Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Yes it is true, the journey home has begun. On Monday, March 17, 2008 at 1439 (that is 2:39 PM for you non-military time types or those who have forgotton how to tell military time) the wheels of our C-17 left the ground from Kabul International Airport lifting me away from Afghanistan for good. How fitting that the day I leave the country of Afghanistan would be on my Saint's Day, St Patrick's Day. Of course we celebrated with jugs of green beer and corned beef and cabbage. Just kidding, you know we can't drink here, we celebrated by having green MRE's; I really do hope that was food coloring and not some Afghanistan strain of bacteria that discolored the meals.

Prior to leaving Afghanistan, much of our original group all traveled to Camp Phoenix in Kabul to conduct final outprocessing. This gave us time for a mini-reunion where we had a little non-alcoholic beer and had a cigar. It is actually a funny feeling leaving and several of us noted the same strange feeling. For over a year now, we have been living the combat life and essentially doing the same thing and living a different life. Almost, all of a sudden, it is over and here we are finding ourselves having to adapt to new surroundings and new situations (at least ones we have not experienced for a while). The transition is somewhat ackward as you are extremely excited to be done and going home, but you have a little bit of trouble letting go of what you have been doing for the past year.

We have all arrived at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait including many of our original teammates who were down in Kandahar, Afghanistan. They met us in Kuwait and the original group is now all back together, minus a few who have either left early or elected to stay longer. We are in Kuwait (Rebecca and the kids have renamed it "Youwait" for obvious reasons) to go through the Warrior Tranistion Program (WTP). This is where we will turn in all our gear and weapons and listen to lectures about how to transition back to home life. Basically, don't get angry and kick the dog and listen to your spouse and of course enjoy your family. I can't imagine I have changed much, but I am sure I have. I am sure some people have changed a great deal depending on their personal experiences. The purpose of WTP is to help people cope with the transition, even though all of us are anxious to get home, we will cooperate for the next 5 days and do all we must to continue the process.

After Youwait, I will head to Norfolk, Virginia and go through the transition from Active back to Reserve status. There must be some procedure to once again allow logic to guide some of our decision making back in the real world. I call it the real world, even though they are both real because for me, this was a time away from my real world.

So all is well here. I am living in a tent, but it is pretty nice as tents go so I am comfortable.

Peace to you all,

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