

Life experiences

Cousin Betsy and Boy Scout Troop 969 (VA) sent me a couple more boxes of school supplies and Beanie Babies for Iraqi children. I was able to get the boxes to a different orphanage this time; one that was made infamous by Lara Logan of CBS/60 minutes. Conditions have improved there – but some of the children are still really bad off (two have died).

The school supplies were given off camera, but I should have the still photos posted on my web site in the next day or so.

>>> 419 days here... 12 days to go and I start my trip home; in fact, I am homeless right now, but after 17 years in the military, I guess home is just where the family is.

This has been one hell of a life experience. I’m very proud of my minor contributions over the past 14 months (my third war, including Desert Storm and Bosnia) to the continuing effort to bring about lasting world peace and security; and the major successes no one can dispute – but my tour has been a too extended and I need some rest. I am a bit burnt out...

I expect to leave Iraq and travel to Kuwait for a day or two. If all goes well, I will be in Ft Hood, Texas on the 18th of December. I will have to take a few days of Army “reintegration” training and then jump on an airplane to Germany to be there on Christmas Eve.

I will return to Ft Hood on the 6th of January to “out-process”; and then travel to North Carolina to be there around the 13th. After some family time, I’ll drive back west to Ft Leavenworth, KS and be there by the 27th of January to start the Army’s Command and General Staff College. That assignment will be for one year.

For now, all I can do is try to remember what it was like not to be a target of daily indirect fire, not to work 16-18 hours everyday, seven days a week… not living in such a tiny room, not sharing a shower with about 50 different guys (no dependable hot water), and not having to walk a mile to and from each meal when I found the time to eat… I think the first thing I will do is go out to a restaurant with table service, start and finish with a beer : ) then walk to my hotel room, take a 30 min hot shower and then and sleep for nine hours.


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