In Hindsight

I’m what they call a “short-timer” around here now.  By this time next month, I’ll have returned to the land of the living.  Its been quite an experience here.  It’s not been at all what I expected.  I’m not even sure what I thought it was going to be like.  How can you even guess what something like this will be like?  I’m not sure.  Either way, I have learned a lot.

This has been the single biggest growing experience of my life.  I feel like I have learned a lot about being a soldier and an officer.  I believe (well, hope) that I’ve earned the respect of the seasoned NCOs around me.  I can only imagine what I looked like to them when I first came on board.  A young, green lieutenant added at the last minute who hasn’t even cut his teeth yet.  Its funny looking back.  I have to admit the learning curve has been pretty much vertical.  I was tossed into the thick of it and had to learn as I went. I’ve made a full lieutenant’s share of mistakes here but I’ve learned from them all.

I’m happy with the progress we have made here.  When we first arrived everyone told us not to get too ambitious and to have patience.  Afghans don’t learn really fast and changes seem to take decades.  Of course we thought we could do it better and change the world in our time.  Eventually you realize that you’re pushing boulders up hills.  Its been overwhelming and more than frustrating at times.  Sometimes you even want to throw your hands up in the air and quit.  I can say that I’ve done everything I can used all my skills and knowledge to try and help develop this army.  If anything I taught them sticks, I will never know.  But I’ve created something from nothing here, and that is something to be proud of.

Settling Back In

Its been about 2 weeks now since I got back and I’m starting to get back into my old routine.  I really miss everyone, especially my lovely wife, but it was much easier this time than when I first arrived.  About 5-6 months to go then I am home for good!  I saw an article today in my google alerts hopper here about members of the 48th Infantry Brigade getting ready to ship out.  These guys are our replacements!  Woohoo!  It will take some time for them to geta ll trained up and final over here, but their movement has already started, and that is a great feeling.  It makes home seem that much closer.

In other news, I’ve posted a few new pictures on my flickr account (click on a picture on the right) if your interested.  My bandwidth is pretty limited so they are low rez and I cant add a ton of pictures.

I’ve started a new workout routine with a friend of mine which is quite a bit more advanced than our previous, and it is kicking my ass!  I haven’t been this sore in a long time!  Taking a month off from lifting while on leave and travel didn’t help much either though, I suppose.

That’s all for now, have a great day!

drilling

I’ve got drill this weekend again.  It seems that there is just enough time between drill weekend to kind of forget about the deployment and the military.  Its very different when I put the uniform on.  It’s kind of like having an alternate identity, and the switch is triggered by the uniform.  I know it happens to a lot of people in the guard.  We kind of do have to be able to switch it on and off.

Anyways, all this gets me thinking about the mobilization.  Its scary to think that there is less than 2 month before I leave.  I have a million things to do before that happens.  In a way I really just want to get there and start the deployment.  The anticipation causes so much worry and stress that it know it will be easier once I am there and can look forward to coming home instead of having it loom over my head.