I'm currently in Kabul waiting to come home. It's not long now. I thought I'd sit down for a minute and just put down some thoughts on this deployment.
I knew when I joined the Army that deployment was not only possible but also highly likely. I didn't know it would come quite as quick as it did, though. At the time it seemed like an awful long time to be away. I sat down the other day and thought about how long I've been gone. With all the schools I had to attend before deploying, I've been home for maybe a month since June 2006. But looking back, my time here has gone by quickly.
I've met a lot of interesting people - people that I will never forget as long as I live, people that I will happily forget within hours of departing, and people that I nor anyone else will ever see again on this earth. It's the people here that make this tolerable. Without those friends, it's a miserable, lonely existence. Laughter is the one thing that holds us all together. We giggle at fart jokes. We belly laugh at homosexual references at another's expense (we know his turn for reprisal is coming). We laugh nervously at the unexpected and surreal events of a firefight or IED attack.
It's been said that war changes people. Who am I to dispute this? It does, but it changes everyone in a different way. For me, it's allowed me some time to put things in perspective. It's shown me moments of love, joy, and happiness. It's also shown me horrors that I couldn't have imagined and will carry to my grave. Even so I'm still glad to have been here. I can say that I was something that others didn't want to be. I went places that others feared to go. I was a soldier.
I'll be home in a week or two. It's been an adventure to say the least, but I'm ready to hang up the rifle and the helmet for a while...at least until Uncle Sam calls me again.