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Three Years Ago Today

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  MAJ FatHead suggested that I post more blogs, so I will write about what happened three years ago today:

 

  I was at a dark, dusy FOB in Iraq.  My wife was in the third trimester of her pregnancy back home.  I checked my email to find out that she was having complications with her pregnancy.  She also stated that she asked the Red Cross to send a message to both myself and my leadership (a Red Cross Message is the only way a service member can leave a war zone for an emergency at home).

  I went to my commander's office while the Red Cross Message was coming in.  I was told to pack a small bag and go to the flight line.  I was on the next helicopter out of my small FOB and on my way to a larger FOB.  As I flew through the Iraqi sky, I began to recognize areas that I patrolled on my last deployment.  Soon, I arrived at a larger FOB when I sat and waited for a few hours to get on a C-130 to fly to Kuwait.

  Very late that night, I was in Kuwait.  I checked in and was assigned a bunk in a tent.  There were about 100 tents, each had 10 bunks.  I walked until I found the outprocessing office.  They told me to come back in the morning with a few forms filled out.  I did so and was informed that I'd be taken to the civilian airport in Kuwait City and fly out on a civilian ticket.  My report time was not until late that night.

  I wondered around for a while.  I found a McDonalds and ordered a few cheese burgers.  They were horrible.  I tired to sleep but couldn't.  I went to the PX and bought a pack of smokes.  I spent most of the day and night walking around and smoking.  I ate dinner in the dinning hall.  I don't remember what it was, but it was better than McDonalds. 

  I was given some civilain clothing to wear before I left for the airport.  I rode the bus through open desert, past oil refineries, and into Kuwait City.  Finally at the airport, I finde my way through security then to my gate.  I fly from Kuwait, to Germany, to Seattle, then finally to Alaska.  While on the second flight I woke up from a nap.  I just knew that my wife had given birth.  I don't know how or why, but I just knew that my son was in the world.

  I landed in Seattle.  I changed back into my uniform to try and use it to my advantage to get through secuirty a bit faster.  I turned my cell phone on.  I got a notice of a text message from my sister-in-law.  I opened the message and saw a picture of my son.  I was so very happy.  I made my way from the international area to the domestic area of the airport.  I had to check in to my flight.  I was at the end of a very long line.  A ticket agent came up and pulled me to the side.  He told me to go and stand at a desk where no one was.  He checked me in to my final flight.  I got the secuirty line and was told to go through the first class line.  Once through security, I found my gate. 

  It was still several hours until my flight.  I called my sister-in-law.  She was with my wife.  I talked to both of them.  My sister-in-law said that she'd meet me at the airport.  I then found my way to a sports bar.  I really wanted a drink after not having any for several months while deployed.  I sat and ordered a double Jack and Ginger Ale (it's very good with some lime juice) and ordered a sandwich and fries.  A group of guys came and sat a the next table.  They started to talk to me.  Asking if I'm on my way home from Iraq.  I said yes, and told them about my son.  I showed them the pictre.  During the course of our conversation, I ordered three more double Jack and Gingers.  They left before I did.  I was finishing up my fries when I asked for the check.  The waitress told methat the other guys paid my tab.  I left her a tip anyway for her customer service.

  I got over to the gate a little bit before they began to load.  I was alowed to go on at the same time as the First Class passengers, eventhough I was sitting in coach.  Once airborne, I ordered a drink.  The flight attendant gave me a drink on the house.  She also told me that I can have two more for free during the flight.  I ordered both drinks back to back and took a nap.  I landed in central Alaska a few hours later.  The nap and sudden exposure to negative tempatures sobered me up quick (it was almost a 150 degree tempature diffrence between Kuwait and Alaska).

  I got to the hospital and saw my son for the first time.  I was filled up with love so fast.  I finally understood unconditional love.

 

joe_chemo2005 Uploaded 11/21/2011
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