Military stories from past to present, both wars.

A** Pain of Redeployment…

December 3rd, 2008 Posted in The SandGram v1.0

What is it like to be home?  After Iraq in ’06, I was actually depressed for the first two weeks when I got back for many reasons. One of which, was when I realized that my wife and kids had done well without me for the past 7 months.  Sounds crazy, but it’s true.  All the bills were paid, errands were completed, and I was just standing around trying to fit back into the family unit.  The biggest part of the funk was caused by the lack of military action, now that I was home.  We were pretty busy in the An Bar province back in 05 with constant activity from the chuckleheads, which caused daily medivac’s for the wounded or KIA.  That feeling of importance (important to helping out the group effort) was gone.  The friends that I hung out with on a daily basis were gone.  The sounds of constant motion in the war zone (i.e. helicopters flying overhead, big diesel generators everywhere). People shouting over the den of the air condition units, were blocked out of my daily routine and pushed back to the peripheral portion of my mind.  While at home, I couldn’t sleep well without it. I really noticed the lack of it in my backyard as I waited for the dog to do her business.


This time, coming home from Afghanistan, I sort of knew what to expect as I went through the pain of redeploying through Kuwait, and the long endless hours on planes to get back home.  I was a “homeless” person with tons of bags to drag all over creation (wheels are a must) as I moved from this base, to that one.  The five hour flight from Afghanistan to Kuwait wasn’t too bad on the C-17, for that was one step closer. Then I sat around Kuwait, killing time until I went into lockdown for customs, while they inspected everything I owned. I mean, if they could send a camera up your colon to ensure you weren’t trying to smuggle an AK 47 home, I think they would do it! Before I left, they sat me in a large tent with a slide show on the big screen explaining what you can and can’t take home with you.  “No animals, It’s OK to have plastic encased spiders though, No Ammo, explosives, handguns, rifles, parts of weapons, etc., but personal ADULT SEX toys are allowed!” Now that really made you think, “What kind of toys are we talking about?” You mean the boys didn’t have to put their slightly used blow up dolls for sale on the company board back at Camp Eggers?  I of course, put a blue Burka on one and put her in the back seat of my SUV, so I would look like the rest of the locals with their Burka Babes in the “rear with the gear,” what else do you think I would do with her? Dirty minded people out there, I swear!


After having my bags x-rayed, they took everything apart.  They made me dump all of my 782 gear, books, tee-shirts, etc. on a large table.  After doing so, they inspect through each piece of clothing, or gear.  They took my Aspirin that was in a plastic bag (guess the guy had a headache), but let me keep my malaria pills.  A bit of advice : “Don’t worry about packing your belongings before you get there, because it won’t go back as nice as you had it!”  Funny thing is, as I’m going through all of my stuff a month later, I found an M16 round that was in the bottom of my bag, so I guess they aren’t that good at the inspection. Once I passed that big “ASS PAIN,” I was stuck in a room with everyone else, waiting to get on a bus to the airport. Remember, I got up at 7am that morning; it’s now 9pm before they took me on a two hour trip to the military side of the airport, only to sit around until my flight left at 2am for Germany.  I was able to catch a couple hours of sleep on the plane before we sat around the airport in Frankfurt for our two hour break.  They loaded a bunch of “Space A” folks on the plane there for the trip to BWI.  That delayed us an hour, and by the time we arrived in Baltimore with screaming kids behind me, and little sleep, I had missed my follow on flight to Charlotte and then to Jacksonville NC where my wife was going to meet me.  I ended up changing my flight to Raleigh Durham NC, hooking up with my wife there and spending the night with my best friend from High School and College, Parker and his family.  I can tell you that I slept like a baby that night in the nicest (heavenly) bed.  It was nice to be home, to see all the green and not worry about what the bad guys would try to do next.  No more info. papers, country team notes for the Ambassador, or goofy requests from the Secretary of Defense’s office.  


This go-around, it was easier to fit in well with the kids and family and have been lucky enough to take a few weeks off to enjoy my time with them.  That is a glimpse into redeploying back from the war so you know what all those tired looking guys and gals have gone through when you see them at the airport.  I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and may you have a Blessed Christmas time as well.

Semper Fi,