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.