Sunday, October 7, 2007

Back to the Grind

Well I am back to the grind here at Eggers. Actually, it only took me a couple days to catch up and I am back in the groove. Of course getting back to Eggers was quite an adventure; let me explain.

On Sunday night I checked in at the R&R office at 8 PM. Following a short briefing, we loaded on buses to go to the air terminal. Then we began the check in process and then we waited and waited. We were warned that our planned wheels up time (that is lingo for departure) was 0100 (1 am) so I knew we would have a long waiting period. Well the time came to load up the plane so we loaded back up on a bus and were taken out to the aircraft. For those who have not flown military before, we flew on a C130 which is a prop aircraft built in the 70's.
And, oh yeah, there are no seats or at least seats that you would be used to seeing. We sit in cargo net seats stationed on the walls and down the middle of the aircraft. There is no first class, in fact I don't think this qualifies as coach either. In any case we loaded up and sat on the plane, which by the way did not have any airflow, so we all sat sweating waiting for the pilots to do their preflight checks. After an hour and a half the pilots determined that the plane would not fly. I am thankful they were cautious but I did wish they had figured that out before we all loaded up and were forced to soak our uniforms with sweat.

So we unloaded the plane and loaded up on a bus again and sat for another half hour while they found another plane for us. You can guess what we did next, that's right, we loaded up another C130 and sat another hour; sweating. We finally went wheels up at 0245. No sleep and lots of sweating and looking forward to a 5 hour flight back to Afghanistan. The flight was uneventful, which is good, and we landed at KAIA, Kabul Afghanistan International Airport, but we could not get off even though getting back to Eggers was only a half hour away because my weapons and gear were locked up at BAF (Bagram Airfield). We let a few passengers off who were destined for KAIA and then loaded up some other passengers, so another hour of waiting. We took off again and took the short 10 minute flight to BAF, where we were finally at our destination.

I was still not back to Eggers so Pat Meriwether and myself needed a ride. We both started making calls, fortunately Pat was able to get a hold of crew that was at Bagram and we connected with them a few hours later after collecting all our weapons and gear. We were on our way back to Kabul. Unfortunately the team was going back to Alamo, the FOB where Pat is stationed and so they dropped me off at Camp Phoenix. I started making a calls to get ride back to Eggers and a few hours later, I had a crew pick me up and get me back to Eggers about 4:30 PM. I immediately went back to my room and unpacked and think I passed out soon thereafter.

I went to work that night to try and catch up on e-mails and see what had been happening while I was gone. There was no chance of catching up but it was a start. The next day I had several meetings to get up to speed on significant projects going on and after a couple days, I was back in the groove.

Saturdays are the day I go to Mass at 4 PM, but this week I had a meeting so I missed church. That evening at 6 PM there was Christian service that was being ministered by someone I knew, so a couple of us decided to go that evening. I had not eaten yet figuring I would go to dinner after the service. That would prove to be a mistake. The service was more of a revival/gospel service which was quite good.

There were two gospel choirs and lots of singing and shouting and it was quite entertaining and uplifting. Now being a Catholic, we tend to get antsy when the Mass goes over an hour so when the service hit 3 hours, I was not only antsy, but I was really hungry. The Bishop who was the guest speaker and coworker had been speaking for about an hour and was very inspiring and then began laying hands on people predicting peoples' ailments and healing them somewhat. At that point the only healing I needed was a cheeseburger in my belly. My friends and I called it quits after 3 and half hours and immediately went seeking food. The dining facility was closed but we convinced the kitchen to make us a turkey sandwich and we enjoyed our meal and we were thankful.

Back on the homefront, Rebecca took the kids to Disneyland since they are so rarely there. (Editor's Note: Now that I am working and both kids are in school, it is actually becoming less frequent. Last Sunday was a special occasion because my friend Michael Lynn was celebrating his birthday and celebrating the premiere of his latest E! True Hollywood Story - John Stamos. There were 12 in our group, 6 of us went to Club 33, which is absolutley wonderful. Michael, as you may recall, was the guy that yelled "kiss her!" to John Stamos... and he actually did kiss me. The corollary to this story is that Michael put that picture in the show. SO during the end segment, if you watch closely this photo is in the John Stamos THS... I really, really wish I had lost that 15 lbs now!

Besides, it is Halloween Time at Disney and I suspect we will be back in the next few weeks.
They also had a visit from a good friend, Patricia Lee, who Rebecca worked with for a long time. Pat sent me a note talking about how nice her visit was and how wonderful my kids are. It is nice to know the kids behaved, but also to remind myself how lucky I am.

Peace to you all,

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