:: Monday, January 01, 2007 ::
Happy New Years
Welcome to 2007. It's just as boring as 2006 so far.
New Years Day was just another day to cross off my calendar to me. Got quite a bit of good work done and watched quite a bit of television. Pretty much a normal day.
I hope New Years went off without a hitch at home. I haven't got a chance to talk to Ann yet so I haven't heard anything so that's good. I hope mom and dad didn't stay out partying too long.
It's still cold here but it is warming up into the low 30s during the day. The ice is still abundant around here but some of it is melting from all the foot traffic on it. That's a life saver. The nights are still awfully crappy and waking up to the freezing B-hut is getting annoying. KBR and their heaters need to take a hike. We could be warmer putting a burn barrel in the middle of the floor.
I'm overly excited about my leave coming up in a few weeks. I can't put the actual date of my leave on here because of the "Ever Watching Eye" monitoring us, but let's just say that it is coming up quick and I'm ready. Soon I will be home with my wife, my family, my friends, and good ole America.
I've been doing quite a bit of thinking lately. You know how I'm such a nostalgic guy and all. Maybe it's the new year; maybe its the weird dreams I've been having. Lately I've just been wondering how in the world I wound up here in Afghanistan. I mean, just three years ago I didn't even a thought in the world of joining the military. Now look at me.
I look back on my first day at Fort Jackson often. I remember stepping off the bus that late night staring into the back of the guy's head in front of me while I couple of E-7s surrounded us all and began the breaking down of the civilian mentality. Now, if only I knew then what I knew now, it wouldn't have been so bad. I have learned that E-7s are actually big goofy special children (i.e. Sgt Dub, Mac, our motor sergeant, etc).
It was a frightening experience, though. That was my first taste of the real world. What a way to say hello, huh?
The next week wasn't any better. More E-7s and power thirsty E-6s. It all makes sense now, however. Its just how the military works. Whenever someone has the chance to take advantage of a lower enlisted soldier, they do because someone did it to them.
With the exception of a few.
We all know my basic training experience wasn't the best in the world. Or was it? My eye opening experience of being in the front-leaning rest while my first sergeant proceeded to call me...well, I think you all can imagine what he called me...did change my outlook on life. That was the real world. I was way in over my head, but I survived. Once I put my mind on the back burner and just did what I had to do, I enjoyed my training. And, surprisingly enough, I have put quite a bit of it into actual use here.
I know, amazing.
If only I could meet my drill sergeants again. If I could meet all my friends from basic and show them where I am now. I'm sure they all saw me as the weak link, the loser, the guy they all wanted to shoot. Maybe friends is the wrong word to use.
Either way, I am amazed at how far I have come since those days. Those were some hard days. Many mornings I woke up wishing it was a dream. Many days I spent wondering what in the world I was doing. Oh, those were the days.
You know, its still weird to tell people that I am married. When I was a kid, I never thought I would be able to say that. That was always a big person thing and I was a little person. Now I'm a big person. Scary.
I even held a job for longer than three months. My time at Emerging Medical wasn't the best in the world, but I made the most of it. Hopefully I won't have to go back. We'll see though.
Then there was the whole New Orleans deal. That was a giant mess. Its a black scar in the history of the cav troop. Good times.
Then there is this. For the last 10 months, I have been in this whole mess. If only I knew what I was getting in to. Notice a pattern? Its not bad here; I just miss home more than anything. Especially since I haven't slept a day in my home. But leave is coming up soon and so is time to go home for good and Ann and I can start our lives again.
I'm sorry, guys. I'm tired. My post is starting to turn to ramble. It's time for me to go to bed. Maybe I'll gather my thoughts and start in the morning.
God is good. All the time.
:: Ben 9:41 AM [+] ::