Greetings From Baghdad "Mid Tour Leave"

Greetings From Baghdad "Mid Tour Leave"

A Story by Calwarr
"

A lighthearted, semi-factual look at Army life from the inside.

"
 

Greetings from Baghdad parental units both masculine and feminine. While in the midst of all the insanity going on over here, I find my thoughts turning constantly to one thing… Home! On may 19th I will be turning in my weapon and sensitive items (well at least the ones not attached to my body) and boarding a Chinook helicopter to BIAP airfield.

There I will undergo a psychiatric evaluation to see if I am crazy, and assuming the truth escapes them, boarding a C130 to Kuwait. After a day or two in Kuwait and a short 17,000 hour flight on a 747, with a stopover in Germany where the welcome center for soldiers features (I am not making this up) twenty foot high chain length fences topped with razor wire (German Motto: We love Americans so much we protect them at all costs, even their lives) and finally I will be back to the place that no one can, at least for a while take me away from. The Atlanta International Airport.

Yes that’s right, after the whole trip from Baghdad to Atlanta, I will arrive with no ticket home to Savannah, GA at goodness knows what time, jet lagged in desert cammo uniform, fresh from a war zone, (OK probably not so fresh) ready to kill at the drop of a hat, at the most frustrating place on earth. Then I will wait, presumably until the next ice age at the ticket counter of doom for the nice people at “whatever” airlines to grant me the gracious boon of a standby ticket scheduled to leave that night and tentatively scheduled to crash fifteen minutes after take off. Ha Ha! So the end result will be that I arrive home just in time to kiss my wife Brigitte goodbye for another 8 months or so. Actually the Army does not count travel time as part of leave so whatever happens I will get fifteen days with my lovely wife, even though they will probably seem like they lasted fifteen minutes.

You know something I will miss about Iraq is my weapon. No really! You get to have a pretty close personal relationship with your personal weapon since you spend every moment with it. My M4 carbine assault weapon, with M68 laser sight is named Nichole. (That’s my wife’s middle name.)

Nichole has been a very reliable companion, who very much like her namesake, requires a lot of focused attention to function. The dusty sandy environment of Iraq does not lend itself to a clean weapon, so once or twice each busy day I have to find time to disassemble and service her working parts. Well, before this metaphorical comparison between my weapon and my wife make Mom blush more than she already is, I will get to my point if I ever had one. I am going to miss Nichole.

Sometimes when we go on a work detail that requires us to have our hands free, we lock our weapons in the arms room and go to the motor pool or wherever. When this happens I find myself constantly looking for Nichole. When we start walking I feel strangely light. Kind of like Richard Simmons but far less likely to wear running shorts the size of a standard postage stamp.

So when I go home I have a feeling that I will spend a few minutes every time I get up looking around like I’m lost trying to find something that is on the other side of the planet. Ironically I have spent the past months waking up and feeling around my bunk for a much warmer lady without whom I am lost that was on the other side of the planet.

The Wifey keeps asking me what I want to do when I get home, and I search my thoughts for some trip or activity that will leave a lasting memory for me to take back with me. When I close my eyes and day dream of being home, all I can see is Brigitte in the kitchen wearing my sweats, cooking and walking back and forth to the computer working on her book. Other times it’s her just waking up snuggling with our cats and getting ready to start a fresh new day .. er .. afternoon, (my wife is not what you would call an early riser) lazily picking up the dirty clothes I have left strewn neatly across the floor in a trail leading from the bed to the shower. Or maybe; Brigitte with a laundry basket and a magazine under one arm and juggling car keys and a bag of change with the other.

So having reviewed all these little scenes and the simple grace she displays in them, I know what really matters to me when I get home! That’s right. You guessed it! I don’t want to do any cleaning. I am so sick of cleaning my weapon, the latrine, the HMWV ect… that all I can think of is having someone to pick up after me. Heck, maybe I will just hire a maid and cancel the vacation.


P.S. Mom I am still OK. All major limbs and body parts are either present or accounted for at the time of this email.


P.P.S. I will take inventory again in about twenty-four hours and send another report.


P.P.P.S. That is unless my fingers are missing and in that case, unless I learn to type with my nose, a phone call will have to suffice.

 

Greetings from Baghdad parental units both masculine and feminine. While in the midst of all the insanity going on over here, I find my thoughts turning constantly to one thing… Home! On may 19th I will be turning in my weapon and sensitive items (well at least the ones not attached to my body) and boarding a Chinook helicopter to BIAP airfield.

There I will undergo a psychiatric evaluation to see if I am crazy, and assuming the truth escapes them, boarding a C130 to Kuwait. After a day or two in Kuwait and a short 17,000 hour flight on a 747, with a stopover in Germany where the welcome center for soldiers features (I am not making this up) twenty foot high chain length fences topped with razor wire (German Motto: We love Americans so much we protect them at all costs, even their lives) and finally I will be back to the place that no one can, at least for a while take me away from. The Atlanta International Airport.

Yes that’s right, after the whole trip from Baghdad to Atlanta, I will arrive with no ticket home to Savannah, GA at goodness knows what time, jet lagged in desert cammo uniform, fresh from a war zone, (OK probably not so fresh) ready to kill at the drop of a hat, at the most frustrating place on earth. Then I will wait, presumably until the next ice age at the ticket counter of doom for the nice people at “whatever” airlines to grant me the gracious boon of a standby ticket scheduled to leave that night and tentatively scheduled to crash fifteen minutes after take off. Ha Ha! So the end result will be that I arrive home just in time to kiss my wife Brigitte goodbye for another 8 months or so. Actually the Army does not count travel time as part of leave so whatever happens I will get fifteen days with my lovely wife, even though they will probably seem like they lasted fifteen minutes.

You know something I will miss about Iraq is my weapon. No really! You get to have a pretty close personal relationship with your personal weapon since you spend every moment with it. My M4 carbine assault weapon, with M68 laser sight is named Nichole. (That’s my wife’s middle name.)

Nichole has been a very reliable companion, who very much like her namesake, requires a lot of focused attention to function. The dusty sandy environment of Iraq does not lend itself to a clean weapon, so once or twice each busy day I have to find time to disassemble and service her working parts. Well, before this metaphorical comparison between my weapon and my wife make Mom blush more than she already is, I will get to my point if I ever had one. I am going to miss Nichole.

Sometimes when we go on a work detail that requires us to have our hands free, we lock our weapons in the arms room and go to the motor pool or wherever. When this happens I find myself constantly looking for Nichole. When we start walking I feel strangely light. Kind of like Richard Simmons but far less likely to wear running shorts the size of a standard postage stamp.

So when I go home I have a feeling that I will spend a few minutes every time I get up looking around like I’m lost trying to find something that is on the other side of the planet. Ironically I have spent the past months waking up and feeling around my bunk for a much warmer lady without whom I am lost that was on the other side of the planet.

The Wifey keeps asking me what I want to do when I get home, and I search my thoughts for some trip or activity that will leave a lasting memory for me to take back with me. When I close my eyes and day dream of being home, all I can see is Brigitte in the kitchen wearing my sweats, cooking and walking back and forth to the computer working on her book. Other times it’s her just waking up snuggling with our cats and getting ready to start a fresh new day .. er .. afternoon, (my wife is not what you would call an early riser) lazily picking up the dirty clothes I have left strewn neatly across the floor in a trail leading from the bed to the shower. Or maybe; Brigitte with a laundry basket and a magazine under one arm and juggling car keys and a bag of change with the other.

So having reviewed all these little scenes and the simple grace she displays in them, I know what really matters to me when I get home! That’s right. You guessed it! I don’t want to do any cleaning. I am so sick of cleaning my weapon, the latrine, the HMWV ect… that all I can think of is having someone to pick up after me. Heck, maybe I will just hire a maid and cancel the vacation.


P.S. Mom I am still OK. All major limbs and body parts are either present or accounted for at the time of this email.


P.P.S. I will take inventory again in about twenty-four hours and send another report.


P.P.P.S. That is unless my fingers are missing and in that case, unless I learn to type with my nose, a phone call will have to suffice.

© 2011 Calwarr


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Added on June 19, 2011
Last Updated on June 19, 2011
Tags: Army, travel, US army, comedy, funny, satire, soldier, journal, letters, parents

Author

Calwarr
Calwarr

Clarksville, TN



About
Greetings and salutations, it's your friendly neighborhood Calwarr here. I am a professional soldier, father and snappy dresser. I have always had the writing bug and lately have decided to spend more.. more..

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