Desert Diaries Volume 1

July 30, 2014

    I have written this, then rewritten, and then couldn’t finish it because — just like they said — as soon as I got here, I’d pretty much be hitting the ground running.  They weren’t lying at in-processing — a whole lot of hurry up and get to these appointments, then waiting for Zod knows how long.  I swear I thought I would’ve been past this hurry-up-and-wait nonsense when I left basic training, but nope. It’s forever and I won’t escape it.  It’s my first month in Kuwait, so I’m writing a brief wrap-up for you…and no, I can’t give details about the job, but I can tell you what I’ve been doing at work.  Don’t worry. Your tax dollars are being put to good use…sort of.  

    The week leading up to me leaving was rough.  All it consisted of was out-processing, appointments and signing random paperwork.  I didn't really get to spend as much time with my family as I intended but I did get my time.  I spent time with my brother, Sterling, and his wife, Quita. (There’s always some random ratchetry to be had with those two, especially during UFC 175.)  All the good times were overshadowed whenever I looked into my wife’s eyes and saw she was really hurting about me leaving for 6 months.  It was going to be hard raising our son by herself.  Granted, she’s done this before, when I went to Korea, but the circumstances were different.  Myles was turning one year old. Now he’s a toddler. He’s always getting into something, so it really takes a lot of patience, which she has in spades. But it’s always good to have some help.  It’s always helpful to know that you don’t have to endure alone.  When I got on that bus to head to Virginia, saying goodbye them was hard for me.  No one cried, but when I had to tell my son “I got to go to work” I saw myself as a kid when my parents deployed.  The sadness, the confusion, and knowing that he’s probably going to catch onto the fact that I’m at work for a long time was hard to take.

    The bus ride sucked but the flight wasn’t bad. We stopped in Ireland. I had some Guinness from the Motherland and it is way better out there than in the States.  We finally got to the base, and when they said soon as we touched down we’d hit the ground running, man, they were not joking.  Every day was briefings, in-processing and picking up new equipment.  The actual time I did have was interrupted by my shift lead wanting us to go and have breakfast and lunch with higher-ups.  They say that’s good for face time but let me tell you a little secret: they don’t give a damn about you and they will forget who you are right after that meal is over.  I’ve been forced to go to these things time and time again, and within 2 days that officer or senior NCO I’d greet would respond with an “oh, hello….umm….who are you again?” Things got better as I started working my shift, though.  It’s so damn easy. And when I’m not doing my tasks, I’m either studying or talking to my wife and son on Voxer.  

    So with the first month out the way, we are FINALLY starting in on the second. I’ve learned one really important thing so far: don’t count days, count paychecks. With that said…

    …one paycheck down, eleven to go.

- Charlie