Now that the Company is for the most part together in one place we begin a somewhat awkward phase of the deployment. Learning to live here and learning to live with each other for the long haul. For me at least the realization that we are now in Iraq and this is our lives for the next however many months is somewhat daunting. Not too mention that (as much as I genuinely love everyone here), we must deal with being "married" to the people we deployed with.
While bonds are certainly strong in situations such as these, it can also be tested while everyone learns to live in even closer proximity to one another. So far everything is going well in that department aside from the occasional bickering. It's hard not to be frank and honest with people that we eat with, sleep within slapping distance of, share meals with, and go on shopping excursions with. Occasionally we (okay I) come off to blunt or just have a bad day (picture of my bad day poster forthcoming).
We have much better living conditions now compared to the open bay barracks of Wisconsin and the festival tents in Kuwait. We now live in 10' X 10' CHUs (containerized housing units). Thankfully, I have a great CHUmie and we don't work together directly so it's not likely that we will end up in some horrific homicide situation. The work spaces are still somewhat confined and we work 12 hours shifts so those of us that work together see a lot of each other. It always amazes me that we can continually generate new topics of conversation during the waiting part of "hurry up and wait".
As far as the people go here, again I think they are all great. We have already been through a lot together and our first weeks on the ground have shown us that our strength as a unit will ultimately affect our personal resilience. Having been through this process before, I know that it's much like a family. We will all have our falling outs but ultimately we are in this as a team. It's all a process as a Reservist to slowly let go of some of our individuality in order to make sure that everyone is taken care of. I think in many ways, being here is much easier than being the family member left at home because we have a stable set of stand-ins for those that we left behind. They may not be as attractive and they are a lot weirder, but we know that they will be there each day (mostly because they lack few other options).
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