I made it home safe and sound this morning at 4 am! We originally left on the 20th so it took us about 4 days to get home, but after all the hassles, waiting in lines, lugging bags everywhere and hopping from plane to plane and sleeping on floors...we finally arrived home. And how sweet it is!
The flight from Balad was creepey because as we were taking off I saw out the window red streaks of tracer fire all over the place as the Iraqis were shooting at the plane. I had heard that the Iraqis shoot at incoming and outgoing planes, but this was the first time I saw the bullets wizzing by; and it was really creepy when you hear them pinging off the back of the plane!
It was also Ironic that the day we left we saw on the news that a DFAC in Marez was hit with a suicide bomber, because a few dasy earlier I was eating at that very DFAC with the new guy from the 313th I was training. What a time to be leaving, and what a time for them to be coming in. I am so glad to be out of that hell hole.
But with all that aside, the return was nice. Were greted off the plane by some 2 star general and a bunch of brass and they shook our hands and clapped for us. When we got to the company we were marched in and there was music playing and tons of people on bleachers waving and yelling and clapping and all that. It was quite a welcome home.
I soon left and am now staying in a hotel because there were not enough barracks rooms available. It is a suite and very plush. So far I am enjoying being home.
Well, I am going on just a couple of hours of sleep so I will sign off. But I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who supported me through all this, I could not have done it without you. Thank you all so much for reading my gripes and complaints and sharing with me the life I experienced out there in Hell.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!
I sat for a bit and thought about this past year, and for no matter how much I disagreed with this war, it is a major event in our history and I am, in some small way, glad I was able to take part in something that will be talked about for generations to come. The beginnings of my mental healings have started as I walked through Wiesbaden today, and I was reminded of the receipt I got at the last place I ate in Iraq. I looked at it as I was boarding the final plane out of the country. At the bottom of the receipt was printed:
"Thank you comming to Iraq."