So my deployment is coming to an end; I go home very soon. In a way it’s very disorienting. The long days/short weeks and the intensity of everything you do here makes it feel like a blink…like it went so quickly. But then when you see the newly deployed folks walking around with a look of confusion, (recognizable because that’s how I felt 6 months ago), it feels like a life time ago I arrived. I know we all feel that way from time to time, “like it was just yesterday” when it was a few months or more…but this is strikingly different.
It’s like the feeling I have getting ready to go….gleefully excited. Hearing a song and thinking of Mac and my boys (a time we would be singing it while making dinner or in the car on some driving adventure) makes me tingle thinking of going home. And then, I return to here…that “here and now” coping mechanism and I feel sadness and loss. You put every essence of your being into everything you do here…that’s why I’m here; that’s why I volunteered. And you do it with a ferocity that is so intense and connected to the mission and the people. I feel like I’m letting “my people” down because it’s time to go home. I navigate these last days with my Commander and my Chief and think, I’m leaving my Wolfpack….how can I do that?
It’s a world of contrasts. The perception of time…the juxtaposition of emotions…the contradiction of this deployed location which is stark, austere and remote. Then you get in a car, drive through 3 military gates, down a highway for 40 minutes and you are at the most stunning architectural beauty and symbol of peace, the Grand Mosque. That’s the visual that reflects the contrast of worlds.
I tear-up leaving my brothers-in-arms, who are so much more to me then co-workers. I feel “separation angst” when I think about saying good-bye to my team of amazing Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs)…I’ve had their backs and they’ve had mine for six intense months. I’m leaving.
And I start to cry with joy as I imagine seeing Mac, Morgan and Caitlin at my arrival gate at Logan. ….. I can let my guard down (now), and imagine being back home and being back in my life. I’m going home.
I’ve got three legs of this journey to get me home and each time the wheels of the plane screech as they hit the runway and eventually come to a slow roll and stop…I will too. I will practice each landing to let go and slow down knowing the wind under my wings is my amazing Wolfpack and men and women I had the honor and pleasure to serve with.
Three takes-offs and three landings. Three’s a charm…I am ready to go home.