Well I know it may seem as if I disappeared for a while since I remembered that I have a blog that I write every so often. The past few weeks here in Afghanistan have been anything but uneventful or boring compared to some other places like Iraq. Its a proud feeling to know that America was successful in its mission to OIF after almost nine years and over 4000 US Heros later. The colors have been cased to mark a new post war era in American History that has returned thousands of troops to their families right before the Christmas Holiday. I on the other hand was still here in Afghanistan continuing the fight in OEF that never seems to cease, even on a holiday.
The name on my blog this week is called changes. There was no better word that I could think of to summarize the phase in my life that is bringing some new steps for me to take in this deployment. The first change that I came to notice was a sandy Christmas rather than a white one. Yes it was cold and there were decorations all around, but it just didn't have the feel that the spirit was there and for many it showed in demeanor. It was Christmas Eve here in the desert, but I couldn't tell the difference between what day of the week it was. For all I knew it could have been January because every day around these parts just looks the same. I finally made it out of the field a day later to return to our much awaited Christmas party that provided the good ol' holiday eggnog and presents under the tree in the comapny of all my fellow soldiers awaiting to unwrapp them all. After a good shower and better shave, I sat in comfort of my own office chair eating all types of holiday treats and rocking back to simply envision what home would look like right now. It was just a comfort knowing everyone at home was warm in their houses with their loved ones somewhere around a Christmas Tree sharing all the holiday cheer life could offer. I will tell you, we soldiers were doing all the same in a recreation of the holidays away on FOB miles across the world.
Changes in life are welcomed by some people and opposed by others, but no matter what the circumstances change is inevitable. Some of the life changes I've made and that have been made for me were a series of recollections that crossed my mind this new year. Never in my life did I think I would be fighting a war across seas away from my family for a year at a time. All that is occured and all that will occur are the changes in my life that were uncertain and outside my control. On the brightside, I get a change of scenery here very soon as I will be moving to another FOB here in Afghanistan that I couldn't look forward to more. Every close friend I had before I deployed is stationed at this FOB and knowing I will be with them till redeplyment adds a sense of hope to returning home safely. They were always looking out for me and wanted what was best. Somehow I think they realized that what was best was to bringing a fellow soldier into the loop and away from those who care for nothing else but themselves. I am glad that doing the right thing and upholding one's integrity doesn't go unnoticed in this big unit we call: The Army.
When I leave here, I am sure I will feel a sense of relieve and the lump in my throat that I walk with will subdue itself. But for sure, I know that I never forget what happened in this province of Afghanistan and the men I fought beside/served with. They will live on in my thoughts and the images of reality we faced will forever be seen before me. I will also never forget the people who became my friends that watched my back when one of my own would try to dig a knife in simply to advance themselves in dishonest manner. So much has been learned here about my job and the people who served with me. Not all of it being the most positive lessons learned but ones that I know will always serve as experience for me as move from unit to unit.
Now that I can safely say that I am proud to know that I have maintained my composure through all the harsh realities warfare can provide, I know that the challenges I face in days to come will better be met with the haste of my reaction and the diligence I gained from the combat. Hooah!! No place too far!!