Back to Afghanistan: Waiting on the Bird

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Back to Afghanistan: Waiting on the Bird

Kentucky. $#!^! I'm still only in Kentucky. Every time I think I'm gonna wake up back in the desert. When I was home after my first tour, it was worse. I'd wake up and there'd be nothing. When I was here, I wanted to be there. When I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the desert. I'm here a week now. I'm waiting for a mission - getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker. And every minute Taliban Achmed squats in the bush, he gets stronger. Each time I looked around, the walls moved in a little tighter.

-        Adapted from Apocalypse Now.

Right now I really am in a hotel room in Kentucky, waiting for the call to head over to Ft. Knox and board the plane to take me in theater.  However, I am enjoying the solitude.  Said my goodbyes to the wife and dogs yesterday, and now just waiting for the call to head over to the base.  I was actually over there this morning filling out some paperwork and getting my Eagle Card (like a credit card).   I also got to interview the CSM of the 3rd ESC that I will embed with first, but because of some technical difficulties, it may take me a day or two to figure out how to get a post up on it.  

As I noted on my Facebook page the other day:

Inventory of electronics: 2 kindles (1 fire, one touch), 1 MacBook Pro, 1 iPod, 1 digital video camera (GoPro), one digital still camera, 1 blackberry, about 17 cords. That's just the computer bag. It's almost as if the Spartans didn't do it quite like this.

A bit different than my last trip over there.  No rifle (that makes me unhappy.)  But, no privates and specialists to worry about either.  No commander riding me, no LTs getting lost (just kidding).  Just me, which is pretty sweet.  My travel in theater will likely be waiting for a bird to take me where I need to go, but I have my laminated letter from the ISAF Public Affairs that is apparently a golden ticket. 

Getting in theater isn’t as simple as flying to Seattle either.  Just speculating since my itinerary hasn’t been shared with me, but I suspect I will get to see 3 of the scenic locales listed here. (This isn’t some sort of OPSEC thing, I mean literally I have no idea when I am going, or how I am getting there):


Bangor, Maine

Shannon, Ireland

Paris, France

Ramstein, Germany

Incirlik, Turkey

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

If I had my way it would be Bangor, Ireland, Turkey, Bishkek.  The last is an almost certainty, while the first is the home of my family, Ireland is my ancestral home, and Incirlik has a surprisingly good Tiki bar near the airfield if I remember correctly.  Either way, I figure on about a 28 hour flight.  Got my laptop, but that will likely die fairly quickly unless there is an electricoutlet.  Probably watch some reruns of Early Edition that I bought on Amazon a few weeks ago while in an Ambien haze.  If I got tomorrow’s newspaper (like the protagonist in the show), I’d be torn between buying a winning lotto ticket and attending every Yankees game I knew they would lose.

So, my bags are packed and I’m waiting on the proverbial jet plane.  Besides my two kindles, I also have a pocket Bible, copy of Cyrano de Beregerac (should be mandatory for infantry guys), pocket Kipling (also should be compulsory for A’stan travelers) and Rachel Maddow’s book.  The last of those I am reading at the publicist’s request and which somewhat surprisingly I am enjoying immensely.

Other than that, gear is ready to roll.  Body armor and helmet on top, digitized computer bag with all the documents I will need and my MacBookPro which hopefully isn’t allergic to sand, and 2 army duffels, one loaded with Ranger Up shirts to use as currency to move around in theater and to buy goodwill among the PAO population. 

Posting will come probably every other, or every third day for a while here, but they should be great posts, so I hope y’all will check back fairly often.  If you need the daily dose of news, you should sign up with the Legion’s online update page on Facebook!

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Stay safe.

As long as you stuck there, you could get a tour of the vault and post from there. That would be a first for the milblog community.

Stay safe. Vaya con Dios

I see one thing hasn't changed - Hurry up and wait! Have no fear, transport will be made available at the most unexpected time. Catch the ZZZ's while you can.

A word of advice: Don't get close to the fences around the vault... and don't go after any golf balls you hit over/through them. They take that shit WAY too seriously.
The Patton Museum is a cool place to visit- check it out, since you have time.

Thanks for the update!

Godspeed. Remember, this time you're allowed to take naps whenever you want to. I hope, for nostalgia's sake, you have Age of Empires loaded up and ready to go. There is beer cooling for you back home as a carrot to remember to come back. Remember the Super Bowl and Blue Lights.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.