The Eagle has landed

Army Guy has officially ended his tour of duty in Afghanistan. He’s on a plane as I type from Maine to the base camp in Indiana. One year away from family and friends in a hell hole of a country. And for what? I’m not sure. To “win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.” Yeah, right.

I wonder if he will talk much about his experiences. I wonder if he’ll experience any PTSD or nightmares. I wonder how he’ll adjust to “normal” life.

I wonder if Army Wife will let him out of her site for longer than 2 minutes.

A while back I posted a reality check directed at all of us. You can read it again here. You know…how we get all bent out of shape and whine when Starbucks or McDonald’s gets our order wrong; traffic is too slow for our preference; people who talk too loud on cell phones; those who hold up the line at the cashier; other people’s children that irritate us; poor service in a restaurant; the cold; the heat; work deadlines; lumpy mattresses…you get the idea.

Army Guy slept on a cot, the ground and other makeshift accommodations for a year. He’s eaten food we may have thrown out without hesitation. Gone without the niceties of things like hot water, pillows, heat, air conditioning, power. There aren’t any Starbucks and McDonald’s in the mountains of Afghanistan. He probably would have loved to have someone get his coffee order wrong.

To her credit, Army Wife was exceptionally good at sending care packages. In fact, she spoiled him rotten with snacks of all kinds, drinks, treats, presents… a hand-made fleece tie blanket AND a hand-made quilt with family photos on it! He was able to procure a few creature comforts such as a small TV, frig (no ice) and microwave.  The popcorn, microwave Cheesy Mac and Yoo Hoos followed on a regular basis. He brought along a laptop computer with photos of family and friends to keep him connected. Occasionally he was at a location with Internet service and was able to email photos back to the states.

Other family members sent care packages as well. I think that is one of the most important things we can do for the men and women serving our country. Keep them connected with the homeland. Connected with sanity. Connected with some sense of purpose. Just to let them know there are people who think about them and what they are doing. But I digress….

Now, he’s scheduled to arrive around midnight. Army Wife and Peanut are already there. I’m sure she set a land speed record getting out there. They are waiting impatiently in a hotel room for the green light to pick him up. It will probably be a lot like The Homecoming back in July for his two week R&R. In a few days, they’ll head south on a whirlwind trip to see the southern clan. And return here around the first week of March to make decisions about their future.

Prayers answered. He’s back on home turf without incident or accident. I bet he sleeps for a week when they’re home.


5 thoughts on “The Eagle has landed

  1. Lisa, that is so exciting! I completely understand the anticipation of seeing your loved one home safe and whole from war. I’m so happy for you and your family; it brought a tear to my eye to read this.

    My uncle is currently stationed in Afghanistan, and my dad spent a year in Iraq from Fall 2005-2006. It was hard with my dad being so far away, and of course we worry about my uncle. I think we had it a little easier because my dad was stationed on a base, but it didn’t help to hear about rockets flying overhead and snipers in the buildings nearby.

    He missed my high school graduation, but he was there in spirit; my aunt printed and laminated pictures of him and my family waved them at the ceremony. The announcer even honored him as I walked across the “stage” (gym floor) to get my diploma.

    I’ve gotten used to him being gone because he’s served every other weekend and two weeks each year since before I was born. But sometimes it’s still hard to think about all those times we missed. It’s hard because he says that he doesn’t feel like he was there enough for me, but I’m proud to say that my father is a soldier.

    We may not all agree on what or why or where the soldiers are fighting, but they are brave and they are doing it for us.

    I’d better stop before I write a whole book! I’m at the desk, working, and I’m all teary-eyed. I’ll bet you enjoy every minute with Army Guy (perfect name!) when you get to see him. 🙂


  2. Now that the new phase of operations has begun you must feel very relieved that he will be safely home. There was a wonderful series of programmes on TV here by tough guy actor turned documentary maker Ross Kemp. He lived with the British troops in Afghanistan and went out on missions with them and as you can imagine, it was compelling television, showing the hell that they go through and the knife edge they all live on.

    I don’t really see what we’re hoping to achieve with Operation Moshtarak – Mrs.Brain-The-Size-Of_A-Planet know-it-all here thinks the answer is something far more radical, and peaceful, (discussioon of which should be saved for another time).

    You mentioning a quilt made me think of a wonderful scheme that I heard of some time ago. I wish I’d kept reference to it. Quilts being a very American thing, it was US based and began with a small group of women making quilts for the troops away at war as a gentle and comforting reminder of home. I thought that was a lovely thing to do.

    You say that Army Guy and your daughter will make decisions about their future. Does this mean that he has the option now to leave military service now?

    I can imagine the happiness that pervades your family right now and the joy to come when he sets foot on home soil again. How wonderful!


  3. I hate it when people refer to celebrities as heros. Our true heros are our service men and women who sacrifice daily for our freedoms…their families sacrifice as well while they are oversees defending our country. Blessings to all those who serve and their families.


  4. Pingback: Five Good Things « peripheral perceptions

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