Military stories from past to present, both wars.

Homeward bound

March 17th, 2006 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

Well gang,
How do you ensure that you get to spend the night in Ireland by making the plane break down??? That’s easy, just sit there and say over and over “I hope that everything goes smooth and we get home fast!!!” Do this and presto, you’re guaranteed to break down. They put us in a super nice hotel about 20 minutes from the airport that included it’s own pub. Since all we had on were our desert cammies, we were NOT allowed outside of the hotel for any reason. Also, the State Department had reported a growing number of political anti-war protesters in Ireland harassing troops, so they warned us not to speak to any of these folks if they approached us in the hotel. I am here to tell you that we never ran into such persons while there. The pub was full of the most kind and gracious folks in the world. They even let me get up and sing Elvis with the band around 11 pm.

The grumpy MEF Grunt SgtMaj didn’t like the idea that we were able to drink, at all. So he posted himself at the entrance and gave each young enlisted Marine the “Evil Eye” if it appeared they were having toO much fun. After four pints of Black and Tans, I can say that I was pretty well toasted, AND that, added to not having slept much, ensured that I was in a dead sleep by midnight. I love the fact that the local families bring their kids with them for dinner and entertainment in Ireland. They sure got their money’s worth that night from all the Jarheads letting loose.

The following day, it was particularly quiet with all the guys a bit subdued from our activities the night before. Towards the end of the flight, you could feel the energy building with the thoughts of reunions with family members. Once you land, like anything in the Military, it’s hurry up and wait. You get off the plane and after about an hour and a half of turning in weapons, picking up bags, you finally file onto a bus for movement to a large warehouse. Our C.O. at Cherry Point had a Fantastic reunion set up with the Band/pizza and loved ones all in the warmth of our supply building. It was everything that I imagined it would be and more.

Here are the immediate observations that struck me when I got off the airplane and through the night. Everything is so green. Marines wearing the green cammies again, the trees, the grass. Then only having to walk five feet to use the bathroom that has real soft toilet paper and endless hot water. A bed with a firm mattress, a bottle of wine in the room, my wife next to me, no helicopters rattling the room, no sounds of distant explosions, no phone calls in the middle of the night. Now I face a bit of “withdrawal” from being there. A sense of purpose in daily life, knowing that you helped save lives. It’s different now–I can’t get my 3-year-old to do what I want, at all!! Ha!!

I will have to change my blog to reflect that I’m home now, but part of me is still over there. I think they should bring back the draft, or a choice of four things for every 18-year-old in our nation. Either go into the military and see the world; go into the peace Corps and help out folks in our own back yard vice Africa; go into the border patrol and keep all the deadbeats out; or join some sort of CCC like they had in the thirties and forties. This will give our nation’s youth and future leaders a greater understanding of just how great America truly is!! We take for granted all the wonderful opportunities available here and it makes me sick sometimes. When I run for Congress… Anyway, it’s great to be back home and I wanted to thank everyone for their awesome support of my Marines while I was over there. Please keep them in your prayers and if you want to know what the best way to support them, just continue to talk positively about the mission, why we are there and the young men and women who are in harms way. That’s better then any cake or box of cookies you could send them.

Semper Fi,