30 April 2008

Coming Home

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.


JoJo said...

Although I'm not a soldier - I am a Marine's wife. Glenn and I spent less than 8 months together our first three years of marriage! Thank you buddy for what you do, did and are doing! As Annie said - this is something I have to do. Wish you could be here on May 9th for graduation - in spirit I'm sure you will be. Can't wait to see you!


Judy said...

Dear Son, I can now tell you that on the day you called me to say you were joining the Army, and at all times now, my heart stopped for a moment. I collected my "confident" motherly wits about me as fast as I could and I remenber saying "No regrets". Never let your children know you have doubts about what they want to do(of coures unless it's really stupid). Your dad and I have always wanted "the best" for you and your sister. We wanted you to know there was more out there than Sheldon, SC and that with a lot of work you could be and do anything you wanted. We have, on occasion, questioned your choices as being what we considered as "best" for you. We all veer from the path God has laid out for us. I've known since you were about 6 you wanted to "GO ARMY". I'm not sure what caused your detour from that path but I do feel being back on the path has been good for you. And yes you have been where most want go and seen what most will never see. We are proud of you and know when your boots hit US soil again they will continue marching in the direction that is best for you and your family. Be safe see you soon.

AmyWhit said...

Glad to hear that you're headed back in the direction of HOME! It sounds like your deployment has been a positive experience in your life, regardless of the horrors and hard times that you and everyone else endured while so far away from home. We thank you for your service. God bless!

Shelia said...

As eloquently as you put your thoughts into words we'll never really know..never really get it.

And I can't thank you enough..that I'll never really get it.

Come home safe soldier.