Thursday, October 19, 2006

Kuwaiting take 6

For the sixth time in my life, I am Kuwaiting, it's sort of like the Purgatory you go through before going back into real life. Just about every time I come to Kuwait, it seems like I'm going to a new base and they say the base I was at last time was closed down. This new base as usual, is just another plot of sand in the middle of vast desert. I'm not sure there is a rhyme or reason for picking most of these places or if there is, I don't know about it. I'm mildly unhappy about the endless trek across the sand just to get food at the chow hall, you couldn't go further away on this base then we are. It doesn't matter what the name of the base is but it always seems Marines always get the worst piece of real estate. Each meal is a debate on whether or not I'm feeling hungry enough to search for substance.

On the bright side, we're doing customs here in Kuwait instead of Iraq so we don't have to pack our shower gear in our carry-on (mine is full of computer gear and meds). So when I do get on the plane, I'll be somewhat fresh. And I'm glad we're allowed toiletries on the plane ride back too. At least I can brush my teeth.

In reality, these are just observations, do I really care? Not really. I'm going home to be with my wife! And to sleep in my own bed and back to the land of wireless internet! You don't know how much you're missing till it's all taken away from you. I'm thankful for each day I get to spend in the states.

And as for being sent to a war, I didn't have it bad at all, my weapon was never discharged, never had a set of crosshairs pointed at me and all of my people made it back with all of their fingers and toes. Our chow hall was vastly improved the dismay of my belt, 6 flavors of ice cream! I'm going to miss the free ice cream, that was an unexpected surprise, kudos to whoever decided ice cream would chase away some of our homesickness. I'm going to miss the extra pay but you can't really put a value on the missed birthdays, holidays and worry you have about being away from your family. And believe me, I know I had it good, I've talked to many of the Striker guys who got extended, talk about a bunch of unhappy campers. I've talked to people who's whole life is doing patrols and convoys, that fear of getting blown up daily builds up like lead poisoning. Every body has their limit on how much they can hold and I'm sure the images and actions that they've experienced are going to carry over to their return.

I've been blessed with a loving wife who wrote me an actual letter each day, who has never been too tired to answer the phone and was always sending surprising care packages filled with stuff that I'm sure no one else out here ever received. Grass jelly drinks, odd things from different import stores that she had seen me pick up, interesting food or drink that she discovered while I was gone. I couldn't have picked a better life partner, how many wives out there think correspondence is romantic or enjoy as many strange foods as I do? Not too many husbands say that they never want to be away from their wives but I do. You can't buy the support and love that she has given me. Thanks hun.

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