So, I'm all the way back at the same little Internet terminal place in Kuwait where I last updated the blog. I'm getting ready to head back to the 'Stan tomorrow (neat way to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, eh?)
Everything went well on the 7th at MEEI, and the best part was that at the end, the doc said, "Everything looks great, and I don't need to see you again for 3-4 months." Well, if we're taking a sort of loose definition of that timeframe (like if we checked September off, and then skipped four months ahead) I would be back in the States. To stay.
Which is awesome. No more special anything, no more byzantine travel routes through airports, changes of clothes, and no more awkward explanations (both there or here) about why I'm *not really* home and dealing with people who don't know what they're saying spout off about they wish they had "whatever it is" that got me the extra trip back home.
Once again, I vow to try and write more, and photograph more. Buying a camera might be a wise next step, and I think I can knock that out here in Kuwait.
Although coming home for what wound up as nearly a week was phenomenal in many respects, the strongest feeling I had on the way back to Logan Friday morning was just eagerness to "get this show on the road." Just as it is now, my overriding feeling was wanting to get back to Camp Phoenix and back into the routine for the homestretch of the deployment.
What's VERY different this time, as opposed to OIF in 2006 and 2007, is the conflicting feelings about what's left behind. Besides the obvious and most important (wife and daughter) there's also the issue of having other professional ideas and opportunities on the plate...on active duty, of course, that was never an issue.
Regardless, it's all mind over matter for the next few months -- the conflicting feelings about being gone can get tucked away and stored in some corner of the brain where they won't be needed for a while. The trick is just immersing myself as completely as possible in the moment of whatever it is I'm doing, and then cheering a bit as the calendar gets flipped over every couple of weeks.