Monday, March 19, 2012

Tales from Afghanistan, Chapter 17: Last Call

Nate's blog: Mar 19

It’s finally happened, my deployment is almost over! This week, is my last week here (Due to security reasons I can’t say when I am actually leaving, this is close enough!). It’s been a week full of “lasts” for me. I’ve already gone on my last “adventure”, and I’ve come back with all my bits and pieces relatively where they should be! I am very thankful for that, there have been a lot of us who did not come back with everything, and some who are not coming back at all. I’ve (hopefully) had my last MRE out here, my stock of granola bars should last me through these final days. I’ve put on my FROG suit for the last time (no, not like in the Mario Bros game), and I’ve been in an armored vehicle for the last time! I’ve mailed a bunch of stuff home already, and some of our replacements have already arrived and started taking over.

I saw my friend AZ a few days ago. He is doing well, and has decided to stay out here for another 7 months. He says the money is very good and he has a family to raise. I respect him for it, but I know I could never do that! This is my 5th deployment, and when you’ve spent so much of your life in a combat zone, it kind of loses its appeal. And my departure can’t come soon enough! While my unit has done amazing things in our small part of the country, it seems like as a whole, everything is falling apart around us. The US and Afghan government can’t agree on anything, the Taliban are backing out of talks, and it seems like people from both sides are going crazy! Recently a soldier, rank Staff Sergeant, was taken back to the States, most likely to be tried for murder of Afghani civilians. This is a guy on his 4th deployment, with a wife and kids, a senior soldier that no one would have expected to go crazy! And it seems to really be dividing people. Some people think he’s nothing more than a murderer, while others feel that the multiple deployments were just too much, and he snapped. I’ve read one report that said people in the military are afraid to admit he snapped, because it leaves open the possibility that it could happen to anyone with multiple deployments. FYI, I’m not going to turn all crazy. But I am bothered by all the comparisons I am hearing between Afghanistan and Vietnam.

I’m looking forward to really saying goodbye to this place. Goodbye to the people shooting at me, goodbye to the sandstorms (I’m in one right now) and crazy weather, and goodbye to this horrible food! Goodbye to Afghanistan, and hullo to my beautiful wife, demon cat, to crazy drivers and delicious Panda Express, and apparently high gas prices haha. I think I can manage that.

Oh, and there is one more “last”. This is my last update from Afghanistan! The trip back is long, so I will still have an update or two left as I make my final journey home. Wish me luck, I will see you all soon!

1 comment:

  1. Safe travels home! and thank you for sharing your deployment with so many folks.