Sunday, November 19, 2006


Well, I’ve been home for a week now. As everyone may be able to notice, I haven’t blogged much. That’s because my wife wants me to spend more time with her and less with the computer. It’s either her or the computer so I chose her. I won’t be blogging any much anymore either, maybe once in a while.

I’ve spent the last week eating out almost daily. I knew I would when I got home. The weather here in Phoenix has been absolutely beautiful. It’s been in the upper 70’s, lower 80’s all week. The skies have been clear and it’s been mostly sunny. I haven’t spoke too much of my buddies since we’ve all finished our post deployment. Most of the guys are planning on going on vacations and spending some time at home with their families.

One of my buddies was throwing a party last night. My wife and me were going to go but I changed my mind at the last minute. I didn’t feel like driving all the way to the west side of town to drop off the boys with Grandma and then drive all the way to Mesa. It was just too much driving and I didn’t feel like driving all over town.

Right now I’m trying to get readjusted. I just bought a cell phone this week and I’m still trying to learn how to use it. I also have some other things to do like call Tricare, visit the VA medical center, and enroll in the spring semester at Gateway Community College.

As far as everything right now I’d say it’s going pretty good. I’ve been spending lots of time with my boys and my young one is always telling me that he loves me. They both missed me and I missed them too. We have a bunch of catching up to do. When I left John hardly spoke and now he’s talking all the time. He’s also very, very into his Nintendo Gameboy. I have to find out how I’m going to get him to put it down and give it a break.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Welcome Home

We’ve finally made it. 100%. We all came back home. It was an exhilarating feeling yesterday. We stayed up most of the night, Saturday night. We were told that we were moving out of the barracks at 0230 hours. We cleaned the barracks the night prior and put all of our linen away. We slept on the bare bunks without any linen at all but most of us didn’t mind. Some of us, like myself, ended up sleeping on the floor.

We left on the busses around 0300 hours on our way to the airport. We had to hang out in the hanger until 0700 hours for our plane to depart. So, it was a long night and most of us didn’t sleep at all. I tried to get some rest wherever I could but it was hard since we were always having a roll call or something.

We all walked out to our Southwest Airlines plane out in the rain. It was raining just as it had every day since we’ve been there. I figured the weather in Phoenix would be a beautiful 76 degrees with clear, sunny skies. I was looking forward to enjoying the nice Arizona weather. Sure enough, once we were in the air, headed south, the sky began to clear up.

Everyone on the plane began to get excited once we approached Phoenix. We came in from the north and then went east towards Scottsdale. At first I saw the Phoenix Mountains. Then I saw Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain. Then, that’s when I began to realize, that we were coming home. We were coming home and our mission was complete. We were finished. I left more then a year ago, unsure whether I’d be coming back and I was coming home now.

The plane landed at Sky Harbor Airport and taxied over to the hanger where a group of motorcycles, media, and family awaited. Flags were being hung and waived everywhere and the crowds were cheering. The plane stopped and the door opened. We began to exit and depart down the steps to the sound of revving motorcycles and marching band music. I was home. We all felt proud as we went to drop off our bags and get into formation. We would be marching into the hanger where the crowds of families awaited.

We marched our way into the hanger and the 1st Sergeant put us to attention. He called the commander, who said just a few words. He mentioned to the crowd the number of combat missions we’ve accomplished and that the unit had come home 100%. He kept it short and dismissed us. We all rushed to our families and I rushed to see mine. The sense of happiness had overwhelmed me at the beginning. I had made it back home alive and from now on, I could get on with the rest of my life.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I was hoping that I didn't get stuck in medical holdover. I was forced to see behavioral health yesterday. That's because I stated on a questioniare that I may have concerns dealing with my relationship. I'm just a little concerned that's all and I care. I have to readjust back to life over here. I've been away from my wife and kids for such a long time and we've all changed a little. There will be stress because of the change we go through. It's expected.

Luckily I cleared behavioral health and medical so I'm almost cleared to go home. I'm hoping that nothing else happens so I could go on that first plane flight back home. Others that are not so lucky will be stuck here while the doctors do more examinations and whatever assesments they need to do. I never had any medical issues while I was gone, except for the toothache that occured in June.

Yesterday I finished clearing central issue. That means that all the equipment they've issued me is turned back in. Some of the guys were missing equipment which the commander when ahead and wrote off as a field loss. I'm glad I didn't miss anything. I'd hate to pay for equipment that I've lost. I have better ways to spend my money like on a little vacation with my family.

Today I get my TB skin test read and complete the demobilization outprocess. I'm almost finished and I can't wait. This process is so tedious and time consuming. Our command has discussed granting us an off post pass so we could go into town. I'd probably only end up going into some mall in Lakewood. I'm not interested in going all the way to Seattle. There's not to much to see there after I spent five days there last year. I think I've seen almost everything there is to see.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Back In America

Wow does the weather feel nice here. I never thought the cold, wet, weather would feel so good. We arrived yesterday morning here in Washington State. The flight was long but I'm glad we only had one stop. We stopped in Germany to refuel before we left on final trip here to start our demobilization process. Of course we had the rest of yesterday off to recover from the jet lag on the plane. Most of the guys slept since 1600 hours and woke up pretty early. I tried not to sleep but got tired around 1500 hours. I took a nap and woke up around 1900 hours. After that I decided to get up and wash some of my equipment to get it ready for turn in. I went back to sleep around 2330 hours and woke up around 0600 hours this morning.

The plane flight was long, like always. They played around 8 movies from our trip from the Middle East all the way over here. I slept through some of the movies and watched others. Most of the guys slept right after take off. I could tell that our clocks were all messed up when everyone started waking up on the plane around the same time.

I'm glad we only had one stop. That was in Germany. I heard that other flights that are leaving after us will be stopping in several different places on their way over here. We had a big plane so it was prepared for those long trips.

Well, it feels really nice to be back in the states. We haven't been granted the freedom of leaving the post. We're confined and our command won't let us leave. I understand and it doesn't bother me much. They try to keep control of all the guys and they want to make sure that we all make it back home to Arizona safe.

We started our outprocessing today. We had a few briefings from several different agencies like the chaplain, finance, VA, legal, and medical outprocessing. Tomorrow we start turning in our equipment. I can't wait to get rid of that stuff. Some of the guys have lost equipment and I hope that I'm not one of them. If so they'll be taking that money out of my pocket.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Boring Kuwait

Well, now that I'm here I'm bored. There's not much for us to do here but wait. It wouldn't be so bad if our command didn't place restrictions on us like having a battle buddy everywhere we go. They do have a few amenities here like a PX, McDonald's, Pizza Hut, library, bazaar, and gym. Well, I don't have much time since my battle buddy is waiting outside for me. So I'll just leave this post short.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Way Home

We had to get up early this morning. I didn't know how much a trip out of Iraq could turn into such a long day. We got up early this morning and started packing our bags. We all knew we were leaving Baghdad today for the last time. We cleared out the tents and cleaned them up. We waited outside for our busses to arrive to take us to the airport.Being at the airport is like being at any other airport. We waiting around forever for our flight. I spent my time playing Spades with some of the guys. It was a good way to pass the time really quick and have some fun at it too. We all missed breakfast this morning so we ate whatever snacks we could find. I walked over to Green Beans Coffee to get a mocha frappe. We ended up waiting about five hours before we boarded our plan for the flight out of Iraq.
We're all in Kuwait now and it finally seems like we're heading home. It's starting to feel pretty good and liberating. The trip here has been long and I'm tired. We ate dinner chow as soon as we got settled into our tents. The Big Man and me walked around a little bit just to get oriented with the place. It's only a matter of days before we're on another flight back to the states.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


There was a lot of animosity today in the company today. I felt it as well. I thought I deserved better when what I got. I tried not to dwell on it too much, so I wouldn't be bothered by it. It’s mainly because of the award ceremony we had today.This morning we had a transfer of authority formation followed by an awards formation. A few bronze stars were awarded and I myself have trouble with the credibility of those that were awarded. Bronze Stars? I guess it’s ok if it’s honorable. But then they awarded the rest of us with medals, and what did they give us? They gave the rest of us Army Commendation Medals. Well, that might be ok too but they also gave it to some people that weren’t worthy of that award. So, that just puts us on the same level as that Joe that wasn’t worth a damn.

For a year in Iraq, and being recognized as the role model for organization and teamwork, I think they could’ve awarded us better. We’d hear praise about how great we were and how we were the best unit in the Brigade. They always said that they weren’t blowing smoke up our ass. Well, the least they could’ve done is shown that praise by maybe awarding us Meritorious Service Medals. And what about the appreciation from the Army for what my kids and wife has had to go through for the past year? At least some honorable recognition would be nice. ARCOMs are nice but for what we’ve done here in Iraq? After being told that we are the model for

Another thing is the coin awards. I like getting awarded the coins and they never have enough for everyone. Only a few guys in the unit got coins. I thought that maybe I’d be considered since I was chosen to manage the physical fitness for the platoon. It was an extra duty that I never volunteered for. I wasn’t happy about it when they told me back in Ft. Lewis but I did the job. While others were out messing around, I was busy making up the PT training schedule and managing the PT scores for the platoon. I received no recognition for that. Well, I see how they appreciate me now. And that’s why guys like me build a lot of animosity toward the unit.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halo Forever

I was getting a little wet last night. My cot is right next to the door of the tent. It’s a door that’s been ripped off by the platoon sergeant. He got mad one night and took his frustration out on the door to the tent. Now I’m the one that must suffer. A thunderstorm rolled in last night and the wind blew some of the rain right into the tent. I felt the mist that came in until the storm past. I just prayed that it would either stop raining or that the storm would go by.

I wasted most of my day playing video games. It wasn’t intended. I did plan on going the gym but I put that off to play a little Halo this morning. Then lunchtime came around so I at lunch. After that I went back to play Halo for about an hour. Well, an hour turned into a few and by the time I knew it, it was dinnertime. I played Halo from about 0900 hours until about 1600 hours with a lunch break in between. A true gamer may not say it but I think it was a waste of a day. At least I got some other things done like shower, clean my body armor, and buy some souvenirs at the PX.
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