First off, no amount of time spent with your family will be enough. Time flies by and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Amidst the last minute preparations, I can't help but regret all the times that I did other things other than spending time at home. Today did not go at all as expected and a short day with the Army quickly turned into a logistical nightmare in attempting to arrange flights for people scattered throughout the country to pull this whole deployment off.
I fly out in a couple of hours and while I am in no way ready to say goodbye. I know that 20 years from now when I'm vacationing on the warm beaches of Iraq enjoying the peaceful summers it will all have been worth it... that or we'll still be sorting through the ambiguity of the situation.
Over the next couple of days, I'll be in New Jersey for a dog and pony show (a special, official ceremony in which the Army tries to make us feel better about things and tells us how to say goodbye). After that, I'll head to Wisconsin for training to complement the 21 days that we just ran through last month. It should be an interesting time there considering WI and Iraq don't really experience parallel weather patterns.
At this point I expect we'll go on "lockdown" in Wisconsin where drinking and other forms of fun are banned. Internet access will also be spotty, so I'll have to save up my cynicism for larger blocks.
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