Saturday, August 16, 2008

Learning to Fly

The temperature climbed above 107 degrees and the sun was throwing darts into my face. It was a dry, desert heat - which means it was still hot as hell. I leaned over and splashed my face, gasping as the 54-degree water presented a shocking opposite to the scorching sun. Realizing someone was approaching quickly, I picked up my weapon, loaded my ammo and fired - direct hit. My brother-in-law screeched as the freezing water hit him in the face and I laughed, putting the water pistol back into the kayak until our next encounter.

Without a doubt, I'll take the desert of Nevada and waters of the Colorado over Iraq and the Euphrates any day of the week. I've been home for over four months now, and life has pretty much picked up right where it left off. Upon returning from Iraq I took about 6 weeks off, spending 3 of them touring Italy and Paris with Rachael. I started work again in May, beginning as a team leader but just recently accepting a promotion into the process excellence group. 10 weeks ago I got the best news of my life - I am going to be a Dad.

Yep, life is good right now. It hasn't been all vacations and promotions, though (ok, there's been like 3 vacations in 4 months, all of them awesome - not the point). There has been, and still is, adjustment challenges. The first couple weeks I was back were the toughest Rache and I have had in our marriage. We both had become accustomed to a great deal of independence and not having to communicate decisions with a partner; now our decisions had to be mutual. It sounds trivial, but we both changed from this experience and needed to get to know each other again. Thankfully, the3 weeks we spent in Italy and Paris really gave us the chance to reconnect and fall in love all over again. Corny? Sure! One of the best experiences of my life? Absolutely.

There are still residual effects from the deployment. I think anyone who returns from a deployment has to deal with things they never thought would bother them. Don’t know what I mean? Let's just say the 4th of July has gone from 1st to worst in my holiday list.

This is going to be the last post I enter into this blog. I guess it’s like the happy ending I always hoped for during my deployment. I know I am lucky - there are many more who return without any support and struggle to cope with re-adjustment into society. There needs to be a better focus by the military on not only providing support networks for our returning vets but following through to ensure long-term reintegration is achieved. A plethora of organizations exist for you to show your support, but if you are reading my blog I’m sure you can give a dissertation on each of them.

Thank you, all of you, for your support, thoughts, prayers, and comments. I hope this blog provided some kind of insight or entertainment. Until my next one, Peace in the Middle East!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Anyone out there?

If so, there is an update coming . . . . soon!